Tag Archive | flowers

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.  😦

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My Wedding Dress Doesn’t fit and I Feel Crazy, but My Shower Rocked, What a Weekend Baby: 2

The second edition of my awkwardly titled series is about FLOWERS!  (This is Part One, in case you missed it.)

Back when I started planning, I was in the “I don’t know what the hell to do about flowers camp,” and was waffling between hiring someone to do my bouquets and having a friend arrange them for me.  Then there was the whole flower alternative idea floating in my head where you make flowers out of paper (thank you Miss Gray Wolf and Miss Panda for the awesome inspiration), but considering I gave up on making boutonnieres after a whole 1.5 minutes,  I think I lack both the desire and skill to DIY anything so grand.  I also decided that I’d rather have my friends simply be guests on the wedding day instead of friendors.

Consequently, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and order my flowers through a flower shop.

And boy, was it EASY.  Too easy.  In fact, maybe it was all dream.  No wait, the crappier part of the weekend most DEFINITELY happened so then all good stuff must be true as well!  🙂

My flight into the Twin Cities landed at 9:30 AM and by 10 AM I was seated at a table with BM L Dawg and meeting with C for our first appointment of the day.*

C was a dream to work with, and as L Dawg told Mom Sword, “we were a bit high maintenance” and she still gave us great customer service.  She hopped up so many times to show me flowers that I finally told her it wasn’t necessary, and she could just stay seated!

Get this Hive: I went in with ZERO inspiration photos.  BRIDE FAIL.  But it wasn’t a big deal, I did have a vision and I had a budget.

I’m actually going to share our budget with you because not only is it a great point of reference for those in the Midwest looking for flowers, but it’s also nice to know the actual numbers sometimes if only for comparison sake and curiosity!  In case you’ve forgotten, our centerpieces will be flower free, which means we only needed 5 bouquets and four corsages.

The budget Mr. Sword and I decided on pre-MN trip was 500.00 dollars for all things floral.

When we first sat down I turned to C and said, “I know very little about flowers and what they cost, but our budget is 500.00 dollars, can you help us get all that we want for that amount?”  And she said, “yes.”  Immediately, my heart soared and we got to work picking flowers.

Umm, I think I’m holding stock but don’t quote me on that!

For my bridal bouquet BM L Dawg and C helped me choose white hydrangea, ivory roses, white heather (as a nod to Mr. Sword’s Scottish culture), and mini calla lilies in eggplant as accents.

image via Fifty Flowers

I’m also incorporating some fiddlehead ferns in my bouquet to add in some darkness and drama (they are the curly-q things sticking out of the bouquet shown below).

Source: luxefinds.com via Jessica on Pinterest

 And finally we decided to cradle the flowers in these big leaves known as aspidistra (I’d never heard of it before).  The bouquet featured below has leaves at the bottom of it that appear to be aspidistra (although hopefully they’ll be a bit darker), and this is the overall look we are going for in all of the bouquets.

image via The Flirty Guide/ Photo by Karen Hsu

Suddenly, all four wedding colors are represented in my bouquet: eggplant purple, chocolate brown, forest green, and ivory.  Insert happy bride dance here!

Cut to the maid’s bouquets.  Since the bridesmaids are wearing the color eggplant…

Thank you MOH Big Eyes for modeling

it didn’t make sense to have their bouquets dark purple as well, so instead they are going to have a mixture of different shades of purple flowers (I love purple so much), ranging from really pale to lavender to the  dark eggplant calla lilies like in my bouquet.  MOH/Sister Big Eyes will also get a splash of spray ivory roses in her bouquet to make it stand out.

Finally, we ordered wrist corsages using what else but a purple flower (of which I have forgotten the name).

Here is our numbers breakdown in case you’re interested (while calla lilies are expensive, we also incorporated some inexpensive flowers so all in all I think we did good):

Brides bouquet                                                                                                 135.00

Bridesmaids (3) ea, 80.00                                                                              240.00

Maid of honor (1)                                                                                            95.00

Wrist corsages (4) ea. 20.00                                                                         80.00

This comes to $550.00 less 15% discount (-82.50) = 467.50 x 7.775% sales tax 36.35 = 503.85

Did you notice the 15% discount?  Isn’t C amazing?  I can’t speak highly enough of her as she worked within my budget, was flexible in offering different types of flowers, and super easy to converse with!  We even showed C some of the tartan fabric and she agreed to wrap all of the bouquet stems in it as well!  Success!

Table of my stuff including a swatch of the tartan

After BM L Dawg and I left the shop, we promptly got into the car and canceled our next floral appointment (this was pre-estimate btw) because we were confident with C and lesbihonest, we just wanted to get to our movie.  (Random movie plug: Go see Pitch Perfect, you won’t regret!)  Aca-believe me.

(all photos personal)

*I have no problem sharing my vendors and linking back to their websites once everything is fully signed and dotted, but private message me if you are a MN bride in need of great service!

What do you think of our floral prices based on our Midwest location?  Am I crazy for not getting a second opinion?  What can I say, I was going on instinct!

Guess who’s engaged?

No, not me silly!  I got engaged this past February.  It’s actually someone who is like a sister to me but no, I’m not talking about Sister Big Eyes, although she just got engaged in May.

OK, no more stalling… IT’S MY FUTURE SISTER-IN-LAW!!!  That’s right, Mr. Sword’s Wee Sis got engaged last week to her man B and we are so excited and happy for them!!  🙂

Can you tell she’s related to Mr. Sword?

Wee Sis and her guy B have been together since Uni (college) and already own a house together (because they are that cool)!  It is a real bummer we don’t live closer because they are awesome people and it’s a shame we don’t get to see them very often.  It’s hard to have family across the pond, but thankfully with email and Skype, we are able to keep in touch pretty often.  I can’t wait to see them in March at our wedding so I can congratulate them in person!

B was quite the romantic when he proposed to Wee Sis!  He led her up the front steps and through the house by way of 100 candles and lots of flowers!  Wee Sis said that while they had discussed getting married quite a bit, she had no idea when the proposal was coming!  She was completely surprised (and a bit warm due to all the candles) when it happened!

Not only am I excited for their wedding because they are part of my new family, but also because it will be my FIRST Scottish wedding in Scotland!  True to UK style, they are going to have a long engagement of about two years or more so they can enjoy this special time and save a bit of money.  Wee Sis is ready to start reading Weddingbee for ideas though!

Well, that’s me fresh out of sisters, so unless The Glue is ready to tie the knot (he’s not btw), then I guess I’m done sharing family related engagements for a while!

Just wait til we all start having babies around the same time.  Yeesh.  🙂

(photos courtesy of B)

I love to hear engagement stories, did anyone you know recently get engaged?  How cool is it that BOTH my sister and Mr. Sword’s sister are engaged?