Knowing Where To Draw the Line on Your Wedding Budget

Okay, time for some tough love. My average wedding while I was a wedding coordinator was $17,000, and I simply received that amount for the venue, tables and chairs, linens, the dinner catering, and the bar tab. For those couples who wished to add music, photography, desserts, decorations, and any other basic wedding niceties, you could be looking at a minimum of another $10,000 added to your budget. The Knot actually stated that the typical modern wedding averages $35,000. My jaw dropped reading that article, actually. For G and I, this *clap* was *clap* not *clap* an *clap* option.

When G proposed and we began our engagement and journey into wedding planning, one of the first things we did was sit down and realistically draw up a budget. We began by setting a maximum amount we were willing to spend ($10,000) and a goal amount of which we wanted to spend ($7,500). I use the word “wanted” extremely loosely because it physically hurt both of us to fathom spending even $7,500 on 8 hours of our lives. However, a wedding was our/my dream — “I’ve planned over 70 couples’ weddings, shouldn’t I get my own?” — so we worked to set items in stone to not overdo our budget.

As we listed the things most important to both of us, we also did research on those items in order to predict their expense. Photography was my biggest want, as photos are the pieces of the wedding you truly keep for years afterwards. Photography also happens to be one of the most expensive parts of a wedding — who knew, right?! Being married in the church was also important to us as it is where we met. Unfortunately, our church charges close to $1,000 for a ceremony on its grounds. So once we covered photography and a church ceremony on our budget, we had a little over half the $7,500 goal left in which to cover food, venue, music, clothing, etc.

Suffice it to say the first few rounds of attempting to budget brought a lot of tears and curse words in front of our spreadsheet.

“They want to charge us how much per person for a taco?”

“They have to be joking that it’s $13 per table linen!”

“So that DJ provides only three hours of music for $1200 and doesn’t bring his own sound system?”

“Why are weddings so expensive?!”

Continuing to write our budget line item by line item, there came a time at which we simply had to draw the line.

I am a huge fan of those beautiful sequin linens and the thought of having one for a sweetheart table was enticing. So enticing. I kept thinking of the photo opportunities, of how perfect seeded eucalyptus would be lying across the rose gold coloring, of how gorgeous the overall look would be… Then I looked at every website I could find who carries such a linen piece as well as called rental vendors on them. Guess what? I could use $75 for one linen on a whole case of other types of decorations. It was an easy decision with the price tag in front of me.

I also have always loved the idea of a globe guest book. You know, a cute antique globe with all our loved ones signatures able to sit in our future living room? Perfect, right? Not so much when the cheapest one we found (of worthy-enough quality) was over $60. Nope, I decided to spend that additional little “pocket change” on other necessary pieces of our wedding instead.

When it comes down to it, you have to know where to draw the line.

With the money I could have bought that rose gold sequin tablecloth, I instead found an amazing deal (TableclothsFactory.com) and paid for an order of 32 linens for all our tables. That $75 fulfilled half the cost of these linens, and now we do not need to worry about renting ivory tablecloths for double the price of what we purchased. Plus, a friend has offered to borrow a beautiful striped ivory cloth for our head table which can be decorated just as beautifully as the sequins.

And for a guest book, I opted for a more functional and less expensive option: a calendar. Confused? Hear me out. I bought a large calendar from VistaPrint for only $12 with our engagement pictures littered across its pages. My plan is for guests to sign their names on their birth dates, thus so functional and still a spin on a traditional book. I was happy to have found this inspiration on Pinterest!

By and by, my main points when it comes to your budget are these: figure out the essentials, save for the necessities, research high and low for various options and best costs, and know where to draw the strike-through on an idea that simply doesn’t fit the bill.

Your wedding is about the marriage, after all. Why spend a down payment on a house for only eight hours of your life? There’s no reason to create unneeded stress following your wedding when you should be enjoying the beginning stages of being husband and wife.

I’m curious, are there certain aspects of your wedding you felt were high necessities on the budget? If so, what were they? And was there a time you had to draw the line on a wedding piece you deeply wanted but knew wouldn’t truly be missed in the long run? Please feel free to share in the comments below or DM me at @uncorkingpeonies on Insta. I’d love to hear what trials you have been through or are going through when it comes to your own budget.

