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TONS of wedding questions and dilemmas.. Help please?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

As promised in my status, I'm here to blog about the wonderful conversation DF and I had last night about the wedding.

Yesterday while doing some research, I stumbled upon yet another site in our area that I didn't know existed but that I thought would be PERFECT for our recpetion venue. It's the Garden Pavillion at the place (http://thegreenbranch.net/eve
nts.php) and get this, my favorite part, they have a waterfall fireplace in the hall!! How cool is that!? It's a real fireplace that they burn, but in front of it, it has a waterfall cascading down. I am utterly obsessed with fireplaces so this made it so much more special! And the water in front of the fire helps to dissipate any smoky smell. How glorious! It's out kind of in the "country" area and really looks like our style. It's a bit more pricey than I thought we would pay, but DF really really loved it so he's thinking we should definitely go with that and cut back other places if necessary. So I think we're pretty much set on that venue. They have a bridal suite that you can rent the night after your wedding and it's got a huge living area with vaulted ceilings and then in the bedroom area it has a little corner nook with a beautiful vintage dressing table and a chaise lounge. It's really beautiful! I'm getting so excited about the whole wedding now!

As we continued to talk, we were really stumped for center pieces. I saw today where some brides do glass hurricane jars with fish (betas I think) in them and then have a candle on the top of the container somehow and that idea looked really lovely. But the more I think about it, what the heck would I do with a bunch of betas after the wedding!? So after some talking and re-confirming the fact that we will have a completely flowerless wedding, we were thinking some kind of cool fruitbowl-type centerpiece. Then wonderful DF has the idea that we should do Edible Arrangements (www.ediblearrangements.com) for the centerpieces! We would get them dipped in chocolate and then encourage our guests to eat them throughout the night or take them home with them. How cool right?! I already know which ones I want but since I'm at work, I can't access the EA site to find the direct link. I'll try to get it tonight and post. I'm thinking that if they will REALLY work with us, we could find some wicker baskets to use as the bases (with something sanitary in them of course) because I really love wicker baskets and we could paint the baskets to match our theme. Cheesy? I'm not sure yet, but we are SO excited about the edible centerpieces! Please give me feedback if you would think that was tacky at a wedding, though, please! Be honest!!!

So on to more talking and we're also on the same page about photographs. We want someone there to take some photos, but we don't want them there the whole reception, we don't want a big package with actual hard copy photos, and we don't want many of the posed photos at all. Ideally we have someone there to capture the important moments only of the ceremony (me walking down the aisle, our first kiss, and the rings basically) and then that's it. We want a few pictures with each of our families and that's all. At the reception, we're not even sure if we want an actual photographer there or if we want to go with disposable cameras on all the tables and let guests take their own photos or anything fun they see! You can have disposable cameras printed onto CDs instead of actual 4x6's so that's what we would do and then we could share any really awesome photos with our guests through email, etc, or print what we really wanted. Again, any thoughts on the tackiness level of that? Really, though, that is our personality. We aren't lushes at all, we don't enjoy being the center of attention, and if it weren't for the Catholic church telling me we have to get married in the church, we'd elope in a heartbeat to a beach somewhere!

And (I think) the final thing that we talked about was booze. We don't drink. Period. At all. The last drink we had was New Years Eve (half a beer for me, one and a half for him) except for one other night he went out last night and drank because he was so uncomfortable. In any case, not the point. We just don't drink. We don't particularly enjoy being around his family when they drink because they are all, literally, drunks. (Alcoholics go to meetings, drunks don't...) My family drinks but mostly wine and beer. So we're thinking that we will have some bottles of a local wine (Messina Hof) in red, white, blush, etc, either at a central location or located on the tables, and then have a cash bar if we have any liquor at all. We feel like it's our wedding so we don't HAVE to provide liquor for our guests but we know that some of them would really appreciate it. The booze thing also depends on the wedding time. We're not set on a wedding time so if it's a morning or 2pm wedding, clearly we don't need booze, wine would do. But if we have an evening ceremony, I'm thinking people would expect booze. So....cash bar....tacky? Oh and then the whole liability thing for people driving after drinking! The venue we want is kind of far from everything so people would have to drive away and we get VERY nervous about people drinking and driving.

