Tag Archives: wedding

Spring Cleaning: April Goals

(first, let me just point out how badly I wanted to do a play on April Fools for the name of this post)

Tonight, I did something I’ve never done before.  I chose to clean instead of work out.  I don’t choose working out over cleaning because I love to work out that much; I do it because I dislike cleaning that much.  Seriously, sometimes I pick stuff up and think, “WTF am I suppose to do with this?”  Obviously if it is a magazine the answer is never to throw it away.   I might need those articles again sometime.

Ok, I’m not really that bad (most of the time).  I am pretty good at organizing stuff.  When I moved in with Matt, I was able to merge most of my stuff with his by putting in more shelving and rearranging how everything was organized in the storage room, closets and cabinets.  But, I’m not good with the day-to-day upkeep around the house.  I think I got into the mood to clean tonight because it is spring and we are having my family over on Saturday night.  So… enough about my lack of cleaning skills.

I read a really good blog post on Saturday where the author graded herself on various goals she had set for the month of March.  She had cute little chalkboard icons and everything.  I can’t remember the name of the blog and it is driving me nuts!  I remembered the blog… it is Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat.  I highly recommend checking it out.  I thought it was a really good idea to set goals for the month since it is such a short amount of time.  These aren’t really “goals” as much as things I want to get done in April.

Partake in a few personal indulgences.

I am bad at this.  I have been talking about getting my car detailed for over two years.  Have I had it done yet?  Nope.  I buy one pair of jeans every 18-24 months because I can’t justify spending money on clothes that can’t be worn at work every day.  I indulge every now and then on smaller things, like some makeup I just bought at MAC, but I really don’t shop a lot for myself.  So, here are my personal indulgences:

  • Get my car detailed.  I love my car so, yes, this is a personal indulgence.
  • Buy a new pair of jeans.  I already have this planned for the weekend of April 14 when Colleen comes to town!  The pair I bought last year is too stretchy so I have saggy butt by the end of Casual Friday.
  • Start my race bib scrapbook.  This isn’t really a financial indulgence as it is a time indulgence.  I want to dedicate a few hours one afternoon to finally starting a scrapbook for my race bibs.  They currently look like a big tangled pile of messiness:

Stay on the healthiness journey.

Ok, obviously I’m going to do this… especially now that I found my wedding dress and have extra motivation.  I wanted to put a couple specific things down about this though.

  • Swim 3 lengths of the pool without stopping.  Considering I can’t even swim one length right now, this will be very hard for me.  I am really nervous about this one, but it needs to be done. Time to put the swimming lessons I took 3 years ago to use.
  • Complete 10 incline push-ups.  This will be another tough one, but necessary for Tough Mudder!
  • Lose 4 pounds.  I’ve been bouncing around the past few weeks and need to start making some progress here.

Career / Personal Development

I own 23 books about business or leadership that have either been given to me or I bought (not including 2-3 other books that I swear I own, but can’t seem to find).  I have had the best intentions to read them… at some point.  I am actually interested in these topics, but what usually happens is I put them on my bookshelf and completely forget about them.

  • Read three of the books.  I already started The Energy Bus last night. It is pretty good so far.  Don’t worry, you will hear about it when I am done 🙂

Make progress on the wedding planning front.  

Venue, photographer, and DJ booked.  Check.  Wedding Dress. Check.  Ok, so we have made good progress so I can’t really complain.  We just want to make sure we plug along so there aren’t any surprises.  These are some big things we want to get done in April

  • Price out professional invitations versus DIY invitations.  We know DIY will be cheaper, but we want to figure out if the savings is worth our time trying to do them on our own.  I love crafts so I wouldn’t mind doing them on my own, but the summer is also already starting to get busy.
  •  Pick out the bridesmaid dress. This will be done on April 14!
  • Plan the ceremony music.  This is up to Matt since I got my way and we are going with a DJ instead of a band 🙂
  • Send a “Save the Date” email with the hotel information.  Klassy.  I know.  But, we don’t see much point in sending formal Save the Dates if we are going to send invitations in two months anyway.
  • Book our engagement photos.  My friend Denise very nicely offered to take our engagement photos… and I’ve been a flake and haven’t gotten back to her.  So, I need to do that this week.

There it is.  My month in a nutshell.  I’m sure I’ll do some other things too, but these are the big ones to get done.

What goals do you have for the month?

Venue selection is moving along nicely!

Greetings from Highway 218 North in Iowa!


Matt’s dad and stepmom are becoming full-time Floridians so we traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to help them with some packing and loading this weekend. It was such a beautiful weekend that Macy was able to work on her farmer’s tan:


(she loves to stare directly into the sun)

I was moderately successful at portion control. I said no to the tasty-looking breakfast pastries but yes to Papa Murphy’s cinnamon wheel. Last night, I also said yes to hibachi:


I used to think hibachi was brown rice, but it turns out it is actually white rice with a lot of soy sauce. My success at this meal was only eating half of the meal and opting for a Subway lunch today instead of leftovers of soy sauce-soaked deliciousness. This also gave us a good reason to meet Matt’s mom and stepdad for a brief lunch so we could update them on our planning!