Until next time,

 

I Bought My Dress Online & I Adore It

Traditionally, wedding dress shopping is done in a wedding dress boutique. The bride-to-be, her mother, and perhaps even a few bridesmaids join in for a day out on the town scouring shoppes for the perfect dress. Even before they’re engaged, most brides have their ideal gowns chosen and are on the hunt for either that exact designer dress or something very similar.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for me), I am not traditional in this sense. I never wanted to go to David’s Bridal or a local boutique to shop for my dream dress. Instead, I took to the World Wide Web and found exactly what I was seeking, and for a fraction of the price.

I have been on the committee for a local gala for the past four years. Each year I buy a new gown to wear, and I’ve always shopped online. Once through Rent the Runway, once on Azazie, and twice on JJsHouse.com. All three sites I highly recommend for their quality of product and great customer service.

Though all of the gowns bought online have been outstanding, I specifically want to praise JJsHouse. JJs was the first online store from which I ever purchased a gown. I read numerous reviews prior to ordering my first gown from this online store, and the majority were high ratings. Wanting to save some cash from buying in-store, I opted to give them a shot — and it was so worth it! I received a beautifully embellished gown made of high quality material and perfect measurements. It is no wonder the site has earned my return service for my bridal gown now.

I found my wedding dress in November, and I have been putting off ordering it simply due to forgetfulness. There have been so many other aspects of the wedding I have focused my concentration that the gown sat quietly in an online shopping cart. I wasn’t too concerned though once I finally remembered its existence. JJs has never been anything but speedy in their production and shipping of gowns I’ve ordered over the years. So when I ordered the dress on February 25th (only three and a half months prior to my wedding), I wasn’t worried that it would arrive in enough time to have any alterations completed before June.

The dress arrived today, a month after the order was placed. As I picked the package off my front step, I could hardly contain myself as I opened the box and out slipped the dress bag. I moved my fingers meticulously over the material and seams to check their status. Then I took to my bedroom and full-length mirror to see the final outcome. I was enthralled! The dress had high-quality lace and tulle, a built-in bra, boning, and had been custom sized to fit me like a glove. Plus, one of my favorite features of JJsHouse dresses, the gown had a covered buttons on the back which fastened via a hidden zipper. Thus it was an easy-on process!

For anyone considering purchasing their bridal gown online, I know there are a lot of horror stories out there when it comes to buying products online. However, I could not be more thrilled with my purchase of my wedding gown, or any of my gowns in the past. You simply have to be realistic and use common sense when it comes to the designer and online store you choose: do your homework, read multiple reviews, and go with your gut on whether a site can be trusted or not.

It can be such a cost-effective and convenient solution for the bride-to-be on a budget.  I had gone through the traditional boutique for my prom dresses in high school and was still salty towards the price points of which I foolishly chose to buy those gowns. As a wiser and more penny-conscious adult, there was no way I was spending over $500 for a dress I’d wear one day of my life even if my wedding is more momentous than high school prom. I could not stomach the thought when I knew those extra funds could be spent on something else for the wedding instead. My heart happily skipped a beat when I saw the grand total of my wedding dress — which included custom sizing, shipping and handling, and the gown itself —  cost only $190.

The secret behind shopping online for your wedding gown are simple: be smart and knowledgeable on what you want to purchase.

If you do choose to shop online, I have a few extra hints and tips to suggest:

  1. Go online with a game plan. You know what you’re looking for, so start researching the best online stores to find your dream dress. (Etsy is a great place to look as well as Google!)
  2. Know your budget, and stick to your budget. You’re looking online for a reason, and that’s so you can spend money on other wedding necessities. Can I get an amen?!
  3. Have a vision of how you want to look on your Big Day. I’m sorry girls, buy you will not find a Maddie Sottero or Alfred Angelo in your online budget-cutting hunt. (If you do, then please share with the world!) I suggest finding some designer gowns you admire and starting with similar silhouettes or fabrics for a dress to fit your goals.
  4. Measure yourself. Custom sizing may be a little extra charge on some sites, but will cut costs in the long run. Remember seamstresses and alterations can be pricey once you receive your dress, so try to get your sizing as accurate as possible!
  5. Leave plenty of time for delivery. Yes, I cut delivery of my dress a lot closer to the wedding date than most brides will. However, I knew the store I was buying my gown and trusted their shipping department. If you’re buying from a new vendor, make sure to give yourself some squeeze time just in case shipping takes a bit longer than stated or alterations do need to be made to the dress.

