Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our Wedding: My Man

I've been asked why Im marrying Jason* and I've just got to say, this is why....
After the kids went to bed last night we spent a couple hours stuffing our Save the Date envelopes and addressing them. Jason was a great sport throughout the entire process and we didn't quit until 11:30. With all the projects and planning that I do, it's much appreciated to have his help with such a project and more importantly, to be able to hang out and chat while we worked.
*Though it does sound kinda rude, the question wasn't meant that way. Jason and I have an odd history, as I've mentioned before on this blog, and people were a little taken by surprised when he proposed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Wedding: Save the Dates

While I haven't officially announced our theme, I thought I'd share our save the dates. These have been designed for weeks, but we dragged our feet in taking the pictures. Neither of us are that comfortable in front of the camera, and we're in serious need of an upgraded one as well.

This past weekend, we took all of about five minutes to go outside and get the below picture of Jason. It was freezing outside and once we came back in and had a look at the files, we realised that none of my pictures could be used. So we spent another two minutes or so taking the one you will see below. I really don't like mine, but think Jason is hilarious! He is sooo not the type of guy to bring any kind of attention to himself so to see him do something like this in public was awesome.

With the pictures taken and the cards designed, all I had left was to get them printed. We sent a single blown-up version to Staples, to be sure everything was going to come out well and Im so glad we did. The image wasn't anywhere near the quality I was looking for and we found a shadow on one of the yellow blocks. So some quick alterations and off it went again, this time for real!

In the end, Im very happy with how they turned out. Staples even called me to see if I wanted the files to be blown up slightly to fit better on the 8.5x11" paper or just left at the size I designed them as. They even offered to cut them out fully ( I had just requested a single cut) for very little cost. In the end, they were about $.50 each (plus stamps) and will be a great first impression for our guests.

So, without further ado, our Save the Dates (in all their glory)......

We actually saw a VERY similar save the date during our initial 'dreaming' phase of wedding planning. When we fully decided to commit to our theme, Jason wanted to use the movie poster look and add a little bit of fun. I didn't care too much (as long as I had a little more control over the invites) and so here we are.
What did you do for your Save the Dates? Would you be willing to go silly or are you the traditional sort?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is it April yet?

Oh what a busy month March has turned out to be! I can hardly believe there's still 11 more days to this month, after having done so much already.

In terms of the wedding, We've sent deposits to the photographer, DJ, Cake Decorator and Ceremony Musicians. We also met with the DJ to go over our music personalities and booked our cake tasting. On top of that, I've picked up mountains of items including centerpiece parts, our card box, silk flowers, paper products, bridesmaids dresses (more on that later!) and so many other little items! It has been a crazy whirlwind.

The kids are excited to try out the cakes with us, as we ordered enough for that. We wanted them to be involved in at least a little of the planning. Owen talks about how he's going to carry a flag whenever he hears the word 'wedding' and James informed his teacher that Mommy was getting married. Apparently all this work isn't going as unnoticed by them as I had thought!

Noah will be celebrating his 8th birthday in a couple of weeks and it looks like my planning energy is going to be sidetracked until then. He's having a Pizza theme (his initial request was 'turtles') so we're going all out and creating an Italian themed pizzaria. Pictures of that process will surely be forthcoming. I've even hired our wedding photographer to cover Noah's bday party so we're sure to get some great shots!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Our Wedding: Budget Breakdown

I wrote last week about our overall budget for the wedding and where the money will be coming from.

This week, I thought I'd break it down a little further. I have to admit that when I began planning this wedding, I really had no idea how expensive weddings were. I mean I had a vague idea, given that Im nearly 30 and had started to plan a wedding for The Ex and I years ago, but didn't quite grasp it all. So hopefully, this post will help someone else who's trying to put together a similar sized wedding.

So we'll start with the basics:

Church: $220
Geo Centre: $800, plus whatever beverages we will be covering

Our church doesn't actually charge anything for weddings so that price includes the sound tech, an honorarium for the pastor and our workbooks for our pre-marital counselling. This would normally come with a pastor from the church, but as I mentioned, we picked a difficult week and may need to find one elsewhere.