The exciting news of the weekend is that we might have a venue and date! I will wait to announce the date until we have the venue officially booked but we might be going with Campus Club at the University of Minnesota. This venue was a pleasant surprise in a lot of ways – the rental fee is reasonable, the view of the city from the reception room and the terrace are gorgeous, the food is all local and seasonal, it fits within the budget, and we will be able to find availability this fall :). Another bonus is that Matt and I both attended the U for our Masters. We aren’t exactly huge Gopher fans, like Abby (but who is?), however it is still exciting to share part of our past with our guests (even though we didn’t actually know each other when we were going to school there… but let’s not let details ruin the cuteness of it).

We also looked at Profile Event Center in Dinkytown and Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul last week (knot.com has better pictures). This is the pro/con of the Profile Event Center:


  • Great party atmosphere
  • No rental fee if minimums are reached (which I loved!)
  • Option to bring in our own alcohol if we book by April 1 (after that, they won’t offer the option to bring in alcohol since they are getting a liquor license)
  • Option to count photographer, DJ, and decorations toward minimum



  • Although they have the option to have the ceremony there, it’s not what we want for our ceremony so we would have to rent a separate ceremony site

Wabasha Caves was interesting but I probably liked it the least of the three.


  • It was a nightclub during prohibition so it has an interesting history, including a shoot-out and bullet marks as proof
  • They offer tours to guests during cocktail hour
  • Nice big bar (can you sense a theme with our people?)
  • They have 4-5 different caterers to choose from


  • I don’t like that there aren’t any windows (obviously, since it is a cave)
  • We could have our ceremony there, but it isn’t necessarily what we want for our ceremony
  • The rental fee is higher than Campus Club

The ultimate decision-maker with Campus Club has been that, 2 days later, we are still very excited about it. It will allow us to show off beautiful views of our city to our guests and we can get married outside on a beautiful fall day. Sounds good to me!

I hope everyone enjoyed the wonderful weather this weekend as much as Macy did! 🙂

The Wedding: Budget reality check

Ok, now it’s time to get down to the details of planning (since we are still hoping to get married this year, which might be a little crazy).  Our first step is to establish our desired budget, which is $20,000.  This includes the invitations, groom’s dinner, ceremony, reception, wedding bands, and all little things that go along with a wedding.  I love Excel files so I found this nifty budget planner online:

$200 for my band? I better not let Matt get that idea into his head! 🙂

At first, we thought this sounded like more than enough money to get us a decent wedding for about 225 guests.  Then, we did some internet searching and realized we need to adjust our expectations.   Whoops.  Welcome to the reality of today’s wedding.  (I still can’t believe the average wedding is nearly $30k!)

We decided that, rather than extend our budget, we want to look for ways to have a nice wedding within our budget.  From what I’ve read and been told, there are two ways to cut cost – trim the guest list and get less expensive food.  We will need to trim the guest list, but we have a lot of friends we’d like to invite and both have relatively large families so the lowest we can probably go is 200 people.   

Matt and I have been in full brainstorming mode for the past two days and, as a result, my head hurts (literally.  where did this dang headache come from?  It must be bad because I wrote “my head hearts” and I read it five times before I realized it didn’t say “hurts”). 

The thing that seems to be the most important to us is uniqueness.  We want something a little different than the standard banquet hall experience.  The problem is the cute venues are all expensive (if it’s not the rental fee, it’s the food!) or won’t fit the size of our guest list. 

These are a few of our ideas (please chime in with your ideas in the comments section):

  • Friday evening wedding.  My concern here is the minimums are lower, but not necessarily the “per plate” cost so I’m not convinced it will save us money. 
  • Lunch wedding.  We could get married around noon, serve lunch, and go out to a bar for some fun.  The main drawback of this idea is I really like the thought of dancing into the night with my friends and family.
  • Find a unique ceremony site and use a standard banquet hall (or one that will let us bring in food).  The reality is that banquet halls have better food pricing and, once everyone is dancing, it doesn’t matter where it is. 

Tomorrow, we are going to look at Profile Event Center in Dinkytown.  The benefit of this place is it’s in a great location and there aren’t any rental costs if you meet the food minimum.  They used to let you bring in your own alcohol but recently changed that policy.  Boo to that.  That is probably better because we determined it would cost us over $2,000 to buy enough alcohol for our guests (hey, our people like a good time!) but it is much less expensive to give two drink tickets or host a cocktail hour.

We are working on scheduling more showings for Friday.  Since we want to get married this year, we have about two weeks to figure out if we can make that a reality.  We have already discovered a lot of venues are booked for the year, but luckily there isn’t a shortage of options in the Twin Cities area!

How did you or someone you know save money on their wedding?  What is the most unique wedding you’ve attended?