Modifying a few Plans
So after talking to my mother and reading one of the comments left on the board, I am going to change a couple of things. I am nixing my $1000 for the alcohol and opting for a cash bar (aparrently that's very acceptable nowadays considering the economy) and allocating the money saved on that to actually hiring some sort of a caterer and throwing the rest on decorations. Still searching for a source of a good caterer that will provide service, the table setup, and plasticware for everyone. I will buy champagne for the toast, but all the rest of the alcohol will have to be cash.
On my last post, there was a woman who said that she tried on my dream dress and that it didn't fit quite "right." I was afraid of something like that considering the model in that photo is really tall and really curvy. Besides what I've got up top, the rest of my body isn't exactly voluptuous. Great, that just makes me more depressed about the fact that I'm not curvy enough for my taste :(
So... I'm going to be hunting for another dress. I trust the "recreaters" of these dresses, I've seen a photo of that dress that they remade in white and it looked exactly alike. They have also confirmed that they use the same materials.
I'm still going to try that dress on at a botique just to see what I think and hope that I had better luck, but in the meantime, I will look for another mermaid dress to wear.
Everything I've Got so Far
My weak outline of the big day
So the first discount I found was in trying to find a used Alfred Angelo style 410 dress like the one pictured. It's pretty much the dream dress that I've always wanted and when I saw it in a copy of Modern Bride I thought, "I will shank someone if I have to, but I WILL have that dress!" So I came across this website www.storeofdress.com that takes nice pricey dresses like this one and will recreate them perfectly for a fraction of the cost. So although it would be nice to just let you all believe that I can afford a $3,000 dress, I honestly don't care how much it costs as long as it looks rockin on me!
Today, though, I started looking into the real details. It's been difficult to find a place for the ceremony/reception in my price range that I found acceptable (I'm quite picky!!). But after hours of searching, I came across a historic downtown Fort Worth location owned by the YWCA. IT'S AWESOME!!! It's got all the makings that I wanted (bride's room, staircase for grand bride entrance, Medditerranian style, tall cielings, etc.) and considering they don't provide any of the bells and whistles, they only charge $1,800 for rental of the great room (ceremony) and grand ballroom (reception). This is for a Friday night, a Saturday would be $2,200, which is still great. Most of the other places I looked at included many things, but the way they were priced, all the things which are included ALSO included somewhat of a convienence fee. Without a wedding company tell me how much everything "should" cost, I'm now free to be creative and decide which things to expend for and which things to scrimp or DIY. Here's my breakdown so far (remember rough estimates).
Venue: $1,800 plus approx. $400 for service fees
Chair slips, table cloths, and napkins for 175 people: approx. $450 on Ebay.
Flowers: $600 budget (since ceremony/reception is in the same place, flowers can be easily shared between both spots.) And I don't mind moving displays for photo ops.
Photo Budget: $1,000 I wanted a $1500 budget, but this was an area that I had to compromise. As long as I get great looking photos and a way to recreate them, I can make expensive albums and framed photos later.
Dress: $300 from www.storeofdress.com
Cake: $600 for both cakes, if we don't have enough, I'll provide some sheet cake for others- sorry for your luck if you're the last one to the table.
This will be where creativity comes in...
For food and drinks, I will make someone accountable for getting it put together and serving it at the reception. I am allocating $1000 for food and $1000 for alcohol- that should be plenty to have some fun coctails and some yummy food in aluminum dishes on some fancy plasticware :) This is an area that I've decided I don't mind making some sacrifices.
Another fun tip I've gotten online, I am combining my centerpieces with my party favors. Looks nice when you get there, take 'em home with you when you leave: Allocating $1,000
Next, I'm budgeting $300 each for rehearsal "dinner" (hey I don't HAVE to serve caviar!), wedding party/parent gifts, and invitations (which I will make myself).
Like most people I have friends who can help me with makeup and hair.
This leaves me with about $1000 to split among tux rental, room for the wedding night, and possibly the "nice" dishes and toasting glasses (but those are usually gifts.)
I've got a certain DJ friend who I will hope can help me with the music (I haven't asked him yet, hope he agrees!)
In the price of all this, I have not included the cost of wedding bands and the honeymoon because that's technically not a "cost" of the actual wedding. If I included those, there would be NO WAY to keep it under $10K in todays costs. We want to go to Italy for our honeymoon, so that might be around $4K, but as for the wedding bands, his won't be much more than a couple hundred and Chris has a source of really nice discount stones.
PHEW! Well, that's about it! With whatever our families are going to contribute, I hope we can keep this budget! I will keep everyone updated.
Also, for the record, for those of you who are invited: Chris and I have been living together since 2004, so we have many of the things one would need in a home. It would be awesome to just get help paying for our big day :)