Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wedding Details, part 2 - The Venue and the DJ

Our Ceremony and Reception Venue:
For our ceremony and reception, Dan and I chose to go with Bowling Green Country Club in Front Royal, VA. We were looking for a location that could have an indoor or outdoor wedding (because you can never trust the weather), a large reception area for guests (because we have LOTS of friends and family), and a price that would not reach the bottom of our savings account. Bowling Green met all of these.

Bowling Green offers two different rooms for receptions, and each has nice wooden floors, big windows, and a bright neutral d├ęcor that will go with any wedding theme. The outdoor ceremony area is a pretty little awning that the events manager keeps meticulously landscaped.

One requirement for having an event at Bowling Green is that the catering and drinks must be done through Bowling Green. However, you should not let this scare you away. Their food is fantastic (as well as VERY reasonably priced), and if you have a favorite wine, beer, or alcohol, the event manager will work with his distributors to find what you are looking for. For Dan and I, he brought in three delicious wines from two of our favorite Virginia wineries. It was wonderful!

Dan and I are very happy we chose Bowling Green for our wedding venue. While there were a couple times we had a trouble reaching someone, we did get all our questions answered. On the week of and day of the wedding, the events manager, Brian Jones, and his team were wonderful. They were eager to help put the finishing touches on everything, and when it continued to rain on our wedding day, they set up the ceremony inside the reception hall in record time.

If you ever choose to have an event at Bowling Green Country Club, let Brian know we that we sent you and tell him that we say “Hi!”.

Our Wedding DJ:
One of the trickier things for us to find was a wedding DJ. There were a LOT of them out there, but most cost way more than we could afford. After asking our friends for suggestions, we were recommended to Kevin Owens, an event DJ and magician.

Things worked out well because Kevin lived very close to the wedding venue, so we would not have to spend extra money on the mileage that most of the other DJs charged. Kevin also worked with us to play a good mix of eclectic music – as Dan and I like a mix of all different kinds of music. He even helped a friend of mine who taught all the guests a line dance during the reception. :)

If you’d like to learn more about Kevin and see what events he does in the area, you can read all about him on his facebook page!

PS: Special thanks for the pictures goes to our fantastic photographer, Stephanie!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wedding Details – Intro and Carytown Cupcakes

Did you know that the average wedding today costs about 25 grand?! Personally, in today’s economy, I have no idea how the average is so high.

Dan and I both have decent paying jobs, but going into our wedding planning, we promised ourselves two things. First, we would NEVER go into debt over a one-day party (no matter how unique a day it was going to be). Second, even if we miraculously won the lottery and could afford an extravagant wedding, we would keep our bottom line well under the $25,000 mark.

Taking these two guidelines into account, I am extremely happy with all of the wedding vendors that we chose to work with. They all provided excellent services, and each one came at a very reasonable price. My best advice to any newly engaged couple is to shop around, get recommendations, and don’t go with an expensive venue just because they have a good review on The Knot. Chances are you can find someone equally as good for much less.

For my next few posts, I am going to take a little time to give props to the venues that Dan and I got to work with. These posts will be FULL of wedding photos and what we liked or didn’t like about each venue.

Carytown Cupcakes
For today’s post I am going to send a big THANK YOU to the folks who made our wedding cake and cupcakes – Carytown Cupcakes.

As many people do these days, Dan and I decided to have cupcakes at our wedding instead of the traditional large, tiered cake. Cupcakes are so much more manageable, and you can usually get more than one kind of cupcake for your guests to enjoy.

Choosing a vendor was easy for us because we are both big fans of Carytown Cupcakes in Richmond, VA. Their price was unbeatable (under $300, compared to the $700 and up prices of the bakeries in northern Virginia), and we are STILL getting complements from our guests about the cupcakes.

After sampling many different types of cupcakes, our final list included:
  • Red velvet (my favorite)
  • Vegan pumpkin chocolate chip (Dan’s favorite)
  • Gluten free caramel apple
  • Dirt/oreo, complete with gummy worms
  • Carrot cake

Our only challenge for the wedding cake was bringing the cupcakes up from Richmond. After speaking with the owner, Dawn, we decided to freeze the cupcakes and have Dan’s father bring them up from Richmond with him. This worked very well, and did not hurt the flavor of the cupcakes.

To display the cupcakes, Dan and I purchased old wooden farm crates, which we laid on their sides and stacked on a table. This made fun little compartments where we could stash all the cupcakes.

In addition to the guest cupcakes, Dan and I had a little six inch cake made for us. This enabled us to do the traditional cutting of the cake, without having tons of left overs. The edges of the cake were decorated with grape vine clippings that we gathered from local vineyards, and the cake topper was made of Leggos. :)

PS: Special thanks for the pictures goes to our fantastic photographer, Stephanie!