an expensive day?

this post was originally from 2012.

but since it’s that time of year again . . .

 have washed its face and refreshed all the lost images

due to the recent hacker on my peanut here.


it’s a fun post.

and if you’re planning a big day or know of someone who is . . .

maybe you or they might enjoy these happy moments shared.






it’s coming onto that time of year.

the JUNE bride and all.


actually MY favorite time of year for a wedding

is in the autumn or winter.

i did a post on winter weddings once

which is now in the side bar in past posts.


many of you responded at that time with wonderful

memories of your own weddings.

such fun for all of us!


but here it is


the ‘traditional’ time that people usually plan for a wedding.


well.  actually.  if you have the ‘traditional american wedding’

you probably started planning a year ago.

and you’re supposedly ~ at least by all reports ~

either going to spend in one way or another

almost $28,400 or  ( even more now in 2016! )


yes.  that’s what the reportedly ‘average cost’ of a wedding was in 2012.


i find that really hard to believe.

even HALF of that would be too much to my way of thinking!

or if you really want to think about it . . .  a fraction of it!

and it CAN be done!  and beautifully too.

you just have to think outside the wedding box!

avoid this.







REALLY ? ? ?


unless you’re a spoiled princess and your daddy can afford this

without dipping into his own retirement fund . . .

why on earth would you want your beloved parents

to pay for this kind of extravagance?


why would you yourselves go into debt?

or use up your savings?


there are many different venues now.

the setting doesn’t ALWAYS have to be

an expensive hotel grand assembly room.




even this might be too many!

a few of your closest friends and relatives perhaps.

later you might host a reception somewhere

for the TONS of people you’d like to be able to invite.

or . . .

maybe not!

maybe you’ll spend that money on a lovely trip

filled with great memories.


just keep it in savings for a cushion against emergencies! LOL.

your friends will all still be your friends.

and if they’re not. well maybe they weren’t in the first place.


 think simple.  think elegant.  think spare rather than ‘over the top’

you will never EVER go wrong with



that last picture reminds me just a little bit

of a wedding i attended once in upstate new york.

years and years ago.

my mother was a close friend of the bride’s mother.

and i was home visiting my mother so i was invited as well.


the bride was a girl after my own heart.

she told her mother she wanted “elegant simplicity”

and that’s just what she had.

and it has stood out in my mind as one of the most beautiful

weddings i’ve ever attended.



she wore a simple lovely white dress.

she had a wreath of wild flowers in her hair. with tiny satin ribbons

flowing down the back.  she wore her hair long. just like her groom liked it.


she looked fresh and romantic and absolutely beautiful.


the ceremony was held for only a group of their closest friends

and family

in the back garden of her parents’ home.

everyone simply stood.  the ceremony didn’t last long.

the groom wore jeans and a white dinner jacket!

and he looked young handsome and adorable.


semi~encircling where they stood to take their vows

were large clay pots filled with beautiful white begonias and ivy.

the mother would later replant those into her garden!  genius!


they had cleared out and cleaned a very LARGE grey old shed

at the end of the garden lawn.


on one weathered wall of the shed and on the open door

 were grapevine wreaths

and intertwined in the wreaths were little white flowers and greenery.

very fresh.  very simple.



similar to the one pictured below  . . .


actually i would choose snow white baby’s breath and green ivy

and let more of the wood of the wreath show through.


it’s all your personal choice!

the beauty of it and the fun.


daisy wreath

courtesy of:


set up in the shed was a table with a white floor length cloth.

i imagine now it very well might have been a white sheet.


a simple wedding cake baked by her mother.




champagne and fruit juice and coffee were served.

assorted tiny sandwiches which i remember as delicious.


there were mix~matched chairs of all kinds inside

and outside in the shade of the old shed.


more clay pots of the magical white flowers grouped about.

so beautiful!  and simple.


on the three or so tables inside the shed

were strewn little tea lights in small glass mason jars.

and i remember that those tables had no covering.


just the old wood ~ the clay pot with white flowers blooming

and tiny white tea lights scattered on their marred wooden tops.


one table had a large tray of glasses and someone to pour champagne.

the other table had china cups ~ not matching ~ and someone served coffee.


rustic elegance at its best!


when you don’t have to feed hoards of people

you can splurge a bit on what you serve them.

or you can keep it simple and honest but still



her theme was all white with some greenery.

but yours could be a riot of beautiful and joyous color!

it takes so little.


the key is just to simply not OVER~DO.

don’t feel that every last little space has to be ‘ decorated ‘ somehow.

just do a lovely table.


there are now inexpensive sources.

