Tag Archive | band

The Big Bad Budget Post- Sword Edition

I want to start this post with a collective groan (ullllhhh) because it’s all about wedding budgets and money.  I’m going to share our real figures accurately as possible, aside from rounding up or down to keep things easier.  (I hate math.)

Obviously, some of you might be like, “HOLY SH&T MRS. SWORD, you spent that much on one day?!?!?”  And some of you might be like, “Wow, that’s barely anything.  My entire budget is two or three times that.”

But hopefully most of you have less extreme reactions to our budget and can find something that relates to your own wedding.  Everyone’s situation is unique to them, and we all know there are two major things that affect the cost of a wedding: location and budget.  That being said, here is the Sword nitty-gritty.

Mr. Sword and I got married in Bloomington, MN in the County of Hennepin (much to the dismay of many of our friends who wanted an excuse to take a trip to Scotland).  I went to this Cost of Wedding website for more information on the average budget for someone getting married in this area.

Average Cost of Wedding in Hennepin County, MN: Between $20,732 and $34,553, with most couples not spending over 10,000 dollars.

The Sword’s Wedding Budget Goal: $25,000

Total Cost of A Highland Fairy Tale: $28,267

For a grand total of 3,267 dollars over budget, we’ll take it!  🙂

Who Contributed: 1/3 Mrs. Sword’s parents, 1/3 Mr. Sword’s parents, 1/3 the Swords themselves.  It was a group effort!

The Budget Breakdown:

Rehearsal Dinner at Cowboy Jack’s: $1,500 (this includes burgers and a drink for about 70 people and Mr. Sword’s tres leches groom’s cake)

Bridal Attire (including alterations, jewelry, and shoes): $1,300

Groom’s Attire (including custom-made kilt from Scotland and accessories): $2,000

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YES, we spent more on Mr. Sword than me!  Love it.

6 yards extra fabric of family named tartan that is really one-of-a-kind and was used multiple times: $645.00

personal photo

personal photo

Flowers: $550 (five bouquets and four corsages)

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Centerpieces: $285 (this is just what we spent, Mom Sword spent more finishing them up)

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Venue and Catering: $11,000 (this includes three sections of the ballroom and all that comes with them, one hour open bar, plated dinner for all guests, beer, wine, signature drinks, soda, late night snack, draping behind sweetheart table, purple uplighting, and the cake)

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Atrium rental fee for ceremony: $500

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Officiant: $275

Marriage License: $40 (MN charges $115 unless you show proof of premarital counseling which lowers it to 40 bucks)

Bagpiper: $250

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Photography: $2,160 (after a discount for finding her through a blog)

Videography: $2,300 (for four separately edited films- trailer, full video, ceremony, and Best Man Speech)

Ceilidh Band: $550 (for one hour of playing)

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DJ (including glow sticks, extra lighting, and lapel mic rental): $1,040

Wedding band hers: $600 (white gold)

Wedding band his: $210 (tungsten)

Hair and Makeup: $200 (for a trial and the day of, which was super discounted, I love my girl!)

Hair Extensions: $170 (have worn them a total of four times so far and plan on wearing them again in the future, so worth it!)

personal photo

personal photo

Gifts for bridal party and family: approx. $1,000 (which sounds scary but that is split between 20 people which equals roughly around 50 bucks a person, seems reasonable to me)

Shortbread favors for guests: $115

Invitations and STD’s: $642

Sorry for the blurs!

Sorry for the blurs!

Storybook Guestbook: $90

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Crafting supplies, OOTG bags, stamps, and other misc: $500 (most of which was spent at JoAnn’s)

personal photos

personal photos

Tips for vendors: $370

Accommodations: $260 (for two nights, one before wedding, and one after, wedding night was complimentary)

Sword escort card display: Gifted by Mom Sword

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Pre-wedding Mani/Pedi: Gifted by BM L Dawg

Not Included Costs: Honeymoon and engagement ring.  We feel those two items are separate from our wedding budget.

What We Skipped:

Transportation:  One stop shop wedding meant we didn’t need to transport guests at all.  The hotel had a shuttle that ran people to and from the airport as well as the Mall of America.  When we went off-site for photos we had family and friends drive us.

Chair Covers:  Ah, yea, didn’t miss ’em.

Photo Booth: A good wedding trend, but one I had no desire to indulge in.  Our dance party reception was a hit without it.

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography unless otherwise noted.

Phew!  Hope this post was informative and interesting at the same time.  Tomorrow I’m going to share my vendor reviews and then it’s time for The Swords to say goodbye.  😦

FBIL and a Guitar

Let’s talk about music again.  For someone who only listens to the radio, doesn’t own a music playing device, and self-proclaims that she has bad taste, my wedding is going to have the most wide-range of kick-ass music ever!

