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Old August 9th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Default What Makes a Bridezilla?

VT Jen brought up a good point when she said in the Tuesday morning thread that she did not understand what turns a sweet twenty-somthing woman into a raging, greed-fueled monster when she arranges her wedding. I have had three brushes with Bridezillas in recent years and while I do not claim to fully understand the phenomena, I have some insights. My first brush with a Bridezilla was the daughter of a close family friend. While she wasn't particulary greedy, she was so obsessed with having a perfect wedding that she needed tranquilizers. She was so drugged up during the ceremony she was like a zombie. Our first Bridezilla, Marj's oldest, was driven by deep-seated psychological problems, she has a Dr Jeckyll/Ms Hyde personality and unfotunately for us Ms Hyde emerged a couple of weeks before the wedding and she lashed out at the family. Our current Bridezilla is driven by a desire to have a wedding on the scale of her much more affluent cousin. She wants a royal wedding.

Here are some of my ideas on the subject:

1. The current generation seems, in a lot of cases, to have a sense of entitlement without understanding you must earn what you get.
2. The omnipresent bridal fairs and magazines seem to glorify the lavish, over the top aspects of a wedding, creating the impression that ultra-expensive weddings are the norm and anything less will ruin the special day.
3. The internet has increased the number of choices for vendors, who, of course are going to showcase their most lavish and expensive goods and services.

Any ideas?



Post Edited (08-09-05 07:31)
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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Offer them $1000 and a ladder that reaches her bedroom window if they'll make it easy on everyone and elope.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

When our daughter got married I gave her the standard Dad option of taking cash and heading to Vegas but of course she turned that one down. Instead I gave her a credit card with a spending limit and said go ahead and do what you want, and tell me when and where to show up. She never came close to maxing out the card and I didn't have to do too much until the final two weeks when she needed help with physical and logistical stuff.

Yes, she threw a frustration fit or two when flowers weren't right, or the main tent had dirt stains on it when it was delivered but nothing I would consider in the Bridezilla category. I guess I got by lucky.

Even she could not believe some of the brides magazines that told that weddings were $20,000 That is a bit ridiculous. A young couple can put money to a much better use unless your last name is Gates or McMillan.

Their wedding money went into a house, and equipment for her practice.

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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

I offered all three of my daughters $10,000 and a ladder (and the first was twelve years ago). None took my offer, all wanted "traditional" weddings. I would not call any of my three daughters "bridezilla" but certainly they stressed a bit about details and arrangements. The biggest stresses came from outside the inner family circle however. This was when people with their own ajendas interfered with arrangements
and the wishes of the bride, groom and their families.
When my oldest daughter got married a large contingent of Gram's family pulled out
of participating due to a family squabble. The groom's family decided to "cheap out" on certain minor financial responsibilities. Both caused some stress, neither ruined the wedding or the day.
For the second wedding we needed to reach (and did so amicably) a financial arrangement for some participation on the part of the groom's family. Why? Because they wanted to invite everyone they ever met to the wedding and it brought the cost beyond what I could afford at the time. Again a perfect day.
For the third wedding, the problems came from the meddling of the groom's family (not the groom) in many aspects of the wedding plans. This included bringing uninvited guests and children to the reception. We did in fact involve the nieces and nephews of both our daughter and son in law in the wedding. But soon after they ate, they were whisked away to a private room to the care of two professional caregivers to watch videos in their pajamas and go to sleep. When this arrangement was "invaded" by
the parents and uninvited children, one of my daughters asked the children to leave.
We were not prepared to babysit another bunch of kids and the caregivers were not being paid to do so. We were branded by the groom's family as being mean and horrible people.
Perhaps if anyone was a "bridezilla" it was both Gram and I in one aspect of all three weddings. For the most part we paid for every single aspect of all three weddings (with one exception noted). We paid for many aspects not traditional , including bridesmaids dresses, shoes and jewelry. We paid for photography and video for ourselves and the groom's family as well. We paid for all flowers, limos, and church costs. We contributed to all three honeymoon trips. Because we paid for everything, we consulted with the groom and his family, but basically final decisions were our daughters'.
If that one aspect made us "meanies" then so be it. Our daughter's and their husbands got the weddings they wanted and that is what we wanted.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