and the little tea lights burn for hours.

and they don’t fill the room with overwhelming scents!


here are some lovely examples below of rather elegant tea lights.


but the shining little clear glass jars that held the tea lights

  at the wedding i attended that magical day so long ago . . .

 were simple and dear.




she had asked two friends of hers from the university to play

the violin and the harp.

they sat outside near a huge tree.  playing softly.  just enough.

they had also played at the ceremony as the bride briefly entered

on the arm of her dad.


the last i heard ~ well ~ a number of years later anyway ~

this young couple was doing well.

they still were very much in love and had a fine family.

i suppose their family would be grown by now ! ! !

that’s how fast time goes by.


but i shall never forget that little wedding.

to me it was the epitome of what a REAL wedding day should be.


no angst over all the tedious

ridiculously pretentious details that

the ‘ wedding planner ‘ tries to convince you are so important.


what is important will be the memories you take from this day.


you can look back upon a relaxed and happy and beautiful occasion.


or you can look at pictures of it and think

OMG.  i can’t believe we blew  $10,000

or $28,000 or MORE!   on THAT!!!



in real life . . .   not the fairy tale dreams of little girls . . .

ostentation in all forms usually turns out to be a disappointment.


here are some pictures i’ve gleaned from the big world wide web

which might inspire you if you’re planning the big event.

or if you have someone close to you that is . . .


maybe they will spark an ‘alternative’ thought as to what you could do.


just bear in mind.  tradition can still be had


the huge white ‘ meringue ‘ dress


  the trailing veil!



the huge professionally made bouquet


the  over decorated and fake looking  $1200 ~ $2000 cake.


the silly “must have” list goes on and on and on.

making other people rich at your expense.


the money eating machine known as “the big formal wedding.”


opt instead for


casual elegance


rather than nerves


you will have a much happier groom!  LOL.

and it just might save your

soon to be marriage!




who said you have to have a veil?




a simple wedding held in a small city park

not a ‘ meringue ‘ in sight!


dress simple little wedding

elegant simplicity.

think audrey hepburn!



and she carried these.

as fresh and beautiful and ‘ real ‘ as his bride.

lucky bridegroom.




and she carried these




exuberant with color!



he knew he liked this girl!


but he didn’t know how much he LOVED her until

she created a

spectacular little wedding for a small amount of money

with only her imagination

and her taste

and simple elegance

shining through!


what a lucky guy!




she used her grandmother’s china teapot for the centerpiece.

good memories.  made even sweeter.


table setting with tealights


rather than



over the top




over the top

i tell you what.

unless you’re a millionaire.

excuse me.


why would you even want to spend the money

to invite a ton of people to one of the most



intimate events in your life?


actually.  i don’t know why i even said that.

because if i were that rich

it would change nothing about the way

i think about life and what’s important.



if you would like to know when i think the ideal wedding

even is . . .

go to the side bar and click on

‘ a winter wedding ‘ !!!

i will re~do the lost pictures there too someday.

maybe in the autumn!


because if you keep your wedding small and intimate

and personal

you don’t have to have a year or 6 months of



and weddings held in the less traditional time of year

are simply




  if you’re bound to want yours in the traditional

month of JUNE

well . . .


i hope this little post has been fun.


and if you haven’t already invested those THOUSANDS of dollars

i also hope it gives you some great ideas

how to have a




and the most important of all


wedding next month or this summer.


because . . . it should be fun!


when you don’t go overboard

it doesn’t take so long to plan it.


til soon old ‘ MRS ‘ bean!

til soon.


  1. I’ve never been married, so no wedding for me. But if I had, I’d want one just as you described. Outside. With flickering lights. The flowers – Shasta Daisies and Zinnia’s. The music, violins at first and then something fun and lively for dancing.
    I loved the reception scene in “The Village” (minus the monsters).
    I’ve often thought the big showy celebrity weddings were more about the press than their marriage which seems to dissolve quickly. And then look at Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Small and simple and together forever.
    Love this post!

    • tammy j

      I never saw ‘the village’! now I shall have to look it up. 🙂
      that post when I originally did it was back in 2012.
      the inspiration for it was jennifer anniston actually.
      she and her then fiancé had just postponed their engagement.
      he wanted a small intimate wedding. she wanted a HUGE fancy one
      with tons of people there. the picture in the article showed them very sad.
      or mad. couldn’t tell which!
      and I think you’re spot on. about the press and all. so much a part of their lives.
      loved joanne and paul. quality all the way.