In the end, remember to have fun with your shopping as well! I am not a fan of shopping in general, so going to a boutique just didn’t sound like a productive way to spend my time. (Something about the fake salespeople and high price tags, I guess.) Yet I could look online at dresses all day — and did until I found my perfect fit! Enjoy this time and the process of finding the right gown for you.

Be beautiful, friends, 

Budgeting 101: Save the Dates

Now that we have our engagement pictures, G and I are ready to begin the trek into the wonderful world of postage, stationary, and all things calligraphy. I say wonderful very loosely though, friends, because as I have started to look into options it seems as if this stage may be one of the most over-looked expenses a bride-to-be has during her wedding planning experience! I mean, I never realized different envelope types needed different stamp costs. Nor did I know that there were so many options for stationary: postcard, petite, classic, folded, etc. When in the world did a card become so expensive?!

That brings me to today’s discussion: Save the Dates.

I’m sitting here with a glass of Cab Sauv thinking about budgeting and wishing my glass was a little bit more full… As I’ve said before, G and I are trying to be as thrifty as possible with our wedding. So spending an arm and leg on paper isn’t our idea of a party — we’d much rather spend more money on the actual party! Thus, I’ve been doing a lot of research.

Here are the most popular Save the Date stationary wedding websites and a little blurb on them:

Vistaprint – seems to be better for those needing smaller quantities; able to customize completely; most beginning cost of 10 for $7.30

Basic Invite – many templates; instant online customer service through chatbox; cost beginning as low as $0.64 with large quantity orders

Zazzle – range of amateur to professional looks; usually a special promotion happening every month; cost beginning at $0.95 per

Shutterfly – known for good quality with photographs; able to sort by price (!!); costs begin at $0.40 with large quantity orders

Minted – stunning designs; matching websites and other stationary; work with individual artists to customize; typically more pricey with costs beginning at $1.14 per

Of course, there is always Etsy as well, but it can be overwhelming simply sifting through the various stationary websites let alone all the individual storefronts. I recommend having a precise design in mind if you venture onto the crafting site. There are some adorable options, so definitely do not out-rule it if its within budget.

As we narrowed down our guest list, though, G and I began to realize that even some of the less expensive online options were going to be higher than our anticipated cost on our budget. (Granted, we honestly had no idea what number to put down under “stationary” when we first created the budget but still…) We are currently looking at about 200 guests, meaning about 110 Save the Dates need to be mailed out and when you do the math, that cost is pretty steep. So we looked at alternative options.

With my line of work I sometimes am placed into the position of contacting and working with local printing shops. Considering that we could also keep our money localized, G and I figured we might as well get some quotes on what creating our own Save the Dates might be and having them printed. So, jumping into my love for graphic design, I drew up a Save the Date postcard creation and asked for an estimate from the printing shop I work with the most.

Their quote brought a smile to our faces!

Given that quantities on most of the websites go in 25’s (100, 125, 150, etc.) we were pricing our stationary at 125 cards. This meant our average cost ran about $140 without envelopes and postage included. The printing shop though? For 125 4.25″ x 5.5″ postcards of our design would be around $36. Hmm…

The $36 quote was only for one-sided printing and would include an additional $12 for envelopes. We debated. Envelopes would mean sticking both our home address labels and our guests’ address labels to them, sticking a stamp to the corner, plus licking each to close the postcard inside. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of licking envelopes. Instead, I proposed we create a second side to the postcard — an actual postcard look with a message — and eliminate the need for envelopes altogether. In this manner we would only need to stick on the Deliver To address labels and a stamp and be Good. To. Go.

Done deal, friends!

Here is our final Save the Date graphic (they will have rounded corners when printed):

The final quote for this two-sided postcard is $56, which is such a far cry from the $140 + envelopes and postage. Plus, now that we are using 4.25″ x 5.5″ postcards, postage stamps are only $0.34! We’re so excited to have saved nearly $100 on this stationary which we can now apply towards something else on the budget. Woot!

Not just the budgeting factor makes this Save the Date the best for us as a couple. Like G said, I was able to create this postcard exactly as I wanted it — every inch of it is my creation. It may not be perfect. The fonts may not be exactly lined up or the paper have foil accents to it, but this was made by me. I love designing, and I was able to design my own Save the Date. I’m a bride who finds that to be really awesome! And we’ll be continuing this conception through to our other paper products for the wedding also… G and I are quickly becoming budgeting pros, finding corners to snip here and there to make this wedding our own while also affordable. I’m proud of us.

