Posts in the 'Silver Charm Events' Category

BAB Classics: Ask Liz: The Wedding Things You Just Can’t Do

Food and money. Man, oh, man. Isn’t that the broke-ass life? You always try to have enough of both, but what about when you’re trying to throw a big ol’ party? That’s where the stakes get raised, and some good, timeless advice from erstwhile BAB team member Liz, of Silver Charm Events, swoops in to soothe the nerves.

Dear Liz,

My fiance and I LOVE a good party. We have budgeted for 150 guests at our wedding, but there are more than 150 people that we want to celebrate with us. The long and short of it is: we cannot afford to feed everyone. We are having a great local cover band, and we would like to send out secondary invitations for those acquaintances to join us, after dinner has been served at the reception. Is is tacky to ask an additional chunk to come at 8:00 for dancing and drinks but not the ceremony and dinner? How should we word those invitations so as not to offend anyone?

Signed, 

Down to the Count

Make ‘em fit, or leave ‘em out. Anything else is asking for trouble.
(Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs)

Dear  Down,

Not to be harsh, but I don’t really see that going over very well. Basically, you’re saying that you don’t like them enough to invite them to your wedding and pay for their meal, but just enough to hang out with them when it’s going to cost you less money. It’s not what you mean, but it’s definitely what you’re saying. And I don’t know if you sent Save the Date cards to them, too, but if you did, eyebrows are definitely going to rise, just like their expectations did.

So, what to do, what to do? A couple of things, I think. Figure out how much each additional person would cost you, and look at the various pieces of your budget to see where you can make some cuts to accommodate. One step down for your meal, or one less appetizer? Stick to beer and wine and a specialty drink? Don’t go top shelf on the liquor? I don’t know what you’re doing now, but there are almost always places where you can cut and still be comfortable with what you’re getting.

And, realistically? Not everyone is going to be able to attend, anyway. I’m not the biggest fan of B-listing potential guests, mostly because it’s a lot of work, but try and make it work for you. Send your invitations out early enough to the 150, and then for every “No” you get, send one out to the B list.

But, I would definitely do a budget check, first.

The only other option is to not invite them, period. And, yes, this means that you won’t have everyone you want at your wedding, but most couples face that reality, sooner or later. You’re really not doing them, or yourself, any favors by sending out a half invite. Invite or do not invite. There is no “try.”

“That’s so funny! Together, we spent over $3,000 to be in our friend’s wedding!”

Dear Liz, 

 I am a bridesmaid in my childhood best friend’s wedding. I knew I’d have to shell out some bucks, but I had no clue how much I was expected to spend… until now. She’s had an engagement party, a bridal shower, a honeymoon shower, and now her two-day destination bachelorette party is coming up. I told the Maid of Honor that I wasn’t sure I could go if it’s going to cost me more than $300. She has already booked the hotel, but every time I ask her for the total amount I am expected to shell out, she dodges my questions. This has happened three times, so far. It’s getting to be frustrating. I’d hate to cancel last minute on it, but she really won’t communicate with me. Plus, it’s a surprise for the bride, so I can’t talk to her about it. I also have to have a minor surgery a week before this shindig. I don’t want to jeopardize my recovery process by going on this weekend trip, either. My question is, do I stay or do I go? I feel that I will risk the friendship of not only the bride, but also the Maid of Honor (who is another childhood friend) if I didn’t show up. I wasn’t at her bridal shower (same day as my grandma’s 90th birthday party) so I feel obligated to go to this bachelorette party. Yet at the same time I don’t know how I will be physically after this surgery, and I do not want to go broke because of this bachelorette weekend. If I do not go, how do I break the news to the maid of honor? This is really stressing me out!

Signed,

Bridesmaid Bummer

Dear Bummer,

Bottom line? You can’t go. I’m really sorry, I know you want to celebrate with your friend, I know you’re worried about your relationship with her and your other friends. But you will be a week out from SURGERY, and if you’re talking about a “recovery process”, then it isn’t that minor. Not only is it a really good excuse, it’s a really good reason. Plus, it’s not going to help your stress level, before or after surgery, if you’re worried about how you’re going to cope, financially.

Being a bridesmaid is expensive. The last time I was one, about 4 years ago, it cost me over $1,000, and I see girls in my weddings spending that and more. I was honored and thrilled to be a part of my friend’s day, as are all the other bridesmaids I’ve met and known. I’m not saying that it wasn’t worth it. But, that’s not a small amount of money — it just isn’t — and that should be taken into consideration.

So, how to tell the MOB? Tell her that you’re having surgery the week before, and you don’t know how you’re going to feel after it, or what you’ll be physically able to do. So, you can’t go. If you think you can pull it, give her $50 – $100 to buy a round of drinks at the party, or figure out how to get it to the bride, with your name on it.

What are the tricks you used to afford all the guests you want? And, what do you think about Bummed’s predicament? Let me know in the comments below! And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little part of wedding world, visit my website at www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

BAB Classics: Ask Liz: Alcohol and Office Guests

In light of the multitude of questions The Broke-Ass Bride has received as of late regarding alcohol and your reception, specifically how much, we’ve decided to bring back this classic post by Liz Coopersmith of Silver Charm Events. Plus, you get the bonus of etiquette surrounding inviting your office crowd!

