Broke-Ass Tag: budget wedding planning

12/6

On top of having super yummy carnival eats for dinner, we had some sweet treats for our guests, too. Even though funnel cakes and elephant ears are some of the best desserts on the planet, I knew I wanted a wedding cake to cut as well. I can take or leave the actual cutting of the cake while everyone stares. And the whole smashing thing? #no If Russel had ruined my very beautiful and very expensive makeup by smearing cake and icing all over my face, we would have been talking annulment. Okay, not really. But I would have been mad. Luckily, Russel likes to get things done with as little fanfare as possible, so smashing was never an issue. What I really wanted the cake for was the whole save-the-top-layer-and-eat-it-on-your-anniversary thing. What can I say? I am a sucker for certain traditions. It’s the same reason we went with traditional wedding vows. I digress.

I probably procrastinated a little too long on the cake thing. I knew I was getting something small and simple, so I wasn’t very on top of it. Kind of a mistake. My first choice bakery didn’t have any openings. Boo. Luckily, my next choice had a cancellation, and I was all too happy to step right in. They are actually known for being a cupcake shop, which made our tasting pretty awesome. We got to pick out full size cupcakes and chow down. In the end, we decided that the whole cake would be Death By Chocolate. So, we sampled like 12 flavors, and that’s what we picked — lol. Boring. But also delicious. We got the smallest cake possible, which was two tiny little layers — one for the wedding, and one to save. I wanted one layer covered in colorful sprinkles, and one plain white. If I am honest, I never really stressed about my cake, but I was SO happy with how it turned out.

cake

Photo by Jenni Bella Photography

The hot pink, glittery Best Day Ever was perfect, and my mom handmade the bunting topper at midnight on Friday because I couldn’t find the one I bought. She is a queen. To me, it all screamed fun carnival, and it was $150 total. Yay! One cake tip: line up your baker before I did. Like ASAP.

Candy. Candy, candy, candy. Candy buffets are boring. Can we all agree on that? Don’t get me wrong … I love them. I love candy. It is delicious and I want to eat it all the time. But candy buffets are pretty common at weddings. When you’re going all out on a carnival theme, doing something so “normal” seems weird. But when we considered the fact that we had no wedding favors, the more we kept coming back to the candy idea. Favors are so hit or miss, IMO. I have been to weddings where they are awesome: little bottles of wine at the dinner table? Yes, please. A lavender colored coaster with your name and wedding date? Eh, not so much. So yeah. I wanted something people would enjoy and I wanted it to fit in with our theme. Candy and carnivals really do go hand in hand, so I eventually got over my hangup, and I am really glad I did. Our buffet was such a hit, and it was cleaned out by the end of the night. I was actually bummed, because I was hoping to have a bunch of leftovers to snack on for weeks. No dice.

candy

So …it looks a little like a baby shower. I realize this. But try finding aqua and pink candy. It’s not easy. But other than that, isn’t is cute? And it was yummy! My mom and I started stockpiling candy a few months out. It wasn’t super cheap, but it wasn’t that expensive either. There were a few things I knew I wanted, like Blue Razz Blow Pops (hello, ’90s flashback) and pink Starburst, so I ordered those online. We got a lot of the other stuff at party stores. Reese Cups, Hershey Kisses, Pixie Stix, rock candy, etc. My mom also made caramel apples the Thursday before the wedding, because she wasn’t busy enough. (J/k, she was busy.) Everyone loved them, and all of my friends have requested an apple or two from her annual Christmas batch. As far as containers, I don’t think we bought a single one. We just used stuff we had around our houses. Yes, I had four vintage candy jars at my home. I don’t know, either. But that definitely helped us save a bunch of money, which is the name of the game, right? In the end, we were glad we went the candy favor route. It fit our theme, it was easy, and people loved it. Can’t beat that.

Did you find any easy, delicious additions to your big day? What did you do?

  • 12/5

    Well, BABs, we thought we had it all figured out. We found a venue that was cheap, and beautiful, and agreed to allow us to supply our own alcohol without adding corkage. We were pretty happy.

