Gertie Talks about Discount Nuptials

Copyright © 2005-2009,

You done got you a man, he got you a purty ring, and y'all made a down payment on a new trailer. The money's about gone, but ya still have a weddin' to put on. My cousins-in-law Dizzy Dee and Lo-Reeta and I got together and'tween the few of us, we got throwed out of the Wal-Mart deli, but we got some good advice for y'all!

Dear Gertie, I wanna do something different (and cheap) for my reception, any idears?


Dear Beulah, Lo'Reeta had some GREAT idears:

  • If it's a June wedding, tell all the youngun's that you will give 'em a nickel a bug for all the lightnin' bugs they can ketch. Another suggestion is to have everyone park their pickup in either a circle of in two lines facing each other. Just turn on those oversize hunting lights on top of the cabs. You got enough wattage to light up a football field. Plus, ask your guests to throw in a couple of lawn chairs in the bed when they come. There's nothing like your own lawn chair already broken in. Also, get some hay bales from the barn, or better yet, have the reception in the barn. Nobody minds sitting on the bales, just keep the stall doors locked. One time cousin Evie Sue and Ray Jack ... whoops, I can't tell that.
  • My third cousin, once removed & remarried to my second cousin had this great idea. Since her third wedding was in August, they had it down at the fishing lodge on the river. Everyone came casual, just shorts & tank tops. Afterwards they just had a big old BBQ & everyone went swimming. Uncle Lester just pumped up all those old truck inner tubes he been saving & everyone just had a real good old time.
  • Dig out those old #44 wash tubs. Pack em with ice & ice down a variety of buds, RC's & mason jars of kool aid for the kids. Stick a few stems of flowers in the ice. Makes it look real purty & fancy.
  • Don't forget that chicken wire fence you got in back of the barn. You can weave flowers in the wire & have you a wonderful backdrop. This can be reused over & over. Cousin Lucy keeps one in the barn & uses it for any occasion, weddings, funerals, Easter pictures, etc.

Dear Gertie, Momma and me has been shopping for professional picture takers and they want to charge us $5000! Lord have mercy! We can't afford that? What in tarnation can we do?


Dear Bobbie, go and buy up a bunch of them disposable cameras and hand em out as soon as everybody walks in the church doors. You'll own the negative rights and you can make as many copies as you want. Dizzy Dee said, "Make sure you strip search everybody before they leave so that they won't steal the cameras!"

Dear Gravel Gertie,

We want to have a great big party after the wedding, but we can't afford a nice reception over at the Burger Den. Any suggestions?


Dear Melody, when I asked Dizzy Dee about this she had a great idear - call your local funeral director and ask to borrow those free funeral tents. If you get married when nobody has died lately, you might even could borrow the chairs for free. Just make sure you get them back before the next funeral.

Dear Gravel Gertie, Aunt Lorena works in a flower shop. She said she could get me a discount on daisies for my wedding. Well, Momma didn't invite Aunt Lorena to her Tupperware party and now I ain't gonna get no discount. What can I do to save money on flowers?


Dear Jolene, I have a friend that works at the local bone yard and he said that most gravesite maintenance fellers welcome folks taking as many plastic or silk flowers from the urns as you want in early Spring. The reason being that those wire stems damage the blades on the riding mowers. Dizzy Dee added, "Just make sure you head out in early March to get a head start on those lawn art folks!"

Dear Gert, my aunt said I had to have a sit down supper for my reception, but I'm in a hurry to leave and be with my new husband. Is havin' finger foods OK? What about variety - how many different foods should we have?


Dear Darlene, no reception would be complete without 'possum balls, whether it's a sit down supper or grab-n-run finger foods. Possum balls are cheap, hot, spicy, and oh so good! There's possums all around the place, so this here meat is free. Other meats that are free are raccoon, squirrel, mountain oysters, catfish, rabbit, deer, dove, and frog legs. Just go huntin' with your sweetie and catch some supper, take the meat and chop it up and then fry it in pork fat. Yum!

Here's my recipe for possum balls:

1 possum, dead and dressed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium onion, chopped or ground
1/2 cornbread, crumbled
1 tablespoon sage
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 egg, beaten
1 handful flour
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Cut up possum and wash in warm water. Soak 2 to 3 hours in cold, salty water; drain. Rinse in cold water. Put in a large pot and cover it with cold water and then bring it to a boil. Next, pour off the water, cover with cold water and cook until done and meat pulls from bones. Chop it fine or grind it up in a meat grinder or one of those fancy food processors. Mix together possum meat, black pepper, salt, onion, cornbread, sage, garlic, egg, pepper sauce, and flour. Form into small patties and fry in skillet until browned.

If you don't feel like huntin', then just use potted meat. Lo'Reeta said, "I make a wonderful potted meat/cheese log. Just mix up some potted meat, a little grated cheese, mayo, mustard & pickle relish to taste. Just roll into any shape you want & dig out your best platter & garnish with saltines. I have found that those old hub caps you have nailed on the side of the barn make the best platters. Real fancy. In fact, I gave some for Christmas to my new in-laws. They were a sure hit. If you need something for the fruit or vegetable trays, just slice up some turnips or rudabagers thin and tell everyone its a northern vegetable. Just serve with cheese whiz."

