Dress to Impress (for Less), Gen DIY-er, Money Matters, Thriftster weddings

DIY = not always thrifty

The other week, an Offbeat Bride reader asked ‘Does wedding DIY save you money or cost more?’ (via Offbeat Bride)

I’m all for DIY. It’s creative, personal, and (hopefully) rewarding. Contrary to popular belief, however, it does not always save money. DIY projects that require training, the purchase of expensive equipment and or supplies may end up costing more than the ready-made/professional version. Continue reading

Going Green, Thriftster weddings

The cost of acceding to other people’s expectations

001133Cheap Geek and I had initially planned on paperless wedding invites to cut down on financial and environmental costs. We had already secured our domain name, something that was sufficiently geektastic, when I told my parents what we were thinking.

The wedding website didn’t go down well. It wasn’t baby boomer friendly enough: not everyone had access to email. My parents’ concerns were reasonable so we opted for what another thrifster couple did Continue reading

Gen DIY-er, Reviews, Thriftster weddings

Ahead of its time: The DIY Wedding

The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your WayThere’s something contradictory about a generic instruction manual espousing ‘celebrat[ing]…your day your way’. Nevertheless, props must be given to a DIY wedding how-to that was published ahead of its time in 2007, before the global financial meltdown turned thrifster DIY into hipster cool*. Props must also be given to the author, Kelly Bare, and her publisher, Chronicle Books, for creating a wedding book that has yet to date. This is achieved in part by a lack of photos (though the website references and pink, blue and cream colour scheme will eventually need a refresh) and a back-to-basics approach. Continue reading

Reviews, Thriftster weddings

Let’s make it personal: Offbeat Bride (2nd edition)

Most how-tos read like recipes, deconstructing the Heston’s Feast that is a wedding into the main ingredients, dumbing it down for homely brides-to-be who just want to recreate a traditional dish. Catherine Yarnovich Risling’s Pretty Weddings for Practically Pennies is one such book: a series of craft projects, including place-card holders, boutonnieres, and confetti cones. Kelly Bare’s The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your Way is another, giving lip-service to the personal touch with little personality between its covers.

Attempting to ‘encourage contemporary brides to feel good about their less-than-traditional wedding choices’, Ariel Meadow Stallings’ Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, on the other hand, is autobiographical. Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Gen DIY-er, Money Matters, Thriftster weddings

Mustbethrifty challenge for 2013: plan a wedding under $15K

Last year I posted about Josephine and Patrick’s thrifster wedding. Theirs was an incredible effort of beg, borrow, or buy secondhand and they ended up spending just over $7K, less than a fifth of the average Aussie wedding budget.

Cheap Geek and I are now organising our big(ish) day and we’ve set our budget at $15K. It’s an amount that we can save in the upcoming months, preventing us from starting our marriage with communal debt*.

With my copy of Kelly Bare’s The DIY Wedding – Celebrate Your Day Your Way and Ariel Meadow Stallings’ Offbeat Bride – Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, I will tackle the big ticket wedding expenses such as venue, catering, flowers, attire, and photography in the typical mustbethrifty fashion, i.e. by blogging about it. Continue reading

Beg or Borrow but Don't Steal, Money Matters

To the thriftster couple

Without the luxury of regular incomes, Melbourne writers Patrick Pittman and Josephine Rowe are good at making the most of a modest budget. $7000, the maximum they could afford to spend on their nuptials, is puritanically modest, considering the average Australian wedding totals at $36,200 (IBISWorld, via The Age).

Apart from a $500 booze-related blip, they stayed within budget, thanks to family and friends. Being on the committee that managed the Newstead Racecourse Reserve, Josephine’s sister was able to secure the venue for free. A photographer friend provided his services without charge. Car hire was more of a car borrow.

Despite calling in so many favours, Patrick and Josephine thought that they could have got away with more. Continue reading

Money Matters, Reviews

Subverting Cosmo: The Savvy Girls’ Money Book (1st edition)

The Savvy Girls’ Money Book by Emily Chantiri offers financial self-help for the likes of Carrie Bradshaw, the kind of ‘girl who thought she could never get her head around money issues’.

Such girls are expected to able to get their heads around Cosmopolitan, however. Chapters from The Savvy Girls’ Money Book read like women’s magazine articles: ‘The Cinderella Conspiracy’, ‘The Sealed Section’, and ‘Keeping Up With the Hiltons’. Kylie Minogue and Delta Goodrem’s battles with breast cancer get a mention and so does Princess Mary. There’s even a horoscope section Continue reading