WHY IS WEDDING PLANNING SO HARD?! I honestly never thought we'd have to consider things like 'booze or no booze' before. I guess I just thought weddings planned themselves, even though I've been through planning two of my sisters' weddings. Argh!

Whew, I think that's all we talked about. Well, DF did say he didn't want a mass, just the ceremony, so now I have one sister with no job to do since we were going to ask her to be a Eucharistic Minister. Too bad none of my sisters sing or I'd ask the odd sister out to sing for us! Argh! Guess I'll have to keep thinking on a place for a sister somewhere. We could always do something different with one of DF's sisters, but neither of them are uhm....well poised enough...to have a significant place in the wedding, I don't think. Urgh.

Ok so I know this had nothing to do with SP really, but I've come to rely on my SP friends SO much and I really value each and every one of your opinions!!!
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  • no profile photo CD2833646
    Great venue - Why have I not heard of it before??

    I like the fruit better than the fish, especially if you are going to invite the people to eat and take home.

    Talk with whatever photographer/friend who is doing the pictures and tell them what you want. I like the idea of disposable cameras. Be sure to have a basket for them to be dropped into at the exit doors.

    To booze or not to booze: that is the question! We did not have Any at our wedding, and I heard no complaints even though we definitely had drinkers at the reception. We were two of the few who did Not drink, in fact! My mother brought us 2 bottles of champaign. About 3 years ago, one of our daughters took them and opened them outside and poured them out so we could recycle the bottles. We had a 2pm Mass, with snacks and no meal at the reception.

    Your sister could be a Reader, if you are still having the ceremony in Church. She does not have to be trained, an official one, for the wedding. Will it be at STA? I want to see you!




    3626 days ago
  • STRIVING4FOCUS
    You've gotten LOTS of great feedback, so I will try to keep mine short (a definite challenge for me) :)

    The venue for your reception looks perfect, and I can tell in your blog you are excited -- GO FOR IT! I have heard it is a beautiful place, and it certainly looks like it in the photos!

    Edible arrangements sounds FABULOUS, however, I would check with local caterers to see if anyone does them cheaper =)

    I am with one of your other responses -- Pictures is where I regret not spending more money at my own wedding. Pictures are important to me -- always have a camera, so maybe that's just me, but I think you will want to be able to look back, and also to share them with your kiddos. Just food for thought :)
    P.S. I'm not a fan of disposable cameras. Cute idea, but doesn't always bring the desired results (especially if anyone gets too tipsy)...

    Your wedding is a reflection of you as a couple. It doesn't HAVE to be any certain way. Part of the fun of weddings is seeing everyone's different ideas and interpretations. So call in Messina Hof and enjoy your time with one another!!!

    Always full of advice,
    =) Beth
    3627 days ago
  • GMO_JEN
    Its your day- first and foremost. I planned my wedding post call, and had a blue cake with dragons and swans all over it. Also, Elvis. So, I say have fun :) I think the site is gorgeous, and the fireplaces are beautiful. The suite to stay in sounds amazing too!

    For the arrangements, I like the idea of something edible. And, as they are meant to stick around for at least a day, I imagine they would keep. And, its healthy! We did the bowls with blue water, and little plastic swans i think floating in it. the beta fish sounds cute, but you would end up with an oodle of fish! So, between fish and fruit, i would totally go fruit.

    As for booze, I have gone to a wedding or two where people got hammered, and its never a good thing. i think a few bottles of wine from a local winery allow people to try something local, but without getting drunk. Again, its your wedding, so it should reflect your beliefs/you two. And, I think a cash bar is fine too if you want more options.

    For the pictures- I am not a sentimental person. its been 5 years (and we moved, the album is somewhere i know!). i think its always a good idea to have more pictures to look back on. You can always do most of the posey pictures prior to the wedding, but its also nice to have pictured of the first dance, daddy/daughter, son/mother dance, cutting the cake, ect. i do like the idea of having cameras on the table for people to take pictures, but its nice to have formal ones too.

    I know there is so much to think about it, and the day flies by. Happy planning!
    3627 days ago
  • MELANIE19877
    I like the idea of your venue!

