Sunday, April 26, 2009

L.A. Times - Simple weddings: Get me to the courthouse on time

A few of my friends took this option last year, and I can't say that I blame them. As a matter of fact, it seemed like such a good idea that I offer an "elopement" package myself - make the appointments, reservations for dinner afterwards or whatever. There's something refreshing about a "simple wedding", you know? Refreshing and cheap.
And, of course, if you want to find out more ways to save money on your weddding....Recession Bride's Workshop, Saturday, May 9th. Visit for more details.

Here's the beginning of the article:

Some brides and grooms are scrapping their plans for big, expensive weddings.
By Susan Carpenter
April 26, 2009
Despite the gloom and doom of the economy, couples are still game to say, "I do." Indeed, the number of weddings expected to take place in the U.S. in 2009 is on par with recent years, holding steady at about 2.2 million. But the style and scope of those weddings are in flux. Many couples are reconsidering big, blowout affairs and big, billowy dresses. They are embracing less expensive locations, cutting back on guest lists and renting gowns. Some of them are even grabbing a few friends and running off to the county courthouse.

Big shindig to courthouse vows

Jill Cooper Clements was as excited as any bride-to-be when her boyfriend of one year proposed last year. Within hours of receiving her radiant-cut, 2-carat diamond engagement ring, she had already started planning what was expected to be a 275-guest, $150,000, New Year's Eve wedding.

Within two weeks, she'd booked the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla for the ceremony and reception. Within a month, she'd found her wedding gown at Saks. She sent out save-the-date announcements and put down deposits for the cake, her dress, an eight-piece band.

Then Clements and her fiancé, Bryce, got cold feet -- for the Big Wedding, that is. Less than two months before the Big Day, they canceled, opting to get married at the Beverly Hills courthouse instead.

"Although it was going to be this amazing, classy event, it felt really tacky to be so splashy and flashy in these times," said Clements, 30, a publicist who owns the Michele Marie PR agency in Los Angeles.

Clements' now husband, who works for a hedge fund, agreed. So they held on to their hand-calligraphied invitations. They forfeited $25,000 in deposits. They did, however, still dress for the occasion -- her husband in a tux and Clements in her strapless Amsale gown.

"I didn't need to put on a frilly fairy tale wedding for everybody else," said Clements, who picked up a bouquet from a local florist on her way to the high-rise courthouse. "We really just wanted to get married."

Despite the tanking economy, love still happens -- and so do weddings. It's just where and how those weddings are happening that's changing.

In L.A. County, civil wedding ceremonies performed in government buildings were up 17% in 2008 over 2007. Nationally, the number of couples marrying in civil, rather than religious, ceremonies in the first quarter of this year increased by 60% over the same period last year. according to Shane McMurray, CEO and founder of the wedding research firm the Wedding Report. "The increase in [civil] weddings really just says that people are quickening the ceremony process," said McMurray, who is based in Tucson. "Those types of ceremonies are certainly on the increase and I would have to say it has a lot to do with the economy." (Click here to read the rest of the article)
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