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Archive for the ‘Invitations’ Category

When we first got engaged, Mike and I determined our budget to be $2,000. My dad and stepmom provided all of the beverages and most of the food, and a few others contributed food as well. We borrowed as much as we could, and bought cheap on everything else. We also decided to include our Family Meet and Greet Slash Shower in that budget, so we had to get creative about how to keep our estimated budget at $2,000. In the end, our total estimated budget was $1,985 but our total expenditures were only $1,488.63. Pretty damn good I’d say!

Throughout the last year we’ve detailed how we saved money on everything from my dress to decorations to invitations. But here’s how the budget actually broke down:

Item                          Proposed      Actual
MISC
White Knot donation       10                   10
Gifts                               40                  41

PRE-WEDDING
Save-the-date                  0                    0              (electronic)
Invitations (+postage)   75                  56.3         (design & printing by friend)
Marriage license             20                  23

BRIDE
Dress                             50                   50             (vintage from Etsy)
Alterations                     0                      0             (fixed a small tear myself)
Shoes                           40                    40             (vintage from Etsy)
Hair piece                      25                      0              (gift from friend)
Jewelry                          0                      0              (borrowed from mom)
Makeup                         0                      0              (did it myself)
Hair                               0                      0              (done by my sister)
Mani/pedi                     0                     0               (did it myself)
Bra/underwear              0                     25             (bought slip)

Something to carry      30                     0              (decided against it)

GROOM
Pants                              0                     0              (wore pre-owned pants)
Shirt                             50                   25              (JCPenney)
Shoes                             0                     0               (wore pre-owned shoes)
Jacket                         100                 100             (JCPenney)

CEREMONY
Chairs                            0                     0             (borrowed folding chairs)
Location                        0                     0             (at my dad’s)
Officiant                        0                     0             (my sister officiated)
Photographer               375                 375             (hired a friend)
Wedding bands            350                355             (Rogers & Hollands)
Love Letter Box               0                    0             (hand made by my dad)
Unity Quilt                    30                  34.53        (for back fabric and tie string)

RECEPTION
Decorations                 150                133.11
Food                            100                 20              (we had a lot donated)
Beverages                     20                   0               (for water we didn’t buy)
Tables                          150                   0               (borrowed instead of rented)
Chairs                             0                   0
Plates/cups/cutlery        75                 41.25          (all plastic and paper)
Music                              0                   0               (used an iPod and iHome)
Favors                          75                  91
Photo booth                 50                   0

SHOWER
Room rental                 50                  0                (used Mike’s mom’s work)
Food                           50                36.35           (had a lot donated)
Decorations                 20                20.85
Invitations (+postage) 30               25.84            (Snapfish)
Thank you cards            0                 0                  (used some I had on hand)
Postage                        10                 7.84

POST-WEDDING
Thank you cards            0                 0                   (used some I had on hand)
Postage                       20               15.4

TOTAL                    1,985       1,488.63

(Sorry if that’s a big effing mess – I’m too lazy to figure out how to make a table.)

We kept track of all of this in a Google Doc. On one sheet, everytime we bought something we wrote it in and categorized it (decorations, food, favors, etc). Then when everything was purchased in a category, we added up the total and put it in the second sheet that had our master budget. Using some Excel-like magic, Google added everything up for us as we went.

A wedding for under $2,000? Actually, under $1,500! I can live with that. Especially because it was an incredibly awesome wedding!

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Missing guests

We invited the Obamas to our wedding. Sadly they couldn’t make it. Must have been doing important President and First Lady stuff. I don’t know. But they did send a lovely card.

Unfortunately there was no check attached. Damn.

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When we were first engaged, my friend Robin (of Plume Creations) told me she’d design our invitations for us. I then conveyed a vision to her, and even though it was not like any invitation she had created before, she managed to bring my vision to life.

Sorry for the ugly black blocks – protecting private information. Anyway, it’s an 11×17  poster! Which of course we framed.

She took a photo from our “faux engagement” with my friend Erica of Photography by Arika Reed, and made it into a silhouette. Mike and I picked this photo because we love how it’s so obviously us.

I wrote the words and they read:

Shannon & Mike
met on Match
in November 2008.
Shannon contacted Mike
(S: I like to laugh)
and he quickly replied
(M: so do I).

Shannon & Mike
met in real life
on December 11.
Their first date involved
food, sangria, spilled water,
a long drive, a long night,
and a first kiss.

Shannon & Mike
matched well.

Five months later,
they became roommates.
Happily they shared an apartment, a cat,
laughter and I love yous.

Shannon & Mike
decided they wanted to be
together forever in July 2009.
They bought rings and called
each other fiancé.

Shannon & Mike had
met their match.

Now exactly
one year, six months and one day
after they first laid eyes on each other

Shannon & Mike
are making this happy match
an even happier matrimony.

Please join us on Saturday, June 12 at 4:00 p.m. in the backyard of [address]. RSVP by June 1 to [email]. Don’t miss the casual celebration immediately following.

Most of the invitations we were able to hand deliver to friends and family. We rolled them up with the maps we created, and tied them with colorful embroidery floss.

The rest we had to mail using mailing tubes from Staples.

We had budgeted $75 for invitation costs, and we came in at $56.30. Robin generously printed the posters for free, the mailing tubes were $21 (we had to buy 24 of them even though we didn’t use them all), and the rest was spent on postage. Fifty six dollars to mail our invitations seems a little ridiculous, but when you consider that some people spend hundreds of dollars on their invitations, I think it’s pretty good.

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Before I show off our awesome wedding invitations, let me show off the bachelorette party (sort of) invitations that Robin of Plume Creations made (same designer (and friend) that did the wedding invitations).

Aren’t they so cute? These were printed and pasted on nice black cardstock, and of course didn’t have giant ugly black blocks on them.

I can’t wait to get a good mix of my friends and family together next week to have fun!

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We’re inviting President and Mrs. Obama to our wedding! I hope they come!

Ok, so they won’t come, but we’re inviting them anyway. If you invite the sitting President, you get a letter back from him (or her) congratulating you. What a cool thing to keep? I’m glad Obama is President while I’m getting married. It just wouldn’t have been the same if I got married a few years ago…

Interested in inviting the first couple to your wedding?

Send an invitation to:
The Honorable Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama
The White House
Greetings Office Room 39
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Who knows, maybe they’ll be so impressed by our awesome invitation (details coming soon!) that they’ll decide to show up.

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