CP Ties the Knot: Ballin’ on a Budget
When I was a little kid, my mom used to throw us these birthday parties. I am not talking about balloons and cake and presents; I am talking about pirate themed with hidden clues and buried treasure birthday parties. I am not talking about pin the tail on the donkey or bingo party games. Picture zip line pizza eating contests and neighborhood wide scavenger hunts. And this is not even the half of it. Naturally, I have always assumed my parties would be the biggest and the best and my wedding is no different. I am about to start planning the biggest and most fabulous party of my life.
- photo credit: http://www.glamour.com/weddings/2012/01/57-jaw-droppingly-beautiful-wedding-dresses-to-obsess-over#slide=1
Oh . . . wait a second. My dream wedding is going cost $100,000+ dollars? Not. An. Option. We are going to have to plan world's best party on a much more realistic budget. Honestly though, I didn't realize how much weddings truly cost until I started shopping around for engagement party and reception venues. I learned what the term "minimum food and beverage spend" meant very quickly. I also learned that tax and tip are NOT included and you must calculate that price before even considering a visit to a venue. This began to put some stress on my very "stress free wedding planning" outlook. So I am taking things one step at a time.
First up: planning the engagement party. We are hosting the event in Baltimore since this is where we met and lots of our friends are here. When I first started browsing around at local restaurants we love, I was getting responses like $5,000 to rent the private dining room and $75 a person excluding alcohol. Excuse me? I am planning a get together with appetizers and cocktails – not a wedding. Those prices are extreme and made me question having the engagement party altogether. But I think we are close to settling on a restaurant that we love that fits in our budget. We are looking at having the party in September which will be just about a year away from the wedding (hoping for September 2014). We are going to attempt to incorporate a French Parisian theme into it since our engagement happened in Paris.
Second up: visiting reception venues. We weren't planning on visiting any venues until late August, but special deals and venues booking up quickly have forced us to move a little faster. I am not dead set on any real location but the MD/DC/VA area is what we have narrowed it down to so far. We are going to visit wine country in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. There are so many gorgeous vineyards and wineries located in Central Virginia so that is our first place to look. My parents and sister are coming along for the visits so I am really excited to tour the vineyards with a glass of wine and hopefully pick a location to marry my love. - Monika Reynolds