I’ve been gone for a minute, I’ve been super busy planning away the future and trying to keep my sanity at the same time all while trying to keep everything budget-friendly! If you know me personally, you know that I like to plan out mostly every detail and I just like to be prepared. So when there are so many unknowns, I kind of start freaking out and stress overtakes me. But no worries, I will not be defeated!!
Good news, I got a lot of posts coming soon! I got 5 that are almost done!
But first, a wedding planning update!
We almost have all the big things booked, except for our rentals and cake. I am looking into scheduling some cake-testings for this weekend! And I am also very excited to start working on those decoration details and I’m sure a lot of DIYs will be involved in the next couple of months. But I’m ready for it, bring it on!
So what do we have already?
- Ceremony Site: We rented out a city park in Dana Point that has an ocean view, which if you remember from my wedding venue brainstorming post, you know that the ocean view was one of Matt’s requirements. I actually chose it without him seeing it first because I wanted to book the date before someone else did. And just about two weeks ago, I took him to the ceremony site and he loved the view. If I’m honest, I was a little worried that he wasn’t going to love it, but he did so we are all good there! We rented it out for 4 hours, which includes set-up and clean up time and it was only $300.
- Reception Site: We rented out the San Juan Community Center all-day and it came out to around $2800, since it is at an hourly rate, which was the only sucky thing. I almost wish they had a full-day rate instead, but oh well. It was definitely cheaper than all the other options we looked at. It includes the chairs and tables, except I don’t like the chairs because they’re a deep-forest green that will definitely clash with our wedding color scheme so I’m renting white wood chairs. It also includes 6 easels to have setup in the hallway with pictures or signs. It also includes some cocktail tables and some rectangular tables to set up food or in my case, a candy buffet, I’ll talk about that later, I’m still working out exactly what I want on there.
- All-day photography: We found our photographer on Thumbtack and for all-day photography it was only $800. This includes a complimentary engagement photo-shoot, which we will actually take advantage of in two-weeks down in La Jolla, which is where Matt proposed. I’m nervous and excited about that at the same time! We will be using our engagement pictures on our invitations and on our wedding website. (I will talk stationery and website in another post).
- All-day videography: At first when we were planning out the wedding and our budget, we thought videography was one thing we could do without. But we soon came to the realization that it was actually one of the things that was essential because you’ll be able to re-watch over and over those special moments. For example, the groom’s first look at the bride and the first dance and so many more things that a picture just wouldn’t be able to show. Plus, Matt got sold once he heard there were going to be droids involved. And to top it off, we got a killer deal because the videographer is the photographer’s wife, so it was only $500.
- DJ/Bartender: Our DJ/Bartender was referred by a co-worker of Matt’s. He works at Dave & Buster’s and he is pretty awesome at what he does and he’s definitely got the kind of personality that we were looking for because he will also be MC-ing so he is definitely the go-to guy to get the party started. Don’t worry, he won’t be doing all three at the same time, he’s got guys helping him out. So he will have his DJ set-up towards the front corner with a bar set-up next to it and there will be a bar-back with him there. Then he will also have another bar set-up in the back with two bar-backs there. This part I have given Matt full reign to manage, which he has definitely enjoyed!
- Catering: We will be having tacos! The taco company is called The Mexican Taco. They are actually pretty inexpensive for how much food we are getting; enough food for 225 people and they are under $2000 and from everything we have seen and read about them, they are very clean, which is a must for me. We had another taco company quote us almost $9000 and these guys offer the same services, so we are very happy that we found them!
- Photo Booth: We are doing PhotoBooth by Kelly. She is super nice and sweet! I’ve been kind of a pain changing my mind about what I want and going back and forth and she’s been super nice every single time. We are only renting the photo booth for three hours because we won’t really need it while people are eating so three hours is perfect and her rate is very reasonable. We upgraded to 4×6 photos instead of the 2×6 photo strips which was a $100 upgrade. We also upgraded to unlimited prints for those group photos, that way everyone in the group photos will be able to get their own copy and it was only a $50 upgrade. With the upgrades and all, our total came out to $570 which is a steal compared to all the other photo booth companies.
- Wedding Dress: I am getting my dress at a small local shop and she gave us a 20% off for getting the dress in-store instead of ordering it online. My mom is helping me out by paying for the dress so that is a huge help. My dress came out to just a little over $1000, we still need to do the adjustments though. If you want to read about the dress, go check out my I said “YES” to the dress! post.
- Day-of-Coordinator: At first, I wasn’t going to hire a wedding-day coordinator because again if you know me, you know that I like things a certain way and at one point I was crazy enough to think that I could handle everything myself if I had everything organized and planned to the tee. But then all the other details needed to be worked out like who was going to be at the reception when catering got there, when the DJ got there to show them where to set-up, etc. Hiring a wedding planner was definitely a no-no because I wasn’t going to pay someone for planning that I could do myself, I would just need someone to execute all the planning that I have been doing on the day-of-the-wedding, which is where day-of-coordinator comes into play. I found Sheila Foster on Thumbtack and I had an hour long conversation with her and there was no doubt in my mind that she was the perfect fit, she set my mind at ease and I couldn’t be happier. She gave me her thumbtack pricing which was around $700 for the full-day, setting up to cleaning up.
What about the Bridal Shower?
I have the best Maids of Honor ever so that’s one thing that I can genuinely not worry about! I have handed them the bridal shower guest list and that’s that! I’m seriously so excited for it, I can’t wait!!
What’s currently In Progress?
- Revising the Wedding Gift Registries: we went with Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Preparing for the Engagement Shoot in two weeks
- Scheduling Cake-Testing
- Narrowing down the dessert/candy buffet
- Researching and Booking Rentals
- Narrowing down decorations and DIYs
That’s all for the wedding planning now, I will keep you updated as things go along! More posts coming soon, I promise!