I think that your "sense of entitlement" idea just about hit it on the head. This is fueled, of course, by the many "glamour" magazines and their relentless advertising aimed people of some means. Unfortunately, the kids who see this stuff frequently cannot understand (or refuse to acknowledge) the difference between the well-to-do and the struggling-to-make-it classes in our society. It used to be called "keeping up with the Joneses"...I don't know what it's called nowadays. I can only thank the Lord that none of my six daughters (most recent marriage in '96) ever suffered with this type of complex.

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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Now, I don't watch that show, but I often wonder why someone will pay 2000 dollars or more for a dress they will only wear once. I have seen weddings that cost upwards of 15,000 dollars and this is in a neighborhood that you wouldn't think. Most salaries are at about 30,000 dollars. So these idiots are spending half their annual salary for a wedding. Ridiculous.

Then there are the ones who want their bridesmaids to wear dresses that cost in the 300 -500 dollar range, and the dresses that can't be worn anywhere else either. They are either too fancy, too weird, or frankly just too ugly.

It was reported in a newspaper that the average cost of a wedding is $30,000 dollars! The brides parents are normally the ones responsible for the entire cost. For some people that is their whole salary for a year, others are fortunate enough to make 50,000 plus, but even for them I think 30000 for a wedding is stupid...sorry. I think most of the stress on brides is the fact that tens of thousands of dollars have been invested and they want it perfect - WELL GOOD LUCK!

There are beautiful dresses out there for a few hundred dollars. My daughter saw one in a shop (while she was looking for prom dresses). It was absolutely stunning! $600.00 Veil - $85.00. There are plenty of places that make great tasting and looking wedding cakes for about 125.00 - $250.00 (with three or more teirs).

I think all too often it is a "keep up with the jones" contest. It's insane. Even wedding rings. I see people spending $6000 dollars for an engagement ring. I just think that's crazy. Who are they trying to impress? That's without the wedding ring!

When John and I got married, it cost under $2000.00 dollars. That was for the dress, wedding chapel, flowers, video, pictures, limo and hotel for a week. Add the cost of an extra week on the honeymoon (we took a two week honeymoon) and spending money we totalled about $6500. That doesn't include the cost of the rings, but most people have their rings bought about 9 months to a year before the wedding. Although my ring cost a few thousand dollars, it is my wedding AND engagement ring, so that few thousand includes the wedding ring. Most people are spending that for just the engagement ring. So as you see, for a lovely chapel wedding, two week honeymoon and all expenses was well under that 30,000 dollar mark.

No reception, no rehearsal dinner. It is a wonderful memory and I don't regret it at all. We eloped to Las Vegas and got married at the Las Vegas Wedding Gardens in a beautiful religious ceremony.........

NONE OF THE FOLLOWING FOR US:

# Elvis wedding
# Star Trek wedding
# Harley Davidson Theme Wedding
# drive through wedding
and the newest trend in sleaze - The NUDE Wedding

None of those, but a SERIOUS, and RELIGIOUS ceremony. Ok, all you bridezillas - GO ELOPE!! Save everyone the headaches of dealing with your nasty attitude!

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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Wow Doug. I'm so sorry. I can tell by this post and the morning thread, that this is all really getting to you. I feel for you.

We are going through a wedding here in MI. My niece, Shelley. But she is the opposite of Bridezilla. She is having a ball. She is floating, if that is possible. She has had a few issues, that would send some brides into a complete breakdown, but not her. Just this weekend, the person that was supposed to do the brides, maid of honor and Mom of brides hair backed out. Said she couldn't do it anymore. The wedding is now four days away. Can you imagine, no updo's!! No sweat, she said. "I'll just do my own. " Meanwhile, she has a friend, that was not asked to be in the wedding party, decide she was so hurt by that, she went out and bought a dress that looked just like the wedding party. Just so it would looks like she was. Now truely, that would have sent your bride into a tizzy. Not my Shelley. She felt bad. Explained to the girl that she wasn't. Then came up with a special part for the girl to do, so she wouldn't feel bad. Shelley is not even that close to the girl. But she is not about to ruin her day over a dress, she would say.

