Posts in the 'Wedding Inspiration' Category
Photo: Andrea Chesley
How to do your own food (with a bit of help from willing friends/family) for your reception??? Food item suggestions and logistical tips especially!
Funny thing is, I talked to someone this morning who catered his own wedding, and he did not have fun with that. Logistically, it’s a nightmare. You have to buy the food (for 100 people), then store the food before you can cook the food (for 100 people), wherever that’s going to be. Then you have to figure out when you’re going to cook the food (for 100 people) before or in between getting ready to get married, getting married, and whatever you have to do after you get married – take pictures, talk to your guests, and generally enjoy your wedding without worrying about the food. Plus, how you’re going to serve it, where you’re going to serve it, and who is going to serve/monitor it? A buffet will not relieve you of that responsibility. And, even if it’s for less than 100 people, you still have to figure out when and where you are going to do all these things. It’s not less work, it’s definitely not less stress, it’s just less food.
So, the first thing you need to do, way before deciding on a menu, is address each of the above points, every single one. When, where, how and who? And, remember that everything is going to take more time than you think. And everything takes longer if you have less people to manage it.
Menu? Keep it as simple as possible. No more than two entrees, no more than two side dishes, plus a salad. Stick with stuff you already know how to make, or that you and your family and friends can (and will) practice cooking before your wedding. Good but simple food. Not a lot of chopping, not a lot of ingredients, not a lot of steps.
Hey, you asked.
It’s doable, but obviously, I’m not recommending it! If you’re trying to save money, there are tons of restaurants – probably some of your favorites -that will cater less expensively. If you want to serve a particular dish, you can make that and add it to the buffet. But, if you are determined to do it yourself, don’t ignore everything you’re going to have to do in order to pull it off.
Does anyone reading have any experience catering their own wedding, or helping someone else do it? If you’ve got something to add, let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle ,
BAB Throwback is a series that highlights some of our favorite posts from the days of yore. This autumn has felt the most fall-ish for me, and I’m crushing hard on the colors. So, #duh, I’m throwin’ it back to this great post from 2011 that’s still totally rad today.
It’s not really feeling like fall here in Los Angeles. The farmer’s market is still stocked with fresh summer berries, the days still feel long and hot, and the flowers are still in bloom. But today on a walk I noticed a few leaves on the trees beginning to change. So since I can’t really enjoy all of fall in LA, I’ve been enjoying it on Pinterest! Fall weddings provide the perfect combo of bright fall colors and comfort foods! Enjoy these fall wedding inspiration photos I’ve been loving!
Mums and fall floral colors look especially bright when paired with the yellow billy balls and orange clementines!
Layers of spiced cake with frosting only on the inside give this cake a rustic look. And the sugared fruits and leaves add a playful element!
Send your guest home with one of my favorite fall treats! Yum!
Are you having a fall wedding? What is your inspiration? Let us know!
Last week on Facebook, a friend of mine, who’s also a wedding planner, linked to a blog about a $6,000 wedding. It was on her personal page, and it definitely wasn’t one of her weddings – that’s well below her usual clients’ budgets. She wasn’t posting it because of the budget, at all, she was focusing on the potential griminess of the Doritos bar the couple created. Yes, these are the sort of conversations we vendors have while amongst ourselves. We also talk about shoes a lot, but that’s a discussion for another day. Anyway … It was a very cute hipster wedding in a loft in Brooklyn. The bride wore Converse and a $300 dress, of course. The groom wore a bow tie and tight pants. It really did look like a lot of fun, and I personally, would be all over that Doritos bar.
But $6,000 for a 100-guest wedding?
Their clothes and accessories? ~$1,500.
The loft? They found it on Airbnb, $1,100 for 3 days
Rentals? $860. Metal chairs, uncovered plastic tables, and a small stage. I’m not judging, this is what they had, per the pictures.
Servingware? ~$300 Dinner?
Not included in the breakdown, because they got a, and I quote, a “huge” discount from a caterer friend.
Appetizers from Whole Food? Also not on the budget breakdown.
The bar? Not even mentioned.
Decorations: DIY, pom-poms, spray-painted bottles with flowers in them, put together by family and friends.
Material costs, even? Nope.
At this point, I was gritting my teeth. Basing the actual cost of this wedding on prices in L.A., which are significantly cheaper than New York? At least $10,000-$15,000 is missing from this budget. Which is just … GRRRR … NOT FAIR.
