Has anyone done or doing their own uplighting??? I am thinking of doing my own its cheaper that way...
Dessert Buffet Menu
So, I've finalized the menu for our dessert buffet. The only problem I can see with it is that it will feed about 1500 people instead of 150. Oh well, they're our favours too - And the leftovers can go to the shelter!
Cosmo (based on the cosmopolitan martini, has dried cranberries soaked in vodka & lime juice with lime buttercream)
Dulce de leche
7-up (A white 7-up cake topped with lemon- lime flavored cream cheese frosting)
Peanut Butter Chocolate
Grasshopper - A crème de cocoa spiked chocolate cake with crème de menthe icing
Jack and Coke - A coco- cola cake topped with Jack Daniel?s spirited buttercream
Margarita- A tequila lime cake adorned with triple sec buttercream and margarita flavored jelly beans.
Mai Tai - a rum and almond cake topped with sweet cherry icing
Strawberry Daiquiri - A yummy strawberry and rum cake with vanilla buttercream and a sprinkle of red sugar
Tequila Sunrise - A light tequila and orange cake with grenadine buttercream
Toffee butter crunch
Rice crispy square candy
Candied citrus peel
Jelly bean bark
White chocolate cherry almond bark
Candied citrus peel
Chocolate covered pretzels
Milk Chocolate hazelnut
Aztec - Cinnamon, cayenne, fresh ginger root, chile powder, nutmeg, cloves and a touch of honey to balance the flavors.
Dark Chocolate curry
White chocolate pina colada
Instant coffee and Kahlua and baily's
White chocolate cinnamon liquor
Pear and ginger
Peaches and cream
White chocolate mango
Coffee, coconut, macadamia, milk chocolate
Triple Chocolate chunk
White Chocolate Cranberry pistachio
Black and white dipped cookies
Cut-out sandwich cookies
Custard fruit tart
Brownie caramel pecan
Caramel rocky road
Peanut butter fruit
Sugared soft ginger
Cookies and cream
Chocolate covered marshmallows
Iced marshmallow pops
Sugar cookie lollipops
Mini cream puffs
Chocolate pecan tarts
Mini candy apples
Mini caramel apples
Fruit Station with Dips (White Chocolates, Milk chocolate, Dark chocolate, Caramel, Yoghurt)
I know it's a LOT of food...but some of it freezes well and I will have help.
Anyone else doing a dessert buffet - what are you having?
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NEED FLAVOR IDEAS!
I'm doing a dessert buffet for our reception and I need some help with flavour ideas for a few items!
So...submit your awesome ideas for:
- Cake flavours
- Tart/Pie flavours
- Cookie flavours
- Parfait flavours
- Truffle flavours
- Dessert square flavours
Thanks in advance!
Catering - Fantastic Deal!
Originally, our plan was to cater our own affair - I'm a decent cook and would have had several willing aunts as helpers. My family, however, felt that this would be too stressful and encouraged me too seek quotes from caterers.
After getting many quotes, all of which were far outside our budget, I decided to think outside the box and contacted some recent culinary school graduates who were looking to start a business. I told them what we were willing to spend, and offered to make a website for their new business if they could cut me a really good deal.
As a result, we are getting our dream, EXACTLY, at only $13/person. So, all together $2000 for 150 people. This price includes:
- Cocktail hour with 3-5 passed selections
- Several themed food stations for dinner time, as well as a deli set-up for the less adventurous crowd.
- Midnight snack of sundae bar and either pizza or a hotdog station.
I'm SO excited! All I can tell you ladies, is never be afraid to ask for what you want at the price you want - the worst they can do is say no!
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Creative Bar Solutions?
I'm usually good at creative solutions, but I think that since I've been doing SO much planning - all the way from CHINA - my ability to be creative is running low. I need HELP, ladies!!
Here's my problem:
We are on a budget and our original plan for bar was to have butlered cocktails at cocktail hour, table wine made by MIL, drink tickets for 3 bar drinks (beer, rum, rye, vodka), and cash bar after that. We had planned to buy a special events licence which allows us to buy the alcohol and then either give away or resell it.
We then realized that if we purchase this licence, we can't have homemade wine. We instead have to buy it from the liquor cooperation. This would add about $1000 to our budget, which we can't afford.
