Some excellent news: our last minute financing came through! So the last thoughts about not being able to pay have finally disappeared. It is so good to have a huge weight lifted, but now we have 18 months to pay it off or we have to pay an exorbitant amount of interest…
So since our crazy selves are moving out-of-state before we actually tie the knot I thought it would be fitting to showcase some Wedding travel Pinspiration!
My fiance is working on getting job down there sooner, rather than later, so that we can move down together. If he gets the job, we will have to buy plane tickets and fly in for our own wedding! So I suppose it really has become a destination wedding!
Today I fly away home! I may live in Maine, but my dress currently resides in New Jersey. As you are reading this I am probably on a plane, or in a train or in an automobile…yup, I have to take all three to get home! I haven’t seen my dress in over a year, and last time I did, it didn’t fit at all. Now it’s been ordered in my size, and I can finally see it again!
My dress is a Maggie Sottero and I’ve seen her designs on many other girls so I thought I’d put a little inspiration together. Her gowns have a wide range of styles and are totally gorgeous!
I’m so excited to see my dress! It’s like being excited to see an old friend. I’m going to be Instagram-ing and Tweeting my trip for the next three days, so if you aren’t already, follow me!!
Was anyone else super excited for their fittings?
This past Tuesday in Maine couldn’t have been more gorgeous. It was 80! It is rare that 80 degrees happens in Maine, in April. It was a perfect day to check out my number one venue. We set out at 11:30am for a noon appointment with Pineland Farms, the owners of the Merrill Farmhouse.
We met with the woman who was to show us around on the main Pineland campus, and we then followed her out to the farmhouse. Pineland itself was in a remote location, and the farmhouse and barn were even more remote. This is a huge plus for us, as we hope to have an outdoor wedding, we know that we will remain mostly undisturbed.
We are driving down a small country road, and looking up, at the top of the hill is this adorable farmhouse and barn.
We pull into a very small driveway and park in a tiny parking area. And I mean very tiny. This is our first “con,” if you will, very limited parking. The exterior of the venue is really breathtaking. It overlooks large rolling farmland which would make a wonderful backdrop for any ceremony.
On the other side of the farmhouse is a different farm, not owned by Pineland, with dairy cows. This is sort of a half “con” for me. I love cows and I actually like the way they smell…I know…weird. So for me, this is not a draw back. However, thinking of my guests, would they necessarily like smelling cows during our wedding?
I took a bunch of pictures of the exterior, but not being an awesome photographer, here are just a few.
She then took us inside the farmhouse. It. Was. Amazing. The farmhouse has been fully restored; it is fully furnished and very antique looking. It is definitely a getaway place for a large group. It’s cozy, yet HUGE inside. The house is a great place to host the rehersal dinner! It has plenty of seating and a big enough kitchen to cook tons of food.
And, of course, I found the perfect spot for some great dress photographs to be taken!
And now, the pièce de résistance, the barn:
It’s probably everything I’ve hoped for in a barn. Big enough for what we need, but intimate as well. Both doors on either end open, and one reveals the rolling hills in the back. It’s rustic, but also well kept. It even comes with lights wrapped around the poles!
After taking in everything, the venue is really everything I’d hoped for. Of course, there are a few “cons” thrown into everything. Besides what I previously mentioned, another “con” is that we will not be able to decorate the barn until 2 hours before everything starts. This of course was countered by the fact that the catering staff will do a walk through with you so you can show them how everything should be set up, and they will do all the setting up for you.
Probably the biggest “con” of all is the on site catering that comes with the venue rental, is pretty expensive. The venue is SO affordable, but the catering costs tip our budget just a bit too much. It may be possible to negotiate if we go with a simpler menu, which is totally fine with me. Seriously, I would be completely ok with burgers and fries. It certainly would be more like a family reunion that way!
I am really excited about this place! It looks wonderful and if the price is right, this will be the place where I marry my sweetie!
I had a terrible thought today. As I was going over the vague budget we have (vague because we are so far out that we don’t have any vendor prices), I realized that after we spend the money on our vendors and decorations we will have no money left for the honeymoon. We are scrimping every place we can right now just to save for the wedding and there is no way to be able to save more for the honeymoon. I was naive to think our whole budget could cover both things I guess.
As a result of this mini panic attack, I began brain storming ways to be able to get money for that all important trip. I think, first of all, that we shouldn’t go after our wedding. Any trip we take in August is going to more expensive than if we took it in the winter months. Secondly, it might be best to take a cruise. With a cruise you have three big expenses to consider, boat cost, plane fare, and any added off-boat expenses. It would be easy to budget for those things rather than looking at all the factors of, say, a European tour, which is what I really wanted. It has always been my dream to wander around Europe, but it might be best to port in the Mediterranean and wander bits of Europe.
And thirdly, and most importantly, the almighty Registry. I’m sure back in the day when people weren’t living together (or on their own) before they got married an “items” registry was practical. But let’s be honest, that is just not the case our modern-day. Couples are living together more and more to save money on everyday costs, so they already have all the house-hold items anyone would need. Because my fiance lives with me, I have two food processors, two bread makers, two TVs and two beds…not to mention various other sundries boys bring along with them. So what is a tactful way of saying, “Please no gifts, just send some money.” I do have a few answers
#1 Don’t sign up for a registry. When you are asked about it, say that you can’t think of anything you need. People understand that a gift should be brought, so without guidance they will most likely bring a card with cash or a check. You can even set up a little display to show you will use their generous gifts for your honeymoon
You can also put a collection jar near the cake or the cash bar, so if people do have cash on them, they might stash some in the jar.
#2 This is quite interesting. I did some digging around to find a polite way to ask for cash instead, and I found this wonderful web site: Deposit A Gift. This site basically allows you to open a savings account where you can post things that you want or need, and your guests can put money toward those things. For instance, I could highlight on this page that we need money for our honeymoon, and guests type in the dollar amount the want to contribute, which gets put right into your account. You can also create an “About Us” page, to tell the relatives who don’t know both of you, a little bit about your relationship. There are other pages where you can talk about your wedding details, so no one has an excuse to forget! Now for the fun catch, because there always is one, there is a service charge fee for overhead and credit cards. While setting up an account is free, whenever your guest goes to give their gift a service fee of 7.5% of the total gift. They do give you a choice, either you can pay the fee, or the gift giver can pay it…but someone has to.
You can also try:
OurWishingWell – The interest rate lowers the more money you get, but you (and only) must pay the fee when you withdraw the money
MyRegistry – This site offers a Cash Gift site, but here, PayPal charges a fee, and they also charge a fee when a gift is given, which slowly goes up as the dollar amount goes up
Honeyfund – A friend of mine who is getting married very soon told me about this site, which seems to be the best deal out of all the sites I’ve looked at. Right on the home page it tells you that they do not charge a transaction fee. This is true, but PayPal does charge a fee. However this is the best deal out of all the sites I’ve found, because they do not charge an additional fee on top of what PayPal charges. All the instructions on set up look pretty straight forward and the site is pretty cute. You can pay for an upgraded page with no ads, more templates, and a photo slide show, but it only costs $39 once. I give Honeyfund my stamp of approval, so far, it’s the one I would use.
I will probably shop around more for the best deal, but this does seem to be the most efficient way of receiving cash for the honeymoon. Here’s hoping we can afford to do something fun! I should probably stop worrying about money and get back to making paper flowers. Stay tuned to find out how the paper Ranunculus turns out!