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$60,000 Wedding Giveaway in Minneapolis

23 Jun

If you haven’t heard, The Guthrie has teamed up with some of the top local businesses to give away a $60,000 Dream Wedding in honor of the show “When We Are Married.”


All you need to do is submit a 3-5 minute video explaining why you and your fiancée want to be married at the Guthrie. Videos must be submitted by June 30, 2009 (so hurry!). The wedding will take place on August 16, 2009.

Some of the businesses contributing to this fabulous prize include:

the Guthrie
Dowling Studio
L’atelier Couture
Savii Formalwear
and more.

Also included is a fabulous 7 night/8 day honeymoon at the Radisson St Martin Resort, Marina & Spa, which includes airfare (make sure your passport is current).

Get cracking on that video and submit it! For more details, click here.


The Budget – Broken Down Into Percentages

15 Jun

Neither R nor I ever wanted an extravagant day. While I completely appreciate those weddings, and love attending them, we knew that it was most important for us to have our wedding, and have it paid off on the day it occured.


We didn’t want to incur or carry any debt from the wedding, just as we didn’t carry any debt for my gorgeous engagement ring (which is a testament to the awesome saving-skills of my husband).

Well — the wedding is over, and we can proudly say that we do not owe a dime – to a single vendor or a credit card or anyone. This wedding is PAID FOR!

Here are the percentages of what we spent:
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Vendor Review: Midway Rental

29 May

Vendor grade: B

We went through Midway Party Rental for our tables, chairs and tent. This was an unexpected expense for us – with the venue change, we hadn’t budgeted for a $1,000 rental bill, but we made it work.

They were great about working with us only 2 weeks before we needed the tables and chairs, and fairly responsive (though there were 2+ times when we didn’t get any sort of response for over a business day, which was worrisome on such a tight deadline.

They were responsive when I asked them discount one of the items (the order was already around $1,000), though the discount wasn’t nearly as much as another rental company we were considering (though the final cost at Midway was a bit less).

We paid extra ($165, rather than $75) for Saturday delivery, Sunday pickup, but didn’t really have a choice – as we weren’t allowed to leave everything at the venue from Friday to Monday.

My largest qualm is the quality of the tables they delivered. Our day of coordinator said that they were so old (and poor quality) that they kept closing while they were being set up, and were generally difficult to work with. They felt flimsy when we sat at them, but at that point, there was very little we could do.

All in all, I wasn’t “wowed” by their customer service, but the delivery was made on time, and picked up on time, and we received everything we asked for, so I’d call our review of Midway Party Rental “decent.”

Vendor Review – Caterer

27 May

(note: this review is absolutely separate from the cake/cupcake review)

Vendor grade: D

We were really struggling with the menu for the reception. We wanted something nontraditional and delicious. We wanted roasted vegetables, meat and something other than potatoes. We wanted a meal that our guests would remember.

We decided to work with Miel y Leche for our reception meal.



I approached Sheela with a price that we were comfortable with (with room to wiggle in either direction, we were completely ready for a counter-price) – a price that was right in the range of their catered meals – and she accepted the price.

I presented my thoughts on the menu:
chicken skewers —– beef skewers
roasted vegetables —– fresh fruit
bread and butter —– couscous
(no drinks were included and we provided our own dishes)

When we met, Sheela suggested we add:
eggplant rolls with mint and chili
quinoa with fruit and nuts

I was all for the additions — how delicious!

When we presented the quote, we were anticipating 150 – 160 guests and MyL was to plan for those numbers, accordingly.

The day of the wedding, dinner started late. The catering team arrived late, so we gave them a little slack. Dinner was supposed to begin at 5, and they pulled up to the reception site at about 4:50 – and started to unload.

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We're married!

18 May

Saturday was a blur — it was windy, I was stressed, but my awesome family and fabulous DOC pulled everything together for a day that was mostly perfect (and who wants pure perfection anyway?!).

The weather was sunny (in the mid to high 50s) and some news reports called it “blustery.” I’ve officially lost any trust that I may have had for weather forecasters. I don’t think the predictions could have changed much more than they did.

It was gorgeous, and I was so very happy that we chose the ceremony/reception site we did, it truly had amazing views.

Some guests chose to sit outside, while the majority sat inside (we did have a table or two inside that didn’t fill until after dinner) – we made the rounds between groups of friends and family, and I believe I was able to spend a little time with nearly all of our guests (with the exception of about 10 people).

So, hooray!

Coming up soon — vendor reviews!

