Friday, November 6, 2009

Yo, the Peep's Budget Breakdown and Vendor Review

I was never planning on doing this post. It seemed less evasive to show you a picture of Mr. Peep in bed the day after our wedding than showing you the nitty-gritty details of our budget.

BUT a few weeks ago Mama Peep commented that every penny spent on our wedding seemed well spent. So maybe this post is an ode to my good work- my hours and hours of hunting for the best vendors and feeling like we really did spend 'our' money well. I say 'our' money because most of it really was a no strings attached gift from our beyond generous parents.

That said, here is a rough estimate of all the gory details.

Budget: Originally I wanted to keep it under 20,000, but then we got an unexpected boost from our in-laws. So overall goal: $25,000.

Venue, Rentals and Reception: Budget: 50% or 10,000k.
Actual: ~$11,000
Venue: $1,000

Rentals: $200
Reception: $9,692, which included:
Hor d'ouves, Dinner, Wine and Beer (+ Wedding night suite included):
$125 per head * 60 people (+ 3 kids) + tax (9.8%) +service charge (20%) Plus valet parking for our vendors.

Hotel Vitale: A+. They even threw in a free massage the day before the wedding! I am not going to lie, we got a Friends and Family discount at the Vitale. The service was beyond top notch.

Added expense: Bringing in our own wine. Since Mr. Peep is in the wine industry, this was really improtant to us, and well worth the cost.
Out of the Peep's personal collection and budget: ~$300.

Cupcakes: Budget $200.
Actual: $300.

Miette: A++. I would have been able to stick to the budget, but Mama Peep was worried we'd run out, so I added another 50 or so to the order. In the end, we had a TON of cupcakes left over.

Paper Goods: Budget: $300
Actual: $581.
Save the Dates: $96.

Baron Cards: A. I loved our eco-friendly save the dates, and I really do think they set the tone for our San Francisco wedding.

Invites: $450

This may have been one of my biggest wedding mistakes. I love'd our invites, but we spent too much on them!

Programs, Escort Cards, Menus, Signs: $35. Thanks to a 50% off sale a Paper Source, I got most of our paper goods on the cheap!

Dress: Budget for everything bridal: $2500.
Actual total: $2,760.
Dress, including alterations: $2500 + Tax= 2,700.
Amy Kuschel Dress: A+. The hit of the party; I felt 100% beautiful.

Veil: Free, upcycled my Mom's veil.

J. Crew shoes on sale: $60.

Jewelry: Gifts and borrowed.

Grooms Attire: Paid by a Proud FIL Peep: $850, suit, shirt, tie, and shoes.

Photographer: Budget: $2,500.
Actual: $2,500 plus tax= $2,700.
Blueberry Photography: A. I HEART Amanda, best deal for our money. How can you put a price tag on someone who captured every great moment of our day?

Our package included: an engagement shot, 7 hours on the day of the wedding, an engagement and wedding slideshow, and all images on disk.

Florist: Budget: $1,200
Actual: $1,450

Huckleberry Karen: A. I heart Huck Karen. Not only do we share the same name, but our dog's name is Huckleberry. It was a perfect match.

Music: Budget: $1,000.
Actual: $1,229
Ceremony Cellist: $230
San Francisco Music Conservancy: A. I never did get a chance to introduce myself to our Cellist, but from what I remember he was great.

DJ: $999.
DJ David Carvallo rocked the dance floor all night long!! Amazing!

Gifts: Budget:?? Ekk, I don't think I ever really made one.
Actual: $900.
Guest Gifts: Welcome Bags, Carbon Offsets, and Chocolate favors: ~$300. Carbon Offsetting our wedding was my favorite 'thing' we did.

Wedding Party and Parents: ~$600. Includes: clutches, earrings and wraps for the ladies, and ties and converse shoes for all the men. Plus, a great pen for Papa Peep and I think this includes Mr. Peep's wedding gift- Dodger Stadium cuff links. Go Blue!

Good thing we got some extra cash for this category. It seems like a lot, but these extra touches to our loved ones were really worth it. And again, look at how happy our guests where:

Officiant: Budget: $300.
Actual: $800.
Yo, Rabbi's aren't cheep, but Rabbi Shriebman was well worth it.

Jewish Ketubah (Wedding Contract) Actual: $200.

Makeup: Budget: ??
Actual: Not totally sure as Mama Peep paid the bill on the day of the wedding, guessing ~$200. I really tired to spend less on this, but c'est la vie. At least I felt beautiful!

Day of Coordinator: Budget: $0. Actual: $0. I wish I would have hired a professional. Sigh. Lesson learned.

His and Her Wedding Bands: Budget: $1,500
Actual: $1,200 plus my extra band which was a gift from Mr. Peep. hehe. We love our rings.

Drum Roll....
Actual Spent: $23,869!!!

