Monday, March 21, 2011

The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said...

"The time has come, the walrus said,
To talk of many things.
Of ships and shoes and sealing wax
Of cabbages and kings..."

But...(Siiiiigh)...Not weddings. It's hard to believe and even harder to write this but my time blogging here has reached it's end.  And for once, Little Miss Gabby,Chatty-Cathy, Talk-Your-Ear-Off me is at a loss for words.

Because how do I express what Weddingbee and all it's incredibly smart, funny, rockin' readers have done for me during my one-and-a-half year tenure as a blogger? It's so hard to figure out without sounding trite, cheesy or repetitive but I'm going to give it my best shot.

When I joined the site in June of 2009, I never expected to become real-life, honest-to-goodness friends with people. I mean, it's a wedding site and I came looking for wedding inspiration and here I am, almost two years later, in awe of this community and the ties that bind it. Seriously, this is a pretty amazing place.

And while saying good bye to you all is the hardest, a part of me is sad to say good bye to my wedding too.  Because in spite of all my b*tching and moaning, I really did love my wedding.  I loved planning it, I loved crafting for it, I loved anticipating it and after it was all said and done, I loved (and still love) re-living it. Truthfully, I would happily start planning another one all over again and never leave this enchanted world.  But I'm fast approaching our one-year anniversary and so I thought that on our two-year engage-aversary, there was no more fitting time for me to sign off. 

Aaaaaaaand, now I can't see the computer keys since I'm crying so hard...*Sob* (Seriously.)

Before I go, I need to just tell you all one thing and I mean this: You guys are fucking awesome.

For real.  I've said this before and I'll say it again- I'm sure I would have made it to my wedding just fine without you all but it damn sure would not have been anywhere near as much fun. You guys made my wedding more than a party with pretty details, you showed me what community means and made me realize how important the idea of a community was for our wedding day. I'll never forget that and I'll always be grateful for being a part of this community right here.

While there's not much left to write about, wedding-wise, I obviously can't shut up for long so if you wanna come on by and read about my running feats and dessert foibles, you can find more of me at A Runners Life.  And obviously, I can't really quit you all, so I'm sure you'll still see me commenting away on blog posts and the boards. 

But, for now, this is it.

Friends, I wish you all nothing but the best, from wonderful, stress-free, happy weddings to lives filled with love, joy and togetherness.  You all deserve that. And finally, most importantly, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Mrs Trailmix

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All My Love, All My Life: Budget Breakdown

Ah, the budget.  The budget is a tricky beast, wouldn't you agree? Everyone who is contributing to it wants a say in how the funds are used, not to mention the fact that it has a funny way of rapidly expanding (much like my stomach after my recent purchase of six boxes of Girl Scout cookies...)

First off, I gotta put this out there: Tented weddings are not cheap, yo! I originally decided to go this route after looking at packages from a few places that were well above what I thought we could afford.  For example, one place I liked would have cost right around $100/head. When I did the math, my eyes bulged out of my head and I decided (without really thinking it through) that a tented wedding would be a better option, since I had been quoted around $45/head from a caterer I had sent an inquiry to.  What I didn't think about was the fact that when you add in all the rentals, the costs per head were probably almost equal! Ooooops....D'oh! *Insert the sound of my palm hitting my forehead here...

Another major issue was location.  In a book my mom received about tips for planning a wedding, the number one recommendation to save money was (wait for it...) -to get out of the Northeast.  Huh. Well, seeing as how I'd already put down a deposit on our venue at this point, it was too late to do that but I will say that I agree with the book- the Northeast is a mad expensive place to hold a wedding.

Somehow, in spite of all my penny-pinching and stressing about money, our wedding still ended up costing a sh*t-ton.  Huge thanks, Mom, Dad and Trail Mix In-Laws, for prolonging your retirement so we could have such an awesome shin-dig (I'm kidding about the retirement thing...*I hope.) Anyways, hopefully this is somewhat helpful for those of you in the midst of planning and wondering how much things cost.

Alright, let's do this thang!

Venue: The Tannery Pond, New Lebanon, NY
Cost: $3,000 site fee plus $360 for event insurance. This included access to the Tannery (an old Shaker building) where our ceremony was, as well as use of the grounds for the tent, electricity, water, etc. This site had tons of significance to me and I loved it. It makes my heart happy to tell people I got married in my hometown. Totally worth the exorbitant site fee.

Mmmmm, cheese...

Caterer: Debbie of Spice of Life Catering, Valatie, NY
Cost: Including food, linens, wait and bar service and set up, plus tip the total came out to be around $13,000.  I don't know the exact number because I didn't pay this bill but Debbie was worth every penny.  Her mushroom ravioli were to-die-for.