    Centerpieces: I'm sure you know EA is very expensive or can be espeically depending on how many guests you have coming to your wedding. You or someone that's helping with the wedding can make that type of thing very easily. I'm addicted to their chocolate covered bananas, but don't want to spend 25 dollar on 6 pieces of banana. I do mine at home and it's so simple and quick. It can be done that morning of the wedding or the night before. (I brought this up because you were saying to might need to cut back somewhere else.)

    The fish idea is very common and turns out well. Just send them home with the guests.

    Bar: If you don't want a bar, don't have a bar. My sister's wedding did not have a bar and no one was shocked when there wasn't one. If that's the only reason they come then they don't need to. A cash bar is not tacky! You shouldn't be expected to pay for their drinks...it's your wedding. I like the idea of closing the bar early, also.

    Good luck I'm sure you'll get lots of ideas.
    3627 days ago
  • NEA704
    Alright, where to start with the feedback.

    The Garden Pavillion sounds BEAUTIFUL! I'm so glad you found a place you love and I hope you two can fit it into your wedding budget! The fireplace with the waterfall sounds sooo beautiful, too! Very cool!

    As far as centerpieces go, I'm iffy on the edible thing. It's definitely different, and plenty of people go with edible favors, so why not an edible centerpiece? Could be very cool, but just remember that it's fresh fruit, and if it has to sit there a long time, bad things could start to happen. If you wanted to go with the jars full of water and a fish, just tell guests that they're welcome to take a centerpiece home! That's what I did. We used glass cylinders filled with water, chocolate brown glass stones on the bottom, and hydrangea and lilies submerged, with a candle on top. People loved them. I kept 2 of them and guests took the rest!

    When it comes to photos, think long and hard. You might not think they're a big deal now, buy you may get nostalgic about your wedding in the years to come, and you wouldn't want to be upset you didn't have more, quality photos. The disposable cameras are a GREAT idea for all the reception tables. People will snap all sorts of hilarious photos, but some guests will more than likely take a camera home with them. It's inevitable, and just something to keep in mind.

    I've been to 3 weddings in the last 3 years that didn't have a full bar. They did local wine and beer and that was IT. It goes over perfectly fine with most people. You can consider closing the bar during dinner, too. That way, there's a span of time people can't be pounding back their drinks. Have a server go to each table to fill wine glasses if desired, and leave it at that. It's also a great way to introduce people to local wines! My friend's wedding back in October got me completely HOOKED on this amazing winery nearby that I didn't even know about!

    Anyway, that's enough out of me! I hope this ridiculously long response has been at least a little helpful. I was doing all this a year ago, so I hope I can help someone else with everything I learned!
    3627 days ago
  • PHATKAT36
    While I agree with the concept that it is "you're day" and you should be happy, please keep in mind that this is a party. Keep in mind your guest's happiness as well. That being said, I think that everything you have discussed in this blog sounds like you and your DF are on the right track. Some wine at the reception would be a nice touch, but cash bar or no bar sounds totally acceptable. Especially given the family issues. Having disposables on the table is fine. A couple of good photos from the wedding its self. The fruit centerpieces sound amazing! And the venue sounds to die for! Good luck and happy planning. Another idea...instead of a receiving line, you and your DF could release the guests from the pews instead of having ushers do it. It moves the whole process along much faster and everyone is there to see you...just a thought.
    3627 days ago
  • SUZEQ09
    Where to start? It's your wedding, your day. No one else's. You want the venue to be where you want beautiful memories made. You want the day to be perfect, totally understandable.

    I really like the idea of edible centerpieces. That is so different than your normal (candles on the tables) ideas. I think you should go for it, and if you do, please, by all means make sure to post pictures. As for the wicker baskets, if they will let you use those to help cut costs, then by all means do so. As for booze, no booze, if you don't want booze, you don't have to have it. Lots of weddings have cash bars, it limits the alcoholic consumption for some when they realize that they have to pay for it themselves. You shouldn't worry about catering to "everyone" else, they aren't getting married. You are!

    Good luck with everything.:)
    3627 days ago
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