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Yum-m-m - Planning a Wedding? Trying to Be Frugal?

By Katie Van Sickle

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

You probably have attended many weddings this summer or maybe your invitations will start coming in the mail for fall weddings. I love the fall colors for decorating my home and it is a great time of year for decorating for a wedding as well.

My oldest granddaughter got married two years ago. She and her fiance graduated from college in the spring, he with a degree in Chemical Engineering and she with a degree in Psychology. Then he was offered a five year post graduate program for a doctorate at a college in Massachusetts. He couldn’t pass it up as it was a full ride with a monthly stipend.

They decided they didn’t want to be apart for five years and began to plan a summer wedding. Of course their churches were already booked for the summer weekends. They decided to have the wedding in a local park and proceeded to plan other aspects of the wedding. The bride’s church has a “Bridal Dress Ministry.” Members donate their wedding dress to the church and then members can pick out a dress to use and even alter it to fit and return it after the wedding. It does not cost the bride any money. Flowers were purchased from the store and arranged by the bride’s mother in vases at the alter area where the background was beautiful flowerbeds at this park by a lake.

The groom’s best friend’s father is a pastor and agreed to conduct the wedding. A four piece string quartet played lovely music for the ceremony and chairs were rented for the families attendance. The ushers rolled out the white aisle carpet just before the bride came down the aisle. A friend was the photographer and the lake, gazebo and flowers made a wonderful back drop for pictures.

The reception was held at the bride’s family home in the backyard. It has beautiful grass, trees, a brick fire pit and a brick water feature with water fall and pond that her parents designed and built the previous summer. It was a lovely, warm, sunshine afternoon. There was a large white tent with round tables with tablecloths hanging to the ground and white formal dishes with stemware, silverware and beautiful centerpieces.

Our son and his family had voluntarily helped serve many banquets at church in the past. Because their church is large, they have two chefs on staff. When these two men learned of the wedding, they told our son they would make the food for the wedding (for free) and then three couples from their adult Sunday School class offered to serve the food for the sit down dinner. They showed up wearing black pants and white long sleeved shirts. It was a wonderful event with very little money spent.

The rest of their story is that the groom has three years of schooling left and then he will have his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering and she will have her Masters in Psychology in December. She has been working with autistic children for over a year. These autistic children are too severe to attend public school. She enjoys this job very much.

For those of you who have grandchildren, the weddings will come one after another. Are you wondering what to give as gifts? The days of the doilies are gone. Not many people embroider on dishtowels any more either. As a grandma, I have a couple of gift ideas that will help them remember you.

I actually did this the first year my granddaughter was married, but you could use my suggestion, to get started ahead, if they are still in high school or college. During my granddaughter’s first year of marriage I would send her a package near an up-coming holiday. I had been buying cute holiday knick-knacks at garage sales, consignment stores, second hand stores and day after a holiday purchases at half price. I sent each surprise box just before Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween,Thanksgiving and Christmas. I only bought items that were cute and looked new. Maybe you want to downsize your own decorations.

I had a friend who knew what her daughter might like and purchased all the lights and decorations for a Christmas tree right after Christmas for half price. She gave her daughter this gift at the bridal shower in February. The daughter was delighted.

Another gift idea is to purchase a yard of material with a holiday design. For those of you with a sewing machine, it is easy to sew a hem on the edge. I have many of these seasonal patterned one yard tablecloths and can always make my kitchen look festive with a colorful tablecloth and a colorful seasonal knick-knack. Have fun decorating!

Fruit Pizza

Buy one roll of sugar cookie dough.

If you are making many, make your own sugar cookie dough.

Using a round pizza tin, cut dough into slices and lay the slices beside each other pinching the dough together to form one large cookie

Bake: 350 for 12 minutes – then cool

Frosting: Mix with an electric mixer

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1/3 C powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare fresh fruit- what ever is in season; strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, green and purple grapes, cantaloupe & watermelon. Cut them in half or small pieces & decorate. It is fun to do. If you have the fruit ready, your grandchildren age 8+ would enjoy making a smiley face or large 5-point star.

Don’t forget...brown sugar won’t get hard if an apple slice is placed in the container

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