And not helpful. Because, come on, you guys. Why don’t you have friends who are caterers, bakers, videographers and DJs? Why can’t you rent a loft from a company that, in my experience, is fairly adamant about not renting for large private events? Why can’t you spend two days setting up and a whole day breaking down for your ceremony and reception ? Don’t you have space to spray paint 50 mason jars and store the flowers to fill them? Why come you can’t figure out how to only spend $6,000 — or less — on your own wedding?
The Myth of the Budget Wedding is that if it’s this cheap and easy for them, it should be just as cheap and easy for you, too. But, trust me, this wedding was not that cheap, and definitely not so easy. I give the bride credit for acknowledging how lucky they were to have those hook-ups, though, I really wish they’d been more upfront about what they spent and how much they saved. Actually.
Is it possible to have a fantastic wedding for $6,000? Of course it is. But you need to have realistic expectations about what’s possible, what stuff costs, and how much time and energy you have or are willing to put in. Is it worth it? It will be. So, what do you think? Do you find these myths as frustrating as I do? What are you doing to realistically stay on budget, yourself? And, if you’d like to find out a little more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Okay, Broke-Ass Brides and Grooms, my time as Real Bride Kate is drawing to an unfortunate close. However, before I fill out the Real Wedding questionnaire and check out from the site, I wanted to impart my ultimate piece of wedding planning wisdom.
I began to title this piece: “Question Everything and Be Non-Traditional.” However, I quickly realized that this advice was highly excluding and didn’t get at the heart of what I really wanted to say. So, here it is again, let it soak in:
Question everything and be yourselves.
Most people know that I studied English in university, but less people remember that I also studied sociology. If sociology taught me anything, it was that everything we do in life we do according to set patterns created by our cultures. Of course, there is room for free will in this, but think about it. Our society (for the purposes of this article, I mean Western society) has a set schema for how a wedding should go.
The bride wears a white dress and carries flowers. The groom wears a suit (typically black). The couple is married by a religious or civic official. They exchange rings and vows. They cut a fancy cake. They have a first dance and the bride dances with her father. It goes on and on. You all know the drill.
So, here is my challenge to you as you plan your wedding. For every single decision, no matter how minute, ask yourselves:
Why are we doing this? And do we truly want this?
Once Daniel and I did that, nearly every notion of a “traditional” wedding fell apart. As you can see from the pictures throughout this post, we broke or reworked a lot of traditions and shocked our families.
I wore red. All the bouquets were made from book pages. Daniel wore grey and donned a pocket square instead of boutonniere. We were married by a close friend without a speck of religion in our hand-fasting ceremony – which we wrote as a trio. We didn’t exchange rings, as Daniel already wore his as an engagement band. The cake we cut had the Batman symbol plastered on top. I danced with my dad to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.
My dad and I have matching tattoos from the tv show “Supernatural,” whose unofficially theme song is “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas.
Some people reacted negatively. For instance, my grandmother asked me – in front of my entire bridal party and the photographer – if I was wearing red because I wasn’t a virgin. She just could not believe that I simply wanted to wear my favorite color instead of the color Queen Victoria wore a bazillion years ago.
However, most of our families and friends were overwhelmingly, even surprisingly, positive. Throughout the night, we were bombarded with compliments. People adored my unique dress – “Red is your color, Kate!” They appreciated the cake – “Batman is so bad ass!” They marveled at the ceremony – “I’d never seen anything like that before. That hand-fasting, that was so unique and cool!” And even better, they got the point – “Your wedding was so you guys in every way.”
Let me repeat that: “Your wedding was SO YOU GUYS in every way.”
Now, if you ask me, that’s the best compliment a bride and groom can receive.
Again, let me implore you to question everything. Do you really want to wear white? Do you really want that venue? Why are you having a bouquet toss? Why are you doing the Chicken Dance? (Side note: we did neither.)
And again, let me beg you to be yourselves. If you are a traditional couple, that is fantastic! Live it up! But, if you have been feeling queasy about wedding planning and notice some light bulbs going off as you read this, follow that instinct!
Don’t worry about what anyone else will think or whether or not the day will feel like a “real wedding.” Trust me, if you stay true to yourselves and only do what you honestly and direly want to do, your guests will love it and you will not regret it.
This is your day to celebrate your love! It should be as uniquely and beautifully you as the love you share.
