To Keep or not to Keep

Christine&Barry-wedding-143Two people living in a one bedroom apartment can start getting crowded the longer you live there. It’s a human tendency to accumulate more stuff even though we’re trying hard not to! I’m constantly going through our stuff looking to see if there’s anything we don’t really need anymore. Either we give it away to a friend who wants it, or we donate it to Goodwill. Our last resort is to toss it if it’s really on its last legs. I don’t intend to be on that extreme hoarding show one day. Plus I do like having a clean space to live in. Buying less to save money and to be more earth-friendly helps keep our life simpler.

One-time events like a wedding were particularly hard to figure out what to buy and what to rent. Anything we bought for it would most likely be used only once. I’m a very practical person by nature so I ended up renting my wedding dress. For only $300, I was able to wear a gorgeous designer dress on my wedding day and then return it afterwards. The cost of alterations and cleaning was included in that rental price! The things I did end up buying include my shoes, a ring bearer pillow, card box, and some tulle for decoration. I’m trying to sell off most of these currently, but I can’t decide what to do with the shoes!

I happen to be on the short end of the spectrum at 5’2 and a half inches. My husband is almost a complete foot taller than me. That meant when I was picking out wedding shoes I could go as tall as I wanted. I didn’t intend to pick up 5 inch heels at all, but then I fell in love with these and had to buy them. I splurged $60 on them and hobbled around all day long until I could change into flats during the reception. As any woman (or man) knows, 5 inch heels are not comfortable. No matter how much padding there is or how well made the shoe is, it will hurt after a bit of time. Still, I don’t regret my choice.

Getting back to the question of what to do with them, I have a few options.

Try to sell them on eBay
Give them away or donate them
Keep them

I’m not sure how much they would sell for on ebay. New ones I believe were going for $30. It seems like my best bet is to give them away or donate them to Goodwill or some non-profit prom organization. At the moment though, I’m leaning towards keeping them as a sentimental reminder. Most women keep their dresses so maybe I can keep my shoes for now. This doesn’t jibe with my goal of trying to lead a simpler life, but sometimes I can’t bear to part with certain items.


What do you think I should do with a pair of 5 inch heels I 99.9% most likely will never wear again?

160 Wedding Invitations

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

My hubby are I just recently went through the entire whirlwind that is a wedding!!!! We are newlyweds for a little bit under 2 months! Whoosh. Have to say that getting engaged and planning a wedding is one of those crazy life events where I really wish things would have been simpler. It is very easy to get caught up in wedding craziness and spend much much much too much money on one day. True that it is our one wedding, but there is a lot of headache and money that goes into it.

Not only can a wedding really add up depending on what you do, but it can really be a drain on resources. We were able to save money in some areas by doing things ourselves, but there are way too many wedding services that you just had to end up spending a little more to get something decent.

One of our biggest money savers turned out to be the wedding invitations!!! Since I am a designer it was really a no brainer that I would create our invitation. We went even further though by printing and assembling them too!

We kept them simple on one page to cut down the amount of paper we would end up using. We did not need the colorful paper insert inside another colorful paper insert layered with three different kinds of decorative paper. We bought a few value packs of 50 cards and a few value packs of reply cards. All one pieces that were small and easily printable. Made sure to use the lovely 40% or 50% off coupons that get mailed out weekly too! My now hubby and I created a two person assembly line and busted those invitations out!

Since my hubby’s parents are more traditional Chinese, they wanted traditional Chinese invitations for their friends and family. Immediately we had thought that we were going to end up with some gaudy gold foiled monstrosities that would have ten thousand paper layers. I ended up taking a step back and creating an invitation that consisted of a red paper layer on the outside, a layer inside with the writing, all tied together with some stretchy gold string! Chinese invitations can be over the top and the more elaborate the better, since my now in-laws were fine with something simpler we were able to save a bit of money.

So the total cost for all the supplies for the 160 invitations we had to send out? $60! Of course this only includes the paper and the reply cards. Does not calculate in the stamps and printer ink. For the lucrative wedding industry though, this would have set us back a lot more if we went the usual route.

Looking back I wonder if we could have saved more money, and precious paper too, by sending some invitations via email instead. A lot of our guests were of the older sort, so would probably still need paper invitations, but all our friends would have been fine with an email invite possibly. Plus we could have set up a website where they could respond via email! In the end though we ended up doing the traditional route since it made it more official. People tend to ignore emails and there is a chance they might not respond at all.

One other thing we could have done is look into recycled paper for our invitations. When we went to the crafts store we did not see any options there. Unfortunately it is probably not a very cost effective way to go for wedding invitations. The more custom it is, the higher the price.

How much did you end up spending on wedding invitations alone? Did you do the traditional snail mail route?