    Real Bride Holly enjoys a beer

    The venue had just contracted a local Italian restaurant to provide catering. We contacted the manager to set up a time to meet, and she was lovely. We told her our vision for our wedding and our budget. She told us what she could offer for that amount. She offered to send us a sample menu, with our agreed upon food budget, mentioning that there would be a slight add-on for the cost of staffing. I’m like, sure, a couple of servers and a bartender. A few extra dollars a head. No biggie. I went home to bed that with visions of arancini balls and pillowy ricotta gnocchi dancing in my head.

    Then, when she sent us the sample menu, the cost of the catering was literally double our budget. After the initial shock and horror, we were able to look over the price breakdown and see where all the extra money had come from. Apparently, the cost of the food per person she had quoted us, at $70 a head, was literally the cost of the raw materials for the food. That quote hadn’t include the labour for prepping and cooking the food, in addition to serving it. She had also factored in the cost of paying everyone (servers, bartenders, chefs, etc.) for nine hours of work, despite dinner taking place over the course of a three hour period. We were feeling extremely ripped off, not to mention downright icky. So, we sent an email back, asking for some explanations about the pricing, and some suggestions on where we might like to cut costs: We would cut the amount of tapas in half and eliminate one of the salads. We eagerly awaited her response with a price adjustment.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    It’s been two months and despite repeated emails and phone calls, we’ve heard nothing. To be honest, we’re okay with it. She obviously doesn’t want to work within our budget. Maybe the amount we are looking to spend isn’t worth her time. Fine. So, we’ve determined that it’s time for us to find a new caterer and we are going to be, unfortunately, scrambling — our wedding is on the Saturday of a long weekend. However, I wont get discouraged, BABs. I can’t. Instead, I’ll use this as an opportunity to be creative, to try something more unique. Maybe we will try a more low-key theme like real bride Rachel‘s Carnival themed wedding! We shall see … I’ll keep you all posted.

    Have you had troubles staying within your food budget? Share below!

  • 12/1

    Matthew Christopher Tiger Lily

    Whew, you guys. These posts are super tough for me. Y'all have some exquisite taste! This week, we're tackling reader Maria's request on this post: We are looking for a gown "inspired" by the designer Matthew Christopher. The exact gown is called "Tiger Lily". We perused all the websites in your great article - do you have any other websites or resources for this $5,000…

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    11/30

    20161113_192759

    Aite y’all, so I finished painting about half of the centerpiece bases before I ran out of warm weather to work in. How dare spray paint not be able to dry in weather below 30 degrees right?! Taping off bases After the first coat of white dried, we taped off the tops and the edge above the flaps. I found entire sheets of painters tape…

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    11/29

    Real Bride Ciji's Engagement Photoshoot2

    It's time for me to narrow the list and select a wedding photographer! These are exciting times. There's just one small issue: There are so many photographers in this world! Photographers that are my friends, photographers that I have worked with in the past, photographer referrals from past brides and I only need one.  I made a list of four photographers to review for our…

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  • 11/28

    Cyber Monday Deals for Your Wedding

    Happy Monday, darlings! I hope you all had a great, restful Turkey weekend. As per usual, the holiday shopping has been kicked into high gear, and since finding a killer bargain is essential to any Broke-Ass wedding, I'd be remiss if I neglected to share these awesome Cyber Monday deals with you. Since Black Friday was a mashup of all the things, Cyber Monday's deals are concentrated…

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    11/28

    Temperley London Saffron Dress

    The holidays are in full swing, but reader Amy's got more than turkey and cranberry sauce on her plate; she's on the hunt for two Temperley London gowns! She writes: "Hello! HEEELLLLPPP! I love your "Can't Afford It? Get Over It!" column, and I fell in love with two dresses from Temperley London that I definitely can't afford. They are very unique, so I thought…

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    11/22

    food

    And other yummy treats! I detailed our food plan a while back, and if you recall, I was missing a fairly important detail: the total cost. We worked with our caterer to come up with the perfect menu, and we had a general price range of $12-$15 per person. We never had a contract and we didn't have to pay any sort of deposit. Kinda…

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  • 11/21

    Shaina Sheaff Photography

    Credit: Shaina Sheaff Hello lovelies, I’ll be honest, I haven’t been thinking about wedding stuff much this week. I’ve been very hard at work and probably wont be slowing down until about April. I’m okay with that, though -- almost all of the major vendors have been nailed down. We have a venue, caterer, DJ and photographer, and I’ve got my dress. The only two things…

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