Yes, a fourth installment about our venue search. I know I might be beating a dead horse here—apologies for the awful idiom—but for me, the venue sets the tone for the wedding. Without it, you not only don’t have the horse, you don’t have the stick!
While we are thoroughly psyched about getting married at the Mansion at Valley Country Club, there are concessions we’ve made picking it over Martin’s West, the other venue finalist. Basically, it’s not going to be the precise wedding I pictured the first moment I walked through the door.
The Yummy Stuff
Martin’s West is a foodie’s paradise. Your guests eat from practically the minute they walk into the ballroom. You get dozens of hors d’oeuvre options. You get multiple appetizer options. You get a ton of meat, pasta, and fish options. And you can easily get four different dessert tables plus a full-size wedding cake. All that without breaking the bank (at least, the typical wedding bank).
Not to brag or anything, but I have really, really neat handwriting.
As a former coworker once said, “That’s the handwriting of a sociopath.”
It’s the number one thing that people always, always comment on about me. Always.
When I first learned that people sometimes pay $2 an envelope to have a calligrapher address their invitations, it planted a seed in my brain. Could my obsessively neat handwriting one day pay off (quite literally)? I’m no artist, but handwriting? That I can do. (This meant that the first time I heard, “You should think of calligraphy as drawing, not writing,” I almost ran for the hills.)
Favors have been one of the aspects of our wedding that we have wavered on. I knew that I wanted to do something edible (take-home glasses with someone else’s name on it end up in the Goodwill bin at our house, and I can’t imagine that they sell well at Goodwill). Our initial plan was to fill mini jars with cork stoppers with Charleston Crab Dip mix. It’s so delicious and a real crowd-pleaser. We bought the jars one at a time (Michaels never stocked more than one) with a coupon. We ended up with eight boxes of jars stacked in our guest room when I started having second thoughts.
If you were traveling, would you want to take a glass jar with a cork lid full of a powder, put it in your purse, take it to the after party, travel home with it the next day, then hope that you eventually remember to make it? I started thinking that the favor might be more trouble than it’s worth.
So, we decided not to do a favor. They aren’t exactly mandatory. But then, I changed my mind again. We made delicious pecan pralines at Christmastime, and I decided that they would be the perfect taste of Charleston to send home with our guests.
Bonus: We decided to wrap them in simple plastic bags so the guests could eat them on the spot, or later that night, and then throw away all of the packaging. Easy, breezy, delicious.
This weekend, we took on our biggest DIY project to date—there may have been fewer steps to this process than our invitations, but our chuppah is, by far, the largest project we planned to complete for our wedding! The chuppah is the canopy under which Jewish couples get married and is a symbol of the home they plan to build together; to read more about the symbolism behind the chuppah and our inspiration, read my previous post here.
After receiving quotes for chuppah rentals for $500 and up, we knew we wanted to try to build our own. We considered many different styles and materials, and while we loved the look of natural materials like birch tree trunks, we couldn’t find a local source and that put them out of our price range. After all, the whole point to this project was to save money! We drew up plans using materials that could be found at any local hardware store.
Being that we live in an apartment in a city, we don’t really have the space or resources to complete a project of this scale, so we made plans to visit my parents in New Jersey for a weekend. Not only could we take advantage of their DIY skills and knowledge, but also the space in their backyard. About a week before our trip, my mom contacted me to let me know she had found a source for birch logs (on Etsy, where else?) and they wanted to gift them to us for our chuppah poles. With this generous gift, we were able to recreate the chuppah of our dreams! How did we do it?