July 30, 2010

Renting Vs. Buying, The Big Debate

So some of you may be thinking that Opera House is looking pretty damn good right about now. But how good is it really?

I managed to find a site for rental supplies located in Watertown, NY (half hour away) and calculated out an estimate for all my rental needs...

I estimate that I would need 115 of most per person items in case someone drops a fork, a glass, etc. (I can be pretty clumsy, lol :P)

I would need to rent chairs because the theater has only 80 and metal would be fairly uncomfortable for a long meal...


Padded chairs = $2.50 each
Cost for 115 = $287.50

Chair Total: $287.50

(Edit: I realized that colored linens were the same price as white ones, so I have changed the pricing and the totals accordingly.)

-Tablecloths for round tables = $12 each
*Cost for 12 = $144
-Tablecloths for buffet tables = $12 each
*Cost for 6 = $72
-Napkins = $0.50 each
*Cost for 115 = $57.50

Linen Total: $274


-10" plates = $0.60 each
*Cost for 115 = $69
-7" salad plates = $0.60 each
*Cost for 115 = $69
-Bread plates = $0.60 each
*Cost for 115 = $69
-Cup and saucer = $1.05 each
*Cost for 115 = $120.75
-Sugar bowl = $1.15 each
*Cost for 24 = $27.60
-Creamer pitcher = $1.15 each
*Cost for 24 = $27.60
-Salt and pepper set = $1.15 each
*Cost for 24 = $27.60
-Sauce boat w/stand = $2.15 each
*Cost for 24 = $51.60
-Chargers = $1.15 each
*Cost for 115 = $132.25

Dinnerware Total: $594.40


-Champagne glasses = $0.60 each
*Cost for 115 = $69
-Goblet = $0.55 each
*Cost for 115 = $63.25
-Juice (or water) glasses = $0.55 each
*Cost for 115 = $63.25

Glassware Total: $195.50


-Salad fork = $0.45 each
*Cost for 115 = $51.75
-Fork = $0.45 each
*Cost for 115 = $51.75
-Spoon = $0.45 each
*Cost for 115 = $51.75
-Knife = $0.45 each
*Cost for 115 = $51.75

Silverware Total: $207

Add all these together with the venue rental cost, minus the chairs...

Grand Total = $2,067.90

And you still would need catering, bartenders, setup, cleanup, etc.

So one wonders...is it better to own and sell everything back?

We'll find out next post :)

July 27, 2010

Sometimes You May Not Want To DIY It...

Another wedding idea I would love to incorporate from Ever Ours: clutch bouquets!!! 8D

A bridesmaid holding a very unique clutch bouquet!All the pretty bridesmaid clutch bouquets on display.
At first I thought this would be fantastic for DIY, because it looks like they have less flowers, so it got me wondering how you would go about making one of these things...

and there's not too much information out there if you want real flowers.

Sure silk flowers would be easier to deal with, but I have not been impressed by the price and the quality of a lot of silk flowers out there. (Yet anyways, I should probably due more research on that sometime...) Right now I'd rather just work with real ones!

I could make a bouquet like my tutorial describes and just make it really long and narrow instead of a round dome, and don't wrap up the stems with floral tape and ribbon. But the issue is how to contain moisture from the flowers and not destroy the purses...hmmm...

After browsing a bit I guess the best thing to try is to cover each stem with a floral water tube, (50 for $3 at Save On Crafts!) and maybe contain all the ends in a bag and secure with some waterproof tape or a rubber band.

Or should I just accept the fact that the purses will never be used again?

And how do you keep the purse from opening too much and the flowers from falling out? Just stuff it to the brim?

Not to mention the purses cannot be used for a practical purpose either if they're filled with flowers...

Perhaps they can be transferred to vases before the reception so my gals could actually use them!

I don't know...this seems a bit difficult to pull off...

But for the blog, it might be worth a trial run sometime :)

July 23, 2010

I Think My Cuteness Radar Has Exploded

This is why I never should have looked at Etsy.

