Today’s Sound Off is about the wedding bell blues:

Dear Heloise: My fiance and I wanted a small, intimate wedding with only a few people, a nice luncheon and we would be off on our honeymoon. We had a budget that wouldn’t budge, which meant each family could invite only 25 to 30 people. My in-laws were furious. They had a list of 116 people they wanted to invite, but we stuck to our plan and explained that instead of a huge, fancy wedding, we wanted to put a down payment on a home. We both had good jobs, had saved up a nice down payment and explained that at this time in our lives (I’m 33, my fiance is 34), buying a house rather than a big wedding was the best choice for us.

Despite my in-laws’ offer to help pay for the wedding, we said, “Thank you but no thank you.” My advice to all brides is to sit down and make a budget plan, then stick to it. No, you can’t make everyone happy, but you can have a nice wedding. Whether it’s a big one or a small affair, your wedding should be what you want. The day we got married no one was stressed out, everyone had a good time and, best of all, we weren’t broke or in debt afterward.

I may not have had an elaborate wedding, but I had the most important thing, which was the man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life.

- Katharine M., Charlottesville, Va.

Katharine, it sounds to me as though you and your fiance have some very solid values and plans for your future. Within reason, every bride should have the right to select the type of wedding she wants. A wedding is to unite two people in a commitment to love, honor and cherish each other. The size of the wedding is not important. Best wishes to you and your new husband from all of us here at Heloise Central!

- Heloise


Fast Facts

Additional uses for old newspapers:

- Use under a kitty litter pan.

- Line a bird cage.

- Plant three or four inches under topsoil in fall to prevent frozen plant roots in your garden. Water the ground well.

- Crinkle and stuff in the leg part of boots to maintain their shape.


Adios cashmere sweater

Dear Heloise: I received a lovely cashmere sweater for Christmas. Unfortunately, it got mixed in a laundry wash, but not the dryer. It shrank! Is there anything I can do to restore it?

- Maryann B., Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Maryann, try this: Begin by placing the cashmere sweater in a bowl of warm water with about 2 tablespoons of hair conditioner. Let it soak for several hours or overnight. Patience! Without rinsing the conditioner out, press the sweater into a thick towel. After this, lay the sweater on a flat surface and gently, carefully stretch the sleeves, sides and bottom of the sweater. Don’t be overly aggressive to a point where you damage the fibers. If this first attempt fails, repeat the process again.

- Heloise

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