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Engagement on a budget

Yep, so you know that I’m engaged, right? After the squealing and the jumping up and down comes the scary bit. Oh my gosh the planning. So, so much stuff needs to be planned! I guess I hadn’t given it that much thought beforehand, but boy was I thinking about it when the whole ‘going to be married reaaal soon’ thing sunk in.

The first step was the engagement party. Matty and I wanted to have it as close to our engagement date as possible so that we could celebrate the event itself with all of our friends and family in one space, at one time. Saturday the 2nd of August it was.

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So the venue, the guest list, the decorations, whether we would be serving drinks and food… all of that stuff needed to be sorted asap. Ugh. So here comes the budget part.

For the venue Matty’s parents kindly agreed to let us use their backyard. Booyah, free! The decorations were of course crafted by me, no question there. The number of guests (we had approximately 100 or so) and therefore the food/drinks was the only real expense of the night. 

Matty designed the gorgeous invitations above and had them printed for a very reasonable cost.IMG_2207

We sussed out a catering and serving price from a company that I used to work for. Wow-ee am I glad that we did our homework. It was WAY WAY WAY out of our budget. I knew their food was good, but we couldn’t justify the expense. So we had a look around and found a company that could provide kitchen staff and servers for a much more reasonable price. 

I used my beloved Pinterest to help decide what food would work and could be made for 100 guests, as well as sticking to the party basics, then Mum and I got to work checking out prices. We scoured Costco (and took photos of everything!) and then the supermarkets to find the cheapest price for all the food stuffs (and liquor) that we needed.

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The creation of the ‘honeymoon fund’ envelopes

Costco ended up being an absolute life saver. We bought 90% of all the party supplies there. The rest came from Coles, Liquorland, the fruit shop and $2 shops. 

The food, aside from being cheap, was very time consuming to prepare. I may have over extended myself when I decided to make lolly skewers, cookies, antipasto skewers, fruit skewers and meatballs with dipping sauce. It was sort of fun though.

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The sign to accompany the envelopes

My snazzy fabric envelopes were handmade with fabric that I found for super cheap at a recent craft fair and the wooden tree sign was from a discount craft store outlet.

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I did have a whole lot of support from everyone. Mum helped me shop for all of the nourishment, as well as helping me thread skewers last minute. Sharon organised the entire marquee set up, and of course offered her house for the venue. My dad provided heating, chairs and fancy whiskey. Ron (and the other “uncles”) served as barmen. Matty set up the sound system and complained about being tortured whilst threading lollies onto skewers, haha. IMG_2412On the day we were actually pretty damn organised. Matty and I made some last minute food stuffs and then I was treated to a super fancy professional make up experience by my sister in law to be, Jess. IMG_2413

How all brides to be should look at their engagement party

How all brides to be should look at their engagement party

The night itself was fricking freezing. So much so that blower heaters iced over and many feet went numb. But the company was great, if not a little darn scary. Who knew that 100 friends and family in one place is reaaallly overwhelming? The food was delicious, the drinks were consumed, some terrible photos were taken (more on that in a later post), the kitchen/serving staff did a pretty good job, and everyone seemed to have a really good time.

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Our little ‘honeymoon haul’ definitely made us feel loved, as did all the sweet things that were written in our cards.

But back to the budget part. All up, the party cost a little over $2,000. For a guest list of 100+ including food, alcoholic drinks and kitchen/wait staff I feel that it was money well spent. 

My tips are: research, research, research (and document everything), shop around, do what you can yourselves and don’t be shy to ask for assistance (or to accept it!).

And I’ll just leave you with one of the many giggle worthy messages that we received. This one was from Matty’s indoor cricket buddies.

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365 Project: 1-7 July

Day 177: Last minute rush to the grandparents house when Mum's car decided to cark it in their driveway

Day 177: Last minute rush to the grandparents house when Mum’s car decided to cark it in their driveway

Day 178: MY SEEDLINGS ACTUALLY SPROUTED!!!

Day 178: MY SEEDLINGS ACTUALLY SPROUTED!!!

Day 179: The best place to sit is obviously on top of the blanket that is trying to be made

Day 179: The best place to sit is obviously on top of the blanket that is trying to be made

Day 180: There was actually some warmth in the sun

Day 180: There was actually some warmth in the sun

Day 181: Thanks Pinterest for instructing me on how to get curly hair in about 5 minutes

Day 181: Thanks Pinterest for instructing me on how to get curly hair in about 5 minutes

Day 182: This shot is actually from Friday night, but it's still how I spent my day in my feelin- sorr- for-myself/hungover state

Day 182: This shot is actually from Friday night, but it’s still how I spent my day in my feeling- sorry- for-myself/hungover state

Day 183: The finished wishing well envelope trio

Day 183: The finished wishing well envelope trio

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365 Project: 24-30 June

Day 170: Wedding fabric samples

Day 170: Wedding fabric samples

Day 171: Buckled down and finished Matty's "engagement hat"

Day 171: Buckled down and finished Matty’s “engagement hat” (Yes, it is a Jayne’s hat!)