The Geo Centre includes the use of the space from 5pm to 1am, set-up and take-down, a bartender, a greeter, the construction of a dance floor, tables and chairs and a backdrop behind the head table.

Caterer: $6000
Cake: $400
Late Night Snack: $125

The price per person for the caterer will be around the $50 mark. This includes their three courses, tablecloths, stemware, china, waiters, taxes and tip. Most vendors we've dealt with include a 15% gratuity in the quote.

The cake will consist of a single cutting cake and 150 cupcakes with a little something extra to jazz them up. We didn't want to pay the cutting fee so the cupcakes won out. Once we have our final numbers, we may reduce the number of cupcakes.

The late night snack is one of those silly extras that Jason and I have decided to add. A number of his friends are the drinking type and would appreciate a late night snack after drinking and dancing for a few hours. We considered everything from cookies and milk shooters to donuts to McDonalds burgers. I wont tell you just yet what we finally decided on but it wont be any of those. ;)


Hers: $700
His: $150
Kids: $400
Other: $1200

Seems way off, doesn't it? Im going with a dress that will be less than $400 with alterations. The rest is for my accessories. Jason will have a free suit to keep with the deal we are getting for renting five suits. This amount is for his shoes and the little extras.

The kids amount is just a shot in the dark. On a recent date night Jason and I happened upon a clearance rack that contained one of the flower girl dresses and a suit that will fit Noah perfectly. We also picked up the other flower girl dress at the same store and came out having only spent $80. The other three boys will be wearing suits that I have priced at around $60-70 each. We haven't decided on their shoes yet, but I do anticipate that being a large cost.

And the other category is Im sure what surprises most people. We are paying for the suit rentals for Jason's three male attendants and both of our dads. My dad didn't need one, but if we rented one more Jason got the free suit, so it made the most sense. Another option is for Micah to wear one of the rental suits. Jason will also have a female attendant so we will be purchasing her attire as well. My bridesmaids will be wearing dresses that I will be buying for them as part of their gifts. The rest of the cost will come from that pesky theme I keep mentioning. Most people wouldn't have this expense.

Photographer: $600
Transportation: $900
Favors: $200
Decorations: $900
Hair & Makeup: $500
Ceremony Musicians: $325
Reception DJ: $500

Our photographer was our second vendor (after the church) that we booked. She is a friend of mine that is just starting out. I had her come take pictures of the boys last fall at a near by park and I think she really understood the type of pictures I was looking for. So we'll be blessed to have a photographer that we are comfortable with and who also takes beautiful pictures for a great price!

The transportation is a huge expense that we'd really rather not pay but can't figure out the logistics otherwise. Not only do we have to transport ourselves to the photo locations, church, reception and hotel, we also have to transport our kids. We also haven't decided who will be looking after them through-out the day, so it's best to keep them close. This price includes the cost of a 26 person party bus for five hours and three bottles of champagne. Those bottles are standard or we would have skipped them to lower the cost. The bonus is that we get to keep our bridal party as well as our parents and photographer with us as well. No chances of anyone getting lost!

We'll be doing our own decorating, so this cost is for the purchase of all the decorations. Ill be putting everything together in the months beforehand and hope to sell most of what we have to buy afterwards.

The hair and makeup is another extravagance. Ill be covering the cost of the hair appointments for the bridesmaids, flower girls, moms and myself. The makeup will only be for me but anyone else that wants a professional look can get theirs done at their own expense at the same time.

The ceremony musicians were an expense that we recently added. We were just going to use recorded music but we heard this duo at a wedding show and were hooked. It didn't hurt that they happened to be playing the song Ive chosen to walk down the aisle to, either. the DJ is new to weddings but has been dj-ing for 20 years. We were impressed by him more than any other dj we met in his professionalism and flexibility. His price is similar to other djs in the area, though there are some that are much more expensive.