It’s come to our attention that while we talk a lot about smart ways to save money on your wedding day, we haven’t really addressed the wedding itself — more specifically the ceremony. And y’all, while the words you speak have very little to do with your budget, they are still a vitally important part of the day, because they help set the tone for your marriage … you know, the whole reason you’re doing this damn thing in the first place. So we’re kicking off the Words to Wed By series with a more traditional bent, specifically blessing and prayers for your marriage.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
New International Version (NIV) Bible
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
Traditional Irish Blessing
May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow
May the soft winds freshen your spirit
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again my friend
May God hold you in the palm of his hand
May God be with you and bless you
May you see your children’s children
May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in Blessings
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward
May green be the grass you walk on
May blue be the skies above you,
And from this day forward.
May the joys of today
Be those of tomorrow.
Armenian Wedding Blessing
May you grow old on one pillow.
Blessing of the Hands
These are the hands of your partner, young and strong and full of love, holding your hands as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will hold you and comfort you in grief and uncertainty. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and joy. These are the hands that will hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength. And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
King James Version Bible
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
BABs, what traditional readings are you using in your ceremony? Tell us in the comments below, and we’ll add them to this list!
I was hoping to write my second post with the news that we had settled on a date and a venue and that all is sunshine and roses. Here at BAB, however, we deal in reality, even when it’s not pretty.
First, the good news! We are nearly 100% set on the venue. Andrew and I met through a theater production, and we’re both still involved in theater today. When we walked into Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s Club Theatre, we fell in love.
Andrew and the event coordinator, looking from the stage into the audience. Personal photo.
I wish we had taken more pictures, but I was too busy being overwhelmed with information. The space has a legitimate stage and a full light bar with smart lights (you can read that as “ooooh, pretty!” if you’re not technically inclined) that we can use and customize. It’s tough to see, but if you look down in the lower left, the space was set up for a ceremony. We would go across the hall for a cocktail hour while they converted it for the reception. There will be a bunch of tables on the floor with dance space, and then more tables up in the upper level. The head table will be on the stage, which is where the ceremony will take place as well. And those pretty lanterns can be any color we want!
We saw a second venue last night. We probably aren’t going to use it, but it’s lovely and they certified me as a princess.
I normally don’t approve of pretty princess rhetoric, but that pen is hard to argue with! Personal photo.
Rosehenge Hall (Lakeville, Minn.) is a fantastic venue, with some really thoughtful and interesting updates, including an impeccably designed lighting and sound system. The 11 p.m. end time due to city ordinance was something we weren’t thrilled about, and we also really wanted a location with walkable hotels, since 2/3 of our guest list is from out of town and we don’t want to worry about alcohol issues. We’ve mostly crossed this off the list, but if you have more of an early-ish crowd with a lot of locals, check it out!
Set up in progress for a wedding this weekend. Personal photo.
Pretty sunshine-y so far, right? Well, here’s where things get stormy.
Halloween is on a Saturday next year, and so I immediately started lobbying (and planning, because I prefer my carts to be miles in front of my horses) to have the wedding on that date. We’ve received a lot of pushback from friends who have children, because the wedding would interfere with trick-or-treating. Also, my mom informed me that because it’s my step-grandma’s birthday, the date really would not work for them. I balked at this, because (while I love her and believe all birthdays should be celebrated, no matter how old you are!) they haven’t historically made a huge effort to do much more than make a phone call, and of course she would be invited! She reminded me that they had never made that much of a effort before, because she always had her husband there — who passed away in December.
What’s more, she isn’t super likely to be healthy enough to travel.
On top of all that, Andrew admitted that he is only really on board with allowing kids to be in costumes, not adults. Are we the Grinch who stole Halloween if we invite people to a wedding on Halloween but don’t let them dress up? Are we jerks for ruining trick-or-treating, even if we create a trick or treat experience at the wedding? I honestly don’t know.
There’s a recurring family event on 10/17 that I don’t think the organizer will be willing to move, and 10/10 for some reason feels too close to my sister’s anniversary, 10/2/10. We are hoping that the coordinator will tell us that the wedding on 10/24 is only a hold, not a solid booking, and that it will expire, solving all our problems in one fell swoop. No one expects to be able to wear costumes, no family issues, and I can still use my Halloween ideas. Otherwise, we’re looking at November 7th, and all of my Halloween plans are out the window. That’s not the end of the world, but I’m sure pouting like it is! Fall weddings are so popular these days, and it just feels like a much larger challenge to make it uniquely us. There’s also the fact that my sister had the quintessential classic fall wedding, and that I don’t like most of the classic fall colors (reds, oranges, yellows).
