Thrifty Friday–Out of Town Wedding

The bride, putting together the wedding cake that she and her mother made.

Three weeks ago, my dear sweet sister-in-law was finally wed to her man in the sunny state of Florida. Their garden wedding was simple and elegant, and all the prep (though crazy!) was actually a lot of fun. Captained by our fearless leader, my mother-in-law, the whole family banded together to tackle the decorating, catering, transportation between sites, and all the many other details. Seriously, it was impressive. We ought to try taking over the world sometime, or something equally ambitious.

I did a couple of fun, thrifty things in my own personal preparations for the wedding. The first was buy a darling sundress at a second hand shop for $20 that was sizes too large for me. It turned out to be a really simple alternation–I didn’t have to rip any seams–such that I’d encourage any sewing beginner to give it a go. While I would consider $20 on the high end of clothing costs, if you’ve got a decent Goodwill nearby you can double or triple your purchase options by learning to take in a dress. Having said that, given that a trip to the mall would have been at least $40 and gas money, I’m happy with my choice.

I also cut my own hair–with supervision. Unlike the sewing project, this was a first for me, but my sister-in-law assured me that she had done it successfully before and coached me through it. There is no bonding time that compares to standing with freezing cold wet hair, trying to figure out depth perception in the mirror while a girlfriend tries to keep her baby happy and simultaneously laughs at you for your outbursts of “Agh, I don’t want to make the first cut! Is this right? Like this? Is that too much do you think?” Praise God that my husband’s family puts up with me and my neurotic tendencies. The trim/layers left my hair looking much healthier than it had been in previous weeks. I don’t intend to spend the $30+ on a professional haircut again, unless I’m making some sort of drastic change.

The journey down to the wedding was also an opportunity for frugality–not sure how well I handled it, but my intentions were good. We packed a whole crate of edibles to take with us, and a small cooler besides. The snack food that I made/bought to avoid costly convenience store stops worked out pretty well, but the things that needed refrigeration were another story. At some point in shuffling between places we were staying, they got left in the car overnight without any ice and… well, aged cheddar does not do well in the heat. Moral of the story, carelessness costs… about $10 or so in my case.

I’m including a link to the granola bar recipe I used for the trip, purely because this is one of the few recipes I don’t tweak at all and I’d just as soon give credit where it’s due. (Consequently there’s no cost breakdown, but I hope you’ll forgive me on the grounds that I’m still getting over an awful cold and don’t have a head for numbers today.) I always think of granola bars as the lembas of the modern world (or hardtack, if you prefer a non-fantasy reference) and was delighted to find that these taste better than their store-bought brethren. You can find the details here. Happy thrifting.

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