Because now I really, really want this:

An adorable, custom Etsy wedding cake topper.
Even if it is... $255 with shipping

Darn you adorable custom cake toppers... XP

July 22, 2010

Where, Oh Where, Should the Reception Be? Part 3

A continuation of the venue search from the last couple posts...

Edgewood Resort -

Edgewood Resort's Gazebo Room
There are very few meal choices, a grand total of 5 -.- Not impressed...

Average cost for dinner with rolls, salad, entree, and coffee = $33.50 per person
Total for 100 guests = $3350
7.75% sales tax = $260
20% gratuity = $670
Food subtotal = $4,280

4 hours open bar = $31 per person
Total for 100 guests = $3100
7.75% sales tax = $240
20% gratuity = $620
Bar subtotal = $3,960

Grand total for 100 guests = $8,240

- it is a hotel, although the rooms are kinda eh...
- I *might* be able to reserve rooms for my guests in advance
- it comes with tables, chairs, linens, etc.
- cake cutting is included
- champagne toast for the head table is included
- waterfront views!
- it has some character!
- it looks more unique than your usual reception room!
- they mention they can tailor the menu (i.e. more menu choices)
- I can transport all guests to and from the castle for $850

- very few appetizer and entree choices shown, others may be more expensive
- the open bar price was for only well liquors and one beer choice XP
- pricing only includes 4 hours onsite

So for the moment, those are the kinda top 3 contenders with the information I have right now, but the following, although lacking online information, should not be completely called out of the running...

Hart House Inn
The Hart House Inn, Thousand Islands, NY
Thousand Islands Country Club
The Thousand Islands Country Club
The Clipper Inn
The Clipper Inn, Clayton, NY
The Boathouse
The Boathouse, Sackets Harbor, NY
Riley's by the River, Alexandria Bay, NY

July 21, 2010

Where, Oh Where, Should the Reception Be? Part 2

A continuation of the venue search from the last post...

Pine Tree Point Resort -

The terrace of the Pine Tree Point Resort.
View of the Pine Tree Point Resort from the water.
You pay by the plate so there are no set number of entree choices.

Average cost for dinner with an appetizer, salad, entree, and coffee = $33 per person
Total for 100 guests = $3300
7.75% sales tax = $256
18% gratuity = $594
Food subtotal = $4,150

Edit: Found open bar prices
4 hours open bar = $32 per person
Total for 100 guests = $3200
7.75% sales tax = $248
18% gratuity = $576
Bar subtotal = $4,024

Grand total for 100 guests = $8,174

Menu choices are pretty good and have a some sophistication to them. I would pick the Soup du Jour, Pine Tree Point Signature Spinach Salad, Roast Prime Rib Au Jus, Chicken St. Lawrence, and Swordfish with Lemon Herb Sauce! :D

3 choices for rooms:
Skiff Room:

Pine Tree Point Resort's Skiff Room, prepared for a wedding.
Pine Tree Point Resort's Skiff Room, prepared for a wedding.

Pine Tree Point Resort's Voyager Room, prepared for a wedding.
Captin's Cabin:

Pine Tree Point Resort's Captin's Cabin Room, prepared for a wedding.
- it is a hotel, although the rooms are nothing special
- I can reserve rooms for my guests in advance
- it comes with tables, chairs, linens, etc.
- it has a spa onsite
- cocktail hour and a free room might be included
- some rooms have nice chairs
- waterfront views!
- the terrace is pretty!
- *might* be able to transport all guests to and from the castle for $850

- the "character" is not quite what I expected...
- may need more decor to look presentable
- all food must go through the resort (i.e. can't save money on alcohol)

Quite the change from the first venue, huh? One more to come soon!

July 20, 2010

Where, Oh Where, Should the Reception Be? Part 1

Sorry for the delay of posting, a mix of being busy and researching for my next series of posts! Venues!!!

As I was, once again, desperately trying to lower the total cost on my budget spreadsheet, I figured the best way was to find a low-cost (but lovely) venue.

As I'm sure many brides-to-be realize, this is easier said than done. XP

Even though the Thousand Island environment is gorgeous, a lot of the indoor spaces leave something to be desired, and online information can be scarce. Also add in the fact that I can't call anyone yet because I would just be wasting the venue's time... This leads to a LOT of frustration on my end.


