Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The long hiatus and why it may continue

Well, it's been a few months since my last post. And there has actually been a deliberate, conscious reason for this. The more involved I was with my blog, the more involved I was with other wedding blogs. Which is perfectly reasonable and understandable. But the more time I spent in the wedding blogosphere, the more things I felt I "needed" to do with my wedding. And even if I just wanted to add a little project here, or a little project there, the money would add up. And when I would decide not to add these additional projects, I began to wonder if the wedding we were planning was somehow inadequate. Which is not how I wanted to feel about our wedding, so I've pretty much just limited myself to visiting a couple of blogs which deal more with the philosophical issues of getting married and being married.

I also stopped blogging because I was becoming a very boring person. All my free time revolved around wedding stuff. I didn't read anything unless it was related to the wedding. But I've got other interests. Travel. My obsession with Jane Austen. Improving the instruction I provide my students. And there are other things I want to do.

So I'm not saying that this is the end of blogging for me. But the hiatus is probably going to continue, at least until I figure out what I want to do. Maybe I'll just be a commenter on my favorite blogs while continuing to lead my life. Or maybe I'll find a way to balance life with blogging. Who knows. But I just wanted to explain why I haven't been around.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

2000 Dollar Wedding answer

I’ve been out of town this week, visiting my lady of honor. And I missed the post from 2000dollarwedding that I’d been looking forward to, Sara’s response to my question!

Yes, the wedding word continues to up the price of everything. I called one bakery and told her the size of wedding cake I wanted and she put the price around $100-110 (including extra decorating). The bakery’s wedding specialist then called me up and said that the pricing would begin at $250. For the same cake. For another illustration of this, take a look at this great video that Miss Fancy Pants’ mentioned.

But, as Sara and many of the commenters have said, I am now telling vendors from the get-go that it’s a wedding. Because to be perfectly honest, I do have a twinge in my conscience saying that it is dishonest to mislead someone about the type of event we’re planning.

And I’ve decided to go with a barbecue place as our caterers. They post their catering packages, so it’s the same price for everyone. We’ll have them deliver the food and then we’ll hire people from our church to keep the buffet going and clean up afterwards (either members of the youth group, or ladies at the women’s shelter the church sponsors, or some Americorps volunteers who live at the church).

Thanks Sara and all of her commenters for your opinions and advice!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I can see clearly now

The rain is gone. So is the fog. We now have a distinct vision of what our wedding reception is going to be like. And how did this epiphany come to us? We finally made a decision on the caterer.

Of course, it was sort of a default decision since the other caterer bailed on us, but it was so reassuring nonetheless. By figuring out what type of food we are having (barbecue) we've been able to figure out the other elements we want in order to set the right type of mood. Since we're going with more casual food, we know we want to do linen tablecloths and real dishes so that the feel doesn't become too informal. But it's also gone a good way to set the mood as a sort of laidback but classy function, making sure that some don't think of the wedding as too "snooter" while others don't think of it as too "low class."

So now that we've got the vision, full steam ahead on making decisions!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Winning people over to my vision of a dress

My idea of what type of wedding dress I'd like has evolved as I've aged. It's gone from a poufy ballgown to a sleek Grecian sheath to a 1950s-inspired dress. And when I started wedding planning, I thought about how cool it would be to have a dress like the one above. And my sister (MOH) totally dug the idea. But my mom seriously disliked the idea (she didn't say hate, but I don't think that emotion was far off). And my grandmother wasn't a big fan either. So I thought to myself, well, I'll look at other stuff.

And the other stuff was tried on. But my grandmother and mother weren't a big fan of the trains since there are so many issues the day of when wearing one (bustling, sitting...peeing). And I would mention the 1950s dress idea again, and could tell that Gram was warming up to the idea. It had no train. It would be easy to move around in. I could dance in it! By the time I showed her my inspiration board, Gram was fully on to the idea. In fact, she's even started hinting to Mom that my mom might want to sew my dress (as she's an expert seamstress).

Mom, though, still required some warming up. I purposefully wore some dresses I own with the same silhouette. And showed my enthusiasm for their danceability. And she's now open to the idea (though hasn't signed on to sew anything). So I'm not sure if I'll end up with a 50s-style dress or not, but I have learned a few things. If you want to sway people to your way of thinking you might want to follow these steps:

1) Be enthusiastic

2) Show pictures

3) Be persistent

4) Work on people one-on-one and bring them to your way of thinking

5) With these new people, keep on persuading the naysayers!

If all else fails, remember, you're an adult and can make your own decisions without others' approval.

Picture from Emily's Junk on

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Famous last words

Just two posts ago I was talking about how our guest list was done, and we were just deliberating over the save-the-dates. Well, nix that.

Last night the boy said that one of his co-workers was talking about getting us a gift, and that we should add this co-worker to the invite list because he might feel badly if he wasn't invited. And though I haven't told my fiance yet, I'm not exactly thrilled about this.

To be totally fair, my side is inviting far more people than his side. As it stands now:

Me: 65
Him: 32

But when we get down to the number who are likely to attend, it changes a bit.