Things happen! Shelley attitude has been that we are preparing for a marriage! Not a big party.

Hope it all works out for you. But remember, they are not all Bridezilla's!!!! I feel bad for you. If your bride is acting like this now. What will she do when something happens at the wedding? And there always is something...

Someone needs to put that bride in her place before she ruins the day.

Good luck.

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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Not all modern women turn into Bridezillas, as Mike and PapaBill related. I tried very hard not to be one. I, too, think the "average" cost of a wedding is absolutely ridiculous. I had a gorgeous, beautiful wedding for a fraction of that.

My biggest stresses during the wedding were not from not getting my way but from family squabbles, i.e. should we invite this person since he is having a big argument with these people and we don't want a scene, etc.

Cheers,
Michelle P.

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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Many years ago I read a book called "The Eternal Bliss Machine," which aside from being hysterical, really laid bare the wedding industry and all the nonsense it succeeds at selling. If you can find it at the library (I doubt it's still in print), it is a terrific read. My favorite chapter was about Texas weddings, and called "Deep In the Heart of Excess."

I think couples who wait until they're, say, 30-ish to wed tend to tone down the proceedings a bit. Younger kids do tend to have the sense of entitlement you mentioned, often fed by strong peer pressure.

There is a strategy that might work to head it off, but you have to start when the kids are 10 or 12. Simply teach them what no school ever does: teach them about money. How it works, what it can accomplish, what the time value of money means, how to save it, how to invest it, how to spend it. If you do that, and if you give kids practical experience managing some money, I think it can help with the perspective needed to head off the Bridezilla syndrome.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Just curious. What really are people spending on weddings now a days. Not what the "bride book" tells you. But real people. My niece's has 200+ people coming. She is in the 12,000 dollar range. Hall, flowers, photo's, food, drink, wedding at a historical site etc. Not including brides dress, bought by Grandma, and bridemaids.

I thought that sounded pretty good for that many people. Is this about right?

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Old August 9th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

TBug- it appears that this one will approach $20-25 thousand when all is said and done. The photography alone is $5,000. Bridezilla is insisting on a full sit down dinner for 250 with open bar and happy hour becuase she "wants to get wasted". When you add flowers, transportation, gown, tux and the incidentals the bill is enormous. During planning we suggested a brunch, which costs less than half or a restricted bar or even just beer, wine and setups. All were rejected because her guests only drank the best and she wanted an evening reception, again so everyone who wants to can get drunk. However, we are sticking to and not changing our comittment to giving her the same as her sister. So the ball is in her and Dad's court and he is not prepared to contribute that much money and she does not have any funds.

Michelle- It was not my intent to label all young brides. Lets face it, every bride has a bit of Bridezilla in her, it is when this attitude predominates, as in my two lovelies, that it becomes a problem. Every bride is going to get a bit stressed over details. One of the nicest weddings I ever attended was one we threw together in less than a week for a couple in our church in Utah that were just going to have a judge to marry them becuase they had little money. We arranged a church wedding, reception, gown and decorated a member's backyard for less than $500 (the gown was found in a thrift store for less than $100 and was absolutely beautiful). They were thrilled and were more than able to pay what our volunteer photographer needed to make their albums. They even got a honeymoon becuase one of the church members managed a chain hotel and managed to get them complementary rooms for a trip to California.

When I married in Marj in 2001 I got to play the role of Bridezilla myself. Marj's youngest MikaLyn was undergoing chemo for Lymphoma and was rushed to the hospital with spinal meningitis the Tuesday before the wedding. Since Mikie's care occupied Marj's time I was left to obsess over the details. The florist and baker still cringe when I enter their establishment. The restaurant manager still heaves a sigh of relief when he finds out I am there for dinner and not to arrange a reception. We turned out ok anyway, as you can see from the photo, and for under $4,000.