As far as variety - it's up to you. Just make sure you have at least a few bowls of pork rinds available (both barbecue and regular), chow chow, fried pea patties, and biscuits. Also, If you are in a hurry to leave with your new groom, don't forget to pack a cooler of the finger foods. The Motel 36 doesn't provide room service. Toss in a few cold beers.

Dear Gertie, my financey loves possums and wants a cake shaped like a possum - how can we get a cheap one?


Dear Deana, possum pans are hard to come by. Lo'Reeta said, "Cook up a red velvet in a steel bowl, add a smaller bowl for the head. Bake the tail and nose in a tube pan and cut to shape and size. Remember to outline the tail rings with licorice. I use raisins for the eyes. Mix up some gray icing. Nest some collards around the possum cake. Makes it look art-thin-ick." Frost the head with white icing - the back with the gray. Use crunched up chocolate cookies and grated coconut for the back, and whole cookies for the ears. Good luck!

Dear Mrs. Butterbean, do you have any ideas about how I can make those mint and candy trays and nut bowls more affordable?


Dear Joann, instead of nut bowls, just gather up a bunch of hickory nuts from the yard and set out a hammer or two so the guests could crack them themselves. Dizzy Dee had this to say about the candy, "I just go to the Halloween Block Party carrying a great big old bag and beg for candy. If your wedding is in December, you can rest assured that the candy is reasonably fresh. But if it's later, well, ain't nobody died from eating stale candy I don't reckon."

Dear Gertie, I heard Dizzy Dee made a mean (and cheap) wedding cake. Can she share her recipe?


Dear Patricia, Dizzy Dee said, "I can get Hostess cupcakes by the pound at the Flower's Bread-outlet Shoppe. I stack these little guys on a nice cake tray and when I have them the way I want them, I nuke them for a few seconds and let the chocolate-top melt enough to stick them all together. The little wedding couple figurines that top a cake can be purchased new at Wal-mart or 'pre-owned' at the Salvation Army thrift store. No one will be the wiser that your wedding cake was not professionally made. We'll just keep it a secret between us, OK?"

Dear Gravel Gertie, Hubert is wanting to serve moonshine at the reception cuz it's free (don't tell nobody, now), but I'm afraid Momma'll start taking her clothes off again. What can I do?


Dear Florence, just serve Kool-aid mixed with a bottle or two of imitation ginger ale. Dizzy Dee added, "Fill up those butter tubs you been saving with water and rose petals and freeze em. They're awful purty. I like putting ice cream in my punch."

Dear Gert, Musicians cost too much! What can I do about music?

Brenda Sue

Dear Brenda Sue, try getting your local middle school jazz band to come and play. Request that they play "Rocky Top", "Achy Breaky Heart", and "Star Spangled Banner" for old times sake. If the band ain't available, use your own local family talent. Just set up the microphone and jukebox - there's always someone willin' to sing karaoke. Cousin Ethel Lou can make you just cry with her Patsy Cline solo. It just sends child up and down your spine.

Hey Gertie, Leroy wants his match pair of blue tick hounds in the wedding. What do I do? They stink and are always gnawing. They are almost as bad as his brothers Coot and Curly.

Carrie Jane

Dear Carrie Jane - Tell Leroy to wash the dogs with him when he gets his bath. Go down to the local 5 & 10 & get a bottle of cheap perfume & dump it in the bath water. It won't hurt Leroy any either - matter of fact, tell Leroy to give some to his brothers. To keep 'em from gnawing during the ceremony, just rub their nose & front paws with fresh bacon fat. That will keep 'em occupied during the vows. This will work for Coot and Curly too.

Dear Gertie, I can't afford them purty invitations with the doves and stuff on em. What is a cheaper way to invite folks to the wedding?


Dear Darla, for her second wedding, my cousin Lo'Reeta got a couple of big poster boards and little announcements with the date, time, event, and BYOB drawed on it. She put the posters up at Wal-mart's and Winn Dixie's bulletin boards and down at the post office, and she put the announcements on cars parked down at the dirt track. If you don't want strangers coming to the wedding, make sure you put "This is for Darla Ann's family only." Make sure you end it with "No solicitin!" (You don't want insurance salesmen bugging Uncle Fred after he eats his pintos.)

Dear Mizz Gertrude Butterbean, is it OK to ask the guest to purchase their own alcoholic drinks? Do we have to have champagne? That stuff is expensive!


Dear Twila, you could just have your reception at the church fellowship hall where drinkin' ain't allowed. But if you still want to have yer reception down at the pool hall, then make sure you tell everybody that they have to bring their own cold beer. As far as champagne goes, well, if you can't get it for under $3 at Winn Dixie, then might as well settle for Uncle Fred's swamp root.

Here's a big ol' hug and thank you to my cousin-in-law Desiree and best bud Alice for providing such wonderful idears!

Disclaimer: Gertie ain't real - this site is for entertainment and ain't meant to take the place of yer doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, or even Momma - so just chill out.

Please do not reproduce, reprint, or distribute, either in print or electronically, the works either on this page or any of my other pages without explicit written permission from the author.

Copyright © 2005-2011,
Revised - 10/09/11
Email: Are you kiddin'? No way! Them spammers are killin' me!