For starters, the ceremony will begin with our bagpiper Evan and will also feature my Sister/MOH Big Eyes singing a song from the TV show, Smash.  For the parents processional we’re having this song by Sigur Ros, have you heard of it?  Mr. Sword picked it (obviously), but I love it.

The bridal party is completely stoked about walking into this princess gem, (I say sarcastically).

This brings us to cocktail hour, which I have yet to talk about.  I assume most people have their DJ’s play some sweet tunes during this hour of hosted bar and passed hors d’oeuvres, but we are lucky enough to have my talented future brother-in-law playing his guitar and singing instead!

G performing

FBIL frequently plays his music, both covers and songs he’s written at local bars and coffee shops and he’s really good.  Not like, “Aww he’s good, he’s family so we just say that!”  But good as in he’s a talented musician and I’m proud to welcome another artist into the family this coming June.  🙂  Plus, I love the atmosphere that the live music will offer our guests during cocktail.  This wedding has it all!

Sister Big Eyes and FBIL performing together at an outdoor wedding, aren't they cute?

Sister Big Eyes and FBIL performing together at an outdoor wedding, aren’t they cute?

After cocktail hour ends we’ll have the grand march, followed immediately by the cake cutting, toasts and then dinner.  After dinner it will be time for the first dances and then our Ceilidh band, The Gunn Slingers, will perform an hour of traditional Scottish music and led group dancing.  Dear Sword Wedding Guests, BRING YOUR DANCING SHOES AND YOUR OPEN MINDS!  I want to see everyone on the floor.  I promise I’ll be the klutziest one out there.  Seriously, I have zero idea of how I’m going to dance in my dress.  Oh well, too late to worry about that now!  The night will end with a rockin’ party atmosphere and our DJ playing mostly popular get down and dirty music with a few oldies mixed in for good measure.  Phew!

The only thing I haven’t decided on is what to have the DJ play during the hour we have allotted for dinner time; does anyone have any suggestions?  Our DJ is supposed to call us this week to ask for name pronunciations so I can pass the information on at that time.  The question is, what do you play during dinner when your wedding covers all types of music from princess movie themes to bagpipes to folksy love songs to Ceilidh music to today’s best pop?

(photo from FBIL’s personal collection)

What did you play during dinner?  Anyone else having live music during their cocktail hour?  Anyone else having a smattering of different types of music at their wedding?

The Glue gets Scottified

When we were in Minnesota for our big wedding planning trip number two we made an appointment for my little bro to get fitted for a kilt.  All of the other groomsman are from Scotland making my brother the only American groomsman.  The Best Man and the groomsmen have been asked to wear a kilt to the wedding but we they can wear whatever tartan they’d like, which is good because most of them already own one.   Lucky for us, The Glue was more than happy to embrace the Scottish culture by wearing a kilt as well.  We all agreed it would be a bit odd if he was the only guy up front in a regular suit.

Back in May when my parents went to the Minnesota Scottish Fair (who knew!?!?!) for some reconnaissance work regarding a Ceilidh band for our reception (more on that later!) they stumbled upon a place for The Glue to rent his kilt.  The Celtic Croft not only allows you to rent a complete kilt package, which includes a jacket, shirt, shoes, and all of the other specific pieces needed for an authentic look, BUT they also let you keep the kilt for additional 35 dollars.  WHAT A DEAL!  The Glue is excited to have his own kilt even if it’s not the same fabric as our newly named family one.

This appointment at The Celtic Croft was the only wedding-related appointment that I did not attend during that crazy week.  It was just for the boys in the family (Dad Sword, The Glue and Mr. Sword), and anyway, I was busy trying on wedding dresses at the time.

Mr. Sword was under strict orders to get photos.  The kilt that The Glue is wearing is just for sizing purposes, but we got to pick out a specific tartan that they would then have made into a kilt for him.  Mr. Sword and I narrowed down the list to a few we liked that we thought would compliment the rest of the wedding colors, and The Glue picked out his favorite between those.  He settled on “Baird Ancient” and this is a swatch of what it looks like:

I think he made a great choice!

I guess you just try them on OVER your clothes?

Blurry side view

Close-up of his Prince Charles style jacket

Mr. Sword will be wearing an Argyll (yes that’s how they spell it) styled jacket which is more on the semi-formal side, but I guess that wasn’t an option for The Glue’s jacket, so they went with the dressier version called the Prince Charles jacket as opposed to going with a more casual version.  Frankly, I don’t see much difference between the two styles but I did like the Argyll jacket when we first picked it out for Mr. Sword.

A view of the store itself

(all photos personal)

Are your groomsman wearing anything culturally specific?  How do you like The Glue’s tartan choice?