Perhaps one of the most memorable moments in every woman’s life is the moment she takes her first step down the aisle.
But the way weddings are planned have changed dramatically over the years.
In St. Peter, Andrea Perkins, 27, is beginning to plan her and her fiance’s special day.
Meanwhile in New Richland, her mother, Julie Perkins, can’t wait to share in all the planning, decision-making – and even creation some of the wedding decorations herself. And with more than 200 "pins" Andrea’s Pinterest Wedding Board, the mother-of-the-bride will have many crafty ideas to choose from.
The social networking site Pinterest has almost revolutionized wedding planning – offering ideas that users can share (pin) and implement themselves.
“My wedding was very traditional,” Julie said, “and now I don’t even know that you can call a wedding traditional. They’re all totally different, so many different ideas – and they cost a whole lot more money these days.”
Today, the average couple has a $26,989 wedding, according to "Brides" magazine.
Andrea and her fiancé, Jamie Mettler, who are looking at getting married in October, hope to keep their budget around $10,000.
“Before we were engaged I always wanted this or that for my wedding, and now it’s like I just want a big party and I don’t care too much about the decorations,” Andrea said. “I do, but I don’t. I definitely want simple. My mom is one very crafty lady and I think she’d probably kill me if I hired a decorator. I think we’ll be making almost everything.”
Crafting a wedding has come a long way from when Julie was planning her wedding – when planning didn’t include deciding on centerpieces and save the date cards, but rather had a straight and narrow form and any ideas were adapted into that.
“I was the last of four girls, so (my parents) had it down pat. It was nothing then like it is now,” Julie said. “Crepe paper and some scented candles for simple center pieces. There was no big plan. Now it’s the lighting, save the date cards and the extra nine yards. It used to be a lot simpler.”
Andrea thinks that online media such as Facebook and Pinterest have helped ignite wedding mania.
As friends get married and post their pictures, and as she’s gotten older and been in weddings herself, Andrea taken ideas they've used and inserted them into her wedding plans.
But even as ideas come and go, traditions remain.
On her dad’s side, Andrea's grandmother always used to sing the Lord’s Prayer at every wedding, something her aunt took over when her grandmother's health declined. It's a Perkins tradition Andrea wants to uphold.
From her mother’s side, she wants to incorporate her mother’s wedding dress into her attire somehow.
“I couldn’t imagine my mom not being a part of this,” Andrea said. “My mom will definitely, hopefully, be able to help me make final decisions.”
Together she and fiance Jamie picked out a church to be married at, but that’s about as much of the planning Jamie has his mind set on.
Julie liked the idea of hosting Andrea and Jamie's wedding outside at her home in New Richland, but Andrea’s heart was on a church — a choice that may be becoming less traditional as outdoor and destination weddings become more popular.
Inside the church, much like her mother’s wedding, Andrea’s guest list may soar to more than 400 guests.
Julie had seven bridesmaids and about 350 guests at her wedding – Andrea is thinking about eight bridesmaids.
“Dinner used to be about $4 a plate,” Julie said. “We got married in a church I went to growing up in Waterville and had reception at the (then) American Legion.”
Andrea doesn’t want to spend more than $10,000, but knows of friends who have spent more than $20,000 on their wedding, though they hired a lot of people to do things.
So far, she and Jamie have found that some places have a food minimum of $6,000.
“It’s important to use to have good food and to have an open bar for most of the night,” Andrea said, “so most of the money will be spent on that.”
To keep track of expenses, the couple opened a separate account to be used for wedding purchases only, so they are able to keep track of how much they’re spending.
But Andrea and Julie agree on one thing – to maintain the fun in planning, keep it simple.
“Hopefully you're only planning a wedding once. The more you have the more stress and money you will have (to spend)," Julie said, "and you could potentially lose a lot of the meaning behind a wedding and the fun in planning.”
“Being my only daughter, I’m looking forward to spending more time with her and making pieces for the wedding and reminding her that it’s not going to be perfect – it never is.”
Reach reporter Jennifer Holt at 837-5446, or follow her on Twitter at @WCNjennifer