I've decided instead of doing the mass email thing where I force my blabbing upon everyone, I'll just distribute this link to everyone and people can follow along/chime in as you like. Or not. :)
So far, here's where we are. Our date is tentatively March 20, 2010. It's actually Zach's parents' anniversary, so I'm hoping they will agree to let us do something special for them during our ceremony or reception. They're just really amazing people and I would love to have a chance to honor them and their marriage in a meaningful way.
My bridal party is decided, Zach is still narrowing his down I think. Here's mine:
Maid of Honor: Mary Czarnionka (York, ME)
Bridesmaid1: Sarah (sister) (Portsmouth, NH)
Bridesmaid2: Marnie (sister, technically matron Tao but whatev) (Dallas, TX)
Bridesmaid3: Kara McCulloch (soon to be matron Kowalik) (Arlington, VA)
I'm taking suggestions on a new titling system for the bridal party. For some reason I'm just not in love with "bridesmatron." It makes my ladies sound so.. well, matronly. But I may not even print programs so it may not matter.
Budget: Zach and I are paying for the wedding, so our budget is Le Small. It's... basically impossible for us to have a big wedding in this area, or even a small wedding with all the traditional weddingy stuff. We want somewhere around 100 guests, so just the open bar would be around $2,000 (minimum, unless we found a place we could bring our own booze). Plated meal, let's estimate low, would be $3,500. Thaaat's pretty much our budget and doesn't cover site rental, ceremony (officiant, site fee, etc.), attire, rings, photographer, decorations, blah blah blah. However, free booze and food for guests are my top priorities so I Will Make This Work.
I'm just going to have to get rill creative.
Invitations: We're thinking bookmark save-the-dates (recycled paper, soy inks, what what), and then we'll post our wedding website on the save-the-dates and say Hey we're not mailing invitations so send me your email address plzzz! And then for those who really don't do email/Internets, we will call them. It's partly a money-saving thing but also a world-saving thing. I love love love stationery/paper products of all kinds, but I would like to make this wedding as sustainable as possible and this is one of the easiest things to cut out.
Photography: We think we may have a couple friends of the family who have some amateur photography skills so if they agree to help out that will cut out a big expense. I would love to get a $2,000 photo package buuut I'd rather put the money into having a good time at the reception. I want to have a photo booth (not necessarily a real one, just like, a digital camera set up by the guest book so people can take pictures of themselves to go with their note in the book), hoping lots of guests will be taking their own photos, and then if we have someone with a Real camera taking some pictures of the preparations, ceremony, reception and a few poses, we'll be good.
Flowers: I haven't settled on the idea yet but I am seriously contemplating scrapping the flowers idea entirely and doing BUTTONS. I found some great ideas on etsy.com, I'm going to try to paste them in here, hope it works.
Ok I'm not sure this is working how I want it to, forgive me if the formatting is totally messed up. I'm such a blog noob!
Anyway these are some button bouquets that have inspired me. My mother brought me 2 tins full of old antique buttons, most fun I've ever had going through them with her, sorting by color and texture - I want more!! Please if you have any old buttons, I am taking donations. I'm thinking of doing this for my bouquet and the bridesmaids, but haven't figured out how to incorporate the idea into boutonnieres without going way over-the-top tacky. So ideas would be welcome.
Venue: I love the idea of having the reception at the State Theater.They put your names on the marquee! Unfortunately they haven't responded to my inquiry, and I'm just pretty sure they're out of my price range. They can fit like 300+ people so just having 100 might feel dumb anyway. We toured the Columbus Club (yes, the club for Knights of Columbus).. We only went because it's So Affordable, it was tempting to consider, even though we're not catholic and don't know anyone who's a member. The event director there is really nice, the space really wasn't that bad, I just.. can't do it. That gigantic light blue sign over the main entrance blaring KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, along with the super 60s dated architecture.. was just too much for my vanity.
We haven't really started thinking about the ceremony venue.. I have no idea what we're going to do. We will not be having a church ceremony, I don't know who will officiate, I just don't know. I like the idea of an outdoor ceremony except that we're shooting for March 20 so it's a biiit chilly outside still. Maybe an art gallery or a club or something... It'll depend on where we have the reception. I'll post some ideas for that later.
One thing we may do, to get around the high food cost/open bar problem, would be to have a brunch reception. I don't think Zach is super crazy about the idea, but I think we could make it fun. I mean I would really prefer a Saturday night affair, but I'm trying to keep my mind open. I'm thinking brunch reception with mimosas and bloody marys, maybe a pianist or something, no big entertainment would really be necessary, people aren't going to get all crazylike drunk-o and dancing at noon (I'd hope), so that would cut down our costs a Lot - and then maybe we could host an after-party at a local bar/club that evening, for whoever wants to come party with us. So that's an idea.
DRESS: I will have to do a separate post about my dress ideas. I'm hoping to find a used one, or get one on a wicked sale or something. Running of the Brides is coming up in Rockville this April, and then there's one at Friendship Heights in July, I think I definitely want to do one of those! Could I be crazy enough to go to both? Depends on how many crazy friends I have haha.
Color Scheme: We've been throwing some ideas around, haven't really settled on anything yet. We like the idea of brown & cream, or brown cream and pink, or brown cream and blue.. I'm leaning towards pink, he's leaning towards blue.. ;) And we might just skip the brown and go with black, I think tuxes/suits would be easier to find in the traditional black? But we haven't looked into it. I would like polka dots to feature in there, but don't want to go too over the top with that. Actually buttons are (usually) round, I think the two ideas go together well.
Cake: we may not have a cake? I think he doesn't care at All, he'd rather not have one, I'm kind of like Sigh I'd like a cake but they're pricey, it's not that big of a deal. I wanted cupcakes but now everyone's frickin doing cupcakes and I'm just not sure anymore. I just had the idea today of doing mousse, served in martini glasses - and the martini glass would be the take-home favor? Probably still expensive.
OK that's probably enough blabbing for now. I literally have ideas swarming through my brain Almost constantly, so I'll try to post them often and get your comments/ideas/etc.