However, perhaps this option isn’t for you! That is completely okay. What are some other options you’ve found to be savvy with your stationary dollars while wedding planning? All of us brides-to-be would love to hear! Leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @uncorkingpeonies. I would love to hear from you!

Until next time, friends,

 

Reblog: Here’s What My Parents 1974 Wedding Would Cost in 2017

With our list of all-things-wedding-related (vendors, rentals, objects, songs, guests, etc.) ever increasing, I just had to share this blog post with you as it hits STRAIGHT. ON. THE. HEART. of what I have been saying lately: weddings are ridiculously expensive! And it is simply due to the word “wedding” that vendors and other event-aimed businesses are able to increase prices. Ugh! DOUBLE UGH!! Now, with this handy little monster of a post at my disposal, whenever someone feels the need to say, “We didn’t pay that when we got married!” I’ll be able to cheerfully hand this wonderful explanation as to why the world hates on true love and makes the wedding planning situation so much more difficult than necessary. (Please excuse the language.)


Reposted from Buzzfeed, originally posted on October 22, 2017 and written by Meg Keene.

I got engaged in San Francisco, exactly 35 years after my parents’ 1974 wedding. Their San Francisco wedding cost about $2,000, which in today’s money is roughly $10K. So naturally, when we started planning, my mom thought that if I made the same good practical, frugal choices that she and my father had made, I should be able to pull off something similar for $10K. I just needed to be smart about it.

In fact, when most people get engaged, I think we generally assume it should be possible to get married for $10k BECAUSE THAT IS A FUCK TON OF MONEY. And yeah, if you cut some corners, in many parts of the country you actually can pull off a pretty nice wedding for $10K. (Hell, I’ve built a whole business around helping people do just that.)

But by today’s standards, my parents’ wedding was BEYOND. They got married in San Francisco’s reigning massive church, Grace Cathedral, three days after Christmas. They had a whopping 300 people in attendance, and a cocktail reception at the swanky Marine’s Memorial Club. Their cake alone was so big that when we tried to re-create their wedding, we couldn’t even find a baker that still made cakes that large.

And yet their budget was only $10,000 in 2017 dollars.

“When most people get engaged, I think we generally assume it should be possible to get married for $10k BECAUSE THAT IS A FUCK TON OF MONEY.”

As sticker shock began to set in (one quote I got for “affordable invitations” would have been one-fifth of the proposed $10,000 budget) it became really clear that $10,000 wouldn’t buy me a wedding anything like my parents’ bash. But if you’ve planned a wedding, you know how breaking that news goes:

“Well, in my day, we were able to do that for a dollar. If you just got down to business and weren’t so self involved/financially irresponsible/addicted to your iPhone, you could do it for that cost too.”

“Well, my coworker’s best friend’s cousin’s daughter was able to plan her wedding for only $500! So I know it can be done.”

“Well, maybe if you were just willing to do things a little more simply. How much of that stuff do you really need? I’m sure if you just ask them, they’ll offer a discount.”

The problem is it’s really hard explain WHY things are so goddamn expensive, when everyone around you keeps pointing to your bad choices and blaming millennials and Pinterest.

So, with the help of my cooperative parents, my staff and I set out to re-create their wedding in today’s economy, to show exactly what wedding inflation looks like. Luckily, my dad is a mathematician who remembers every number ever, so we were able to re-create their line-item wedding budget with astonishing accuracy. He gave us a line item on costs that added up to $2,195, or just under $10,000 in today’s currency. Then we made a bunch of undercover phone calls to see what the same things would cost in real life 2017 Wedding Dollars.

This is what we came up with:

The Ceremony: My parents got married in Grace Cathedral — aka a huge-ass church in the middle of San Francisco. They weren’t members of the congregation, but they were able to snag the membership discount in exchange for a kneeler, needlepointed by my grandmother. (Totally how weddings work now!!!!) The total cost for a Saturday morning wedding was $100 for the cathedral, $100 for the organist, and $50 for the verger (who assists with the ceremony). In 2017, the cost for nonmembers is $7,500 (or $7,250 if you pay by cash or check). There’s also an additional fee of $150 for the carillon (aka church bells), which my parents still talk about as being magical.