What I'm looking for ideally would be something close to Boldt Castle, on the US side, and looks presentable. Remember one of the tips I collected from a recent wedding: "Pick a venue that is already has tons of character!"

So being very determined, :) I managed to find a few decent ones:

Clayton Opera House -

A wedding at the Clayton Opera House.

- 8 hours in the Performance Hall = $375
- Standard lighting, mic, and CD player setup are included
- Nothing else is there, need lots of rentals
- Banquet tables = $5 each
- Round 5ft tables = $5 each
- Grey metal chairs = $0.50 each
- Grand piano = $50

The Clayton Opera House view of the first floor and balcony.

Rental fee = $375
(12) Round tables = $60
(5) Banquet tables = $25
(2 for head table, cake table, gift table, placecard table)
(100) Chairs = $50
Piano = $50
Total furniture rental fees = $560

Not including catering, dishes, linens, etc.

- it is a beautiful space!
- it is unique and kinda really me! (I love musicals and theatre! :D)
- it has character!
- the rental fee is cheap
- we could save money on alcohol by buying our own

- lots of restrictions on events (no real flower petals, no open flame on site, etc.)
- a lot is expected of the renter, setup, cleanup, coordination of caterer, etc.
- everything needs to be brought into the space, tables, chairs, linens, food, some decor, etc.
- would have to pay extra to have all the guests transported to the reception
- there are no waterfront views in a theater :P

More lovelies to come soon!

July 14, 2010

Shoes. Oh My God! Shoes.

Realllly itching to make another pre-engagement purchase...

Remember these beauties I thought were not in my size?

Cute strappy purple shoes with a reasonable sized heel.
Well, you can pre-order them in a wide range of sizes (and widths!) at ShoeMall.com for $50 with free ship!

Yes, $50 is a lot, but ShoeMall.com does have sales, and they won't be available until December 15th anyways, so I have time to wait for a sale!!! :D

*twitch* *twitch*


Do you think it would be weird to ask my 5 bridesmaids-to-be to buy them once there's a sale? XD

July 13, 2010

Inspiration Board Attempt #2

Remember the pretty inspiration board I just made a few days ago?

I was happy with it, but I wanted a little something more...something was missing...

That something being anything having to do with my wonderful bf. XP This was a bit too girly and bride-centered.

So I thought of my bf's likes and hobbies and tried to fit any of them into my "purple sophisticated romance".

My favorite two? His love of cooking and his love of Japan/Asian influence.

(Sorry for the big huge Asian label, I don't want to accidentally associate something Chinese with something Korean, or Japanese for Thai, etc. I'm just trying to cover all my bases XP)

Asian touches I always found to be modern, elegant, and different, which is exactly what I'm going for anyways.

This also means I can include something I kinda super-adore: parasols!!!

A fun bridal party photo with parasols.
A romantic silhouette wedding couple photograph behind a parasol.
And the cooking part? In my wedding research travels I kinda fell in love with herbs in floral bouquets and boutonnieres especially. I think it's just so wonderfully different, yet fitting! There is not a single dish my bf makes that doesn't have an herb from his mother's herb garden.

Unique and beautiful herb boutonnieres.
A lot of these herbs have a pale, blueish-green tint to them, so I thought I could put that cool color of green in little touches throughout the wedding decor!

However this gave even MORE work to do finding even more inspiration pics XP lol

But, I think it turned out well:

My second Asian inspired, purple wedding inspiration board.
click to enlarge

I'm just wondering if the "romance" part still exists in this board...
What do you think?

A New Way To Do Wedding Research...

I don't know if this is already widely used, but I have starting using a new research technique that I think would be extremely helpful to all brides-to-be out there.


Yes, it is the evil Facebook that's practically sucking out your personal info and trying to take over the world, but this is a new dynamic (for me anyways,) of looking at venues and vendors alike.

With a Facebook page, the company has to have some description, contact info, and photos. What's great about these photos is most of them are personal, non-professional photos of the venue/vendor in action.