… It’s okay. I know I’m overthinking and pouting and being a big ol’ drama queen about it. But I think the crux of the matter is a universal issue: When should you take into account the opinions of people other than yourself and your fiancé? Andrew is quite frustrated and wants to just make a decision. I’d already proclaimed that there are only two opinions that matter for this wedding, but I can’t help but feel like this is one decision where we need to listen to at least SOME of our guests! At the same time, we feel like we’re never going to pick a date that pleases everyone, so we might as well do what we want.
Guys, did you deal with any of this stuff? How and when do you draw the lines on other people’s opinions?
With Halloween right around the corner and today being the 13th of the month — an ominous day for the superstitious among us — there’s no better time to bring out this amazing Lovecraft-inspired wedding shoot by Casey Fatchett Photography. Many of the vendors fall within budget range for BABs (the dress is right around $1000) and even Casey himself — as a photographer in NYC — starts his pricing around $3000 (Sunday-Friday, 8 hours + engagement sesh). Take it away, Casey!
I toyed with the idea of an HP Lovecraft inspired wedding shoot for several years. It may seem like a bizarre concept for wedding inspiration, but I find that sometimes the best inspiration comes from the unlikeliest places. Lovecraft wrote horror stories in which often characters were driven mad with overwhelming terror — so basically how many couples feel when they are first starting to plan their weddings (that’s a joke, kind of … ).
When putting the shoot together, I wanted to create something that was truly “inspired” by Lovecraft and rather than just “translate” one of his stories into photos. The monsters in Lovecraft’s stories very often have tentacles and there are often nautical themes. It would have been very easy to go overboard on that front.
Luckily, I worked with some amazing vendors who helped create a shoot that is both beautiful and at times creepy. The makeup and hair styling evoked a Victorian/Tim Burton-esque feel while the flowers took on a look of blood and brains and tentacles. The amazing skull and tentacle cake featured eldritch designs imprinted on its sides. And the invitation suite incorporated actual names and addresses from Lovecraft’s life as well as a “handwritten” feel. In his short life, Lovecraft was a prodigious writer, sending thousands of letters to his family, fans and peers. Overall, we felt the shoot reflected aspects of both the man himself and his work.
The final element was the location, Lovecraft Bar & Restaurant. What more perfect location? The setting provided a backdrop that ranged from “steampunk” mad scientist lab upstairs to the downstairs space which one could imagine a Cthulhu cult meeting in. The bronze, gold, and silver elements in the space (and in the other details) brought another common Lovecraft theme to the forefront: alchemy. For what is a marriage if not an alchemy of sorts? Bringing two people together and transforming them into one family.
Photography: Casey Fatchett, http://fatchett.com | Venue: Lovecraft NYC, http://lovecraftnyc.com | Hair & Makeup: SB Beauty, http://sb-beauty.net | Cake: City Sweets, http://citysweets.com/ | Flowers: Blossom & Bee, http://blossomandbee.com/ | Dress: Saja Bridal, http://sajawedding.com | Veil: Happily Ever Borrowed, http://www.
It’s been nearly two months since contributor Elizabeth married Bryce on a rainy day in Greensboro, N.C., and they partied down in a Gatsby-looking fashion on a $7K budget. Today, Elizabeth is back to share the details, Real Wedding-style.
Name: Elizabeth & Bryce
Occupation: I work for study abroad at Duke University
Wedding location: Greensboro, NC
Wedding Date: August 9th, 2014
How would you describe your wedding: It was somewhat traditional (married by a pastor) but also had non-traditional elements (groomsladies, no garter toss or cake, uneven wedding party, non-traditional vows)
What was your favorite part of your wedding? Besides the actual getting married part, the décor was amazing. The space was transformed into a floral-Gatsby-dream.
What did you splurge on? Photographer – and after getting my pictures back it was SO worth it!
What did you save on? Flowers. We spent $350 on farmers market flowers and used them for bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and decorations
Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I would have listened to my fiancé more, because I didn’t really realize until closer to the wedding how much he wanted to be involved. He was really great about letting me have my “vision,” but I realized he was a lot more hands-on than a “typical” groom.
