The Wrong Idea

I love wedding sites as much as the next person, don’t get me wrong. These sites are great for inspiration, but att he same time they are like looking at a fashion magazine and everyone is a size 0. However, there is a line between reality, and well… gobs of money/fantasy.

So, begins my problem of becoming the dream crusher/reality-checker.

I get girls that have a limited budget. Which, I am fine with. In this economy, we all want the most bang for our buck. Limited budget=challenge and opportunities to get creative. I’m a new business, still trying to prove myself. However, they spend all their time looking at wedding pictures over at Project Wedding and Style Me Pretty, and then tell me they want exactly THAT.

Let’s look at the most recent meeting.

This is the type of centerpiece idea she wants. Vintage style. Lots of little containers, succulents, but FULL. She wants milk glass too.

This is the type of setup kinda she likes for the ceremony:

Total things she wants:

  • 17 Tables Needing Centerpieces, minimum 3 vase type things per table of various height. (12 round, 4 rectangle, 1 sweetheart)
  • 1 Bride Bouquet
  • 5 BM Bouquets
  • 3 Corsages (2 Moms, 1 Gma)
  • 17 Bouts (1 Groom, 5 Groomsmen, 2 Dads, 1 StepDad, 8 Sponsors)
  • 10 Pomanders (2 FG, 8 Ceremony Aisle)
  • Cake Flowers
  • Petals for the Aisle, thick on either side.
  • Ceremony decor similar to pictured above
  • 2 Bar Pieces
  • Petals everywhere else possible… cocktail tables, guest book table, etc.
  • Oh yeah.. AND she wants cones filled with petals for every chair as the idea is to be showered with petals post ceremony.
  • Toss Bouquet?

All of this, and the budget is… $1400.

Here’s the problem. Vintage containers average around $5 each. I’m trying, TRYING to jam everything in as much as possible. But, things are only so cheap, ya know? It’s not just flowers you’re buying, it’s gas, transportation, ribbon, pins, floral tape, floral wire, floral glue, buckets for flowers, floral foam, netting, DCD, QuickDip, FloraLife, Finishing Touch, Containers, Tags, Rocks, Sharp knives, fishing line, votives, candles, shears, Etc. They ALL COST MONEY!! Many of those items are NOT REUSABLE. On average, I’ll spend 40-60 man hours per wedding from initial meeting to final wedding. On top of that… all those sales that I make? I EVENTUALLY have to pay tax on them. California sales tax is just under 10% (9.75% to be exact). So, $136.50 of that $1400, that’s the effing sales tax.

I’ve been looking at this thing. Minus the Petal Cones… I can probably do the above for $1425. And let me tell you, that is DIRT CHEAP. It’s those damn petal cones that kill me! You figure two roses gave up their petals per cone, right? A rose costs wholesale around .48 cents per… so almost $1 per cone for JUST PETALS. Now, making the cone out of paper, adding ribbon and glue… there’s another .50. Even if I made 160 of those for cost of supplies only, as in my time is free… that’s STILL going to come out to an additional $240 which is 17% of her budget for freaking petals that are getting thrown at her for 30 seconds while she walks down the aisle for a couple pictures, and then get tromped on by the guests.

*SIGH* Time to go have a discussion with my bride about reality.

Quick Update

One last update before the new year rolls around.

The Latest Bridal Shower

Bridal shower invites are done! (Well, almost. I still have to finish cutting and assembling, but I wanted to share pictures.)

I call these a semi-DIY because I did start out with a kit that I found at Mimio in Pasadena. Then I sort of built from there based on the inspiration I found, grabbing some ink from Blick Art Supplies and some extra pieces from Paper Source.

I think these will work perfectly for our garden tea party bridal shower.

Another Sort of Shower

I have been asked to help with another sort of shower. Amanda threw a baby shower for her girlfriend and I was asked to help with flowers and some of the decoration, like making fabric banners and cutting and cutting strips of fabric for the chairs.

Well crap, now there really is pressure to get that freaking website up and running since she linked directly to that site and not my Project Wedding Vendor page. Let us commence with the stressing out.

Madison Asked – I Answered

I’m planning the bridal shower. The place it’s being held at can hold 50 people. The thing that’s irritating me is that she keeps adding all these people from FH’s side of the family that HAVE to be invited. Like an aunt’s sister or something, just because “that’s what you do.” I don’t even know these people! She’s saying that some of them might not come anyway, but they should be sent an invitation. Is that how it works?

And speaking of inviting people, I have a few questions on wedding guests.

  • What was your policy on +1’s for single guests?
  • Did you send invites to Great Uncle So-and-So’s Sister in Law, even though she most likely won’t come?

My guest list is getting out of control. We planned to invite 150 people or fewer (we need 125 minimum). I have a box of 100 invites (a score for $4 from the thrift store that was a lot better price than we had found elsewhere. Though I have to say these aren’t the chicest ones that we found. There are a lot of bridal shower invitations out there that have a lot trendier look.!). I don’t want to send out more than 100 invitations, but I’m afraid I might have to, with all these people I’m being told to add by both my parents and FH’s parents. I mean, I guess part of it is my fault, because I wanted this to be a big, fun party, and I did tell my parents to give me a list of some friends they wanted to invite, and it’s larger than I expected. I also don’t even know some of them. Also, FH’s mom is telling me to add this person and this person and this person, just to send them an invitation, even though they likely won’t come. WHAT IF THEY ALL COME ANYWAY?!

Hi Madison,

It sounds like you have done a lot to get things under control which is a big step forward in getting your bridal shower plans met. The worst thing that could happen is that you go even higher, trying to entertain more people. From the way it sounds you have already planned for a big bridal shower with 50 people. This is actually very big for a shower and it sounds like you haven’t got a lot of experience planning parties.

You mentioned that the guest list might double. And unless you are hosting a couples bridal shower I don’t see how that can happen. It isn’t common for a guest list to balloon that much and you already seem like you are looking for cheap alternatives.

That being said if you are already having problems with a guest list of 50 you will quickly run into trouble if you try to stretch the budget to cover twice as many people.

Unless the guests will be coming and going entertaining that many people in one sitting is enough to make even experienced hostesses cry. And Madison, I say this with all honesty I don’t want to think of you in tears.

Your best chance for success is if you get the bridal shower guest list back under control. You didn’t mention why it got like that but I can assume you have run afoul with some backseat planners telling you who needs to come. If you can’t handle it, tell them. They may try to guilt you, but you have it in your power to get things under control.

Best of luck!