I loved his hat- it's his signature!

If you book The Characters, I can guarantee your guests will look like this all night long...

Music: The Characters, New York, NY
Cost: $4,500 including travel costs from NYC two hours Upstate. I've said it before and I'll say it again, they were without a doubt the BEST investment of the entire wedding!

Rentals: Aviator Tent Rentals, Kinderhook, NY
Cost: Roughly $8,000 (not completely sure what the exact total ended up being) that included everything one would need for a wedding for 185 guests, including: Tent, prop tent, catering grill, dance floor, tables, chairs, plates, silverware, glassware, salt and pepper shakers and a golf cart. They were awesome and helped us pack up everything the next morning too, which was huge.

*BTW- I highly highly HIGHLY recommend getting a golf cart if you're planning a wedding where the bathrooms or parking is more than 100 yards away from your reception! Not only is it helpful for elderly guests but your inebriated friends will have a blast being complete and total idiots on it as well!

Flowers: Angel's Trumpet, New Lebanon, NY
Cost: $3,750 which included 18 centerpieces, 5 or so table arrangements, aisle decorations, the chuppah and altar decorations, 5 bouquets, 8 boutonnieres, 2 nosegays, my hair wreath and a large wreath for the front door.

Alcohol: DIY
Cost: $4,000. We opted to bring in our own alcohol from a local liquor store rather than go through our caterer. They helped us figure out how much we'd need but we had tons leftover.  Probably could've cut down by about 1/3 and still had plenty.  Oh well, better too much than too little, y'all know we haven't let that go to waste ;)

Transportation: I can't recall the name of the company I used for this but it was a 21-passenger bus and we hired them for eight hours to shuttle all our drunk-ass friends from the bed and breakfasts to the venue.
Cost: $600 plus $100 tip

Photographer: Kelly of Closed Circle Photography, Boston, MA
Cost: $2,200 plus $100 tip.  This included seven hours of coverage, a second shooter and a photobooth, plus CDs of all the pics.  And, I mean, have you seen my pictures? I think they speak for themselves but I'll say it anyways: Kelly's incredibly talented, I love my pro pics and I definetly recommend her!

Attire: Claire Pettibone "Fontaine" dress from Kleinfeld's (purchased as a sample) and a charcoal grey suit from Men's Wearhouse, plus white dress shirt and tie. My shoes were from J. Crew.
Cost: $1200 for my dress, plus $350 for alterations at Ellen's Couture in Manhattan's Upper West Side; $225 for the suit, plus $100 for shirt and tie. $80 for my shoes.

Paper Products: Invitations (from Encore Studios), Save The Dates, Postage, Programs, Menus, etc.
Cost: $1400

Officiant: Friend of cousin's
Cost: $600 including travel and hotel room. Rena was amazing. She made us laugh, she made us cry and she infused our entire ceremony with heartfelt joy and love.

Rings: Morays Jewelers in Miami, FL.
Cost: $690 for my 1.5mm rose gold eternity band and Mr Trail Mix's white gold band plus $70 for engraving.

Ketubah: Created by Amy Fagin of 20th Century Illuminations
Cost: $175 for the Ketubah itself (ours is small, 15" x 12") plus $30 for the cost of the frame.  My mom had it matted and I don't know what the price on that was.

Miscellaneous: Includes gifts for our bridal party and parents, random decor, favors, OOT bags, flip flops, Day of Coordinator, guest book, kippot and bathroom baskets.
Cost: $3,200

Whoooof.  If you made it this far, I commend you (although I did try to give you guys lots of pretty pictures to look at through the whole thing!) I can't even give a grand total because I might vomit. The moral of this story? Weddings are expensive.  Especially tented weddings in the Northeast.

Was it worth it? HELL yeah.  While there are things I could have (or would have) changed to save money, overall our wedding experience was incredible and the memories have no price tag. Go big or go home is my motto and I'm only planning on having one wedding, so for us, it was worth it without a doubt, to throw the party of our lives (until our kid's bar or bat mitzvahs, haha! Juuuuust kidding...)

Anyways, thanks so much for recapping with me, it's hard to believe but this is all I got.  Done.  Finito. Hasta lasagna, don't get any on ya! Obviously, I've got one last "goodbye" post for yas (you didn't think I'd say goodbye just like that, did you? Nope, waaaay too sentimental to just sign off lickety split...) but this is the official end of the Trail Mix wedding recaps.  It's been real.