Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Reception location: Country Club vs. Backyard

I've been looking at wedding blogs galore to get some ideas about things I'd like to make for this wedding. I am so happy we're paying for it ourselves which means anything I want to do, I can.

We're doing this wedding in my fiance's parents' backyard. We really lucked out because they live in an upscale gated community with a winery, country club and golf course. To rent out the country club within their neighborhood, it would cost more than our entire wedding budget of $2,000 (not including engagement/wedding rings)

Here's the country club:
Outside location

Inside location

We figured, "Hey, if we can get basically the exact same scenery in the same gated community - for free, why not?" Here's part of the backyard where we're going to get married (and my fiance's 12-year-old half brother looking for Easter eggs.)

I've been making my own inspiration boards because I decided I didn't want to have a color as our theme. Because I'm not bound by a certain color palette, I've noticed I can get a lot of things way cheaper (don't have to have custom colors, can buy what's in stock.)

Here's one of the inspiration boards I made:

We're doing a Spanish flamenco theme so we're having lots of bright colors - yellows, oranges, greens, teal, reds, hot pinks and white. Nothing dark and dreary. To go with our theme, we're having a tapas bar with sangria along with Mexican wedding cookies/Russian tea cakes instead of a wedding cake (neither of us like cake and cheesecake for 75 is out of our budget.)

To save on some money, my friends, fiance's sister and I will be making the majority of the tapas, drinks and cookies. I used to work at Whole Foods in the bakery so I've worked on my fair share of catering orders and can cook large orders fairly fast. We may hire a few people to man the tapas buffet and heat the tapas that need to be warmed in my fiance's parents' kitchen (Which is a dream kitchen - a shame since his mom said she doesn't cook!)

Here's my fiance's sister with her husband and sister-in-law in the kitchen we're making our food in! (I think the coolest thing is that heat lamp under the hood!)

We've done some pricing and we're going to save at least $1,000 doing the DIY catering. My next task is to try out some sangria recipes (I've never made it before and don't know what it's supposed to taste like.)

One item we've already decided we're serving is a chocolate cake shot. We'll be serving it at our reception dinner. My fiance's friend's mom made these for us a couple weeks ago and it's insane how much they taste like chocolate cake. It even has a complex and distinct flavor of cake and frosting!

Here's the recipe:

1/2 ounce Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
1/2 ounce vanilla vodka
powdered sugar
lemon slice

- Mix Frangelico and Vodka in a shaker.
- Pour into shot glass.
- Dip lemon slice in powdered sugar.
- Take your shot of liquor - don't swallow, just hold it in your mouth.
- Immediately place lemon slice in your mouth. (Don't dribble!)
- Enjoy.

More to come!


  1. I think that looks perfect! One thing I have never understood is the super expensive wedding and you are doing the planning just right! That chocolate cake shot sounds fabulous...I'd be flat out on the floor after one..LOL!

  2. Do you have any idea for Atlanta Wedding venues? I am not able to decide one among so many. Please help me with your opinion for the best venue.