Y’all, Laura and Chase had a sweet, food and booze-filled backyard-type wedding. And they did it right. They got alcohol in bulk from a local store to stock their full bar, and returned any unopened bottles. Laura Hobby Lobby-ed her brains out for supplies to make their pomanders, Chinese lanterns, seating charts and a plethora of other things. Their focus? Friends, family, each other and FOOD. Also, guuurrrllll … I feel yo pain with the hairdo that takes FUR-EV-UH. But you rocked it. Oh … did I mention there’s ADORBZ pups involved?
Names: Laura and Chase
Occupation: Aerospace Engineer (Laura), Photographer (Chase) www.chasehoffman.com
Wedding location: Boulder, Colo.
Wedding Date: June 4, 2011
Budget: Projected: $22,500 – Including the wedding, the rehearsal dinner, wedding bands, gifts for the wedding party, and a hotel the night of the wedding. Without the rehearsal dinner, about $18K.
How would you describe your wedding: We had a very casual and comfortable wedding. We wanted our guests (and ourselves) to feel laid-back. Like an upscale backyard party.
What was your favorite part of your wedding? Way before we were ever engaged, we started making a list of all the things we hated at other people’s weddings and vowed to never do them at our own. We wanted an open bar, we wanted assigned tables, we wanted a live band … I’m so glad we were able to have each of those things. I also think the food was one of the best parts. We’ve never been the biggest fan of wedding cake, so we came up with cheesecake. My favorite comfort food is mac ‘n’ cheese, and the caterer worked it into the meal by making fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls as an appetizer – yum!
What did you splurge on? Food. We’re foodies, and well, we really wanted excellent food.
What did you save on? Venue. We found a quaint farm that was a relatively new venue. We were able to rent it for two days, so we could arrive anytime and then didn’t have to worry about cleaning up the night of the wedding.
Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? One thing I would’ve done differently is getting my hair done in practice. I didn’t want to spend the money on it, and I thought, how long could it take to curl my hair? I planned for 45 minutes and it took over two hours …
Luckily we had lots of buffer time with having our pictures before the ceremony. I had my father officiate our wedding, but felt so bad asking such a “huge favor” that I wrote the entire ceremony. I should’ve just let my dad do what he knows how to do (be a minister and lead a wedding), rather than try to control him.
What was your biggest challenge in planning? Being a people pleaser, I felt like I had to make sure everyone was happy and OK with how things were going. It was a challenge between feeling OK with the decision I made and how people reacted to it. It was difficult not feeling guilty about asking my busy friends and family to help with things.
What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? I knew from the get-go that you can’t get everything you want at the price you want. I learned to prioritize what I absolutely couldn’t do without, what I would be OK settling on.
What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
- The overall comfortable vibe we achieved. It definitely represented us as a couple.
- Having tasty food. And the time to do a plated dinner.
- Live band – I absolutely love live music.
- The photography. And getting a photo with our little family – the pups, Penny and Leo!
- My dress and jewelry. I wore a pearl necklace from my great-great-grandmother. It really meant something to have that piece of family history.
Top 5 least favorite?
- My hair taking an hour longer than I thought – but it was really pretty in the end!
- Chase’s brother starting the toast before the Champagne was served. We forgot to tell him to wait for that … oops.
- The limo company not showing up at the end of the night to take us to our hotel. We hitched a ride with one of my bridesmaids.
- The camera we set up as a photobooth ran out of battery power.
- The fact that I kept forgetting my gorgeous bouquet of flowers during pictures!
What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? “You get what you pay for.” Most things we ended up paying an average price, or slightly cheaper. We did our research, and found quality vendors at an acceptable price. I don’t think we lost out because we didn’t pay tons of money for something.
The best? Trust your vendors. They do this a lot, they know what they’re doing. The catering manager was pretty much our wedding coordinator and she did amazing.
Any other bits of wisdom? Check the weekly ads at Hobby Lobby (if you live in that area of the states). I saved so much money on decorations by strategically buying things when they were on sale! And stay organized – Google Documents was a huge help. Finally, doing a first look and then all my portraits before the ceremony was so worth it. We had so much more time and got to enjoy cocktail hour with our guests.
Venue: $1975, 63rd St Farm
Flowers: $860 Painted Primrose
Music $1600 18 Switchbacks
Invitations: $300 Wedding Paper Divas
Save the Dates: $55
Cake: $400 Cheesecake Therapy
Liquor: $1145 LiquorMart , we bought in bulk and returned anything we didn’t use.
Catering/Rentals: $6677 Savory Cuisines
Photography: $2250 April O’Hare
Groom’s Suit: $407 Men’s Wearhouse
Bridal Attire: $400 (shoes, veil, jewelry – dress was gifted by Grandmother)
Decorations: Everything was DIY’d, and the supplies cost $335
Congrats, you two!