I was so wrapped up in work and wedding planning that I completely set the blog aside, but now that work is getting a little slower and I have a little bit of extra time for my own personal projects, let’s get back to the wedding-planning blogging part of my agenda.
After getting engaged on January 5th and getting our engagement pictures taken, we decided to have a small engagement dinner with only our closest family members present. After much hassling and arguing about what our families wanted (because sometimes they tend to forget that it is about what WE want, not about what THEY WANT) we told them to join us for a small dinner on March 29th.
The idea at first was to do something at my house (I wanted to go to a restaurant, my father insisted to have it at home), but after talking to the suppliers, we realized that the kind of gathering I was planning for was a little bit out of our budget. And it also meant running around town meeting the suppliers, hiring waiters, and multitasking when I’m already a very busy person, and my wedding coordinator was MIA. So we went back to my idea and made a reservation at the terrace of a quaint Italian restaurant “Mediterraneos”.
We had them set a table for 14 people that would enjoy a simple yet delicious dinner of salad, fettuccini Alfredo with chicken, garlic bread, red wine and tiramisu for dessert. It was a bliss knowing that I would not have to be running around anybody, we just went to the restaurant earlier that day to give the manager four small tablecloths in pastel green, 14 base plates in silver, two mirror bases, two clear bottles for the baby’s breath and small candle vases (my fiancé’s mother used to be an event decorator, so I had all these things at home for free).
Everything was perfect, and we were extremely happy we managed to stay in our budget. My idea was: small engagement party, huge bridal shower. So for those planning their engagement celebration and don’t want to spend much, here are my tips:
– First of all, it’s a family event, so stick to your closest relatives. Your fiancé is not going to ask your uncle for your hand in marriage, so unless you HAVE to invite everyone, or else, only consider your siblings, their spouses if anything, your parents and maybe your grandparents if you’re close.
– No children. It’s an adult engagement, the families are trying to get to know each other. No need for children whining at the table.
– Inviting only your closest family members means that there is trust and no need to impress anyone. When choosing our main dish, we opted for something inexpensive that anyone would like and would no doubt be delicious. You can’t go wrong with anything that has lots of butter on it (says this Julia Child’s fan LOL).
– Pinterest is your best friend. Once again, when you invite your closest relatives, there is no need in investing tons of money on decoration. Still, I knew exactly what I wanted. It sounds cliché, but baby’s breath, clear bottles, glass, crystals and mirrors look amazing and cost nothing.
– DO spend some money on yourself! Wear a really nice dress, get your hair and make-up done and hire a professional photographer. This is a once in a lifetime event and you will remember it forever. I wore a beautiful one-shoulder BCBG dress that had layers of soft tulle and a small belt with gray crystals on the buckle with silver heels (the crystals look darker on the photo, oh well!). I did get in bitch-mode and demanded that every male should wear a suit. Some complained but after seeing the photos, they understood my reasons. 😉
– And of course, enjoy! Don’t get so caught up in the stress of wedding planning and forget what this is all about.