  2. Andy and I got married by a Justice of the Peace, with just our folks there. Then we had a dinner for our families at a fancy hotel afterwards. It’s still my favorite wedding. Kaitlin and Torben’s is my second favorite. Theirs was expensive, classy, warm and friendly at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Just the two extended families, some from Denmark, and some close friends. About 50 people in all, I think. They had an open house the night before and a brunch the morning afterwards because they wanted to make things easy for their guests. We helped some with the cost. Was it worth it? Yes. It was a priceless memory. As usual, one size doesn’t fit all.

    • tammy j

      both sound absolutely lovely! 🙂
      and I think 50 would probably be considered a small wedding by today’s standards.
      and yes. definitely worth it. look how happily ever after it has been! montana and sammy agree. ♥♥

  3. Waving hi – back from Washington.

    Well Mike and I got married in Vegas and it hardly cost anything and looking back to 45 years ago – i’m glad we had such a simple fast wedding.

    I enjoyed the post with all the pretty photos.

    • tammy j

      welcome home! i’m so glad you’re back!
      and wow.
      45 years. and you don’t look old enough! nor do you FEEL old enough! LOL!
      can’t wait for pictures of olalla. ♥

  4. Linda Sand

    I wanted to hold our reception in the room at church where we met. It held a maximum of 75 people so that set the boundary and I recruited friends to pour punch and coffee which we served with cake, mints, and nuts since there was no room for a sit down reception. My cousins were ushers and we each had one attendant. My groom and brothers were all in the Army so they wore their uniforms. We were married between Christmas and New Year’s so the chapel was already decorated. The minister of music choose the music and played the organ. I stumbled across a white velvet dress on sale and caressing that very soft dress was a great stress reliever. It was a wonderful wedding 50 years ago this coming December and we are still together.

    • tammy j

      a perfect wedding to me!
      and oh…
      a velvet dress. heaven.
      I wanted to be married in a velvet cape in December.
      I got the December… but not the cape!

  5. oh I enjoyed this so much,, I was a hippy dippy run away teen marrying a cool biker dude in a tiny rural church with the flowers from a funeral still all around the room, lol,,,,, they said it wouldn’t work but 40 some years later here we are,,

    • tammy j

      those funeral flowers will work every time.
      reverse psychology! LOLOL! hugs dear bean. and congratulations on FORTY YEARS!!!

  6. This post brought back a lot of memories.

    My wedding was a closed affair with family and very close friends and one of the most inexpensive. The timing was chosen because of the exigencies of my ability to take leave of absence. Dinner was catered and at the courtyard. A very simple affair like we did everything subsequently as well.

    • tammy j

      and I would change your last sentence to read truly …
      ” like we did everything else subsequently … elegantly simple and well and long lived!” xo

  7. My wedding was full on summer time – everyone was sporting a deep tan, except for “forgot his name, but only knew how to make mince on toast” –
    I wore a white mini dress with red trimming and red button and had my long hair styled in the morning…he wore an open-necked shirt and jeans. Some of the group were properly dressed,although some were wearing jandals!

    our witness was late to the registry office, and we nearly had to forgo the whole thing…then we all went to a posh hotel for late lunch (all being about 6 people) – Perth, Western Australia.

    We went on a package holiday to Bunbury and it was dreadful, we had to share a room with this over-the-hill couple and by the next morning at breakfast -“everyone knew we had just got married”

    (unofficially we had been living together in secret from overseas parents for nearly a year…)

    We finally went to Singapore – some months later on a proper honeymoon for two! We stayed in a rather posh hotel (or it was then) … can’t remember all that much now. Probably had a great time…

    Now if I was to ever marry again, would do it a little differently – how not sure…

    • tammy j

      thank you for sharing that! i feel i know you better and better with each of our posts.
      a little like peeling an onion! as all friendships are. 🙂 your honeymoon… sorry but
      i literally laughed out loud! the stuff movies are made of.
      i also lived with bob for a year before we married.
      just he and i and the minister’s parents were there. a simple ceremony in the church.
      as to the honeymoon … there never was one. but the marriage took. real good.
      actually you might say he made most all of our days a honeymoon. i was never disappointed! XO♥

  8. Wedding plans seem to have a way of snowball effect. Yes, I would love to attend a wedding like you described, Tam. And more and more people seem to be going for intimate simple weddings. I love the ones that are held outside, in the country, with barns in the background and the bridesmaids in pretty strapless dresses with cowgirl boots. A cathedral wedding must be memorable but I’d rather be a guest at a country one!

    • tammy j

      me too! and i agree. it seems many are finally going the simple
      and simply lovely route! XO
      gosh i’m glad you’re back!

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