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Moment captured by Jelger & Tanja Photographers

From the Archives, Feburary 2016

I spent a great part of today with menu plans for our wedding. Now that I know that the planning will be starting in less than a month (with any hope), I can’t tell my brain to stop making plans. I have a preliminary budget made, I have the menu planned, the decor organized, the possible venues priced out, and many other little things taken care of. Of course I will have to review this all with Jim after the proposal happens, but for now, I’m enjoying my lists and ideas.

I’ve also inquired with friends (the ones who know, of course) if they’ll help me with this or that. My wedding is on an extreme budget. Not because we don’t have the money, just because it’s how Jim and I live; frugal. I have my make-up and hair being done by a professional in exchange for dinner, I possibly have my cupcakes being made by a friend who is PRO at these bad boys, and my bridesmaids are going to busy playing with lego for a solid day.

So the menu. There has been some discussion with Jim, and he and I can both agree, tacos are the best food in the universe, followed closely by pizza, pasta, and curry. We’ve had discussions about having a taco bar, and that is honestly the best idea EVER! Do a taco bar and everyone can make the food the way they like, you can do tacos, salad, burritos, nachos, whatever your heart desires. I make salsa, a lot of delicious salsa, so I`ll make some 20 large jars of salsa, we can make all the food a few days beforehand, pay someone to monitor the food station on the day of (my co-worker T has already volunteered for the position), and just be ridiculously happy with the food. 

I wouldn’t normally suggest for a bride to take on the food herself. I will always recommend a caterer, because brides have no idea how much work the food can be! My dad is a red seal chef, I’ve been working with him in the kitchen for years; I fell in love with weddings while working with him, catering weddings; I know how much work it can be! But in this case, with all the help I have, the kitchen at the soon to be in-laws house so close to the hopeful venue, and the simplicity of tacos (including the fact that it can all be cooked beforehand) makes me confident in my decision to do this ourselves.

Along with the menu items, I have a list of what I need to prepare, cook, and serve all the items. They are thrown onto an excel sheet (where else?) and exported into the rental software I use at work.

I love my job. It’s one of the best things in my life right now, and I wouldn’t have it any differently. I love the software I use, I love the work I do, I love my co-workers, I love our customers, and I love the opportunity for growth I have there! I also appreciate that while putting together my rental quote, I know I’m going to get some sort of discount. That’s the perks of working somewhere, right? You work at La Sensa, you get a discount on bras. You work at Wal-Mart, you get a 10% discount on groceries. You work in a restaurant, you get a discount on your meals (some restaurants will do a meal for free!) There needs to be perks to any job. My job just happens to have many perks, one being that I love it, another that I get a discount.

To put it into perspective for you. If I didn’t get a discount, I would be paying over $2000 for rentals alone. If what I were mainly concerned about was costs, and  being cost effective, I would rather find a more expensive venue that has tables and chairs and also pay a caterer, because with the cost of the rentals and the cost of my time to DIY it, it would be more productive to get a second job to pay for my wedding.

Another thing I’m doing for my wedding is hiring a day-of coordinator. I can tell you from experience (I’ve done a day-of coordination before) I would go crazy if I had to do all the day of stuff while trying to get married. Plus, I just wouldn’t enjoy my party, and I fully intend to enjoy my party.

Day of coordinators can be a high cost (likely the 3rd most expensive thing in my budget, more than my dresses!) but the amount of stress and worry they can relieve is great! I’m sure this party would be something my mother would be great at organizing, she always threw me the best birthday parties, even though she was on a teenage mother of 2–3’s salary (so like -$300.00/month). I’m sure I got the part of my brain that coordinates everything from her because, well, DAMN woman!

The thing with trying to get my mom to do it is one: she needs to enjoy the day too. Two: she doesn’t live around here (by not around here I mean that I have to drive 11 hours just to visit!). Three: She’s more bat-shit crazy than I am.

I’m somewhat upset that she and the famjam don’t live a little closer to me – it would be wonderful to have their help with the little things leading up to the event, like building the lego centrepieces, or helping me can SO MUCH salsa, but that’s one thing I have to accept.  Also. Mum would drive me nuts. I LOVE YOU MOMMY WHEN YOU READ THIS! (I need that disclaimer because when she is around, I’m gonna need that women’s help!)

I’ve been really fortunate to have the opportunity to get close with Jim’s family. I adore his mom and dad. They are very caring people and they raised their son perfectly. His mom is a doctor and his dad has had every job under the moon. He helped build an airport, he was a taxi driver, a scuba instructor, realtor, and now he’s working on some bio-fuel project, so scientist! From the minute I walked into their home for the first time, I was accepted as one of them, and there’s nothing more I could wish for in future in-laws.

Anyway, back to the day of coordinator: she/he is going to be my lifesaver on this crazy day! They are going to ensure everything goes smoothly, people are in place, and that my parents don’t kill each other. Okay, maybe she/he won’t do that, but they’re definitely going to make sure the tables are set just right and they’re going to have wipes in her purse for when I cry and when my mom is breaking down in uncontrollable tears (on a side note, my spell check suggested “uncomfortable” in lieu of “uncontrollable” and I would like to point out that word also is a fitting word here).

Only 12 more days…

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