Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the wedding singer

I was so excited I just had to share. BCB and I felt so, so fortunate that an old friend of his (who I actually thought he was dating when we first met!) agreed to be our all-round wedding singer. To boot, she was an absolute champ who submitted to playing covers,* along with some freestylin' ukele work. Her new single was launched today. Enjoy it, and enjoy the divine Ms Abbe May!

* Barry Louis Polisar's All I Want Is You; Nick Cave's Into My Arms, and The Darkness' I Believe In A Thing Called Love.

Monday, October 18, 2010

paper good(s).

A lovely commenter pointed out that I hadn't shown off my invites yet, which was a kuh-raaaazy oversight on my part. I think that I took some snaps, decided they were pretty terrible quality, and never got round to blogging them. But I should. So y'all can come crash the reception, non? (um, no. Please).

The invites were by HeatherJeany on etsy, based on one of her other designs (with the colours changed and a bee motif removed). They don't look so great through the plastic wrapper they're in. You can't tell that the brown-ish text is actually metallic copper (yay!) I would totally and utterly recommend Heather if you're looking for invites. Her work is reasonably priced, she is very organised and professional and her invitation design skills are just awesome.

The hand-screenprinting comes out flat, maybe a little raised where the ink is thick. There is the odd tiny imperfection which I like. Reminds you that they're handmade. As well as invites and rsvps, we got her to do thankyou cards and order of service booklet covers for us.

The 'bells' references on the rsvp ('borrowed' from this wedding here) was well worth it. We have had one guest terribly confused and concluding it means 'bring a partner' (wha? Ah well!) Someone that couldn't attend explained that 'they're allergic to bells - what are the odds?' Another guest is 'with bells' while her partner ticked 'undecided' and added 'apprehensive about bells since that incident in 2007.' And our darling MC indicated that he would be there with bells on 'and only bells on.'

Friday, October 15, 2010

$8k wedding: Food

The trickiest part of the $8k budget is definitely feeding everyone. With $4000 (according to my budget breakdown) that comes to $40 per head, including drinks. One certainly can cater one's own wedding, but I know it would do my head in. Plus it feels like cheating given that I'm trying to prove how far the money can stretch.
So I pretty much just googled caterers in WA for a bit and found that, for my town hall wedding, one can get a catered spit-roast with two kinds of meat and loads of different salad and veges for $18 per person. This was certainly down at the cheaper end of the range of prices I found, but there were a few caterers playing with this number, and it certainly wasn't the lowest price I found. Sure, it isn't the most glam option, but it's good hearty food that will fill everyone up, and it certainly has a homey, retro feel.

For the backyard wedding? What's more casual and Italian (and delicious) than woodfired pizza?

Cicciobella are a Perth-based mobile pizza oven company that offer three courses (calzone, all you can eat pizza, and dessert pizza) for a smidge over $20 per person. Brilliant!

Either options leaves you with $10 - 20 per person for drinks (depending on how much wiggle room you want to leave for contingencies). Counting one bottle of wine per person (go see the Dan Murphy's drinks calculator for a better estimate), and assuming you buy at LiquorLand or Vintage Cellars and get 30% off by buying by the dozen, you will be serving up some not shabby drinks!

Tip: Got rellies flying in from overseas for the wedding? Ask them to bring in their duty-free allowance in vodka and make up a big fruit punch for your town hall wedding, or mix it up with some red wine for sangria for your backyard (Spanish-)Italian do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

$8k wedding: Invitations

Now that we have a venue to inform the feel of the wedding, it's time for invites! Print-at-home is your friend. Failing that (or in preference to that, if you want to print on thicker card, or want the colours to look really lush) you take your stuff to a printing centre like KwikCopy. To be honest, I can only make an educated guess about the cost of printing colour papergoods at a print centre, but I am guessing you'd be looking at a couple of hundred dollars to do your invites plus a little more (rsvps, menus or thankyou cards, maybe?).

