Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tell me more!!!!

Yesterday... I had my first panic attack. Okay, maybe not attack but I was a little overwhelmed.
As soon as I walked through our front door, Aaron asked, What's Wrong?
Okay, so I shed a few teardrops! His next words; Babe, we've been engaged for 4 days.
[I'm smerking now] But yesterday evening, I was exhausted. After lots of phone calls coming from me & my mother, we had nothing. Every venue we looked at [Downtown Savannah GA] only sat 250 people.
One place that I loved, The Wilmington Island Club was looking up until they told us the GA sales tax & Service Gratuity. $14k + That was just food & venue. Not even alcohol or ANY thing else!
No way. The Wilmington Island Club
There were many other places we looked at like;
The Bethesda Chapel for Boys BEAUTIFUL. Loved it. September is booked already!
The Hilton & The Marriot - 250 people MAX

We are paying for photography. Everyone tells me not to cut the money short here. You get what you pay for! I'm a big picture person and would cut loose on someone if my wedding pictures didn't turn out amazing. Not good. But amazing. I still have to call around more people/places, but the best price yet was $3000

What did you pay for your photography? What did and didn't you like about your pictures?
What questions do you suggest me ask?
Now, for some good news... Hopefully! [Pray]

Back in October 2010, a old friend of mine got married. We used to work together years ago.
She is a lot like me & her Husband is a lot like Aaron.
Really & truly I want a place that looks like the both of us. Not just me, of course!
Back to her, she got married at this place that was very rustic looking outside and elegant inside.
I remember loving it. Last night after we cleaned the kitchen, I ventured on the computer... once again!
I checked my email, yadi yadi ya and then I signed on to what is a addiction to me. This horrible thing called
FACEBOOK. Immeditately, Ashley popped up and so did the link to this place she got married!
If you have facebook, search; The Belle House
It made me smile! I've always imagined my wedding downtown Savannah GA., but it is what it is!
Once again, it's Rustic [Aaron] & Elegant [Me]. It's spacious, high ceilings [which I wanted most], it has a pond [I wanted water somewhere near for Aaron] and it's brand new!
It opened July 2010. Maxiam Capicity is 600 people! Yippie! However, that is inside/outside.
I would have to arrange something for the ceremony to be outside.
I'm a little nervous about that, but again... it is what it is.
Also, it's not in Savannah, but it's located in Statesboro GA. Which is the opposite direction of Savannah, but only 35 minutes from our hometown. I work in Statesboro!
As far as our guests, I've yet to get his parents list. I know it will be big. Aaron has a very big family & his parents are a very large group of close friends. Remember, we are a small town. Everyone grows up together and remains a friendship. However, when discussing it with my mom last night. She informed me I messed my list up. For example; My Friend Jane is Marrien to John Doe, they have three
children together. I thought I was supposed to include all our friends children. Mama says no way.
Of course invite the children who are very close to you and your future spouse, but friends children do not have to be invited. So I cut 28 from our 100 & then my Mom cut out I think, 20ish from her list. That's around 50 less! Thank goodness!
I hate the fact that we have to cut. But, 350 people... I won't even be able to enjoy the day I've waited my entire life for. A girlfriend of mine, Tiffany got married April 2009. She got married at the Westin, across the River facing River Street [Savannah GA] Her wedding was beautiful & elegant. I spoke with her yesterday and said she had 250 ppl. I remember back after her wedding she told me, The only thing I regret was not being able sit back and enjoy. She had to go from table to table [of course] and talk to her guest. By the time she was finished, the reception was over. I do  not want that. I want to dance a little, laugh a lot, and watch everyone share OUR day celebrating our marriage!
I'm waiting very patiently on an e-mail from the owner of The Belle House!
Pray it's in our budget for our venue! I sure do hope so!
I want to book this ASAP.

Asking ALL of you who have done this before...
Give me ADVICE!
Tell me your run in's, your do's, and your don'ts!
Also a LOT of you said you saved money by DIY projects!
Please, share with me the things you did. I'd love to know
and borrow ideas!


Marcy XOXO said...

You are so cute. You remind me exactly how I was just a day after he proposed. My situation is a bit different. I have been married once before, well we both have, and my first wedding was NOTHING like I had dreamed it to be. I think that's why this time I have become almost anal about my big day. Ya know I just want it to be everything I have ever dreamed it to be and so much more! The guest list STILL freaks me out. I am so afraid that we are inviting too many or that I am going to forget somebody!!! It really does stress you out but I just keep telling myself to breath. I was already literally calling places that Monday after he asked me. Due to the holiday weekend I knew nothing would be open or I would have called! Just do your research and don't be afraid to ask questions!!! Also, don't go on the first thing you see. Of course if you absolutely just love love love don't waste any time either. The one thing about wedding stuff is they book VERY fast!!! I know this prob didn't help much and you feel like your going about a mile a minute but it will all work out. Just make sure if you do go with an outside wedding that you have a back up plan ;) I will be praying that you hear something soon sweetie!!!

Rebekah said...

