6 Months Out!
Bonus post! Okay, this isn’t a “real” post, and I know I mentioned it yesterday, but I’m so excited I just had to say something about it…today we’re exactly 6 months out from the wedding!
Things are going pretty well on the planning front. The bridesmaids dresses should be in within the next 2 weeks, and my dress is suppose to arrive mid-January. We have all the major vendors booked, and we even have hotel rooms blocked out for our guests already. We still have to figure out things like the rehearsal dinner, but now that the major stuff is out of the way it’ll be easier to tackle the smaller things that are easier to have last-minute back-ups for (like in a worst case, we can’t find a place for the dinner and we just all crash at one of our houses and cook stuff!).
We have a meeting with the reception manager in 2 weeks when I’m out in MI for Tim’s company Christmas party. We need to go over things like decorations (since they have some things we can rent directly from them like chair covers), and hammer out exactly what we’re doing in terms of the bar. The original plan was to do just an open beer and wine bar with no hard liquor to save on cost, but we’re starting to reconsider that course of action. We’ll see what they have to say and how everything would shake down, and we’ll go from there.
We choose an off-site caterer to take care of our food. Our venue had an on-site caterer, but when we priced out what we thought we’d want to do, we could get more food AND save about $1000 using the off-site people. That was kind of a no-brainer. We went to a tasting back in September for them and decided on the main entrees, but still don’t know what we’d like to do for sides or appetizers for the cocktail hour. The coordinator is INCREDIBLY helpful and almost seems to like the fact that I ask so many questions (her wording was “it’s nice to see a bride taking an active role in planning and really making sure all her bases are covered instead of hoping someone else will do it for her”). We’re sitting down with her in January to write-up what we’d like to do and to get suggestions for the other parts of our evening that will fit our budget but still leave everyone happy (and not thinking “oh yeah they must have had some budget issues”).
We met with the florist for a bit to book her and talk about what my vision was for the bouquets, and she was great in helping me identify the flowers that would fit that image. She seems to have a good understanding of what my focus is (I’m more concerned with the overall shape of the bouquets and not with the particular flowers in them), and is also understanding of the fact that writing it down 7 months out means I could very well change my mind about some things. She made it clear that if I had a change of heart sometime between now and then it wouldn’t be a problem so long as I give her at least a month’s notice so she can get the right flower order in. That makes me feel so much more comfortable with the flowers, because I honestly already have found some other flower varieties outside of what we talked about that I’d be interested in if we could get them. I’m thinking I may sit down with her again at the 2 month mark (I wouldn’t dare actually throw it at her just a month before!) and revisit what we wrote out.
We also have a meeting with the pastor set up for January (it’s 3 days after Tim gets his wisdom teeth out, so this could be REALLY funny) so we can plan out our ceremony. I really don’t know what I want to do, at all, and since Tim is humoring me by going the religious route he’s all “whatever you want honey” about it, so I’m really hoping Pastor Greg is able to really give us some major direction. I can’t imagine we’re the first couple to come through that doesn’t know what they want to do. As long as we end up married at the end of it, I’m not really that picky!
We’re in the process of trying to figure out how we want to decorate. The name of the game is “cheaper is better”, but we don’t want anything to look cheap. Centerpieces are the big one, and right now we’ve got a plan for them that’ll keep us under $15 per table! We’ve found an 8″ vase at Michael’s we like (typically called a “gathering vase,” they refer to it as a “nuclear vase”) that I’m buying 2 of per week using their 40% and 50% coupons (sometimes my coworkers bring me their coupons so I can get more!) so they’re only costing us $2.57 a piece. We wanted to use clear marbles in them, but they’re expensive…so we found an alternative! If you want marbles, I recommend checking out water pearls. There are a few different names and brands of them, but the idea is the same: they’re small beads that are only a couple of millimeters in size that you soak in water, and they hydrate and swell up to between 1/4″ to 1/2″ in size (if you use warm/hot water they get a little larger). They look exactly like marbles, but they’re squishy to the touch, cheaper by volume than glass marbles, and will eventually dehydrate over a couple of weeks back to their original size for easy storage. We’ve figured out for the amount we need it’s actually cheaper to buy individual packets rather than a bulk jar of it, and one packet will fill two vases. We’re going to put some kind of large white flower in the top (probably hydrangeas) and maybe sprinkle in smaller purple ones around it (maybe a few carnations?) to pull in the purple part of our theme. Around the vases will be 4 small square votive holders with candles in them (I’m thinking about wrapping a small strip of organza ribbon around the votives too). Overall nothing too fancy, but still pretty and light.
We still have other decoration details to figure out, but we’re holding off on deciding anything for the church because it’s going under renovation between now and the wedding (don’t worry, it’ll be done with 3 months to spare before the wedding!), and we don’t know exactly what it will look like by the time it’s done. The reception doesn’t need much in terms of decoration since it’s has such beautiful wood details already, but we need something special for the cake and head tables. We are planning on having a string quartet for the ceremony, but I’ve lost contact with the quartet manager, and her name no longer appears on their website…I’m getting kind of nervous.
Overall I’m happy with where we are right now. There’s still a good bit to do, but not nearly as much as I was afraid of, and we have a good bit of breathing room. I’m actually ending up with free time, and I don’t know what to do with myself! It’s been 9 months since we started planning, and I don’t remember what I did with my free time before I filled it with researching vendors or looking up flower types. I’m sure I’ll adjust 🙂
Anyway, I’ll stop with my personal rambling for now. Thanks for letting me share the details and my excitement with you. I can’t wait for the day to finally be here!