I paid about $700 for mine. I saw a designer I liked on Offbeat Bride, and I stalked her website for about six months deciding out which one I wanted. I e-mailed her my measurements and a deposit, and she sent me the dress six weeks later. I had some alterations made locally. I loved it. Hassle free, easy experience, and exactly what I wanted. Plus, I can wear it again. This is the dress: http://wai-ching.com/content/bliss-dress and this is the dress on me: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stinapag/7490025638/in/set-72157630516593470
I think Revival Market in Houston is similar. http://revivalmarket.com/
What's interesting about the Rio Grande Valley, though is that the health outcomes aren't what one would expect from the population demographics. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanic_paradox Is this really a problem that needs addressing given the low mortality rates?
In the mid 90s, I payed about $1000 a semester in tuition and fees to go to a mid-tier public law school. And book were about $400 a semester. I had a scholarship that kicked in another $1000 a semester, so my bill was roughly $2000 a semester/$4000 year. My law school's website says that residents pay $29,748 a year now to go to the same school. (And I'm pretty sure the school has gone DOWN in the rankings since then.) This is an insane increase in 15 years.
My mom was shocked when she got married (1971) that suddenly she had to ask my dad for permission for all sorts of things that she'd been doing for years. She'd had bank accounts, credit cards, property. But as soon as she got married, the companies wouldn't talk to her. Which, knowing my parents, is ridiculous. When my parents met, my dad was broke at the end of every month because he didn't balance his checkbooks or otherwise keep track of his money. My mom took over all of that stuff when they started getting serious. My dad still has no idea how the family finances are run. In the meantime, my mom knows every single dime.
@garli Someone I know is giving gift certificates to three restaurants in New York and three in LA. I think the couple lives in one and visits the other often enough. It sounded like a lovely gift.
We got our kitchen redone as our wedding present. We "registered" for IKEA gift cards, and we got various denominations enough to pay for a little over half of it. We really didn't care about the dollar value all that much, and we didn't track who gave us what (aside from thank you notes) or the people who didn't give us anything at all. I vaguely am aware of a few gifts that people gave off the "registry," but honestly, I have no idea who didn't give us anything. It wasn't that big of a deal to us, and we had 215 people at our wedding. The last gift I gave was a goat through Heifer International. I gave the same couple a sandwich press off the registry for the shower. I think it was about $100. My husband is a DJ and he's given his talents as gifts to the last two weddings we've been to. One was remote. He put together four or five ipod playlists for the wedding, and he actually djed that night at another event.
Just as an FYI for those looking to make a lot of cash, if you receive more than $600 from an institution for participating in trials in a calendar year, you will receive a 1099 and will have to report the income to the IRS. (Technically, the $217 should be reported, but no one is going to tell the IRS.). Some institutions try to get around reporting by offering gift cards instead of cash.
Houston, Texas 1929 1052 square foot bungalow with a desperate need for new windows and central air conditioning: $105 this month, probably $150ish next. In the $50-70 range in the sixish non air conditioned months a year.
@spectacularisms The house is in my name, because I bought it ten years before we got married. I suspect that subsequent houses will also be in my name because I have excellent credit, and he does not. We're looking at an expansion of the house in the near future and it's MUCH easier for me to get a loan than for US to get a loan. He's OK with it, especially since I pay the mortgage, and he's trying to pay for school without taking too many loans.