Friday, December 5, 2008

lesson in planning a not-so-big, nontraditional wedding

We'd been talking about our wedding before we even got engaged. I thought that I had a really good sense of what we were going to do. I've been taking note of things I loved at other weddings and things that aren't so much our taste. We've thought a lot about what's important to us as a couple and each of us individually (thankfully we're really on the same page). Here's what we envisioned - 50 guests having a fall picnic at my parents house; a day where we have the time to have an actual conversation with each guest and still time for ourselves together; capitalizing on the talents of our friends/family members to create something where everyone truly feels a part instead of us putting on a performance. And we wanted to do it all on a budget of $5000.

Here are some things I've come to realize:
1. It is incredibly hard to narrow a list to 50 people. We're currently at 64 adults and 18 children. Do you count the kids as another guest? They don't eat as much, but they do require a seat at the table. How do you cut the list without actually offending somebody that you really would love to have there?
2. Friends and family who are willing to travel to see you get hitched are awesome. Especially in a terrible economy.
3. Our budget is already up by $1000. Feeding people is expensive. And since we love food, it's an area we're not willing to scrimp.
4. People have offered up themselves to help in ways that are just incredible. My mom has perfected the art of googling for environmentally friendly party supplies, we've had three volunteers to help with photography, a friend who will officiate, two friends who will perform for our first dance, a friend who will do a reading, another friend who will help bake pies.
5. If you stop yourself from reading wedding magazines and websites it is a lot easier to keep your perspective about budgets and stay true to your own aesthetic.
6. It really helps to be very very organized. It's a good thing that I'm a cataloger professionally.


Andrea said...

i can't wait!!! is it october yet? i'm not surprised that your friends are that awesome. :)

my advice as far as finances is to just ride it out- you will end up disappointed at things that are overpriced, and pleasantly surprised at things that end up being more reasonable than you expected. you guys can definitely pull it off and have the wedding you want.

me said...

Hey Kate!
You can have a separate kids meal that is made in bulk (pasta anyone?) and they all get the same thing and sit at a kid's table..or maybe consider inviting only kids that are in your actual family and not the children of friends (that one might be hard to sell)

me said...

You could have a lot of different appetizers instead of a full buffet or meal, then instead of a wedding cake you can have pies and cookies etc..this is your wedding, you make the rules.
I went to a wedding where the "cake" was cookies and milk, it was fun!

dirty bird said...

do the plates need to match? i have tons, if not! they probably do, though, huh?
you'd also better ask me to make some food - i had lots of practice making pies this fall, and other stuff to pick at would be easy- i could make you a big custom carved cheeseboard that you'd have to take home afterwards, too!
let me know...