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Budget Weddings

Am I forgetting anything? It's long

This is my first post as a knottie, though I've been on the bump under a different name.  And if it seems like I post and run, I'm not.  Both my 18month old and my 8wk old got shots today, so they are insanely cranky.

My FI (38) and I (32) are planning a very casual wedding for October of 2017.  We'd rather it be this year, but we are moving ourselves and 5 kids across the country in a couple of months.  Financially, it just works better for the next year.  I know I don't really need to be planning this early, but I love planning and making all the lists!  I love lists.  I'll chill out over the next week or two.  Apologies in advance, I'm an over-explainer.

Guest list: total of 60 people on it.  That includes us, the photographer, and extra spots for currently singles to gain SOs. We only expect 45 people, because no one on FI's side will come except his mom (99% sure) but I'm still planning as if we'll have 60.  Better too much than not enough.

Budget: $4k

Venue: $200  It's just a building at the back of a local park.  It has a kitchen, ice machine, bathrooms, tables, and chairs (plenty!).  My family has used it several times for bigger family parties (40-50 people) so I know it will work.  October is busy in the area, so I already have a ($100) deposit on it.

Food: $600  It's a meal that my mom and I usually make for large family gatherings a few times a year, either in this building or at my mom's house, so doing it ourselves is no problem.  My invite list is pretty much everyone that comes to these larger gatherings, so I know the food will go over well and how much it usually costs.  No special food restrictions to think about.  We're doing a sheet cake from a local store and assorted cookies for dessert.  Tea, lemonade, water, and sodas.  Venue doesn't allow alcohol, and my heavily southern Baptist family wouldn't expect it anyway.

Favors: $200  Mom and I make homemade jelly every summer for the last 15yrs, so next summer we plan to make an extra 60 jars of blueberry and cherry jellies, cover the lids with cloth/ribbon, and have them  on the tables as part of the décor as well.  $200 is WAY more than we'll need, but it's just in case something happens to one of our canners between now and then.

Clothes: $500 total for everyone.  I'll either wear a midnight blue or burgundy dress that I find closer to then.  My 3 dds (ages 18 months, 9, 13 in 2017) will be wearing simple dresses of the opposite color that mom and I will make.  FI and my 2 ds (3 and 14) will be wearing charcoal slacks and a TBD color dress shirt.

Décor/Dishes: $500  Everything from decorations to dishes to table clothes.  Keeping it super simple.  Already priced everything out and added cushion.

Invites/Stamps: $150

Music: No dancing, just ipod playing background music over the room's system.

Pictures: $200 A girl I used to babysit is now a photography student at SCAD, and she has offered to do our pictures for next to nothing for practice.  I'm aware they may turn out...not great, but I'm okay with that if it happens.  If she backs out, I may or may not see about hiring an established professional.

Obviously I have room left in my budget for extras of if something falls through.  What I'm I forgetting?

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Re: Am I forgetting anything? It's long

  • My brother is hopefully officiating (he offered, but it's a long way off and stuff happens.) Forgot the cost of marriage license, whoops.
    Food is easy. The ceremony/reception site is the same building. Large kitchen off one end. Huge fridge and two huge stoves/ovens. We usually cook the boston butts the day before, then reheat under foil the next day. The homemade baked macNcheese and squash/zucchini casserole can be assembled the day before and popped in ovens at the site. Potato salad done the day before and stored in fridge. Green beans cooked day of. Huge bowl of salad and toppings done day of. Since we do this same meal for 40-60 ppl a for large birthdays and 4th of July, we have all the needed serving stuff and sterno. Serving ourselves buffet style as always in my family. FI and I will be cleaning up along with my older kids.

    Doing my own hair and make-up.

    Wedding bands are already bought. 
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  • Your hair/make-up... Flowers...  Shoes, undergarments, Five kids - enough said! 

    Please take a ServSafe class!!!  And remember, this one you're the bride, not the vendor.  Really consider hiring this one out.  You deserve to be enjoying the day as does your Mom, not working it!

    For the canning - $200 seems WAY low considering the cost of the additional blueberries and cherries (I spend far more on Strawberries to make a few batches without factoring in the jars/lids type supplies)... 