This does not include the Rehearsal Dinner and the Honeymoon- both were made possible by our Mr. Peep's rents. Nor does it include the day after brunch at the Americano, but I am pretty sure that ate up the rest of our budget.

So there ya have it- the nitty gritty of the Peeps budget. What do you think is your best wedding budget 'deal'?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Inspiration vs. Reality

I've probably read thousands of posts on Weddingbee, but one post that always stood out to me was Mrs. Flamingo's post-wedding post on her inspiration vs. reality.

I think one of the very best things you can do as a Bride is choose a color scheme and a feel for your wedding, and then stick to it!!! I really think sticking to my guns made the whole wedding decision making process easier

BUT did I do it? Did I follow my own inspiration board???

Here's my original inspiration board that I did over a year ago:

Pic 3 and 6 are from J. Crew. Pic 5 is from Real Simple Weddings. And Pic Sixteen is from Miette. All other images from Project Wedding.

And here's my real wedding:

All pictures from Amanda at Blueberry Photography.

So, what do you think? Did I turn my inspiration into reality?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Spoiled Rotten Nightmare.

Hi, I am Mrs. Peep Toe, and I am spoiled rotten.

A few months before our wedding, I *might* have mentioned under my breath (which might have also been ridden with alcohol) that my engagement ring would look even more perfect flanked by not just one band, but two. Yep, I was that girl that asked for it all up front.

Opps, did I do that??

So the day before our wedding, while I was getting the VERY BEST massage of my life, Mr. Peep was not just getting my ring cleaned, but also getting another friend for my finger (thank you tax return).

I have no pictures of us exchanging our presents, but I did take a picture of all three rings while I was basking in post-bridal bliss the morning after the wedding.

And yes, that is Mr. Peep in the background blissfully sleeping, and yes, I have a totally crazy pinky finger, and yes, the time stamp is totally wrong and annoying (more on that later).

Anyway, the best part is that it is slightly different than my wedding band so I can always tell the two apart. And now I can just wear my bands or just my wedding ring with my engagement ring, or all three together, etc., etc, etc. The point is that I am a spoiled rotten girl with options.

But as the title states- there was a small nightmare. A few weeks ago, I dropped Mama Peep off at the airport, ran a few errands, and on my way home, I looked down at my hand and saw this:

Diamond gone. Enter nightmare.

I pulled over, called Mr. Peep and tried not to freak out.

But this nightmare has a VERY happy ending. Insurance would pay for a new stone, and since we have a rider just for my ring- it would be free. AND I found out today that they will pay for a brand new setting for the whole ring- apparently I had faulty prongs.

And the even better news, I FOUND the diamond!! Oh yes!! Amazingly, it was on our bedroom floor under our chair. So, in a couple of weeks, I will be spoiled rotten again with all my BLING, BLING.

Until then, run don't walk to your insurance agent to add your ring to your home owners insurance. You will thank me later.

Has anyone else had a ring nightmare? OR look down at your left hand and feel spoiled rotten??

Reviewing Our Registries

We began our registry over 15 months ago at Williams-Sonoma; fought our way through registering at Crate and Barrel; and jumped in joy when we found some common interest at Bloomingdales.

I spent a lot of time getting our registries just right before the wedding. And over the last four months, I have spent even more time returning, exchanging and re-thinking our registry- seriously, why did I think I needed three mini-butter dishes??

And at the end of the day- not all stores or registries are created equal. So, I thought I'd give an account of each of my registry experiences and throw in my favorite items at each store for good measure.

Up first, Williams-Sonoma. Grade: A-. WS is great, the people who work there are super nice, and it helps that the flag ship store is only blocks away from where I work. That said, their on-line and in-store departments are completely separate. So, for example, if Aunt Mary buys you something on-line and it's shows up broken or if you didn't register for it in the first place, they'll return the item in the store, but they have to mail you a Gift Card.

*You MUST register for a good set of knives- and these Globals Rock!

The good news, while very few of their main stay items go on sale, you get unlimited use of your 10% completion card for the first six months after your wedding, and they track who buys you what and have a Thank You card manager.

And an even better perk, you can use your WS gift cards interchangeable at Pottery Barn and West Elm, which is AWESOME.

Next, Crate and Barrel. Grade: B-/C. Oh Crate and Barrel, how I love and hate you all at once. I will say that the majority of our gifts were from C&B. The worst part about registering at C&B- you can only use your 10% completion once on-line and once in the store. Since I've been buying and returning bits over time, I've found this very limiting.

*Love my new organized kitchen shelves thanks to these babies.

The best part, if you return items under $99 they will give you cash. And you can use their gift cards at the much more affordable CB2 and the C&B outlet.

*Thanks to gobs of gift cards we got a much needed new rug for our living room at CB2, you like?