Day 172: The craft fair had so many pretty colours of everything, and I mean everything

Day 172: The craft fair had so many pretty colours of everything, and I mean everything

Day 173: I bought some darling fabric at the craft fair to make into our 'wishing well'

Day 173: I bought some darling fabric at the craft fair to make into our ‘wishing well’ envelopes

Day 174: I'm cheating a bit here. There was nothing noteworthy to photograph (or I forgot...), so here's something I made for our engagement instead!

Day 174: I’m cheating a bit here. There was nothing noteworthy to photograph (or I forgot…), so here’s something I made for our engagement instead!

Day 175: Again, another cheat. Here is me planting some seedlings instead

Day 175: Again, another cheat. Here is me planting some seedlings instead

Day 176: This is Lucy dog after rolling in something stinky

Day 176: This is Lucy dog after rolling in something stinky. Thanks Luce

 

 

 

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365 Project: 17-23 June

Day 163: Scoping out supplies for the engagement party, and also the first time we've been to Costco on a day other than Sunday

Day 163: Scoping out supplies for the engagement party, and also the first time we’ve been to Costco on a day other than Sunday

Day 164: Being in the garden and actually enjoying it!

Day 164: Being in the garden and actually enjoying it!

Day 165: Window art for an indoor picnic with the girls

Day 165: Window art for an indoor picnic with the girls

Day 166: Fancy hair which I soon after took apart. Too fancy for taking the grandparents to the butchers

Day 166: Fancy hair which I soon after took apart. Too fancy for taking the grandparents to the butchers

Day 167: Wiimbledon (Wii tennis tourament), and yes that is Matty in a netball skirt

Day 167: Wiimbledon (Wii tennis tourament), and yes that is Matty in a netball skirt

Day 168: Why yes, that is a plastic bag of soup. Jen and I decided it was too thick for the sink

Day 168: Why yes, that is a plastic bag of soup. Jen and I decided it was too thick for the sink

Day 169: The catalyst for the wedding dress preparations

Day 169: The catalyst for the wedding dress preparations

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365 Project: 10-16 June

Day 156: These kids love the tessellating blocks

Day 156: These kids love the tessellating blocks

Day 157: These bagels were so unnecessarily complicated, but I've found the best place for dough to rise in our house

Day 157: These bagels were so unnecessarily complicated, but I’ve found the best place for dough to rise in our house

Day 158: A rare shot of Mia's face. Usually she's too busy rubbing her head on everything

Day 158: A rare shot of Mia’s face. Usually she’s too busy rubbing her head on everything

Day 159: We put up shelves in my craft room which meant I could actually use the desk as a desk!

Day 159: We put up shelves in my craft room which meant I could actually use the desk as a desk!

Day 160: We visited some family friends of Matty's and I got to show off my loom band skills. This one was a gift for me

Day 160: We visited some family friends of Matty’s and I got to show off my loom band skills. This one was a gift for me

Day 161: A lovely lunch followed my Mario Kart 64 is the perfect Sunday

Day 161: A lovely lunch with friends followed my Mario Kart 64 is the perfect Sunday

Day 162: Today began the time that I was not allowed to work at my job for the most frustrating reason, hence research into new job seeking

Day 162: Today began the time that I was not allowed to work at my job for the most frustrating reason, hence research into new job seeking

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365 Project 3-9 June

Day 149: We had a friend over for dinner and made the wonderful vodka pasta sauce

Day 149: We had a friend over for dinner and made the wonderful vodka pasta sauce

Day 150: Going to Bunnings is the hardest thing ever. I stood in the damn screw aisle for way too long

Day 150: Going to Bunnings is the hardest thing ever. I stood in the damn screw aisle for way too long

Day 150: Bonus pic! Billy (cute!) eating broccoli under the couch (not so cute)

Day 150: Bonus pic! Billy (cute!) eating broccoli under the couch (not so cute)

Day 151: Figured I should finally fulfill my promise of making Mum and Dad a pyramid door stop

Day 151: Figured I should finally fulfill my promise of making Mum and Dad a pyramid door stop

Day 152: Wedding dress things!

Day 152: Wedding dress things!

Our first meeting of the infamous Senor Taco

Day 153: Our first meeting of the infamous Senor Taco

Day 154: The puppies at the beach #lolaandtaco

Day 154: The puppies at the beach #lolaandtaco

Day 155: Yep, still a kid at heart

Day 155: Yep, still a kid at heartS