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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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Look what I made: grey fleecy cape

Let me begin by saying that I have a really big thing for textures. A friend once told me that she was going to follow me around when we were shopping because I touched all the nice things. I can’t help it. I love soft and nice feeling things. Like this fleece.

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I’ve also been wanting to make a super warm poncho-esque top for awhile but the decision was whether to crochet or to sew it. Until now.

I’ve added some photos that I took whilst I made it this morning. Videos of me cursing because I sewed the hood inside out are unfortunately not included.

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So I began by laying out a loose jumper to gauge the size of the entire cape and the neckline.

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Then, scrounged up an old skirt pattern as a template for the gentle curve on each side.

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This is the wonderfully cute pixie hood. I reused the ‘pattern’ if you will from the crocheted pixie hood that I made awhile back.

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This is a wonderfully explanatory image of me using my sewing machine. I believe that I was stitching together the back of the hood.

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This is me pinning a hem for the front section of the hood. This hem turned out wonderfully, whereas the neck hem looked stretched and horrible and led to me cutting the whole thing off and just leaving a raw edge.

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The next step was to (incorrectly) pin the hood to the neckline of the cape and to sew it together.

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Now I am cursing that I used such a close colour matching thread and I can’t see what is stitches and what is fabric as I unpick the ENTIRE BLOODY HOOD.

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And this is the finished product. In the end I left all the edges raw except for the hood and I sewed two little 15cm or so lines at the bottom of the gentle curve to create “arm holes”.

Oh and I’ve just realised how professional the vacuum cleaner looks on the floor in the background of the mirror shots. Oh well, nothing is perfect!

Nicole

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365 Project: 1-7 April

So I don’t appear to be great at this whole keeping-up-with-the-blog thing. It’s mainly 365 project posts with a few bits and pieces throw in there. Sorry about that. But then again I’m not sorry that I’m posting things that I think are more worthwhile and interesting than a bunch of utter crap.

Day 86: Using the extendable lead was definitely a highlight of Lucy's sleepover for her.

Day 86: Using the extendable lead was definitely a highlight of Lucy’s sleepover for her.

Day 87: If you can't tell, this is a dog made from Jenga blocks

Day 87: If you can’t tell, this is a dog made from Jenga blocks.

Day 88: This pink glitter playdough just kept reminding me of organs. Also that's dry pasta stuck in there.

Day 88: This pink glitter playdough just kept reminding me of organs. Also that’s dry pasta stuck in there.

Day 89: Teaching rounds make me want to cry. All my staff can't work and I hate, hate, hate having fill ins.

Day 89: Teaching rounds make me want to cry. All my staff can’t work and I hate, hate, hate having fill ins.

Day 90: Selfies with weird faces on the couch before/after going to a friends birthday celebration.

Day 90: Selfies with weird faces on the couch before/after going to a friends birthday celebration.

Day 91: Finally got my butt into gear and started pinning and cutting the fabric to make pajama pants.

Day 91: Finally got my butt into gear and started pinning and cutting the fabric to make pajama pants.

Day 92: The yummy scones I baked. I also made some homemade pesto and watched a lot of Gilmore Girls.

Day 92: The yummy scones I baked. I also made some homemade pesto and watched a lot of Gilmore Girls.kids