We thought we had solved this problem by finding a venue that is classified as a "residence". This means we don't have to buy our booze from the liquor cooperation. Unfortunately, we then realized that we can't SELL alcohol without a licence, meaning we would have to have an open bar, again adding about $1000 to the budget.
We thought we could offset this problem by putting out some sort of "donation jar" but, of course, many guests would consider this tacky.
So...there must be a suitable solution! What am I missing??
Just for Fun
I couldn't resist!
Hopping on the bandwagon here!
Live Band - Update
So, I was very torn about whether or not to have a live band. On the one hand, they are REALLY good and it would make a huge difference in the overall feel of the reception. On the other hand, $2500 is a LOT of money to spend when I could have a free DJ instead.
Well, living in China, there is one thing I have learned and that is how to bargain! Here, your first price for something is always AT LEAST double what it should be. So...I bargained with the band!
So far, I've talked them down to $1800 and with some bartering of services (my FH and I are both photographers and the band needs new promo shots) they say the may be able to go even a bit lower!
My goal is to settle at about $1500, which is *$1000* lower than their original quoted price!!
So, $1500 for a GREAT band who plays three 50 minute sets and provides rerecorded music before they play, between sets, and after their set.
Would you be happy to shell out the extra cash?
So, after a over a week of trying to get a hold of the manager of my venue (chasing people down all the way from China is a HUGE pain!), we finally have official confirmation that our venue is BOOKED!
So, let me tell you a bit about it...
Farrell Hall is a large bingo hall in Dartmouth, NS. Because of the hall's intended purpose it has a built-in sound system, tables and chairs, and an extremely large floor space (5000sqft).
The downside is that the outside is not exactly pretty but, as one of my BMs said, "Just don't take any pictures out there!"
So, the best thing about this venue is that we can come in and decorate the day before, all of the bar supplies are provided, and it only costs $150!! YIPPEE - Another deal!
Now, all that's left to do is send my mother and MOH with a camera, video camera, and measuring tape so I can see where all of the doors, windows, bar, etc are. From there I can make up a floor plan!
So, Venue - CHECK!
Now on to the 2,999,999 other tasks...
Live Music - Need Opinions!
This may seem like an odd post coming from me, as I always talk about how much I want to spend as little money as possible, but...
I'm getting married in Nova Scotia and many of our guests are coming from Ontario. I thought it would be fun to show them a real good east coast time by having a live band at the reception. My thought was that it couldn't hurt to at least ask for a quote.
Well, the band very quickly got back to me with a quote of about $2500. Although this is a lot of money, it would only JUST bring us to our $10,000 budget.
Although I'm hesitant to spend money, they are really good and I think it would really add a lot to the party.
So, what are your thoughts, ladies? Is this something you would consider? Why or why not? How much would you pay for live entertainment?
Under $10,000 for 150 guests!
So, I thought I would share some of the ways we are doing a wedding on such a budget:
DRESS: I live in China and have designed my perfect dress. It will be custom tailored for me here at a cost of $135.
VEIL: I will be buying a tiara, again here in China, at the market for about $10 and adding tulle ($2) with DIY beaded edges ($5)
SHOES: I can get a very nice pair of shoes here for about $40
JEWELRY: I will either purchase something low cost here in China or make it myself. ($50, max)
GARTERS: DEFINITELY making my own! Such a quick, simple project! ($5, max)
LILY'S DRESS: Lily is my baby daughter who will be 1.5 years old at the time of the wedding. She will have a dress made from the fabric of my cousin's wedding dress. It will be made by me if I have time, by my Aunt if she's feeling up to it, or by my best friend's mom, as a last resort ($30).
BABY TWO ATTIRE: We will have a second baby by then who will be six months old. He or she will wear their Christening outfit.
GROOM'S ATTIRE: My FH already owns a tux which he would like to wear.
FLOWERS: No floral decorations. Bouquets and boutonnières done with artificial flowers, seashells, crystals, and pearls. Silk petals for the flower girl(s). ($100)
LINENS: We will be having our tablecloths, runners, and napkins made her in China where fabric is MUCH cheaper. Approx: $350 (I know this seems high, but we will likely be able to re-sell them later)
CENTRE PIECES: Because we have long rectangular tables we are doing a variety of sizes or jars and bottles cut off with a bottle cutter and polished running along the centre. Each will have sand, shells, class beads, pearls, and a tealight. ($100)
DECORATIONS: Tree branches painted in our colours to look like coral in jars with sand covered in white mini-lights around the room. Seashell garlands. Tulle canopy with mini lights. Decorating the venue the day before. Up-lighting on walls.
