Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Q & A: Scaling Back

Reader Question: I wanted to tell you how grounding and lovely it is to read your blog. I wish I had found it when I was rushing and panicking and trying to accommodate my selfish and frustrating family's needs. I can only assume your family is totally awesome and therefore all your 'in-between' times were actually filled with joy rather than witnessing pursed lips and whispers under people's [mom's] breath.

I also wish I had stuck to my guns [we should just have paid for it all ourselves] and not made it so that I needed my family's help. But now I am stuck with a big fat wedding in a space I LOVE with the man I love, and I am grateful for that and now want to figure out how to get the easy feeling I so wanted with this wedding to begin with. Any thoughts on how to scale back after I have already jumped in to the 4500K space and the 150 ppl guest list?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

First of all, truly appreciate everything that's going well! The space you love + the man you love = Awesomeness!

Second, I suggest you go back to the very beginning and talk with your partner about what your vision for your wedding is. When you say you wanted an "easy feeling," what do you mean by that?

The big picture is the best place to start. Once you have the end vision in mind, you can then work backwards to plan all the smaller steps that align with the end. It sounds like two of the major pieces have already been decided (the location and the guest list), but there's still a ton of stuff that is within your circle of influence. Plus, it's never too late to "scale back."

If by "easy feeling" you mean relaxed and fun, you can certainly still create that feeling through your food choice, your seating arrangement, the music, the flow of events, the formality of the attire, etc.

Dearest Readers, do you have any other words of wisdom?


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7 comments:

Sarah said...

Hey, if you love the space, go for it! And 150 ppl really isn't that much-- our guest list is ~80 because our venue is small, but we could have _so_ easily gone up to 150.

Also, having a relaxed laid back wedding isn't all about the money. If the space is $45K (I know you wrote that it was 4500K but man you're talking a half million dollars there so I'm thinking it was a typo?) and gorgeous, then maybe you don't have to fret about decorations? If the space requires you pick from a list of caterers, then hey, your decision's half made. Sara's right-- there is still a ton left to decide and speaking as someone who's about neck-deep in wedding planning, the devil's in the details has more than one meaning for me now!, i.e. the details are the worst part! :)

Liz said...

i'm not on board with the indie-wedding idea that the best way to have your wedding is to ignore what everyone else wants. i think by catering to some (not all of course!) of your "selfish and frustrating family" you may contribute to that easy feeling- don't beat yourself up for it!

we had a wedding of 150ppl and it was totally laidback.

definitely sit and list what you (as a wedding guest, not just a bride) consider the components of an "easy" and "laidback" wedding.

Heather said...

I think the laid back and easy feeling comes mostly from your state of mind. We've invited around 350 people, but it's still a very casual event. It's just going to be a HUGE backyard BBQ & party. There are a few people around me that sometimes slip into that panicky voice and it's tempting to join them, but I'm not going to give in. Like Sara said, focus on the things you love. Don't stress when something doesn't go as planned. Whatever happens will be part of a great memory. It might even be better than what you planned as long as you take it in stride.

kari and matthew said...

Since you have a space you love (though it is pricey), I say you can cut back on some of the other items that will bust your budget and drive you crazy. Maybe you just do a dessert and drinks cocktail party (cheaper than a meal for a lot of people) or a brunch. That way you can start to feel in control of it again

"T-Bone" Lee said...

We are also having a wedding at a venue that a lot of indie brides would consider "too" expensive and are having over 100 guests...but we are still dedicated to keeping everything "easy".

I kind of feel like when you freak out about everything it takes away from the end result. Just keep your attitude light hearted and know that all the choices you make will be the right ones if you follow what will truly make you happy. It's so easy to get caught up in what other people want and it's good to take other people into consideration, but not at the expense of what will make you happy.

One big piece of advice I have: don't over interview vendors. When you find someone you click with and trust that is within or close to budget just book em and move on.

KatyDidCrafts said...

I love Liz's advice to think as a guest for a moment. That can actually really help you identify what you might want for your own wedding.

When you're at a wedding, what makes you feel good? Do you like lots of dancing or would you prefer something more quiet? What kind of favor would you appreciate (and not just toss when you get home)? Is it important to you to get seated at a table where you know everyone already or do you like to mingle and meet new folks?

My husband and I got a lot of our ideas from what we liked or hated from weddings we'd been to as guests. As in - I hated going to the bathroom in a portapotty, but I loved that they had a fire pit. Or the dessert buffet was so much fun but I wish they had more to eat for vegetarians. Or I wish I'd known it was a cash bar because I didn't bring any money with me. Or I hated being a bridesmaid and will never subject my friends to that! Or those personal vows were incredibly touching and the use of family heirlooms as decoration added such a sense of connection. You get the drift.

Alex said...

We are having the best of both worlds... a semi formal, but laid back, very handmade wedding with about 200 (we both have big families and we didn't want to cut any friends)... food, dancing, big white dress, ect. Then were going to my fiancé's house for a bonfire with our friends and immediate family. Its July 10th so we plan on hotdogs, s'mores and jiffy pop over the fire and of course beer and sparklers :-) yay!!! it's all coming out to about 5K... I have compromised and given into a few strange looks... my grandma bought me wedding shoes because she was mortified that i was going to wear my green chucks with the dress they had helped me pick out BUT I still dyed my slip bright green and I got my cupcake tower instead of the big fancy cake my mom wanted. Everyone has been really supportive of my countless diy projects although at this point I never want to see green cardstock or inkpads ever again. Our families have come to realize through the planning process that some things are going to be, well not what they wanted but its not their wedding its ours and we are creative, kinda strange people, Im an art teacher and my fiancé is an industrial designer In the end I am super excited and everyone is happy! Stick to what you want but maybe you can give into some things that you are comfortable with changing.

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