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married off the smell of an oily rag
My husband and I have been oily raggers for years. When we
got married, we had a fabulous, old fashioned country
wedding. We got married in the gorgeous garden of one of
our local craft stores and walked to the reception at our
local hall. When our friends and family asked what we
would like as gifts, we asked them to contribute to the
day from what they were good at. We put a hangi down in
our backyard that was transported to the hall in someone's
ute. We were given a lamb, a pig, vegetables and bottled
fruit for fruit salad. One friend made our dresses,
another was our transport, another made our cake while yet
another iced it. Our parents bought some beer and wine,
and my husbands' workmates took photos and presented them
to us later in an album. Still another person found a two
man band that wanted a gig in the country for little more
than a good hangi meal that was cooked by more fabulous
friends and relations. we had a brilliant day for one
hundred and forty guests that cost considerably less than
friends spent the next weekend just on their photographer!
P.S I'm still crazy about him after 26 years. It just
proves that it does not have to cost a fortune to show
that you care about each other. - W.G, Waimauku.
(Here is a fantastic letter
from a wonderful and dedicated oily ragger. It was so good it deserved
to be repeated in full - Oily Rag Editor)
Getting married at a registry office
would, at first glance, seem to be the cheapest idea but we discovered
the benefits of inviting heaps of guests Ė heaps of wedding presents.
Although we didnít have a totally oily rag affair, we made tremendous
savings in some areas which are usually very costly, and the value of
the gifts far outweighed the cost of the wedding. Here are my ideas,
some of which we used, and others which I now realise would have been a
- Get married in summer. This
is a good idea for several reasons. Firstly, the weather will
probably be nice enough to get married in the great free outdoors.
You will also need less material in the brides dress as it wonít
need sleeves, and the groom wonít need a jacket. Also free flowers
will be abundant.
- Use clubs. No, not the kind
you hit each other with. I mean car clubs, floral arranging clubs
and photography clubs or students. We asked out local Zephyr club to
lend us some cars. They also lent us the drivers, and the only
payment they required was to be allowed to take photos to display at
their next meeting! The same was true of the floral arrangers. They
did arrangements for the church and reception using free flowers
from Mumís and her friendís gardens, and all they wanted was to
be able to take photos. Speaking of photos, hire a student from a
local polytech course or amateur photography club. If youíre
worried about the results, hire two photography students! It will
still cost only a fraction of the cost of a professional, and you
will get photos in two different styles.
- The dress. Donít be afraid
to wear second hand or borrowed dresses. After the big day it really
does hang in the wardrobe for years going mouldy and making you feel
fat on your weeding anniversary! If you buy a second hand dress, you
can always alter it to make it original. Or use the dress or some of
the fabric that your mother or another special person wore. I have
heard of a woman who sewed her wedding dress from an off-cut of
curtain fabric in a cheap bin at a furnishing warehouse. It cost her
$20 to make the whole dress, and it looked exactly like expensive
material that cost $20 a metre as a fabric shop!
- Cakes and invitations. If you
are an oily ragger you can bake a cake! If you canít you know
someone who can. You will save hundreds on buying one. Hire cake
tins from a bakery if you want different sized tiers. Borrow a
computer if you donít own one, and make your own invitations.
There are so many flash fonts and clip art pictures these days that
it is a huge waste of money to have invites done at the printers.
Print your own invites on coloured paper that matches your wedding
theme. Deliver local invites by hand to save postage.
- The gift list. This is very
important. Make a list of all the household and garden implements
that would lead to a productive newly wed oil rag lifestyle!
Organise them into price brackets, ie $10-$20, $20-$30 and so on.
Then, when people ask what you want, you can give then suggestions
in a price range to suit their budget. This is often less
embarrassing if you let your mother or someone else handle it. Make
sure you note what each person says to avoid double ups.
- The reception/wedding dance. The
wedding reception is usually the expensive bit because you are
feeding a huge number of people. Instead of a wedding breakfast, why
not invite the guests to a light afternoon tea straight after the
service. You can enlist the help of friends and relies a few weeks
before hand to do some baking, which can be stored in the freezer
until the big day. If you have a church wedding, there will probably
be a hall with a water boiler you can use after the service. This
also encourages people to hand around for photos. Then have a very
small wedding breakfast for immediate family only, either at home or
at a restaurant. If you put on a dance as well, itís likely that
the wedding presents might be a bit more generous! There are cheap
and fun alternatives to hiring an expensive venue and band. How
about a barn dance? Or a backyard boogie (make sure the neighbours
are invited!). Make up tapes of music to play on the stereo, and put
someone in charge of ensuring the music continues throughout the
night. Or hire a band from a local high school, if theyíre any
good. They might be able to play for a low price to get some
There is no reason why a wedding canít
be done cheaply without looking tacky. As long as the couple express
their personality throughout, and there is continuity in colour and
style, and everyone has a good time, then it really can be the greatest
day of your life. Ė S.W.
- "Mean Girl"
from Hastings has some tips about weddings. Invitations
- Use a photo of the engaged couple and the invitation
information printed on top. This can be done very cheaply
on most instant digital photo machines. Some machines even
have a really nice template to use. Guest gifts
- Google images for a party favour box. Choose something
appropriate and personalise it by overwriting the wedding
date, thank you or place a photo of the couple on it. Then
print on your computer two per page.
- When my husband and I
were Married in 2001, it was the second time around for
both of us. The actual wedding cost less than $200, and we
did not skimp on anything. There were no church fees
as we were members of the church, and we used the floral
display which were in place for the following day's
I made pew end decorations
from silk flowers and ribbon, and I made my own dress, and
my young grand daughter's flower girl dress, and my husband
wore his St John Dress uniform. We used a music tape for the
wedding music, and a friend sang. The photos were
taken by a friend and given to us as a wedding present.
The reception in the
evening was in the church hall, which also did not cost
anything, and we asked 'ladies a plate', and BYO on the
invitations, suggesting that the people supplied either a
starter, main or desert, and my son in law was in charge of
the music department with a stereo which was set up in the
The wedding car was an
ambulance, driven by one of the guests. St John was where we
met, he was a paramedic, now retired, and I was a first
responder, also now retired. everyone said that it was the
best wedding that they had been to, and everyone was so
relaxed. - Butterflywings, Mangere, Auckland
- Look at local Council venues for the wedding - halls,
gardens and council buildings.
They are much more reasonably priced than
particular wedding venues as they are there for the
community to use and some of them are gorgeous.
There is heaps of info on the Christchurch City
Council website about booking council space for weddings
with all costings, photos and info about the spaces and
their facilities. - G.C., Christchurch.
- We had the best value wedding ever. We went down to the
registry office during lunchtime, paid the fee (which was
about $60 at the time), read the statutory vows, and
signed on the dotted line. We didn't even have any
witnesses so a couple of the court staff did that for us.
That was about 20 years ago, and we are still married! -