And etsy is so very much the place to look for your invitations. There are loads of simply stunning options for pdf-downloads to print at home. I think this would be perfect for the retro town hall dance wedding:

And maybe this one for the casual-elegant Italian do?

If either of these are busting the budget, I even found this lovely monogrammed, flourished printable set for $15!

Monday, October 11, 2010

$8K wedding: the venue

When you're playing with a tight budget, your choices of venue drop right down. You might need to be a little more flexible about the vibe of your wedding, and because you're going to have limited choices, I think the venue should inform the theming, rather than choosing the other way around. So, what options are there?

First, and most obviously: the backyard. Maybe yours, maybe your folks, maybe your extended family, maybe even friends (my mum's friend was so very eager to have our wedding reception in her backyard). Ask around, you never know who might be willing to put their hand up. And a backyard can be a fairly blank slate, so I'm going to run with a sort of elegant-casual Italian kind of vibe for my imaginary backyard wedding.

Sometimes, though, there just isn't the option of a backyard. Lord knows most of the people I know have nothing larger than a courtyard, if that, these days. And that is where the local hall comes in. Scout around and look at lots of local government websites. They can be a complete bargain. Like this:

Image from the Art Deco Buildings blog.

The Guildford Town Hall. A late-deco beauty that will set you back the grand sum of $256 to hire for your wedding reception. Seriously. And that includes tables and chairs. And yes, it is as pretty inside as out. The feel? A retro village dance, yes? Yes.

(for the record, I think the Gidgegannup Town Hall is also terribly, terribly cute).

(another) dress with bows

Zomg. If it wasn't like, five days until my wedding and I didn't already have a dress, I would totally get that one. It has bows. I think it's a well-known fact I love dresses with bows. Plus it's a bridal label called Princess Lasertron. Plus it's only $550. Triple-threat.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One week to go

This time seven days from now I'll invariably be rushing about trying to grab everything I need to take to the apartment where I'm getting ready to Be Married.

For both BCB and I the enormity of what we're doing has really only hit in the past week or so. It's really quite terrifying. I'm quite sure I'm going to sob my way down the aisle and through the entire ceremony.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Imaginary $8k wedding

Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to catch my first ever episode of Four Weddings (the Australian version). And while all the weddings had their goods bits and their not-so-good, the one that really stuck with me was the afternoon tea reception wedding, with a cash bar. The entire wedding was done on an $8000 budget. Now I am certainly not out to lay in to that wedding - it was a lovely idea, and the bride and groom really enjoyed themselves. But I couldn't help but think that $8k could have gone a lot further than party pies in the mid-afternoon.*

So, I'm using my Mad Wedding Planning Skillz to plan two imaginary weddings with different feels, each being for 100 guests, for $8000 (AUD). I started with a budget breakdown I found here:

Wedding Expense
Reception (venue & catering)
Attire & Accessories
Photography / Video
Flowers 10
Ceremony 5
Rings 5
Entertainment 4
Cake 2
Invitations 2
Transportation 2
Miscellaneous 10
Total %

but it needs tweaking. I think 50% on the reception is more like it. Nothing will be spent on transport, or 'entertainment' (what is that, and why is it so pricey?), giving me a little more wiggle room on attire and invitations. Flowers will be scaled right back, but that 10% will probably go towards decorating the reception venue more generally. I think realistically you won't get a celebrant or a church for under $500, so let's call the ceremony 10% of the budget, shall we?

So, let the games begin!

* Of course, I am assuming that one wants something other than party pies in the mid-afternoon. If that's your idea of the perfect shindig, please don't let my posts be interpreted as rain on your parade!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Yeah, so my bridezilla moment of madness was deciding to make all the napkins from scratch, in all different fabrics. I ordered eleventy billion Kaffe Fassett fabrics and set to. I did start out trying to manage some kind of colour scheme, but it got too hard, so I just chucked anything I fancied in the shopping basket and waited to see what would be delivered to my doorstep. Pretty, huh? Planning to roll them into rectangles, tied with a luggage label and a few brass bells, as place settings.