Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's What You Make Of It ...

Perception: We keep running into road-blocks and snags.
Reality (according to people who have planned weddings): This is actually going fairly smoothly.
Truth: Wedding planning is like everything else – it is how you choose to approach it, and what you choose to make of it.

Here’s the thing: it’s not so hard to plan a budget wedding. It really isn’t! I am planning a wedding with a budget that made friends (good friends) laugh in my face, a wedding that I worried would, no matter what I said, not be elegant or classy. I worried that it would end up looking like junior prom with streamers and balloons, that the appetizers would be awful and the guests would hate every second of it.

When the first venue was not what I hoped it would be, C (my Maid of Honor) and I launched into floor plans and brainstorming, we found all sorts of ways to make it an amazing reception. I truly think it would have been a good time for everyone. But when it happened that the first venue did not work out at all, we rolled with that punch, too – again, C and I started brainstorming, and my fiancĂ© and I also brainstormed, coming to the conclusion that what we really wanted was a series of smaller, more intimate parties.

We found another venue, and this one did not work, either – the prix fixe menu started at $45, before tax, before drinks, before gratuity. I was bummed. I crunched numbers. Then, at the perfect time, our favorite date-night restaurant in the area responded to my email to let me know they could offer us something within our budget. Another restaurant, swanky in the extreme, turned out to have really affordable brunch (and who doesn’t love brunch? Mmm, eggs benedict!).

We were left trying to find someplace for the wedding itself, but within three days I had managed to find an historic mansion that would host the wedding for half the price of a church. (Yes, most mansions and beautiful homes will only agree to host the wedding if you’re also bringing the catering/reception dollars, and some will charge you outrageous fees – but the point here is, it never hurts to ask.)

At this point, at most, we are looking at

$2800(food)+$1200(photography)+400(venue)+165(cupcakes or cake) = $4565

Yes, we have to factor in my dress, and a hotel room the night before, and gifts for the wedding party. This puts us over $5000 by a smidge. BUT … at lowest, we are looking at:

$2100(food)+$900(photography)+150(venue)+165(cupcakes or cake) = $3315

…and that, my friends, is quite fine.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave a comment!


  1. A historic mansion? I'm intrigued! And a wedding brunch reception would be AWESOME. Definitely.

  2. I'll post pictures after our walk-through! (Well, if we decide to go with it. But it's looking good!)

    And I'm glad to hear a vote for brunch. On the menu at this restaurant? Lemon-ricotta pancakes, vanilla brioche french toast, huevos rancheros, and eggs benedict. Pair that with mimosas and I think we have a winner! (But in all fairness, our date-night restaurant is also awesome.)