What was your biggest challenge in planning? I was really good at the big picture things but absolutely horrible at the small details and making decisions. This drove my now-husband crazy, as he is VERY detail-oriented.
What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Pick your battles, and try to keep the goal (getting married) in sight.
What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
- I got married to my wonderful husband!!!!
- Seeing all my friends and family together
- The venue/decorations were amazing
- Our photographer took us on a walk downtown after the ceremony and that’s where we got the best pictures
- Our pastor made our ceremony super personal. He asked our bridal party questions about us as a couple prior to the wedding and used what they said in the ceremony.
Top 5 least favorite?
- It was pouring rain the morning of — trying to transport all the girls without getting our hair wet was a challenge!
-I couldn’t find my headpiece until an hour before the ceremony
- I can’t think of anything else!
What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I don’t think we really got any bad advice.
The best? Our pastor emphasized that it would be really easy to “float” through the wedding day, since it’s so chaotic and busy and overwhelming. I thought of that several times throughout the day and consciously reminded myself to be in the moment.
Any other bits of wisdom? Do pre-marital counseling! We had an awesome inter-faith minister who really knew what she was doing, and talked us through communication tactics, finances, and a whole bunch more stuff that I would have never even thought of. She gave us such a great foundation and lots of things to think about and work on for a successful marriage. Even though she’s in Minnesota, she said we can Skype her any time if we ever need a session.
We did a “first look” and I loved it. It really alleviated a lot of nerves and it was nice to have some time together before the ceremony to just chill out. Plus, the pictures are fantastic!
Also, I recognized my strengths and weaknesses in the wedding planning game. I hired my friend to come down and do all the decorating and day-of coordinating. In all honesty, I could not have done it without her, and it would have not looked nearly as fabulous as it did without Jenny. She has the creativity and eye for detail that I don’t have, and at the end of the night, people were asking for her card!
Budget breakdown?* (These are all very approximate)
Pre-Marital Counseling: Amy Reisenberg: $300
Officiant: Jimmy Renslow: $300
Photographer: Jon Black Photography: $2,500
Venue: Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC $1,000 total, $700 for rental of lobby for ceremony and $300 for rental of the room where the reception was.
Catering: Stamey’s BBQ: $1,200 for BBQ for 100 –cole slaw, hushpuppies, baked beans, sweet tea, and peach cobbler.
Planner (friend): $400 for plane ticket
Alcohol: Total Wine: $400 (wine and beer)
Clothing: Dress, $400 Accessories and alterations: $300 Tux Rental: $200
Cake and macarons: Simply Scrumptious Bakery $327
Flowers: Greensboro Farmers Market: $350
DJ: Jason Barnes: $575 for music during ceremony until about 11:00 p.m.
Hair: Missy Gosset, Studio 4022, $30
Makeup: Chakaras Salon: $75
Save the dates: $200
Invites: $0 (gift from my aunt)
Congratulations, Elizabeth and Bryce! We’ve enjoyed having you share your planning stories with us! xoxo
I was browsing through some fall weddings on a big, well-known wedding website, and I was struck by how many were kind of … meh. I mean, sure, there is TONS of gold in fall weddings — and we all know how much I love gold — but the palettes, for the most part, seem so muted or they’re the same basic jewel tones over and over. Guys, c’mon! Let’s bring some color into this bitch, yeah? Sunflowers happen to be in season for autumn, and it doesn’t get much more bright than these fun blooms! For complementary colors, I didn’t have to look far — inspiration is everywhere! Teal and grey are great bedfellows for cheery yellow, as teal’s richness is mellowed out by a lighter grey tone, which is great for silver lovers!
Top row, from left: Paper Tassel Garland, Beau-Coup | Country Charm Bridal Bouquet, Bloominous | Charcoal Grey Recycled Glass Vase, Luna Bazaar | Teal Tissue Paper Pom-Pom, Luna Bazaar | Middle row, from left: “Ainsley” Dress in Sunlight, BHLDN | Mignon White Pleated Chiffon Evening Gown, Unique Prom | Fête to Print Dress, ModCloth | Jeweled Strap Wedding Dress, Ann Taylor | Sunny Socializing Dress, ModCloth | Bottom row, from left: Make a Scene Heel, ModCloth | Dance Instead of Walking Heel in Grey, ModCloth