Getting Married: 45 Weeks – Guestlisting


Thanks for stopping back! Sorry I’m a few days late in posting this. I’ve had a lot going on but am feeling loads better than the last post. This week, I decided to scrub through my part of the guest list and get it up on our website. When looking for a wedding host website, we wanted pretty themes and all, but mostly we wanted the feature for our guests to RSVP online. We checked through the various ones, but settled on There might be others that would do the trick, but we really liked this one.

Matt and I have a quandary. We both have fairly large families and we have a pretty wide base of friends and coworkers who we would want to be at our wedding. However, we have limited funds and a reception venue which can only hold a certain number of people. So, how do we get everyone there and yet only having a small portion of them? We decided to have an open ceremony and a closed reception.

This has brought a lot of relief while we’ve been casually putting together our guest list.  Family, bridal party, and close friends are automatically put through to the reception and everyone else is allotted an invite to the ceremony. Matt and I also have attended our respective churches for years, he much longer than I, and have built a strong relationship with the family there. While I would love for everyone to be at the reception to cut up and boogie down, I’m going to have to settle with having everyone at the wedding.

We also have a couple ideas for age-specific groups. We plan to have a kids table at the reception with favors specifically for kids 10 and under. I also have something special planned for my girls 11-18.

Two years ago, I spent a lot of time with some girls from church. They were in my Sunday School class and all in 5th grade. I remember what it was like heading into Junior High. I had a girl scout troop with some good girl friends, but 6th grade was the year that the 5 elementary schools of our district poured all their kids into one building. It was crazy to see how many kids were my age in the city and I had gone from an average-sized fish in a little pond to another average-sized fish in a great big pond. I’m not athletic by any means, and not overly outgoing. It may surprise some of you to know that I am, in the truest sense of the word, an introvert. (We have our 10 year reunion next month and some of my friends really want me to go. I honestly have a giant fire-ball of anxiety in my chest every time I think about it.) But back to junior high: It was intimidating. I had grown to know and love these 5 girls in my class and decided that I wanted to do something special with them. For that whole year, we would do something fun once a month. I bought them journals and made fun fabric covers for them. My first big sewing project and I was so jazzed at how well they turned out. We did all sorts of neat things: tea party, gong out to lunch after church, a painting class, etc. These girls were so special to me that year and the goal was that they could have a non-family adult to talk to about whatever and they would draw close to each other. They needed a support system before heading into that great big world of junior high and pre-teendom. And it worked! Those girls are pretty close now and on track to staying close for years. They’ll probably have a blow out here and there, but what’s being a teenage girl without blow outs. Trust me, I had plenty. I want to do something special for these girls…but I’m not writing it here. It will be a surprise! 🙂

What about you? Have you planned a wedding and had guest-list woes? Have a special idea for acknowledging people dear to you? As much as we would love to have everyone at the reception with us, it’s just not possible. We hope that there isn’t too much disappointment and that an open invite to the ceremony will make up for any hurt feelings.


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on


Booked! (47 weeks)

There were just two things that I have been stressed about to get booked for this wedding, yes, even 11 months before the aimed-for date: a reception venue and wedding photographer.

This week’s post is to let you know that we have them booked! I am so confident about my vendors so far, that I’m going to do a quick review/plug for them.

RECEPTION HALL – Barn N Bunk – Trenton, OH

Borrowed from the Barn N Bunk website

First, here is the website:

Both Matt and I have been to wedding receptions here, so when we found out how economical the place was, we knew we had to get it. Located in Trenton, OH, a very farming-heavy community in Butler County, OH, this venue is ideal for weddings and receptions. Barn weddings/receptions have become super popular in the last few years and this 1893 barn is definitely up for the challenge.

The owners, Bev and her husband (Tom, I believe…I did meet him, but it was for a split second), have been doing this for years. their granddaughter works in one of the shops. You can tell that the whole place is a labor of love. During the growing season, the fields surrounding the barn are filled with a variety of vegetables and beans. They have a farmers’ market and a slew of community activities throughout the year.

What amazed me was how excited Bev was about our future marriage. I’m thinking that she must see about 52 weddings a year and yet she was still so thrilled that we are getting married and having our reception there.

Here’s the breakdown of the deal:

For 200 people, we were quoted a price of $3200. This includes catering for those people of a hot buffet (there are two other buffet options available) with three meats (sliced ham with pineapple, turkey breast in gravy, and roast beef au jus) and four sides or salad options. We chose mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans with ham chunks, tossed salad with dressings, and applesauce. Matt hasn’t insisted on too much so far, but he pretty much said it was a deal breaker if we didn’t get those mashed potatoes. Naturally, I accommodated. I love potatoes too. They also provide iced tea, lemonade, water, and coffee.

Any guests above the 200 is an additional $11/person, which is a very good price based on what I’ve gathered from friends and family who have planned weddings before. We can also bring in pop, if we want, but we would be responsible for clean-up and monitoring of that. They will allow alcohol, but again, you are completely responsible for organizing that. They do have china dishes and silverware available, but they typically use Styrofoam plates and plasticware. This is where I expressed some concern. We have plans for repurposing things for this wedding – reducing our waste and lowering cost. I asked her if we could buy thick paper plates instead of styrofoam, so that the material would at least be biodegradable. Bev is in a recycling mode so she was very glad to help out and said that she would price-check for us and if it wasn’t much more than the styrofoam plates, then she would just consider it in the original cost. Just a testament that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask about something that is important to you – you may not get the answer you want, but you also just might.

I will probably do another review of the place after the wedding, but for now, I leave you with the above. I’m very hopeful for what our special day will be like.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER – Images by Sadie – Sadie Hodge

Here’s her website:

Just about every one of my friends have commissioned Sadie to do photos for them. She runs the gammut of Senior pics, engagement shots, weddings, mom-to-be photos, baby and kid photo, and full family shots. She first came into our lives when my matron of honor (who will be doing our engagement photos) married her super-cool rockstar hubs. I believe that he and Sadie knew each other from school, but regardless, she did some promo shots for his band and then she did their engagement and wedding photos…then my other bridesmaid had her do mommy-to-be shots, then it seemed like just about every other of my friends had her do their engagement shots and weddings. Most recently, she has done pics of friends’ new baby boy and she was brought in for a surprise proposal session at a Cincinnati Reds game.

I have wanted her to do my wedding pics for a long time, years even! So I was so excited to hear that she was available for our wedding date. She has some different wedding packages which are on her pricing page. I have had too many friends who didn’t get a very good photographer and their groomsmen ended up with a mullet from the shadow, or heads chopped off, or missing whole segments of the night because the photographer sat down to eat his meal during the dinner. I do not plan to be a picky bride, but a top-knotch photographer is one thing I am not willing to compromise on. Sadie is the best and has very reasonable pricing for the quality of her work.

Another really great photography couple that I would have used had Sadie not been available is her friend Tammi Harris and hubs Rudy. You can find their website here. I really like the stuff that they come up with and as a husband/wife team, they work super well together.

Thanks for stopping by!


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!