Everything else falls under the miscellaneous expenses category and we're hoping to keep those costs low, but they tend to creep up. We're going with mostly fake flowers and I've already purchased most of them on sale.

Anything seem way off? Are you surprised at some of these costs, like I was?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Our Wedding: Budget

Let me start off by saying that I am well aware the taboo of talking about finances in regards to a wedding. I also don't care. I've always been very open about my finances on this blog and Im not about to stop now!

So when Jason and I first started talking about a wedding, we decided that we'd be comfortable with a budget of around $10 000. Neither of us liked the idea of spending so much on one day but understood that there are just some costs that can't be changed.

We have a basic feel for the day that we want to achieve and because of that we decided not to go with the various frugal options out there for planning a wedding on the cheap. Our reception will be a sit-down deal and it will be on a Saturday night. We'll have an 8 person bridal party plus the six kids who will each have various rolls. We are having a theme wedding (how did I get talked into that?) and to do so properly, will take certain funds. We want the venues to be gorgeous and interesting, as opposed to a plain hall somewhere.

All of that to say that although we hate to spend so much, we understand that it is our choice to do so and that we could have gone cheaper if we really needed or wanted to.

On top of the ten grand, my parents have generously offered to pay for the caterer. Originally, this was going to be included in the $10 000, but when we lost our first venue, we realised that all other options were going to be out of our budget. So they've increased their contribution to whatever the caterer costs and we're gladly accepting.

For a couple who are already completely financially separate from their parents and are raising children of our own, it does feel a little weird to take their money. They have assured us though that they are happy to do so and being their only girl, Im just going to thank them and accept the gift.

Stay tuned for a break down of where that $16 000 will be spent and then finally next week, Ill reveal our theme.


We had a rather early winter this year with snow falling and staying on the ground well before Christmas. Usually we have a green Christmas.

So when the weather started to turn mild a week or so before the end of February, we were a bit cautious. Winter in Newfoundland, at least for the last ten years, is the worst between February 1st and March 20th or so. This year seems to be completely different though and other than the blizzard that came out of nowhere earlier in the week, we've had unseasonably warm days lately. Today, just two days after the schools were closed due to snow, a friend reported his car registering 19 degrees (that's around 70 for you Americans).

This really is weird for Newfoundland, but I think I might take advantage of it to help get into wedding day shape. You never know when another blizzard will have us stuck inside!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Lorax

We had a snow day yesterday as we were expecting 30cms of snow and 100km/h winds. Pretty much everyone knew it was going to be a snow day and treated it like a weekend...I love it when that happens!
So with everyone at home and nowhere we had to go, we spent much of the day being lazy. After Jay worked out for awhile in the afternoon, I thought I'd get off my butt too and rearrange the family room. It's needed it for awhile and with my brother moving out this month, we're looking to rearrange much of the house.
Anyway, to reward ourselves and the boys for all that heavy furniture moving, we used the movie tickets we had to bring the kids and a neighbor kid to see The Lorax at a small theatre near our home. The snow had cleared up earlier in the day and the plows had cleared the roads.
Jason wasn't very impressed with it but he also spent much of the movie bringing Owen to the bathroom. The last time Owen saw a movie in a theatre was his third birthday last summer. He went out to the bathroom about 10 times then and yesterday he only requested to do so four times. Progress!
Anyway, I thought it was a cute movie, despite my lack of enthusiasm for Dr. Seuss. The rest of the kids enjoyed it as well.
In the end, Id recommend it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some thoughts from today...

After spending 10 minutes correcting the littles' behaviour today at Chapters, I was approached by a woman who congratulated me on their behaviour, saying I must be doing something right. She then showed me the book she was purchasing on getting children to behave.

Why do we continue to beat ourselves up comparing our children to an ideal they (or us) will never achieve? I don't have it together and have no idea what Im doing and yet another mother is comparing her child to mine and thinking she doesn't have the answers! We need to acknowledge and accept that we're all doing the best we can, regardless of perceptions.