The absolute worst part about C&B- they don't really track who buys you what. Again, let's say Aunt Mary goes to the store and buys you glasses off your registry and she buys a pizza stone for herself. The pizza stone will show up on your registry as bought, but it wasn't actually for you and you have no way of knowing who bought that present, if it was for you or if it went missing. C'est la vie- we never did get that pizza stone. I also forgot to write down who gave me a platter, but since it was bought in the store- I will never know.

Bloomingdales. A+. I never wanted to register at Bloomingdales, I thought it was too pretentious, but really Bloomingdales is a Brides dream. They will let you return pretty much anything and you have unlimited use of your 10% completion discount.

*This puppy saves us a lot of trips to Peets and Starbucks.

And the sales, my oh, my the sales. Everything on our registry has gone on sale multiple times over the last 14 months, which means our guests were able to take advantage of the sales. And on top of that, they often email you 20% off completion codes, or even better, an additional 20% on top of your completion discount. Since we didn't register for china or silver or crystal- at the end of the day, things on our Bloomies registry were often cheaper than our C&B registry.

And finally, I have to say the service at Bloomies was top notch.

I also want to give an honorable mention to Bed, Bath and Beyond, while we didn't register there, they are great about returning items- with a receipt you'll get cash- without you'll get store credit. And you can't pass up the 20% discount cards.

*My absolute favorite wedding purchase. Worth. Every. Penny.

Did anyone else have similar experiences? What would you rate your registries??

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love by the Bay: The End to A Perfect Day

Ekkk. It's been almost a month since my last recap. I totally have to admit, I've been avoiding this recap. It was the end of the night....

We just finished cutting the "cake," and it was time for the Best Man and Papa Peeps speeches.

Best Man J was with us when we met and has been Mr. Peep's friend for almost 30 years!!

So obviously, he means a lot to us.

And Papa Peep.

Well, like the master Peep he is, he could have talked for hours. And he did talk for awhile.

But it was heartwarming to hear how proud he is of both of us.

Fortunately, I escaped crying for the 1098098098 time that day, and got ready to shake my booty. I had been talking DJ David up for almost a year.

And let me tell ya, even though we only had 60 guests, the dance floor was packed all night.

People were seriously busting a move:

We couldn't even keep the pregnant ladies off the dance floor:

And of course I had to get in on that action.

Along with everyone else.

And check out Brother Peep and his wife getting down. I hadn't seen them party that hard since Sister Peep's wedding five years ago.

And here's the pic that I have on our fridge. All my siblings seriously busting a move.

But where was Mr. Peep in this Pic you might ask?

He had finally got into the whole picture thing.
And of course he had to get a pic of the boys with their connies:

Oh, and let me tell you about our parents.

I kid you not, at one point, I looked over and saw MIL Peep next to Mama Peep, and they were both belting out, "No, No, No" to Amy Winehouse's Rehab. I almost died. I so wish we got that on camera.

Unfortunately, at this time in the night, Amanda of Blueberry Photography left, and we missed getting the mini-mosh pit that Mr. Peep created during our last song on camera. Although, I think some things are better left undocumented.

At the end of the night, folks didn't want to go. So, naturally, we kept the party going.

Pic by SIL Peep

Pic by SIL Peep

After a few drinks at the hotel bar, we headed up to Tosca's for a night cap- which was fitting since we went their on our first date in San Francisco.

Pic by SIL Peep

Pic by SIL Peep

Finally, I looked at Mr. Peep and told him that it was time to call it a night. Our day had been fantastic, and I wouldn't have changed anything for the world.

And the best part, our hotel suite was totally decked out.

Yes, if you are wondering, I grabbed my camera for the first time all weekend just so I could show the hive how seriously awesome the Hotel Vitale was.

And after ordering some room service, which I ate in 10 seconds flat, and rehashing the highs (walking into the reception) and lows (ending the dance party) of the night, I gave my husband a kiss and said good night to our wedding.

Up next: Panama!!

Pictures by my favorite photographer: Amanda at Blueberry Photography. Unless otherwise noted.

Previously on Love by the Bay:
Love by the Bay: The Icing on the Day
Love by the Bay: Dancing and Toasting
Love By the Bay: Wake up, It's Mr. and Mrs. Peeps
Love by the Bay: Us.
Love by the Bay: Celebrating over Cocktails
Love by the Bay: Mazel Tov
Love by the Bay: Our Vows
Love by the Bay: The Ceremony
Love by the Bay: We're Ready to Go
Love by the Bay: An Old, But New to Me, Tradition
Love by the Bay: Portraits of our Peeps
Love by the Bay: A First Look
Love by the Bay: The Ladies
Love by the Bay: It Took a Village
Love by the Bay: Details in the Midst of Chaos
Love by the Bay: Hair Stylin' and Profilin'
Love by the Bay: A Room Full of Love
Love by the Bay: Cheers to our Peeps
Love by the Bay: Peeps Guide to Running Your Own Rehearsal
Love by the Bay: Kickin' it Off