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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: 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: 11-17 February

Day 36: You can't really tell but it was super smokey out today because of Victorian bushfires

Day 36: You can’t really tell but it was super smokey out today because of Victorian bushfires

Day 37: Powdered food dye is dynamite

Day 37: Powdered food dye is dynamite

Day 39: Crocheting with builders line. It's going to be a little catch-all bowl

Day 38: Crocheting with builders line. It’s going to be a little catch-all bowl

Day 40: The mornings are starting to be darker, but at least I got to see this beauty before work

Day 39: The mornings are starting to be darker, but at least I got to see this beauty before work

Day 41: This book is a bit all over the place. Not really doing it for me

Day 40: This book is a bit all over the place. Not really doing it for me

Day 41: Evacuations at Costco need some work. No one had any idea what was going on, or where to go

Day 41: Evacuations at Costco need some work. No one had any idea what was going on, or where to go

Day 42: The kids at work are always asking me to take photos of things they make and buildDay 42: The kids at work are always asking me to take photos of things they make and build

Nicole

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365 Project: 28 January- 3 February

Day 22: Assorted yummies for dinner

Day 22: Assorted yummies for dinner

Day 23: Fab light show at 'Chvrches'

Day 23: Fab light show at ‘Chvrches’

Day 24: This cutie is a magic towel that expands with water

Day 24: This cutie is a magic towel that expands with water

Day 25: This kitty and her brother kill me. So cute!

Day 25: This kitty and her brother kill me. So cute!

Day 26: So this guy was hiding inside our grater

Day 26: So this guy was hiding inside our grater

Day 27: My first Costco trip

Day 27: My first Costco trip

Day 28: Is it pronounced macrah-may or macra- may?

Day 28: Is it pronounced macrah-may or macra- may?