Post Edited (08-09-05 11:52)

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Old August 9th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

I think parts of the country do things differently. The "norm" in this area would be Cocktail hour with open bar and passed hors dourves, sit down dinner with several choices, and continuation of open bar, champaigne toast, band cake , photog, videoand a band. Limo to and from church and reception. Flowers at church and reception. That would be what most girls would look at minimum. Add things like a Venitian hour (more deserts, coffees expresso , and after dinner drinks), , how about fireworks? (thank goodness none of mine) horse drawn carraiges (again none of mine).
In other parts of the country I think brunches and buffets and even cocktails and deserts only are common. Then there is location. How about a Castle on the Hudson or a restaurant located in Mark Twains home on the Hudson. How about the Crystal Garden at the NY Botanical Gardens? All of these can be done for $550 to $750 per person
(guarantee 150 people).
Reception costs in this area are VERY high. For this area the following prices are shoe string rock bottom. My oldest daughter's ran $85 per person 12 years ago (with no liquor I had to provide that separately). My middle daughter's ran
about $100 per person ten years ago (but was done on a Friday and saved me about $20). That included a six hour wedding with the ventian hour etc. The youngest ran about $110 two years ago but we went 65 miles from NYC and did it in early May to get that kind of price.
At the same time my oldest daughter got married, her best friend got married. She had
360 guests. Lighting (yes lighting) and flowers were $17,000 (twelve years ago) and her cost per person was $ 285 (twelve years ago). Her Dad's out of pocket was near $200,000. He did the same for two other daughters.
For my younger brother's first wedding there were three video crews (six people, three cameras, three lighting assistants). There were twelve hours of raw video. They were divorced before the video was ever edited.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

when I got engaged in 1986, we planned for us & a few attendants to get married in a gazebo at a local park... then, dh's friends said they didnt want to wear suits in June... too hot outside... blah blah ! From that minute on, we cancelled everything & arranged to go to the justice of the peace @ the courthouse. My best friends were there, dh's family drove in & got there 1 hour before... then we went to eat Mexican food at our favorite restaurant (the owner picked up our dinner as we were in white clothes w/ flowers, etc) NO FANCY DRESS for me... I had on a white suit / dress... hubby wore white dockers, white shirt and white TENNIS SHOES !! (to this day when people see th pix, they give him a hard time about the shoes)

We then had a party @ the cabana of our apt complex, where we paid for everything that was there... wedding cake (I MADE MYSELF) grooms cake (I ALSO MADE... had a black Plymouth Barracuda on top ) punch, some alcohol, and finger foods. We had a nice time, my boss got drunker than a skunk & wandered around the complex... we finally found her about 3 the next morning !!

As we were young & made very little money, most of our presents were monetary... the next day we got up to go to bank for depost ($800)... I sat my purse down beside the car as we pulled the cans & streamers off.... then we drove off WITHOUT my purse. We were out in traffic when I realized it !! We drove back & it was still there.

As far as honeymoon goes, we drove from Dallas to Galveston... intending to camp... we decided to TREAT ourselves and stay 1 night in a hotel... the hotel was $40 a night... and it was so yucky that we slept in our sleeping bags on top of the bed !! Then, we were thrilled to amp out for the next few nights !!

Now... hows that for a low cost wedding ? I personally would rather spend the money on something to keep... furniture, house, etc.... not waste it on 1 day of our lives !


Steph
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Old August 9th, 2005, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Uh, Doug. . .

I'm curious about something: if the all in cost for the wedding is $25k, and if the fotog costs $5k (unreal), that leaves $20k for everything else.

For 250 people, that's $80 a head, and doesn't account for dresses, flowers and all the other ancillary stuff.

So my question is, what part of the country are you in where you can get a high quality full sit down meal with open bar for less than $80 a head?
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Old August 9th, 2005, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

I saw part of that show today and the bride was getting a second mortgage on "their" house (why weren't they already married if they had a house????) and she was spending upwards of $60,000 on her wedding! She was stressing over having velcro on her blush veil and in all the stressing over velcro, she forgot her diamond tiara!!!! (When did brides start wearing tiaras????)