This gives a genuine look of how it really is, so a excited bride does not have to arrive at a professionally photographed venue and be disappointed.

And if the company page doesn't have personal photos posted, anyone who is willing can put up their own personal photos and tag the company in, making it visible on the company's page.

I have already "liked" the Boldt Castle page, and I love it. The status of the page tells me about the weather, how many weddings there are each weekend, if the place is crowded that day, and any events taking place.

Stalk a venue's page long enough and you'll get a decent feel for what the location is like!

I know other sites probably provide this, Twitter, Flickr, etc. but if you don't have another way to access this type of information, try it. I suggest however only using Facebook for research only and put up very minimal information about yourself if you don't already have an account.

Well, back to my usual internet surfing, I hope I helped someone out there!

July 9, 2010

Inspiration Board Attempt #1

I thought for some fun I would try making my own inspiration board...

WOW. There are sooo many purple wedding photos! 8D Now I know why some bloggers call it "wedding porn," I couldn't stop looking at them!!!

"Just one more photo"
"Just one more photo"
(repeat :P)

So this kinda took me a while, considering I had over 50 picture favs to choose from! XD

So to whittle down the choices, I tried to sum up this explosion of purple everything...

I wanted to include the obvious charm of Boldt Castle, but I wanted modern touches as well, (nothing too overally frilly in other words,) so I came up with a lame, but acceptable "purple sophisticated romance".

My first purple wedding, Boldt Castle inspired, inspiration board.
(click to enlarge)

Pretty, isn't it?! :D

July 6, 2010

Some More Blog Love...

Happy belated Fourth of July to all!!!

Okay, so I've kinda been a WeddingBee whore lately, so let's give some love to the other blogs I mentioned in my award post!

Landlocked Bride found some dress inspiration from Dog n’ Bird, and it is a wonderful find! The design on the lining of the dress is so deliciously different, if only there was a simple way of doing this on your own! (Without going crazy anyway XP)

Unique and stunning wedding dress with a blue leaf design underneath!
*drools* ...oh, sorry, on to the next!

An older DIY post on Elizabeth Anne Designs had a candle set up that reminded me of one of my all-time favorite musicals...Phantom of the Opera!!!

A romantic display of dozens of candles.
Image by Jessica Claire

If you have seen this musical and/or love it as much as I do, you can see the appeal :D The setup and take-down of this lovely lighting? A bit of a hassle...(transporting over 30 fragile vases, not so fun) but could be worth it in the right set of circumstances :)

Hopefully no one minds the great influx of wedding inspiration pics lately :)

July 2, 2010

Flying Purple Petals = Gorgeous!

It's confirmed:

A cute wedding photo with flying rose petals.
Photo taken by Shoot Me Now Photography

The rose petal aisle is a fan-frigging-tastic idea!!! :D

I thought about this before, but now I know: I WANT IT!!! :D

This tidbit of lovely inspiration thanks to WeddingBee's own Mrs. Cola!

July 1, 2010

The Best Kind of Buffet? A Cake Buffet of Course!

Yet another WeddingBee post that caught my eye: a wedding cake buffet!

Really it was a wedding cake deconstructed. Instead of having the usual tiered cake, Mrs. Pencils had 6 separate lovely cakes displayed on her cake table, and I think it looks fantastic!

Mrs. Pencils sophisticated cake buffet.
Photo copyright and courtesy of B. Scott Photography

I kinda really love this because:

1) This would be easier to DIY because you don't have to worry about stacking layers and/or transporting a tiered cake.
2) I think it's a nice modern twist on the traditional cake, and it's not cupcakes!
3) I can have lovely variety with each cake being a different flavor!
4) Multiple cakes are always better than one XD

Only problem is that I would have to have a better idea/plan for the design of the cake table, and probably spend more money on the presentation of the cakes.

I know I have seen these before, but I think this is the first one I have seen where the cakes look professional and polished, instead of the homemade cake buffet look:

A cute homestyle cake buffet.
I guess I love that Mrs. Pencil's cakes all had the same style, so it looked more put-together and cohesive!

Now how many cakes should I have?