- Tree branches from the woods and painted
- Tulle bought in bulk
- Mini lights collected from friends and family
- Borrowing several flood lights for uplighting and using gels in our colors
CAKE: Baking and decorating myself ($100)
DESSERT BUFFET: Making candies and sweets with the help of bridal party and family ($500)
HAIR: My best friend is an amazing professional stylist and will do it for free.
PHOTOGRAPHY: I have a good friend who is an excellent photographer and will be doing or photos.
TRANSPORTATION: My MOH has an acquaintance who bought a limo simply to take it downtown clubbing on the weekends. It seems he may be amenable to letting us borrow it for the cost of gas for the day.
ALCOHOL: We will be having a cocktail hour with pre-mixed drinks, table wine in red and white, and a limited bar of beer, wine, vodka, rum, and rye.
The table wine is being made by my MIL, the rest of the alcohol with be purchased from the Liquor corporation and we will be hiring a bartender friend of my uncle's to tend bar.
We will also have punches, water pitchers on the tables, and a tea and coffee bar. ($1800)
DINNER: We have two options here, so far.
Option 1 - we will either be doing a cold buffet ourselves by purchasing bulk cold salads, meats, vegetables, breads, etc.
Option 2 - We are currently in conversation with a caterer who has a long running business, but no website. We hare hoping to trade her discounted catering for a fully working website. ($1800)
ENTERTAINMENT: We will have a string Duo or Quartet from the local music school for the reception and possibly the cocktail hour. We will have a friend playing DJ. We also have a couple of good friends who may want to help out - one who would sing and play guitar at the ceremony, one who would dance as reception entertainment. I also have a friend who is a fire-dancer and I'm looking into the logistics of that kind of performance.
Strings - $200
All other - FREE
STATIONARY: Since we are in China, we will send out electronic STD's. Since you can get cardstock very cheap here in China, as well as embellishments, we had intended to DIY our stationary. However, it has been brought to my attention that we may be able to have them printed for just as low a cost here, so we're looking into that. ($50 + postage)
This is, by no means, an all-inclusive list but, as you can see, we are still managing to have a rather large wedding with everything we really want, all for a cost of under $70/head!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
I've hit the jackpot!!
Wow...I'm almost speechless...
Let me share my story...
So, I live in China. Most days this is a bit of a challenge. From the random cutting off of our power, phone, or water to well-meaning strangers snatching my "very beautiful, very white" baby with "da yanjing!!" (big eyes). As "entertaining" as it can sometimes be and as wonderful as the cultural experience is, sometimes living in China is hard.
You know what else is hard? Planning a wedding in Nova Scotia all the way from China. I'm amazing how difficult it is to get people to e-mail you back or get a straight answer from a vendor without being right there in their face.
Anywho, today was the day that I became very thankful that I am planning a wedding while in China. Last year I got the bright idea that I could get my dress made here. It's fairly cheap to get things tailor made here so I figured that if I found a good seamstress I could design my own dress and have it made to my specifications. The only problem was that I couldn't come up with a design I loved. Yesterday I overcame the design problem and come up with my perfect dress. I drew up a design and took it to a well recommended seamstress. I expected a quote of about 1500RMB (Approx. $275 CAN) and instead got a quote of 850RMB - that's only $135 CAN!!!
Now, this would be a great price for even the simplest of wedding dresses but I did up a REALLY intricate design:
- A-line dress with sweetheart neckline
- Beaded and embroidered bodice and off the shoulder straps
- Ruched slight drop waist with some simple beading along the ruching
- Asymmetrical over-skirt with beaded edge
- Organza layer under the over-skirt with lace appliqué
- Chapel length train with lace applique
- Corset back
Now, it may not end up being quite that detailed, but I wanted to get the highest quote possible and go down from there, if necessary. She also quoted $80 for my bridesmaid dresses and $50 for my flower girl dresses!
Today, I love China.