Me: 38
Him: 26

So yeah, I'm likely to have more people than him at the wedding, but it's not nearly so lopsided.

Partly, the issue is that I envisioned (and shared the vision with him) that I wanted the wedding to be for family and the very closest of friends. So my side of the list is all siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins from my mom's side, two family friends for my dad who are unlikely to attend, and four close personal friends of mine. His side is siblings, aunts/uncles, and two close and personal friends. Then he started added some of his current co-workers. First it was the boss and another supervisor (one of whom I've met briefly). Now it's another co-worker who I've seen for about 30 seconds total.

When we first did the list and added his supervisors I justified it that since his side was so much smaller it was only fair, and it was a good way to draw a limit at his workplace (since once you start inviting coworkers it can be a complete mess). And if it's only just this one more guest (plus his family) then I suppose I'll suck it up as a form of compromise with my future husband. But if he starts inviting every person who starts asking him about the wedding and/or registry, then the wedding is going to completely lose the feeling we were originally going for. Because unlike appeasing my dad about his close friends, my fiance's coworkers are likely to attend since it would be a less than a 10 mile drive, not a 1000 mile drive. So it's a lot harder to appease someone when it's going to be more than just an invite through the mail.

Now it has me rethinking the guest list, seeing if we can't get a smaller wedding out of this. But when I had talked about a smaller, more intimate list my fiance said he wanted to keep all of his current invites (this was before the co-worker). (I could cut my invite list by around 40, but it would only decrease then number attending by around 15). But it doesn't do anything to help keep the close and intimate feeling from getting marred by random extra people being added to the list.

Grr, why do guest lists have to be so difficult?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How much does it cost to save a little money?

One of the most common tips to save money is to tell potential caterers that you’re planning a family function in order to avoid receiving the wedding upcharge. And in contacting caterers, that’s the line I used.

After contacting various people we finally found a strong contender. When I met with the caterer, they repeatedly talked about how they would treat this event like a wedding. And during the course of conversation I admitted that the meal would be served at our wedding reception which would be the concluding event of what will essentially be a family reunion. The next day they e-mailed me and said that they were withdrawing their proposal because they didn’t want to work with someone who would perpetrate such a “deception.”

I was totally flummoxed. In fact, I still kind of am. How does not specifying the type of family function equal a deception? At the same time though, I know I would have felt uncomfortable leaving our in-person meeting without them knowing that it was going to be a wedding, particularly since they kept mentioning how they were going to treat our event like one. So was this a sin of omission (by not saying family wedding rather than family function)? Or was this just the way for the caterer to not work the event because they’d have preferred a higher profit margin on a wedding?

As someone who likes to think of herself as taking the moral high road, I can’t fully tell why I’m feeling argumentative about this. Is it because I truly think I was in the right, or is it because I hate being caught in a lie? But was it really a lie?

I’m obviously still working through this issue, and I’m looking forward to hearing the take of others. And Sara Cotner of 2000 Dollar Wedding found the issue interesting and is planning on covering it in an upcoming blog post. I’ll let y’all know when that happens. But anyone care to share their perspective on this in the meantime? Have I lost some of my ethical standing because of this, just to save some money?

Image from Microsoft Office.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Keeping the A-listers separate from the B-listers

Guest lists are supposedly one of the biggest problems that arises during wedding planning. Thankfully, that is now pretty much past for us. We have his side, my side, our parents' sides. The trouble is, save-the-dates.

Now, we're not actually doing real save-the-dates. There will be no cute photos or magnets or other such things going through the postal system. Instead we're planning on sending out an e-mail that includes our wedding website's address.

And it's really the announcement of the wedding website that we're more interested about, because all the people who are really important to us already know the date. But we want people to know about the website because we already have those in-crowd members who are booking flights and looking at hotels, and we want them to know about the great hotel rate we got for them as well as about the weekend of events we intend to have. Heck, there are even uninvited people who want our registry info so they can get us a gift! (And no, we haven't registered yet.)

So, what's the problem? Well, there are some people on the guest list that we don't anticipate coming. Particularly some of the relations that we haven't seen in 20 or so years, and are really only inviting because this event is also important to our parents. Our fear is that in sending everyone on the guest list a save-the-date, that some people who wouldn't ordinarily come might start thinking about it and decide to come anyway. Because we're getting married in the awesome city of New Orleans. At a time of year when most of our guests will be starting to have frigid temperatures in their own locations, but we'll probably have very temperate weather. So they might decide to make a little vacation out of it, with the pretext that they're coming for my wedding. And this we do not want.

Though our families realize that not all invited guests will attend, it might cause quite a bit of drama if some people receive an e-mail notification and others do not. Some think we should just send a save-the-date to the A-listers now, and then a second one closer to the wedding. Except for the fact that many A-listers are related to B-listers and they are bound to talk about the wedding and find out that some have received the e-mail while others haven't (as in some are parents-children, or siblings). So then do we exclude A-listers who are likely to talk with the B-listers? Or do we just send the e-mail to everybody and expect that people who wouldn't ordinarily come still won't come just because they've received 7 months notice?

Note: though we're talking A-list and B-list, everyone is on the guest list.