August 06, 2010

Weddings: How You Can Help

Do you have a garden, or good flower arranging skills?  Help the bride and groom by making a boquet or flower arrangements for the tables.  (Photo: It's Mary Ruffle)

I have, as you know, been in a lot of weddings. And I've helped out at even more. From carpooling to flower arranging, from baking to canning, from hosting bridal showers to cleaning up afterwards: I've done it all. I've made veils; I've made boquets; I hosted out-of-towners and after parties; I've designed invitations; I've made table arrangements, and baby-sat nieces during the ceremony. And I've loved every moment of it!

You can easily find beautiful clip art online, to use for wedding invitations and programs. 
This if from (believe it or not) Microsoft Office Clip Art
While I do consider myself an excellent event planner and party organizer (golly, I've been doing it most of my life)--few of these tasks require any special skills. And, while the weddings we see featured in wedding blogs and magazines have, seemingly, everything provided for, that's only part of the story. Most of my peers who have gotten married over the last 10 years are doing it on a strict budget. And it was the ready help fo their friends and families that made the day so remarkable.
Veils are almost shockingly easy to make, given the outrageous prices
people charge for them.  Here's a bridcage veil how to.

So, get creative, and think about the ways you can help:
  • Keep the bride company as she addresses invitations (providing wine and a movie will help!) (Obviously, if you have good penmanship, then you can help write, too!)
  • Provide a place to stay for out-of-town guests, or do airport runs
  • Help decorate the hall: make boquets, set the tables, iron linens
  • Lend to the couple your plates, or silverware, or vases, or jars for use so they save on renting.

My Tomato and Mozzarella Salad was inspired by a family friend who made it for our mutual friend's wedding.

If there is one specific wedding skill that you're especially good at, volunteer your time and efforts as a wedding present to the bride and groom
  • Photography
  • Invitation, menu and program design
  • Baking the wedding cake
  • Flower arranging
  • dress making
  • hairstyling and/or makeup
Also, brides and grooms, don't be afraid of a little pot-luck spirit in your wedding. One of the best weddings I ever went to was a pot-luck affair in a big park. They couple were young, teachers, broke. And the parents at their school provided sandwiches and a few salads. All the Mr. and Mrs. provided was (how cool is this?!) homemade beer (which was way cheaper than buying beer!).
If they are providing the catering themselves, and you're a cook or baker or even just handy with a knife, volunteer to help out by bringing a dish.  (Tomorrow's wedding, which inspired me to do this wedding week, will have gluten free lemon bars made by yours truly.  I'll post the recipe once its perfected!)

An awesome boquet for a stunning bride.  Of course, I didn't get a chance
to do my hair for the wedding, as I was so busy fixing the boquets.

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