May 3, 2011

Wedding Recap - Planning

We got engaged on December 30th, 2009. We got married on May 1, 2010. For you Matheletes, that means we were engaged for approximately 4 months. I planned a wedding for over 300 people and pulled it off in 121 days.

Because I am a badass.
And no, NOT because I was pregnant*.

We planned quickly because basically at any moment last year my brother could have been deployed, and the thought of him not being at my wedding because I waited too long to have it was just tragic. It put some additional pressure on us, yes, but it was 100% worth it. To be honest, though, I don't think I would have done it any differently anyway.

I love planning parties, but I've never looked forward to planning a wedding. Frankly, all the detail that goes into wedding planning (flowers, colors, favors, decorations, etc.) is stuff I don't really care about, and pretty much just overwhelms the shit out of me. Why can't someone else just do everything for my wedding and simply tell me when and where to show up? OH, that's right - people like that DO exist, but they cost buckets of cash! And buckets of cash, I sadly did not have.

It was nice to have some time alone with Saul (in Jamaica, no less!) right after he asked me to marry him so we could really talk openly about what our "ideal" wedding would entail. Trust that this wasn't our first wedding convo, though, folks - homeboy and I had lived together for almost 3 years at that point, and we often had small conversations that started with, "well if we ever get married..." Still, it was nice to have each other's undivided attention for a few days.

Since we had started talking about a possible wedding in the years before, I thought I knew what I did and didn't want - I didn't think I wanted to wear a white dress, I didn't think I wanted bridesmaids, I didn't think I wanted speeches. I found out Saul wanted some of the more traditional aspects, so there was a lot of compromising on both sides.

Compromises we made...

I agreed to bridesmaids (but we didn't have an even number of guys/girls on each side...also, my girls wore white - controversial, fo sho.)
I agreed to a white dress (but I told him I wouldn't promise it would be long)
He agreed to no cake-cutting (we had cupcakes)
He agreed to no speeches
I agreed to the bouquet/garter toss (shocked the HELL out of me that Saul wanted to do that!)

We decided on the date, and that we wanted an outdoor wedding (which honestly became the biggest freaking stressor of the whole effing process since the weather in Texas in May can be um...temperamental), which we figured would require only some white lights and minimal decorations. Flowers could be minimal as well, we reasoned. I can't tell you how many weddings I have been in where the bride has had her budget blown to shit because of flowers. That died the next day. To each their own, but I would rather my budget stretch further in different areas.

Which brought us to budget - we knew we wanted to make this as painless as possible for all involved and take on as much as we could ourselves. We also both knew didn't want to be in crazy debt after the wedding. We wanted good food, good drinks, good music, and we really just wanted it to feel like a bbq in our backyard. For like, 300 people.

Yeah - our guest list was insane. Saul and I both went to the same college, but 4 years apart. Our friends overlap, and coming from a school of 1,200, we're still good friends with many of them. Also, since we live in the area where we both went to high school, we're still friends with a lot of those people. And the rule they say to go by while planning a wedding? The one that states about only 70% of your guests will show? UM, NO. That rule did not apply at ours. Just about everyone on the list RSVP'd yes, which was awesome, but HOLY SHIT - we had to feed a ton of people.

So here is where we got lucky:

We got married at the school where my mom works. It's an ABA therapy center for children with Autism (Spectrum of Hope), and it holds a special place in my family's heart, so it wasn't just a FREE venue, but it meant a lot to be able to be married there. The yard in the back is huge and my dad and brother spent a few days before the wedding hanging twinkling white lights through all the giant oak trees. It felt like being in a fairy tale.

One of my best friend's mom does flowers for weddings. They're silk, which I didn't give 2 shits about because they look freaking awesome, and she volunteered to do them for us as a wedding gift. FREE FLOWERS, y'all. Fucking right.

Saul's uncle is a photographer at DisneyWorld. Not only is THAT in itself just the coolest thing ever, but he volunteered to do all of our photos as a wedding gift. FREE PHOTOS! I know...

Saul's best friend owns liquor stores around the city. No, no...we didn't get all of our booze for FREE, but we got about half of it (we had 9 kegs + wine) free and the rest at cost. Oh, also? We drank it all ;)

My hair and makeup were also FREE - a wedding gift from my mom's long-time hairstylist.

So just to keep you up to speed - we didn't pay for our venue, our flowers, our photographer, or my hair/makeup. And we got our alcohol at a crazy low price. For any of you who have planned a wedding, feel free to hate me right now.

My dress was less than $200, thanks to a crazy sale. My shoes were flip flops. The DJ was a friend of a friend who gave us a great deal. The food was from a local BBQ joint and soooo good. We did splurge on a charter bus to take us and all of our friends home at the end of the night - in my opinion, that was the best purchase of the day!

Also? We had beer pong. Oh, and did I mention the epic Flip-Cup tournament?

Next up...the ceremony/reception....


Hahaha...I just noticed that I only wrote 11 posts last year regarding wedding stuff, and 5 of them were AFTER the wedding. I am such a shitty blogger ;)

If you want to see my bling, go HERE
If you care to read our proposal story, go HERE

*Yeah, I'm still not pregnant, nor do I want to be so FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PEOPLE, quit asking when I am going to pop out a kid!

1 comment:

bananas. said...

4 months of planning for a party of over 300 people?! HOLY COW WOMAN!!! you ARE bad ass. let us all bow down.

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