Today was a HUGE day. I can’t express that enough. When we were planning our trip to Italy, we only booked two things to do. We had our plane tickets and our places to stay through AirBnB, but we only had two activities booked…and they were both on the same day. That day was our full day in Florence, although we spent much of the day outside of Florence with our tour, called Tasty Tuscany through Tuscan Wine Tours. In the morning, we had breakfast at the Strange Uncle and then packed a bag for the day with essentials, then walked 20–25 minutes to the meeting point they had given us. Our tour guide, Rebecca, picked us and the other three couples in our group up in a van.
Rebecca was from Denmark, and English was her primary language. Two of the three other couples in our group were from the USA, and the other was from Australia, so we were all able to converse easily, which made us feel like we could experience the day a little easier. Along the way, Rebecca gave us the history of the wine in the area as well as the history of the region itself. She talked to us about official wine designations for the types of wine from each area.
Rebecca drove us approximately 45 minutes away from Florence for our first stop in Castellina in Chianti at a gelateria called Antica Delizia where they make their own fresh gelato. I thought we were going to be in the sticks, but the small town was actually very cute. The shop was cute, and we went into the back for a demonstration on how they make fresh gelato every day.
I’m sure you can imagine posting something like this isn’t very easy. Money already is awkward to discuss, but now I’m sharing how much we spent on the most expensive day of our lives. I’m not ashamed of our final number, but I also understand that this is something that people have a lot of opinions about—and those opinions and priorities can be very different from my own—so it’s definitely scary to put out there. But I also really appreciated knowing upfront how much things cost going into wedding planning (and I love compiling numbers), so we’re going through with this post. Please be gentle?
I’d like to start off with a few comments and clarifications to make myself feel better before we get into the nitty gritty numbers.
The final total is high. I realize that, and I’m not trying to pass this off as necessary or a smart use of this much money. You might think I’m dumb or frivolous or wasteful, and believe me, I could definitely see your side of it. But the fact of the matter is that these are the true numbers, we were able to fund it without going into debt, we had the wedding of our dreams, and I would defend (nearly) every single purchase that we made. However, I don’t want this to be a defensive post. I want it to be helpful. If you are having a similar wedding, this might help you plan a budget. If your wedding is different than ours, I hope it’s a testament to how quickly all of these costs add up, even when you feel like you’re doing all the right research and making smart decisions.
Now that a large majority of the invitations have been received and the RSVPs are rolling in, it’s time to share our suite!
Fresh out of the Envelope
All of the suites were put together in the order of invitation, detail card, RSVP envelope, and RSVP card held together with twine and a mini Moo card with our photo on one side and our website information on the other.
From the very beginning, I knew I’d be wearing flats on our wedding day (despite a very fleeting lust for the Badgley Mischka Randall pumps). I do not ever wear heels—like, ever—because I cannot for the life of me find a pair that’s comfortable on my feet for longer than an hour, and I really don’t want to be limping around on W-Day, of all days. I also knew that, weather permitting (ohpleaseohplease), we’d be getting married outside in the grass, which is not ideal for stiletto heels.
Oh, and also, I wanted them to be blue (for my something blue, obviouslyyy) and leather or suede (I have a mysterious aversion to satin shoes). Ideally, I also wanted them to be something I would wear again after the wedding.
Those criteria are surprisingly hard to meet, but I did have some early contenders:
I LOVED the French Connection Bridgit, but sadly, it’s discontinued (womp womp wommmp) and pretty much impossible to find in my size.
Mr. Angelfish and I are getting down to the wire, and of course that means final payments to our vendors. In the past few months, it seemed a LOT went wrong, from major car troubles to emergency house repairs, and quite a bit of our “wedding savings” had to go to other things. So where did that leave us on our vendor payments?
The bad news is we had to cut some of our vendors, last minute. The good news is the vendors we cut will not be greatly missed in the grand scheme of things. And almost all of them were “friendors” so they understood our struggle, and we did not have to worry about losing money on deposits.
Personal photo of our once overflowing “Wedding Fund” container. Whenever Mr. A or I broke a $5 or $1 bill, we would put the change in the jar.
Not long after we started dating, Mr. Puffer introduced me to one of his greatest loves: poker. Texas Hold ‘Em, to be precise. At one point, he was hosting a game at his house just about every week, but he gradually reduced the frequency to leave time for other things, including dating me. (He really does love me!)
Now that we live together, we co-host monthly poker nights. And I’ve added my own touches—home-cooked goodies to munch on, candles to keep the boy stink to a minimum, and oldies music to appeal to every generation.
Our invitations were the first big project I started when we began wedding planning. It wasn’t too long after we got engaged that I sat down and designed a preliminary suite. After a solid draft, I closed the file and didn’t open it up again until around February. The final pieces came together last month when I ordered our details card (after sorting out the details). Over a few weeks and small assembly sessions, things were mostly organized, and so on Victoria Day I finally sat down and finished assembling and addressing them in an eight hour time block (and Friends marathon).
Before I get to our actual invitations (I know, cruel), I wanted to back up to some inspiration. To be quite honest, I didn’t really look at too many invitation suites to gather my inspiration. I was largely inspired by Mrs. Wallaby’s suite, and a few different options on Etsy.