Wedding planning paused briefly in the lead-up to meeting with the owner and hashing out the details last Friday. Until then, the most that H and I had decided was that our colors would be yellow and blue (because our house is bright yellow with navy blue and cream trim). Settled. Done. H's insistence on picking a clear theme has been harder ("Can't we just have Nerd-tastically Awesome as a theme?" "No.")
Anyway, we went to the venue on Friday to see if we could negotiate them down on catering prices (no) and see about having a beer & wine only bar (no). I was starting to get nervous that this was all going to fall apart (or simply was becoming a helluva lot more work) especially when two Saturdays in October opened up and my mother insisted on getting a Saturday even if it meant moving the wedding up 4 to 6 weeks. This is good, but also scary. Both possible October dates are one week after a derby bout for me. The one we wanted (the 22nd) is the week following my league's last home bout of the season. The other date (the 8th) is the week following WFTDA South Central Regionals which my team fully intends on being a part of. No one else seemed as concerned as me about the timing of this (although H did joke a little about whether I would be okay with being on crutches going down the aisle if something happened at Regionals - not funny - and the answer is, of course this would make me the fuckin' bad-assest bride EVAR!).
So rather than going back to work after our meeting, I headed home and started calling caterers since the venue's was way overpriced. My mom went home to crunch numbers. The good news is that, even though the venue's coordinator had insisted that she could not negotiate on the bar, she called me later and said that Mr. Owner had approved a reduced price on the bar. The extra good news is that is got even better as the date we wanted fell through and we ended up getting October 8th. Apparently, my mother's intimidating frugality has totally paid off.
(Side note: when the coordinator confessed to H that Madre scares her, he was kind enough to reassure her that my mother scares everybody, even him. 20 years of military service will do that.)
A week ago, this gig was trying to eat up about 80% of my budget. NO JOKE. But thanks to having a scary mother (thanks, Mom!), our bar price went from $32.50/person (not including tax and tip) to $25/person (including tax and tip! - and I get the local beer that I want). We did reduce from a 4 hour reception to a 3 hour (making the rental fee $4500 - a price that still makes me want to die) with a half hour ceremony. The caterers are coming in to start at about $48/person (including everything) but I'm sure we can get that down by removing some unecessary fanciness. So we are getting much closer to a reception number that is more like half the budget which leaves us decent money for a good band and the cake.
There are still plenty of details that H and I are paying for, though, so I'm hoping I can put my mom in under budget which will make her way super happy.
On other wedding fronts, the same weekend we were negotiating with the venue H and I went around the French Quarter with his mother to look at restaurants for the rehearsal dinner. This is a part of the wedding I could give a crap less about. I mean, I want everybody to get together and give speeches and have some good food but I don't care where it is or that it be fancy or whatever. This is the In-Laws' deal and whatever makes them happy makes me happy. It will probably be Old New Orleans Fancy - which is fine. We're not fancy but we are New Orleansy.
The other To Do accomplished was picking the bridesmaids dresses. I am in love with them and wish that I could wear them. I had talked before about letting my girls pick whatever dress they wanted from my favorite dress shop, Trashy Diva. But H didn't want mismatched or black and I wasn't sure that anything other than black would work for what I thought I wanted. Once we'd decided on the yellow and blue color scheme, however, TD dresses made perfect sense. They have a perfect navy/cobalt blue fabric in several vintage styles (yay, vintage!). We helped my SiL pick hers out on Saturday and my sister, Mo, picked a similar one that she likes so we jsut have to confirm her size. My Right-hand Bridesmaid of Awesomeness and derby team-mate was also super happy when I told her that she now had an excuse to buy a Trashy Diva dress. Still have to figure out how to get Babs to try one on, but we have time.
Trying to pick a dress that they could all wear and then deal with ordering and fitting was not a task that I was looking forward to so I'm extra happy that I don't have to do much more than tell them to pick one and buy it. My MiL insists that they should all have matching shoes but I don't want to deal with those logistics either. My plan is to get them each something yellow to accent the dress and bring it all together (also, I kind of want them to have parasols instead of bouquets - but then I don't get to make them super-awesome personalized bouquets).
Current list of Wedding To Dos:
- meet with baker for tasting (today!)
- price out and pick a caterer
- meet with venue coordinator to sign contract and give her the deposit
- pester H about designing save-the-dates
- pester H about get band quotes to Madre & Padre
- schedule the next 6 months down to the minute because there is a lot of wedding and roller derby to get done
- try to ditch this week-old stress headache
- Don't Panic.