Down the Aisle and (Almost) to the Poor House

1209675247After a year and a half of wedding planning, my big day is fast approaching. On the very last day of this month, I’ll be getting hitched in York Beach, Maine. I have everything bridal on the brain, so here’s my mini-reflection on events leading up to this day.

The Proposal

My fiance proposed in front of my entire family on Christmas Eve 2006. He handed me a hefty box, and I opened it with care. Inside were many pieces of paper with phrases on it: “I love you because you’re beautiful…” and, “I love because you put me first…” I knew right then and there where this was going, so I dug straight to the bottom, where I found the ring box. I started laughing and crying hysterically at the same time, and shouted “Yes!” before I even cracked open the box.

Andre said, “But I didn’t even get to ask you!” Then he said, “Will you marry me?”

I started balling, and Morgan, my four-year-old niece came over with tears in her eyes, and said, “Auntie Jamie, why are you crying?” Then Morgan put her head in my lap and she started balling too. She had never seen her auntie cry.

But she will again, in 29 days…

Wedding Details

Fast forward to May 2008. The church and hall have been booked. For the reception, we chose the York Harbor Reading Room in York Harbor, Maine for its spectacular location, perched right on the cliffs of the ocean (Click here to see a round up of all my other vendors). I spent every summer in York since I was a kid, so this area holds special meaning to everyone in my family. Luckily, most of Andre’s family is willing to make the trip north.

We chose to have a small wedding for many reasons. One: I didn’t want us to go broke. Two: I much prefer an intimate setting, so I can really spend time with my guests. We struggled to whittle down the guest list, and then my dad sent out six more invites when I wasn’t looking! Note to brides: Never leave blank invitations lying around…

As for the details of the day, we avoided spending a ton on each and every particular so we could direct our funds toward things that would really make our event most memorable: The food, open bar, and a trolley service that will return guests to their hotels after the reception. Oh, and the honeymoon! Here’s how we’ve saved the moohlah.

-I was lucky enough to find a Carolina Herrera dress for $600 at Vows Bridal Outlet.
-I bought our invitations at (and let me just say, they looked amazing!)
-I loaded up on decorations, things like sea shells, vases, candles, and sea glass at the Christmas Tree Shops.
-For centerpieces, I’m ordering dutch blue potted hydrangeas from the Boston Flower Market, which only cost $15 each.
-And for favors, I’ll be purchasing 20 pounds of Goldenrod kisses (salt water taffy that’s made right in York Beach).
-I ordered my veil and sand dollars that will be used as place cards on EBay.

If it wasn’t for my ability to be a tight budget bride on the details, I wouldn’t be able to have a beautiful wedding on the water. Or go to Vegas for my bachelorette party this weekend. Tune in next week for a (partial) report!

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.