Being a bride on a budget, I’m constantly looking for ways to shave costs. It feels like everything I see and do these days translates to “Could this be a good wedding idea?” or “Is this a good place to spend our wedding money?” Wedding brain is real, y’all.
So when we hooked up with a rental company, Action Rent-All in Eugene, Oregon, I knew that the myriad candelabras, chargers, fancy napkins, and “fountains” (chocolate, punch, you name it) were not priorities. But alas, we needed tables and chairs! At around $10 per table and $0.75 per chair, we were happy to fork over the cash.
This is when I started researching what is arguably the most exciting topic in the world… tablecloths.
I jumped on the bandwagon and decided to do the before and after questions that the lovely Mrs. Barn and Miss Border Collie created! For now, of course, I’ll just be doing the before, and hopefully after the wedding do this again to compare and contrast.
1. What is your biggest priority about (or for?) the event (e.g., catering, photography)?
My biggest priority is photography and to have a beautiful ceremony. It’s sad but true that so many of us brides only get wrapped up in the reception. But really the day is about marrying your best friend. Without saying those vows, you have nothing to celebrate. The ceremony is the biggest priority. It’s going to be joining Mr. W and me together for life, making us husband and wife. I want it to be special. Photography is also important to me because whenever I look at pictures it takes me back to that exact moment. They will always be there for me to have and reminisce on our special day together.
If Mr. W doesn’t do this when he sees me coming down the aisle, I’m turning around and going again. / Image via 2Brides
2. What is your biggest concern for the day (e.g., rain, nobody dancing, guests being bored)?
Having to take pictures with people all night. I went to a wedding this summer and felt awful for the bride because she kept asking where her husband was. Every time they tried to get near each other, people were stopping to take her picture. Mr. W and I have already accepted that besides dinner we probably will be separated most of the night having to mix and mingle with everyone and that makes me sad, but hey, it’s one day. We’ve got a lifetime to be around each other all day.
3. What DIY project do you care about the most?
Our memory table for the reception. It’s pretty important to both Mr. W and me. I also realized how many other DIY projects I actually have that I can’t share until after the big day. They aren’t MAJOR but it’s just little details that I hope our guests and bridal party will like. Our OOT bags are going to be pretty neat too. They will feature all things “Detroit.” Gotta love Faygo “pop” (not soda) and Better Made chips.
4. What is your worst wedding-related nightmare?
My dress not fitting or something just really bad happening to it before the wedding.
6. What is the picture you think you have to have?
A picture with Mr. W and our grandmothers.
7. What is your biggest fear about what could go wrong?
My only fear is the same as #4. Hopefully after the wedding, I will not have anything to report back.
8. What are you looking forward to the most?
Having everyone who is important to us witness our marriage. Just being in a room surrounded with people who know us and we can all be together in a big ol’ party is so exciting to me. As we’ve grown older, people’s busy schedules make it hard to get together, so I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in one place.
9. What do you think your guests will enjoy the most?
The free party! Our wedding has been a long time coming and I don’t know if it’s possible, but some of our guest seem more excited for the wedding than Mr. W and I, I love it!
10. What do you plan on doing after the wedding is over?
Well, apparently our bridal party has already planned an after-hours event after the wedding, and Mr. W and I aren’t invited. So we may either crash it, or go home and chill out and have a couple adult beverages together and watch some DVR. We are leaving to go on our honeymoon Monday (don’t know where, as that’s Mr.W’s task to plan), and I will be off work for two weeks after our wedding. So lots of R&R after.
Bonus: Do you intend on donning lingerie for the evening?
That’s for me to know and for Mr. W to find out. POW!
When Mr. A and I decided on our venue, we signed a contract for 80 guests, though we knew we would probably end up going to about 100. I had gotten advice from some married family members to give the venue a minimum number to start, and then add more guests as the event gets closer. Patuxent Greens can hold up to 130 people in their ballroom, but I knew we would NEVER get that high in our guest count. While I know 130 guests does not sound like a lot, I was coming from an original idea of a 25-30 person intimate ceremony, and I was finally wrapping my head around the increase to 80-100. Well boy, was I in for a shock when I printed out our guest list spreadsheet to address our save the dates, and my bottom line calculations totaled 155!!!
Mr. Orca and I knew right off the bat that we were in no position to throw ourselves into debt with this wedding. So far, we are debt free (other than our car payment), and we like it that way!
Oregon is a wonderful place to get married for a lot of reasons, but we give super big thumbs up to the cost of getting married here. Yes, there are your $50,000 venues, and no, we didn’t really search in metropolitan (read: pricey) areas. Nonetheless, we felt confident in our abilities to plan a wedding that was financially responsible and the wedding of our dreams.
When I think back on our wedding it’s usually in a hazy, “hey, we got married a couple of years ago, cool!” kind of way. I’m excited to take part in this series because I haven’t put much recent thought toward all of those little details I was so worried about at the time!
1. What was your biggest priority about (or for?) the event (e.g., catering, photography)?
I really wanted our wedding to feel intimate and personal. I knew we would eat well and I knew we’d have photos—and so I put my focus on truly making it our wedding. Even two years later I don’t remember exactly what I ate, but I remember the personal photos we selected for decor, the handcrafted invitations, the personalized ceremony.
And, again, two years later our guests have occasionally commented that they haven’t been to a wedding like ours (or that they want their wedding to be like ours!), so I think we did well.
2. What was your biggest concern for the day (e.g., rain, nobody dancing, guests being bored)?