Beer for Everyone! Seriously.                         (Courtesy of One Love Photography)

Dear Liz,

Our wedding is next weekend, and we’re providing the alcohol. We’re just serving wine and beer for 100 guests, but how much should we get?

Signed,

Bar Verklemptkeeper

Dear Bar,

More than you need. But start here: On bottle of wine per two people per hour; two beers (bottle or keg pour) per person per hour. I use Martha Stewart’s calculator, and it hasn’t let me down, yet. But let’s talk about  “hours” for a minute. Hours and ice. If you’re shutting down the bar early to assure that your guests get home alive, my recommendation is to buy enough alcohol to cover that last hour, anyway. Better to have too much than not enough. You can always return what you don’t use – ask your bartender not to open any bottles before he or she pours them.

Ice. Ice melts, which is only one of the things that drives me nuts about nature. Martha calls for one pound of ice per person per hour, but  if using for both cooling and pouring, I’d get another half pound.  Ask your bartender to go a little easy on the ice, too.

 

Dear Liz,

I work in an office setting and I am getting married in 42 days, I want to give out invites but I don’t want anyone to be offended if I don’t personally invite them, so I was going to just give one to the office staff as a whole rather than personal ones. What do you suggest?

Signed,

The More the Merrier

Dear Merrier,

Ooh, that sounds like a fantastic idea! Probably the best way to keep of track of who’s coming is to send out email invitations, through e-vite or pingg, or one of those. Not sure what Emily Post (or Martha) would say about that, etiquette-wise, but I’m down with it.

 

So, what do you peeps think? Would you send a wedding e-vite to your office guests, or give them all an individual one? Are you inviting anyone from work at all? Let’s talk about it in the comments…

 

See you at the end of the aisle,

{Weekend Wrap-up} Save Hundreds (If Not Thousands) On Wedding Planning, BAB Advertising Packages, & Eco-friendly Wedding Dresses!

Go mighty!

Hi BABs! Some of you lucky ducks are coming up on a luxuriously looooooong weekend. Congrats, I’m SURE you’ve earned it. We’ve got just a few tidbits of BAB HQ news and a few sweet deals to share before we begin our early afternoon Friday drinking binge!

Liz Coopersmith, the wedding planning genius behind our weekly “Ask Liz” column, is having a pretty killer contest for her L.A.-based biz, Silver Charm Events! Right now, when you like her FB page, you’ll be entered to win a year’s subscription to Martha Stewart Weddings, a copy of her book, A Mad Dash Down the Aisle, and $500 off one of her wedding coordination packages! WOWZA! You can earn additional entries for following her on twitter or sharing the contest with friends! Click here for more deets…

Our weekly giveaway item this week is a copy of Maggie Lord’s new book, Rustic Wedding Chic! You probably know her from the blog of the same name, Rustic Wedding Chic, but if you don’t, you NEED to check it out! It’s on our list of required wedding blog reading!

ATTN: WEDDING VENDORS! I must draw your attention once again to our  HOLIDAY ADVERTISING SALE ! For the months of November and December, you can get 20% off of our regular rates on ad tiles of all sizes AND sponsored posts! To receive a copy of our press kit and additional info, contact our advertising guru Christen at christen@brokeassbride.com! Our regular rates start at just $100 a month (before discounts), and we welcome biz from indie vendors!

Dana is gearing up to go to Camp Mighty next week, “a retreat for people who like to make cool things happen.” Campers are trying to raise $20K for charity this year. ALL the money is going to help fund clean water projects in Rwanda. Dana is only $115 away from her personal fundraising goal, so if you’d like to help her meet it, you can donate here! Be sure to leave “Dana LaRue” in the comments, so your donation gets attributed to Dana’s campaign!

As we reported last week - Elizabeth St. John is extending a ridiculously exciting offer to our wonderful broke-asses…from now until November 15th, 25 lucky brides will be able to snag one of Elizabeth’s premiere designs at wholesale prices! BABs can grab the gorgeous French Alencon lace “Adele” gown for only $1,000! (Original retail price: $2,600!!!) OR the silk shantung “Alden” gown for $975 (Original retail price: $2,400!!!). (Both gowns are part of Elizabeth’s Spring 2013 collection.) All of Elizabeth’s gowns are made by skilled artisans in a wind powered factory in the good ol’ USA! If you want your gown to be as eco-conscious and affordable as is HUMANLY POSSIBLE, this is your big chance! All gowns are available in sizes 2-20 (Sizes 14-20 require a $50 surcharge) and also come in TALL sizes! To stake your claim as one of these 25 insanely lucky brides, simply email info@elizabethstjohn.com, or call them directly at 301-879-7001. Let me reiterate that this is NOT a contest. This wholesale pricing offer is INSTANTLY available to the first 25 brides who claim!

Also, if you’re a fan of stand-up comedy, friend-of-BAB Brock Wilbur’s stand-up comedy special “28 Years Later” is now available to download in its entirety for a measly $7! BARGAIN.