Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Decisions and Reception Details

Happy Wednesday!

I'm really excited to start refining some of the details of my ceremony/reception. In case you're fairly new around here, I'm getting married in April and I'm trying to do my entire wedding/reception for as close to $2,000.00 as possible.

Say what?

Yes, I read that the average wedding costs something like $18,000.00 and I 1) don't have that kind of money to spend and 2) don't want to spend that much money on my wedding. So, I decided to try and do this for as close to $2k as possible so that I don't incur debt for my wedding.

So, with that, I've decided to take on a number of projects that are usually done by other (paid) people. The first one being that I've decided to make my own bouquet and the bouquets of my sisters (bridesmaids) as well. I really think I can do it and there are lots of tutorials and videos for making a pretty bouquet. I want it to look a little messy and I'm using lots of wildflowers, so I really think it will work.

Another decision I made is to be my own wedding planner. I've done this before and am confident in my abilities. It is a little more stressful in the long run, but saves a tremendous amount of money.


One of my favorite things to plan so far (which is also the largest stressor) is the reception. I'm doing a self-catered, dessert reception immediately following the ceremony. I will have cake (or a few cakes/cupcakes), a candy buffet and a milk and cookies station. Planning the look of the dessert reception has been easy. I'm going with 3 colors and using mostly stripes as a pattern. Below are two of the reception mood boards using actual details I plan on incorporating. The mason jars will be tied with the striped ribbon instead of the gingham in the picture.

Yes, there will be a plethora of Oreos and they may or may not be stacked up and arranged like a cake. :) Also, I've decided to forgo some of the "prettier" candy often used in candy buffets like candy buttons, swizzel sticks, taffy, etc. for candy that M and I love like Sour Patch kids, Junior Mints and Sour Gummy Worms. I like the idea of taking ideas and personalizing them a bit for M and myself.

I'm also going to incorporate the colored ribbon on the bouquets and the cake/cakes...both to unify the look of the reception and ceremony and also because I bought 20 yards of each color: pink, navy and green. :)


Can we talk about how expensive wedding cakes are?! Ridiculous. Part of me wanted to do a few smaller cakes (all different flavors) with a unified decor (white icing with the navy/white striped ribbon and flowers) to give our guests different options. Then I thought it might be easier just to do one cake with multiple tiers for everyone.

But with 175-200 people one cake is VERY expensive. The option of multiple cakes still exists. I think it will be easier to do, but not sure how it would work logistically since we won't have enough of each kind of cake for everyone. For example, we may have a chocolate cake that feeds 50, a strawberry cake that feeds 30 and maybe a lemon cake that feeds 40, and so on. But, then, what if everyone wants only one of the cakes? Also, I thought about doing cupcakes. Perhaps doing like 3 kinds of cupcakes and then one small round cake for M and I to cut/eat. But aren't cupcakes really expensive? Sigh. Then I thought about asking a few people I know who are bakers/pastry chefs to make the cakes for me (I would pay of course) but it would hopefully be less expensive than ordering from a bakery...but then I feel bad about asking them. Y'all this is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night. Not getting married...not making a lifelong commitment...the reception food and cakes!

Those of you who are married...what did you do for your wedding cake?
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  1. Do the separate cakes. People will want different kinds- and I can't seeing anyone getting upset over the fact that they got lemon instead of chocolate. Don't let it stress you out, especially if it's the cheaper route!!

  2. Wedding cakes are INSANE. We knew someone who baked and they gave us that for our wedding gift, which was great.

    I have seen people do a very small, skinny two or three tier cake for them to cut (like a mini cake) and serve off of a sheet cake. Honestly, sheet cakes taste better to me anyway!

  3. Wow! a $2,000 budget is great. I'm glad you're being so practical, but at the same time I know you're going to get what you want. I'd go with smaller cakes. Who cares if everyone doesn't get chocolate? I always like having a choice.

  4. I like the idea of the smaller cakes, that's kinda what I did. I had 5 cakes and the grooms cake. Love the cookies and milk station, unique idea!

  5. We got lucky and had a friend who was a pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton. She ended up making us a Ritz quality cake for 150-ish people for only $100. Deal!

  6. I used to work for a wedding caterer. I saw plenty of couples who had very pretty smaller cake on the cake table for the bride and groom to cut and then the guests were served sheet cakes from their favorite bakery. It was way cheaper than one big cake.

  7. We did a lot of different large sheet cakes in different flavors like chocolate, banana, strawberry.. and then we had a very simple main cake with three tiers that was white with white frosting.. but we found a lady who makes cakes but doesn't work at a bakery. She did each sheet cake for like 25 dollars each.. it was awesome.


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