How much is too much?

fresh off my wonderful vacation with the hubby and la familial and ready to get back to work! I had nothing but downtime and relaxation for the past 2 weeks and it gave me plenty of time to think. One of the family topics that was covered was what to do about our upcoming anniversary. As you my readers know we have decided to throw out the idea of a big bash and instead do a low-key bbq and housewarming party ( low-key meaning 75+ guests!!!!). I broke the news to my fam and it was agreed that we were making the best decision for us but that got me thinking bout weddings in general and the question going round my brain is how much is too much? When does a wedding stop becoming a celebration of your new marriage and life together and start becoming a way to one up and impress people you haven’t seen in years. I sit in my office day in and day out and am inundated with nothing but wedding paraphanilia and I gotta tell you sometimes even I think it’s over the top and ridiculous. In 2007 the average cost of a wedding reception was 28,000$ twice the amount spent in 1990 and currently the wedding industry nets 161 billion dollars annually!! 28,000$ for an event that lasts 1 day just a mere 14 hours, to me that’s crazy and this is what I do for a living. People ask me all the time ” don’t you watch the wedding shows on t.v.”? Honestly, NO! I can’t stomach it. I have a hard time watching a girl spend 7,000$ on a dress she will wear for less than 8 hours or 45,000$ on a reception site. 200$ a person favors.. really! people are just going to throw it out! Don’t get me wrong I am not against spending some money to have a great wedding with good food and good drinks with the people you care about, but when you start to get into the 10’s of thousands maybe you should reconsider how better that money could be used like on your home or a tuition fund for you children. No marriage should begin with a massive amount of debt looming over your head. Remember the most important part of that day is the seriousness of the commitment you are making to one another, not the chaircover color being the exact same shade as the bridesmaids dresses.
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Keep it in perspective!
Brooke

We’ve come to a decision.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my blog “HELP” last week. Shawn and I gave it a lot of thought and considered all the good advice and we are going to skip a wedding reception. You my readers were right, I was only doing it because I thought it’s what everyone else wanted but it’s not what I wanted. We decided instead to hold a house-warming bbq on our 1 year anniversary. I think it’s the best way to enjoy our first year together as a married couple. What better to have good food and good company in our new home! We decided to take the money we would have spent on a reception and to have a true honeymoon before we start trying for kids.In the grand scheme of things you would look back on and regret, I feel like that time alone together means more to us than a big reception and I would not want to regret missing that.

Note * to all my reader who are friends and clients, I am NOT knocking big receptions!!!! I just didn’t think it was right for us!!!*

Thanks again for all the good advice!

follow your heart…
Brooke

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On to the Holidays!

Merry Christmas

Obviously I have been unusually quiet lately! My apologies for the silence, in preparation for the holidays I got caught up in other things and have neglected my blog so here’s a few quick thoughts and suggestions for hosting a spectacular holiday get together!

#1 Food is key especially around the holidays whether you are trying something new or using a tried and true recipe make sure to plan ahead!! Shop a few days before your party to ensure you have the time to get all of the ingredients you need. Making a list (and yes checking it twice) cuts down on last-minute dashes to Meijers searching for stuff that you missed. Also consider the space that you are working in and the length of time each item needs to cook, if your kitchen is small like ours then plan for how to warm things while others are cooking and how much storage space you really have in your fridge for extras. Our kitchen has a lot of counters but isn’t that large and my fridge is about half the size of the one from Home Depot that I dream about so I always end up doing a fridge clean out before I throw a party just to ensure I have space to put everything!

#2 Need a few recipe ideas? Check out http://www.rachaelraymag.com/  Rachel Ray is one of my food hero’s and I tried a few of her recipes at Thanksgiving. The homemade Pecan Pie with Bourbon Vanilla ice ream went over like a house on fire and I loved her Sweet Mashed Potatoes recipe as well.

#3 Don’t go overboard with decorating (your table that is). The key to a great table is not only great decorations but plenty of space for food and drinks so keep it light and consider making or purchasing items that guests can take home with them so that you don’t end up with 15 poinsettia that you don’t need when the parties over.

#4 Entertainment!!!!  Hiring a DJ for a home party is not necessary however make sure you have something in mind to keep guests occupied other than food and drink… consider games (monopoly, scattegories, apples to apples) or if you’re like our friends after a couple of drinks everyone is a rock star so we bust out guitar hero and use the mic only for impromptu karaoke! Whatever it may be plan simple and fun things for people to do after the meal is over.

#5 Presents…. address this issue early, whether you are or are not giving gifts the guests should know what to expect before they come. So if you’re exchanging make sure they know what and how much to spend before they come. Nothing is worse than a guest arriving to a party unprepared so make sure you outline in your invites what’s to be expected. The same goes for dress code…make sure your guests know if it’s casual or dressy so that they are comfortable when they arrive.

Above all else have fun, be safe and enjoy!

Brooke