More Cool DIY Coming Soon

11 May

I’m sorry I’ve been so absent. We’ve had a whirlwind last 10 days. Our venue surprised us with some information pertaining to double booking for our date, and also changed their liquor policies between April 24 and April 30. The prices tripled in 1 week! And, the policies changed, and we weren’t willing to make major sacrifices in order to appeal to their new situation (and couldn’t anyway).

On top of that, we’ve been preparing our new home (we closed on it on Halloween, have put a lot of work into it, worked with a contractor on a major remodel, and now need to prepare it for a family brunch on Sunday!).

To give you an idea, we’ve got 14 bags of yard waste (leaves, grass, sticks, branches, etc) waiting for the trash man on Wednesday.

In the last week, R painted and installed new closet doors in the entry, painted the exterior of our addition, and other projects, all while doing some very important work on our cardbox and cupcake stands (info coming soon!). We’ve been cleaning like crazy, because if we just leave the cleaning ladies to do everything, they’ll be here for about 6 hours (we’re tidy, but a major remodel = major dust!).

So, I promise a DIY project — probably tomorrow. And some decor DIY, and a sneak peak at our favors, and then we’ll be married (in 5 days!).

Oh Please, Oh Please, Please, Please, Please.

6 May

With so many things that have gone wrong during our planning process (I don’t even know where to start), I’m crossing my fingers that this one thing will go fabulously.

According to Accuweather this is MAYBE the weather for May 16 — our wedding day…


I can deal with the lost deposits, the ridiculous venue policy changes, the brash liquor upcharges (more on that later) that brought our beer and wine bill from $900 to over $3,000, the last-minute changes… I just really hope the weather forecast stays the same…

Oh, did I mention that the majority of the evening will be spent out of doors?

79 Days & Counting

26 Feb

I’ve got 79 days and counting. Seems that “A Certain Bridal Website” forgot to send me my “holy crap, you’ve only got 100 days left, so get your butt in gear” email.

It’s not that I didn’t know that I have less than 100 days left, its just that I’m suddenly becoming aware of the fact that I will NOT have the time to do every little craft I’ve ever dreamed of.

Srsly, I have these items to do:

cut belly bands for invitations
print direction cards
print hotel cards
package & mail invitations
sew table runners
order napkins, rice paper lanterns, candles and candleholders, cocktail napkins,
purchase remaining dessert plates, wine glasses, water glasses, silverware
make throwies for lanterns
find supplier for bottles of soda for reception
connect with beer/wine vendor
visit venue to measure out space and create a floor plan
figure out what is going in OOT bags

I know there are about 1,000 other things, but my brain is melted right now.

The Great Favor Debate

11 Feb

Who knew that such a minor detail would be such a debatable topic? From the beginning, I was adamant that I didn’t want favors.

Why? People don’t appreciate them, they leave them behind, it’s hard to give something that’s personal and appreciated for under $3, they’re an unneccessary expense, people just throw them away when they get home, etc, etc, etc.

Both of our mothers have been BIG advocates for “the favors” — my mom, after being told about 15 times that we will not have them, keeps emailing me ideas. Oooh, seed paper, mini-trees that guests can plant, personalized candy bars, photo frames, etc. His mother really liked the frames that his cousin used, and is “recommending” we do something like that.

And I just kept telling them, “nope, sorry, no favors.”

Then, I saw this image in Martha Stewart Weddings — and I waffled.


I’ve waffled a lot in these wedding decisions, but seriously, I was AMAZED that a photo could change my mind. I purchased 100 small green boxes and hatched a plan. Now that our guest list has grown (by 60%), I need to track down another 50+ of these boxes (thinking brown would be fine too).

And what will be inside?

Delicious madeleine cookies — some drizzled with chocolate, some plain, all handmade by… the bride. What have I gotten myself into?

And worse, why am I now contemplating an ADDITIONAL cookie and candy bar? What a slippery slope!

My First Bridal Meltdown

10 Feb

I never thought I’d have a meltdown over something so silly…

I have an appointment this weekend at a letterpress studio, to work on my invitations. Several weeks ago, I brought my 22×30″ sheets of Crane Lettra to a local copy shop and trimmed them down to size, by hand (since they didn’t have the means to cut something so large.

Well, today, I went to see how one of the sheets fits into my envelopes and realized that they were way too small. Like, 1/2 an inch on each edge.

And I started to cry. A lot. About paper.

When I was midway through my meltdown, R asked me what was going on. I was like, “I cu cu cut the paper too small.” I couldn’t believe I’d make such a foolish mistake!

Well, after calming down, I searched for the remaining sheets to see if I needed to order another $90 box of paper, and found that I still have 9 of the 20 sheets… and I’ve already cut my response cards (the right size!!!).

Sigh, meltdown has ended, disaster was narrowly avoided.