I have two daughters and one of them is a lot more high maintenance than the other, but even she saw great excesses in a family members wedding........in the 600 in attendance at the open bar, champagne, heavy hor dorves (sp?) reception with a band. She said she'd rather have a dress she REALLY loved, a great mix of people, a good band and a buffet catered by our favorite Mexican restaurant and a really, really great photographer because when it's all over and done, the pictures are what you have left. I think she's right. I feel for these parents who invite so many people and feel they have to settle "political" and "social" debts by invites that they don't REALLY get to invite the people the bride and groom want there..........................
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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

After reading these posts I am SO glad DH and I got married in a very small ceremony (almost 24 years ago) by a Justice of the Peace. I can't imagine spending these huge amounts of $$$ on a wedding! Just think of how many wonderful cruise's you could go on for 25-60 K!

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Old August 9th, 2005, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

With our 23rd anniversary coming up Sunday it's fun to think back on our special day.....I'm thinking the whole deal ran about $2000....maybe.....I do remember that my dress was $200 and I thought that was nuts! We had hors d'ouerves and open bar for an hour and then a sit down dinner......my husbands family (mostly from the south) were really surprised when dinner was served after the cocktail hour. My parents brought trays of Italian cookies from a bakery in our hometown in NJ which was also a surprise to the guests but it's a great way for the bride and groom to visit with everyone by going from table to table with the cookies. We had our reception at The Royal Plaza at Lake Buena Vista (Michael Jackson used to stay there.....oh great.....) Probably a small crowd by todays standards. I think we had about 40 or 50 people.
Angela Z.

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Old August 9th, 2005, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

I work on the other side of the coin, so to speak. Whether my kids' suppers consist of steak or mac n' cheese is directly dependant on the grandeur of a particular bride's "sense of entitlement". Specifically, I facilitate the lavish, so I go hungry if the budget gets cut. Quite often my services are the very first thing to go. Thank God for bridezillas.... "You Go Girls"!!!!

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Old August 10th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

AR- Who said anything about high quality? Bridezilla I had her reception at the same location and to put it mildly, most school cafeterias are gourmet in comparison. I live in Sourth Jersey.

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Old August 10th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Our daughter is getting married next year in Italy. (She lives there). She is having about 70 guests at the wedding and reception. Both sets of families have narrowed the guest list down to who has to be there (family) and who we would all like to be there(good friends). They have booked the church and reception venue, which is a simple country place. In Europe there is not often an open bar so we are not having one although there will be a welcome drink and bottles of wine on the tables. She is not turning into Bridezilla yet and I don't think that she will as she knows we have a pretty tight budget. She is a girl that is a fairly straightforward person that doesn't go for the fancy unnecesary extras. She has asked me to help her choose her dress, but that is not easy from 5000 miles away. I'm just sending her names of web sites that I have seen some suitable dresses on and hope that she likes them too.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 10:05 AM
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"when it's all over and done, the pictures are what you have left. "

Mom--

One small quibble. In addition to the pictures, when it's over and done you also have something else left: a marriage. Isn't it funny how sometimes people don't put that on the top of the list of things that are lasting?

Of course, you still have that same marriage if you're ceremony is done by a JP at virtually no cost.

Who was it that said the best things in life are free? Certainly the important things are.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: What Makes a Bridezilla?

Doug, Good luck with the 'Bridezilla'!! I had never heard that term until your last summer's Bridezilla episode!!
My daughters better start saving their money now if they ever want to spend that sort of $$$ on their wedding!! 21 years ago when I got married , we just had a small wedding-about 40 people;married in the Royal Cdn.Legion hall(my Dad was a member) by a Marriage Commissionaire(my sister's (now an EX-) husband's Dad) and we had a lovely buffet provided by our family and punch & wine.(The ex-husband has the video tape he did of my wedding-IF he still has it!! I would love to get it and see some of the scenes he shot!!) My outfit was a white skirt/top. I guess we were not the show-off'y types and I hate to waste money!! BUT I guess if we had lots of money we would have spent more, but not gone crazy of course!!
Take care Doug!!
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Makes me jealous UConn1 Chit - Chat for Cruisers 5 June 17th, 2002 11:41 AM


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