This is it.
Today’s the day we become man and chick.
Roo and I have spent the last week finishing up wedding tasks and welcoming our friends and family into our new hometown for the party of a lifetime. But each day, we take a moment to remember the marriage we’re celebrating. In between the cutting and gluing and packing and moving, we find small moments to kiss or hug or smack each other on the butt. And laugh. So much laughing.
You see, Roo is my best friend. I know so much about him. And the best part is, I’m excited to know so much more. We have so many adventures in front of us, learning, laughing and growing together. And it all starts today.
Roo, I love you so much. Thank you for supporting me in everything. This wedding. This blog. I can’t wait to be your wife.
Weddings take a lot of stuff. Just ask my dining room. With three days to go, boxes and bags of wedding gear have taken over the place where we have candlelit dinner every night …room we don’t really use anyway.
And the thing is, we didn’t budget for any of this stuff. I mean, there were generic line items in our budget for things like “decor” and “attire,” but I never put much thought into the specifics of what we’d need to buy up in the weeks leading to the wedding. I just wrote $500 next to decor. It seemed like enough.
Spoiler alert: It was not enough. Here are some of the things that we’ve recently shelled out for to complete our wedding day:
- 24 white ceramic cube vases, $72
- 24 tall mason jars, $19
- One roll of 12″ kraft paper, $19
- 12 beer growlers, $39
- 36 beer bottles, free (thank God)
- 48 votive candles, $26
- 20 tall prayer candles, $20 (minus Jesus and Mary, plus custom printed vellum wraps)
- Flowers and plants, $447
- A big chalkboard, $12
- A little chalkboard, $7 (plus $20 shipping, what a racket!)
- A medium-sized chalkboard, $15
- Vinyl decals to stick on the chalkboards, $188 (money well spent, as far as I’m concerned, since I don’t have to actually draw anything)
- A few extra vinyl decals to fix some spelling mistakes we should have caught in the first place, $20 (whoops!)
Grand total for decor: $904
Only around $400 over budget. Whoops again!
The flowers, specifically, were way more than I expected, considering we’re DIY’ing all the florals for the wedding (I don’t buy flowers often, can you tell?). But I am so terribly excited to put it all together. So know this: Yes, your wedding budget is a scary number. But it will go up. It always does. Keep your head on straight and make sure every cent is well-spent to make you happy.
What last-minute expenses popped up for your big day?
So… I’m getting married this weekend! To say we’ve been busy is an understatement. There have been lots of little details and decisions happening the past few weeks, and I’ll embellish on all of it in time. For now, here’s the final countdown.
Three Weeks to Go
The last few weekends before our wedding were filled with lots of non-wedding fun, like concerts and parties. I would advise any bride to keep busy with things that remind them they’re a person and not just a girl in a white dress. Don’t let the wedding keep you from living your life.
I finally picked my wedding band. I opted for something without diamonds, surprisingly. It’s a simple and sculptural yellow gold band, and I love it to pieces. I may or may not have already began wearing it.
We got our RSVPs back in record time, mainly because we have the best guests ever.
To thank the best guests ever, we’ve been hustling to fill up welcome bags for them to have in their hotel rooms. We’re making the bags Atlanta-themed and stuffing them with Coca Cola, Georgia peanuts, street maps and some local baby back rib-flavored potato chips.
Two Weeks to Go
October has been all about decisions. All those little things I’d told myself “we have plenty of time to deal with”? It was time to deal with them.
Heeding the advice of friends before us, we promptly got into the courthouse to get our marriage license. Good thing, too, because it took two visits thanks to long lines and mismatched work schedules.
Apologies for the potato-quality photo. The best camera is the one you have on you, right?
I’m making final decisions on all the little projects I have left to do. My DIY plan for these last two weeks is to finish up our tablescapes (flowers and the like), pack our welcome bags and figure out exactly what I’m going to do for a ceremony backdrop.
We met with our day-of coordinator at our venue and planned the wedding timeline, deciding once and for all to skip having a cocktail hour and relieving ourselves of the embarrassment of a public garter dance. No cocktail hour, no bouquet toss and absolutely no garter-ing.
Roo is telling me he’s having wedding dreams. I told him it was about time, since I’ve been having wedding dreams about everything going wrong since, like, day two.
Ten Days to Go
I’m checking the forecast obsessively. We picked October 11th because it’s historically the driest month in Atlanta, and I hate rain. But guess what? There are thunderstorms passing through this weekend. Can you believe it? Rain on our wedding day. Isn’t it ironic? A little too ironic, if you ask me. It wouldn’t be a big deal, I mean, rain photos are beautiful… except for the teeny tiny fact that we have to serve food outside. That’s kind of how food trucks go. It might be time to stock up on umbrellas.
Nine Days to Go
Yaasssss…. The forecast looks totally clear and perfect!
Eight Days to Go
Crap. It’s definitely going to rain.
One Week to Go
Our in-town friends have planned separate bachelor and bachelorette bashes for Roo and me. I had a really great time having dinner and dancing with the girls, and it made the wedding feel very real. The rest of the weekend after that was a blur. I don’t know whether to blame my “it’s really here” reality check, or the fact that I went to bed at 7:30 am Sunday morning.
