Operation: Impossible Wedding Budget

I hope that you will all be understanding as I divert some of my blogging attention to wedding planning.  This process promises to take up a good portion of my life for the next 11 months, so prepare yourself for the play-by-play.  I thoroughly enjoy party planning and all of the bells and whistles that come along with the process, and hopefully you'll find some enjoyment in the whole thing as well! Since I was young, I've always been a party planner.  I don't generally follow through with these parties, because they're all about imagination and daydreaming.  However, when I plan these imaginary parties in my head, the one thing that I always ignore is The Budget--which I now endearingly refer to as "Le Boojay".

Le Boojay is not my friend.  I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that when my fun and vision is challenged by a boojay, I curl up in a ball and cry.  Begging for independent wealth and an overpriced wedding planner.

I won't be working personally with Vera Wang like Ivanka did (although I would not have a problem with this...Vera, call me), and I will probably have to rig up my portable iPod speaker dock instead of hiring Khloe's 10 piece orchestra.  This is the cold hard truth.  The reality is, I have a budget, and it is far below the average wedding budget in the DC metro area of $35-$50K.

Notwithstanding a huge dose of self-imposed doubt, my goal is to create a classy, modern wedding (complete with some  bold, retro, movie star qualities) for $11,200.  Caveat: this total must include a relatively fabulous 1-week long honeymoon outside of the United States, which in turn, also must include the cost to board our dogs for at least a week.

I'm quickly learning that in the DC Metro area, it's exceedingly difficult to host anything more than a backyard BBQ for 30 guests with a budget of $11,200, much less a wedding and a honeymoon.

At this point, I feel like I'm part of Operation: Impossible Wedding Budget.

We could always just opt for the cheapest alternative with a courthouse wedding and dinner at The Texas Roadhouse.  That's sure to save us $11,125 in the long run.  Unfortunately (fortunately?), that is just not how I want to commemorate our first day together as a married couple. I want to celebrate our wedding with the close members of our family.


Which leads me to the next dilemma: the guest list.  Everyone is going to be offended when they're not on the list.  We're literally only inviting 60 people.  Including children.  Including guests and spouses.  That's all we can afford (because our semi-fabulous honeymoon ranks slightly higher on the priority list than does familial harmony).

We had to set a limit, and only choose the people who are closest to us.  Plus a few people who are directly involved in the guaranteed continuity of my employment.  I thought better of excluding them from the list.  I kind of need a job in order to pay for this shin dig, ya know!

I've already mentioned our wedding location, which only cost $200 for 4 hours.  This includes using an hour of that time the night before for our rehearsal.

However, what I haven't yet mentioned is that thanks to all of the wonderful ideas on the Amy Atlas Events website, I have grand ideas for my dessert table...

dessert table

With this ultra-cool tablecloth in place of the yellow...


And red flowers and accents instead of the yellow ones.

Again, thanks to Amy Atlas, I'm daydreaming about my guest tables looking like this...

table decorations

Minus the individual hand-painted fondant wedding cakes.  I am certain that the boojay doesn't include those!

I have managed to find a few solutions, and have so far purchased that fantastic tablecloth, cylindrical vases for the tables (and dessert table), and various melamine plates and bowls to accomplish the other features on the dessert table.  I'm not certain how it's going to work out as of yet, but luckily I have 11 months to repeatedly screw it up and try again.

I have also designed and built the prototype for my save the date cards and invitations.  Despite my initial thought, I don't really feel as though creating them myself is going to save me any money.  It's possible that I'm being overly complicated and perfectionist-like, but I created the exact save the date cards and invitations that I wanted.  Maybe that's the problem with being crafty--I always want to do these things myself.

Could I have paid someone else to make them for less than $300.62?  Probably, but I didn't have to compromise on getting exactly what I wanted.  I'll show you these in a future post.

To date, this is what yer girl's working with:

Picture 2

And, I'm getting a little nervous.  I've already spent 11% of my budget, and I haven't even done anything particularly important.  Scary.

So, anyone who has planned a budget wedding can feel free to chime in here.  Help!

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