So, after finding out that my roommate from college and one of my cousins is getting married at the venue I was considering last year, I started thinking about how badly I didn’t want to get married there anymore. I had originally planned for an outdoor wedding, but everywhere I turned the possibilities were pigeonholed into two types: “classy” picnic or overpriced vineyard. I really loved the idea of getting married in a vineyard, but it’s way outside of my budget based on many things. I read too many bad reviews of local vineyards to make me want to make an effort to work with them.
Cue the idea being thrown around about having the wedding ceremony and reception at my FMIL’s house. Her and Andrew’s father own a good portion of land around their house, including a deck and garden area. They also bought the field on the left side of the house that separates them from a growing subdivision, and it would make a perfect area for parking. The land is relatively flat already and wouldn’t need any work for those purposes. Plus the backdrop is just beautiful and I really think the trees would start changing and the flowers would be pretty by September. Right now I’m working with red, yellow, black, and turquoise I believe for my colors. Andrew discussed the idea of planting sunflowers with them, which made me so excited!
But a couple of days ago I started looking up tent prices because, if nothing else, we HAVE to have a tent. A dance floor, fine china, and silverware may go by the wayside if the budget doesn’t allow it, but a tent is a necessity. And my heart kind of dropped at the prices because it seemed so expensive. I mean, our venue costs for the ceremony and reception was going to be less than the cost of this tent at $1000. And I’m trying to do things wayyyy on the cheap, so anything over $500 I take another look at closely. When my fiance came home, I told him about the price and expressed worry at everything costing more even though we’re having it on their property and aren’t paying to rent it. He brushed off all of my concerns and said he wanted to really make it work, and that we’d ask around and negotiate and make sacrifices where necessary. It really is where I’d like to get married and it has a lot of good elements to it, so I think him saying that really gave me the push I needed to start figuring things out.
So, I started wrapping my head around planning this wedding at their house and made out a budget based on estimates for 150 guests. I haven’t finalized a guest list, and won’t know the rough estimate through RSVPs for awhile, but I’m guessing about 75-100 of that will come, especially with it being out in Lawrenceburg, and it will make for it being a more intimate event (what I want). So with 150 guests, and all of the little expenses accounted for, and estimating high, I came out with a budget of $10,797.
Honestly I almost barfed. I know that his parents are going to help us out, and I’m sure that my mom will actually help pay for *something* (I’m hoping to sell her on the idea of paying for my rehearsal dinner, which I want to have at Bd’s Mongolian Grill and for 30 people shouldn’t exceed $500), and my dad I know wants to help financially…but $11k is so much more than I want to be spending. I feel like I’m not even doing anything crazy extravagant and yet I’m still spending a shitload of money. However, I also feel better about the fact that my expenses seem reasonable, and with high estimates, they shouldn’t be too hard to execute.
It also begs the question - if we’re estimating $11k on wedding costs, what’s left for a honeymoon? Here’s to hoping the guest list estimate of 150 is way off …although I think I would be willing to pay the money if people really showed up!