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    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueensKnottie1452098987cowgirl8238
  • Doing my own hair and make-up. Most likely wearing shoes/undergarments i will already own. No flowers.
    I want to do the food myself. I've this same meal, for the same people, dozens of times. It's basically a family bbq, but indoors because mosquitoes.  It's just how this core group of my family does every event. Even weddings.
     
    We have roughly 20 very large blueberry bushes, so that's free. The cherries will get picked when we go camping at one of those "pick your own" places. It's something we do every year. We're only doing little 6oz jars as favors.

    I'm sorry if it seems like I'm just arguing back. I think doing the food is the ONLY thing I am stubbornly set on. It's my thing. But, shit happens, so I'll think about it.
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    Knottie1452098987
  • MobKaz said:
    JaxInBlue said:
    Attendant and/or parent gifts?  Not required but something to think about.

    And I agree with PPs.  Really, really take 10 minutes and think about the food angle.  So far, your to-do list for the day of, just for food includes:
    • Reheat meat
    • Reheat macaroni and cheese and squash casseroles
    • Cook green beans
    • Make salad
    All for 45-60 people, and excluding the to set-up both for the reception and to do this portion of your prep list, and to get you, FI, and your 5 children ready to go.  And ignoring the clean-up.

    I agree with @charlotte989875. If you are set on your food and your menu, at the very least, hire a person do to the day-of work.  A culinary student or team would be ideal, as they would already know about food safety. Let that person be in charge of the heating, setting out, refilling, and clean up.  It would be a worth the money. 

    If that's not possible, with your current budget of $10 pp, or $15 if you've got some wiggle room in your budget, you could probably get decently catered food from a local restaurant.  Perhaps a BBQ place or Italian, maybe Mexican.  The goal should be first and foremost to serve tasty, safe food to your guests, and the ensure that none of your guests have to the work of providing food for your reception.
    Adding on to this list of reasons why others should get involved.....
    *Taking pictures before and after the ceremony
    *5 children of varying ages adapting to schedule changes and wedding excitement
    *The potential for anyone, but particularly the kids, in the days leading up to, or the day of, getting sick.
    *Weather related issues.  Schlepping food in and out of the rain/wind/cold.  Mud. 

    To the bolded - OMG yes!!!!  Nothing like a case of exclusionary criteria running its course through the house and you've got food to make for an event!!!  I've had this happen to me on three different occasions for major events.  In one case I had over 200+ servings of cake that went straight into the trash can because I wasn't going to remotely risk it.  The person in charge of the event was 100% behind me - which also happened the following year though I hadn't started baking yet!  And the other case, I was in the hospital with a PG complication with 400 cupcakes to make for DH's Cousin's wedding.  That was fun...not being able to breathe from the complication and stressing out on how not to ruin a bride's wedding day and come up with cake for it!  It happens - neither one could have been predicted. 

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    OurWildKingdom
  • I don't mind working on my wedding day, and in my family it's expected. All the weddings in my family are done like this, though usually at my grandma's house.
    The older folks in my family will not eat Mexican or Italian, but I know they will eat (and enjoy) what I have planned. 

    Since the ceremony isn't until 4pm, the space requires minimal set-up, and the foods (day of) will need minimal work, I really don't see the logistics issue.  I have a timeline planned, with a couple hours of cushion even, that make it easily doable.  

    It is something I really want to do myself, but I will reevaluate closer to the event and consider finding someone to assist with my food.
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  • SwissMsSwissMs member
    10 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I know I'm reviving an old post but...I think you should absolutely do the food yourself with your mom.  My sister did this with our mom for her wedding and now that our mom has passed she says it's one of her favorite memories of the two of them.  They were also very familiar with the kitchen/venue and I think this works just fine. That being said, she did pay a family friend to do the re-heating and serving the day of which gave her the chance to really enjoy the wedding. I would urge you to consider putting some money towards someone to do the reheating/buffet minding and the immediate clean-up.  My sister also says that was the best money she spent (she had agreed on $50, but paid the girl $100 because she did such a stellar job - this was many moons ago).    
  • You said SCAD, are you located near Savannah? I used to do wedding planning in the Savannah area and live close by.
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