1974 cost: $250
What it should cost in 2017 dollars: $1,201
What it actually costs in 2017: $7,650
Increase: 537%

Invitations: My parents sent out engraved wedding invitations, which, if you’re not familiar, is basically the most traditional, formal, and expensive method you can choose. Engraving is so fancy that most online retailers don’t even offer it. In 1974, they paid $250 for 300 invitations (they invited 600 people, because…1974), which translates to $1,201 when adjusted for inflation. In 2017, you can get a set of 300 engraved invitations in a simple design for $2,209 (with the invitation card, envelope and RSVP included, but no other bells and whistles.) The funny thing is, at $250, the invitations were easily one of the bigger line items on my parents’ wedding budget (certainly the most expensive detail). But in our 2017 calculations? They ended up being one of the least expensive things on the list, not because they were cheap, but because everything else was so damn expensive.

1974 cost: $250
What it should cost in 2017 dollars: $1,201
What it actually costs in 2017: $2,209
Increase: 84%

Floral: My parents got married three days after Christmas, so for the ceremony, they used the flowers that were still up from the holidays — which means their floral needs were relatively small: one bridal bouquet made with holly, ivy, and irises; three bridesmaids bouquets full of daisies; flowers for the flower girl (same); and two arrangements for the cake table at the reception with chrysanthemum and ivy. All in all? $50 in 1974 terms.

Had they wanted decorations for the church? Grace Cathedral currently has an “approved florist list,” and the first one I clicked on had a minimum order of $8,000.

And in case you thought you’d be thrifty and reuse some of your ceremony decor at the reception? NOPE, not allowed. Which might seem reasonable if those altar flowers didn’t cost EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS AT MINIMUM.

As it stands, flowers can come from anywhere, so we sent some photos of my parents’ bouquets to our friendly florist Belle Flower for a quote, and the estimate came in at $1,400. (That said, many florists in San Francisco these days don’t get out of bed for less than $4,000, so in reality you may end up with more flowers than my parents had…and a much higher bill.)

1974 cost: $50
What it should cost in 2017 dollars: $240
What it actually costs in 2017: $1,400
Increase: 483%

Photography: My parents met their (very experienced) photographer when he shot my aunt’s wedding. He had subsequently raised his rates, but was willing to honor the old price…which was a whopping $50. And while with enough elbow grease (or Craigslist skills) you can find photographers at almost any rate these days, most professional photographers working in San Francisco will be priced at $2,500 or above — and that’s on the conservative side. The experienced photographers often start around $4,000.

1974 cost: $50
What it should cost in 2017 dollars: $240
What it actually costs in 2017: $2,500
Increase: 941%

Bridal attire: Getting married in December meant my mom was able to get a nice wedding dress from the premier department store of the time during a half-off sale the previous spring. It cost $150 in 1974, and her super-long cathedral veil and satin flats added an extra $45. All told, her attire would have cost $937 if you adjust for inflation. Recently (and blessedly) we’ve had an explosion of retailers offering more reasonably priced wedding dresses, so 50% off a dress of similar style and fabric would come in at around $1200, compared to the inflation-adjusted cost of $721. Her veil, on the other hand, would have cost four times as much, even from a relatively affordable brand like BHLDN ($144 in inflation dollars compared to roughly $650 in today’s dollars). Though once you start adding embellishments like lace, you could easily get upward of $1,000. The only thing that came under budget during this whole experiment? Ballet flats. Which you can get for $50 pretty much anywhere.

Bridal attire: 1974 cost: $195
What it should cost in 2017 dollars: $937
What it actually costs in 2017: $1,900
Increase: 102%

Cake: My parents’ cake was ridiculous. Wedding cakes were bigger back in the day. And my parents got it into their heads that they wanted to serve birthday cake–size slices of cake, not teeny wedding cake slices. As a result, that cake will go down in history as only slightly less absurd than the woman who baked a life-size cake in the shape of herself. We’re talking five tiers — with every tier in a different flavor — and enough servings for 600 people. There was…a lot of leftover cake.

In 2017? Of the handful of bakers we called for quotes, most of them didn’t even offer a cake that big anymore. At most, we could get five tiers that would serve 300 people and then the offer to supplement with sheet cakes. But given the original cake’s extravagance, this is one area where wedding inflation wasn’t as bad as it could have been — because, hey, it was only triple the cost.