I agree, ask lots of questions! We got married in our church and had the reception somewhere else, but we ran through different scenarios and had tons of spreadsheets about costs and packages. See if they'll work with you. When it comes to photography, be comfortable with what you want to spend. I had a friend of mine do ours who was just setting up her own wedding photography business and we got a good deal. Much cheaper than what she's costing now! We had to cut our guest lists down a bit, but it ended up being ok!

Melissa said...

One of the biggest DIY projects I tackled was printing and putting together all the invitations. It was crazy hard work but saved us hundreds that I was able to use elsewhere. Also, you can make your own centerpieces and some of your own flower arrangements. Also, I had a candy buffet. I did all of that myself. I bought all the candy at Sam's or Costco's, borrowed all the pretty glass containers from family members or friends, and made the bags. A candy buffet is a great, inexpensive way to do favors.

Good luck on finding the perfect venue. Once you do, everything else seems to fall into place much easier!

Christin said...

I had a panic attack right around this time when we were engaged, too. p.s. Sorry I'm late, but CONGRATULATIONS! Everything will work out... I promise. If you need ideas, just shoot me an email. I did a lot of DIY projects. Happy planning :)

♥Cait said...

Deeeeeep breath! ha. The Belle House is beautiful! A few months back when I had the school nurse clinical rotation, the nurse I shadowed got married a few months before at The Belle House. I immediately ran home and researched it, e-mail the lady for prices, and was thrilled it was soo close to home. That was our #2 option if the Botanical Gardens feel through due to space issues. It fits both you and Aaron perfectly and I hope it'll all work out for the best!

Now, as far as photography. I've seen a lot of good photographers, but like you said... they're $3000+. Check out Mackensey Alexander Photography {} and on Facebook. At the bridal show in September, I saw her booth for the first time and began browsing through her books. Immediately, I knew she was the one I wanted to shoot our wedding! Not sure if this is the same style you are looking for, but she is reasonable and great to work with thus far.

Guest list- I was in your exact shoes not even a year ago. From all of the advice I've heard, plan for only 75% of the guest list to show. In saying that, our venue is wayy to small to SIT all of our guests. Therefore, we are going to cut the ceremony down short & sweet and allow for standing with a few cocktail tables scattered about to lean & place personal items on for the time being.

Hope that helps :)

DeeJay said...

Me and my fiancee got engaged about a year ago. We are taking our time in planing the wedding. We plan to get married when I finish college. However, I have done lots of research and here is what I have picked up. DIY is the way to go! You can print and decorate your own invitations and they can look just as elegant as ones you would pay hundreds of dollars for. Also, you can create your own centerpieces. Depending on what you want. I also have heard that using fake flowers for the centerpieces can save you money at the florist. Just use real flowers for the wedding instead of the centerpieces or vice versa. Keep in mind that DIY centerpieces with fake flowers will allow you to make them ahead of time and not have to worry about them on the last few days before the wedding...and as I said save money. :)

Jessie said...

I agree whole heartedly about the pictures. That is the only thing besides your memories you will have forever. I am a big picture person so I wanted good pictures.When my sister and I both got engaged my mom said pick the one thing that is most important to you and spend your money on that. I chose pictures, my sister chose the food at the reception. Needless to say my sister is very sad to this day that she didn't get great pictures. I only spend $1500 on my pictures. The first and foremost most important thing to me was having the rights to my pictures. I cut every photographer that didn't allow me to have the rights. I didn't really care about them printing any of the pictures because that way I could print only the pictures that I wanted for family and friends. For the $1500, I got a whole day (10:30am hair clear though Mid-night the end of the reception) full of pictures. I was able to negotiate not paying her travel time for not shooting the rehearsal.
Also, make sure you interview all photographers you are considering. It is very important that your personalities mash well. Just because you like someone's photos or they did a great job at your friends doesn't mean you will get great photos. I wanted a photographer who was direct and would tell people what to do on the day of my wedding. I didn't want to be making decision on where to stand and those kind of things. Speaking of directions, find a person who knows the whole wedding party and appointment them to be the photographers assistant for the day. This person can go get people from the dressing rooms or can help the photographer with names and whatnot.

Sorry to ramble on and on but just some advise I thought I would pass along.

Kathleen said...

I am getting married in February and have planned my own wedding and love it! We are having NO children under 5 and if someone has one over and one under, their children are not invited. Honestly, most people are estatic that they can get out and have a "date" without their kids.

For the photography, we went with our pastor's wife (who is a professional photographer) and she did give us a discount. The original price would be $2000 for all day photography and 250 pictures of our choice edited for printing. We have to pay for the rights/prints ourselves. *Make sure you have the contract state that you get the rights to your pictures and you get them on a disk! This will help so that you don't have to buy every print from the photographer--which can be overpriced and expensive!

Also, we are having a lot of DIY things. I am making my own unity candle from a white pillar candle. I am going to put a monogram on it and our names/date as well. It's super easy and will cost less than $10 and looks like we paid much more for it.

Go with flowers that are "in season" and it will be cheaper.

We are having a friend video tape the wedding for us and edit it as well to save money and still have the video of our day.

We also have shopped Michaels a lot and used the 40-50% off coupons for almost everything!

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Planning my wedding has been so much fun and so little stress.

Good luck!

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