Paying for that late night with an inconsistent sleep schedule. This early part of our wedding week is all about getting back to normal for me. I’m trying to get my sleep back on track, and stay hydrated so I can look and feel my best on Saturday. I’m at work until Wednesday, so it’s time to wrap things up and get ready for the big day. And the honeymoon. Actually, I don’t know which one I’m more excited about.
How did you spend your last few days before the wedding? Any advice?
I thought planning a wedding would be the best time of my life. The celebration, the details, the crafting; I live for this stuff. And yet, I’ve spent the later part of our engagement resenting our wedding.
First of all, let me say this: I don’t feel anything but joy for our marriage. I love Rooster, and committing to spending every day with him is the most natural and exuberant thing in the world to me. But when it comes to The Wedding, I’ve been feeling a bit lost. When we were first engaged 17 months ago, I anticipated spending a modest amount on a very practical party. For me, it would be all about the marriage. But somewhere along the way, I got caught up in weddings. I spent most of the time battling between what I could do and what I wanted to do, and I’ll admit that I lost sight of our practical goals. Or maybe I just recognized that the pomp meant more to me than I’d imagined in the first place.
Our small wedding turned into a big drain on our time, our thoughts and our wallets. And if I’m being totally honest, I began to resent it. I’ve heard newlywed brides say that after their own hectic days were done and behind them, they wished they’d just eloped, and I certainly expected to feel the same way. I never expected, however, to feel that way before the wedding was even here.
So instead of post-wedding depression, I fell into a pre-wedding depression. For the past few months, I put off tasks and projects related to our big day. I just tried to live day-to-day, worrying about work and “real life” and not this expensive and intricate party that I’d grown to resent. I keep using the word “resent,” because I can’t find the right words to describe the way I felt about our wedding during those months. I was still excited for our day, after all. Excited to spend time with our family and affirm our love for each other in front of the people we care about. But in planning our day, I got away from all that and began to worry too much about making it perfect, and started to hate how much time and money we were pouring into our perfect day. So I stopped caring about wedding planning for a while. I was still checking things off the list despite my melancholy, mostly because we’d signed enough contracts and checks to ensure we couldn’t just hit the rewind button on the big bash. But while I did it all, I just felt… detached.
But something happened yesterday, with less than one week to go until our wedding: I got really, really excited. And proud. And now I’m ready to share the things I’ve been working on in silence with you, Hive. There’s plenty that has been done and decided since I left you, and there’s still more to go in these last five days. (As a critical procrastinator, I’ve put off a lot of projects. Classic Miss Hen.) I’ll get through as much as I can here in the home stretch, then after the wedding, I’ll continue sharing all the things we’ve been working on for our wedding day.
I’m sorry for being a bad blogger and going missing in action for the past month, but I hope you understand why. When you’re trying to repress the stress of planning a wedding, getting online and waxing about it is the furthest thing from your mind. By writing this, I hope I’ve earned your forgiveness. And I hope that I might help somebody else out there feeling the same things. Planning a wedding might not be all it’s cracked up to be for you, and that’s totally OK.
So I hope you’ll have me back, Hive! This wedding is shaping up to be amazing, after all, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
There’s apparently a fine line between “Oh that’s so interesting!” and “What the heck was she thinking?!”
Thanks to our small budget and pseudo-hispter desire to do things a little out of the norm, Roo and I have been coming up with creative solutions for our wedding. Things like serving food from a food truck and popsicles instead of cake. So I’ve been trying to think outside of the proverbial “box” when it comes to decor, too.
Already in the works for table decorations are crafty DIY projects involving dollar store candles, plastic succulents and gold spray paint; a trio I realize sounds crazy, but I’m totally confident will look incredible. What I’m not so confident about? Kraft paper table runners.
Emerson Fry‘s holiday tablescape via Faye and Co.
We’ll have a mix of tables at our venue—both in style and in size. Among them is a set of four 8-person farm tables, and four extra long picnic tables (which seat 12+). These eight tables in particular are proving to be quite a challenge to decorate. The ideal situation would be to set these tables up with a long line of plush arrangements, but since we’ve decided flowers aren’t a priority for the budget, our centerpieces are going to be a little more sparse and minimalist. Plus, because of the whole food truck thing, there really won’t be anything else on the tables but the centerpieces. No plates, no napkins, no silverware. I want to use table runners to play up the length of the tables and bring some cohesiveness to the decor, but I can’t exactly find anything long enough that fits our budget (especially for the huge picnic tables).
Nicola Lynde’s DIY Wedding
So I had an idea. Kraft paper table runners. We used “brown bag” paper all throughout our invitations, so why not bring it into the event? I could buy a roll of 18″ wide paper and cut it exactly to size to fit every table in the joint. And it would only be $30. That’s, like, negative money to a wedding budget.
Britt Rene Photo via Style Me Pretty, florals by Twig & Twine
But I keep hearing that voice in my head. “What was she thinking?!” I want it to look casual and cool. Not crafty. I want it to feel like you’re at a swanky lowcountry boil hosted by an up-and-coming local chef where everybody’s wearing gingham and really nice leather watches. Not like the kid’s table at Macaroni Grill.
I found tons of proof online that it can work. But even though I love the way it looks in these photos, and I think it would be perfect for the vibe of our bash. I can’t quite commit to the idea.
What do you think? Cool or crazy? Also, does anybody have any advice for making decisions quickly and confidently? I just can’t get it together, even this late in the game.