1974 cost: $100
What it should cost in 2017 dollars: $480
What it actually costs in 2017: $1,500
Increase: 212%

Reception & Catering: My parents had their reception at San Francisco’s Marines’ Memorial Club, where they got a sizable discount because my grandfather was a founding member. (Today’s membership discount is 2.5%.) My father says, “We served hors d’oeuvres and wedding cake. My mother-in-law, who paid for the reception, gave us the choice of limiting the guest list or eliminating full champagne service. We gave up the full champagne service and served champagne punch instead.” Total cost for the reception? $1200 (which, if you adjust for inflation, would be $5,769 today).

In 2017, my parents would have had one of the cheapest options offered by the Marines’ Memorial Club: an afternoon hors d’oeuvres package. I called them up to see if it’s possible to forgo the included open bar for a similar champagne punch setup, and was told that it would only save $10 per person on the built-in $80 per person cost (which I was told “they wouldn’t advise”). Translation: We will offer you discounts that are so menial you won’t even take them. All in all? Getting the same package they got in 1974 would cost $24,000 today, beforetaxes and tip (and more than $30K after).

1974 cost: $1200
What it should cost in 2017 dollars: $5,769
What it actually costs in 2017: $30,128*
Increase: 422%
*Includes 2.5% discount

So all in all, this is what we’re looking at…

Total 1974 cost: $2,095
What it should cost in 2017 dollars: $10,068
What it actually costs in 2017: $47,286
Increase: 370%

You read that right. That is a 370% increase in what it would cost to throw my parents’ wedding. Why? It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing. Sometime between 1974 and today, people realized that weddings weren’t necessarily a side business. And now there’s a whole industry around weddings. An industry that, as Rebecca Mead writes in One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding, has been “assiduous in working to establish the trappings of the lavish formal wedding as if they were compulsory rather than optional.” And wedding vendors aren’t out to get you; most are small business owners who are charging for the increase in time, attention, and ~perfection~ that couples and their parents have come to expect.

Basically, expectations around weddings are much higher than they used to be, and everything is now considered mandatory in order to have a “real wedding.” Which you already know if you’ve ever heard someone say, “Well it’s not a wedding if you don’t… [serve three kinds of steak/hire a professional photographer for 14 hours/wear a crystal-studded thong].” And the phenomenon of higher expectations feeds into higher costs which feeds into even higher expectations, and the whole thing just snowballs until you feel like saying “Fuck it, let’s elope.”

Wedding vendors aren’t out to get you; most are small business owners who are charging for the increase in time, attention, and ~perfection~ that couples and their parents have come to expect.

But there’s hope! Here are some things you can do to help mitigate the sticker shock:

  • Don’t spend money (or time) on things you don’t care about. No one shows up to a wedding for the details.
  • Prioritize fun over pretty (it’s cheaper and more effective).
  • Remember that just because you can’t do what your parents did doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.

And of course, the next time someone suggests that they know how to plan your wedding better than you do, tell them you’d gladly take them up on their offer to be your wedding planner. After all, wedding planners aren’t cheap these days.

Vendor News: Reception is Booked!

Exciting update for #SlackTieEvent — our reception venue is officially “booked”! For any bride-to-be in the midst of wedding planning, you know what a stress finding the venue can be. However, G and I truly lucked out.

We had had our hearts set on property owned by my parents’ neighbors. We have been to the property — 40 absolutely beautiful acres of woods, creeks, and pastures — to ride ATVs and chill at bonfires in the past and fell in love with the area. However, after talking with the neighbors, we decided against the property for a number of very reasonable reasons: no electricity, no running water, need for event liability insurance due to having alcohol, and limited parking. For a wedding of over 200 guests, all of these were things we had considered, but once walking the property with the intention of scouting possible reception locations these issues truly became visible.

Thus we were on the hunt again. We knew we wanted something in the outdoors for a rustic feel. Knowing the wedding industry in our area, I already had an idea of the cost of barn venues around us; they started at $4800 simply for the venue. This was not an option to us due to our budget. So we started thinking…

… and it didn’t take long to think of my godparents and their beautiful farm. Located off a small country road, this farm sports a large red barn with electric, a field for parking, and plenty of space for a tent to be set. We also spoke to our insurance agent and discovered one-day event insurance is quite affordable at about $120 — something which G and I both feel is necessary with having beer and wine available at our reception.

Upon speaking with my godparents, they were more than happy to host the wedding at their farm! G and I ventured out there today, and though we were unable to actually walk the property due to the monsoon happening in Southwest Michigan currently, we did talk to my godparents and go over all the fine details of what would be needed for the wedding day.

Badabing, badaboom — reception venue booked!