reception

Most Loved Posts of 2017

It’s been a good year (at least for Waste Not Want Not).

I got engaged and the love showed for any of my wedding themed posts because the top three posts of 2017 were all wedding related.

1.) Finally Found Our Venue: Updated

 

2.) Introducing Waste Not Want Not Wedding

bridesmaids

3.)Finally Found Our Venue

latin rhythms

But don’t worry, there was still love for posts that didn’t have anything to do with my upcoming nuptials.

4.) Where Does that Water Go When It Rains A Lot? 

 

MWRD2

McCook Reservoir

 

5.) How to Be a Craigslist Boss: Part 1

craigslist

6.) Who Needs Cotton Balls?

cotton rounds

7.) Meal Kit Market Means More Waste

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8.) A Recycling Conspiracy

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9.) A Recycling Conspiracy Solved

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10.) 10 Most Overlooked Ways to Reduce Waste: Part 1

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And there you have it! The Top Ten Waste Not Want Not posts of 2017! Can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring!

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Buying vs. Renting Wedding Stuff

There comes a time in the wedding planning process where you realize how much all that fancy, cute stuff costs from the rental company.

This is a very contradictory situation for me. I want to save money, but I also don’t want to be wasteful.

There were two main pieces I wanted for the reception: cake stands and lanterns.

I checked around at some vintage rental companies and found that renting a single cake stand can range from $15-$50.

For one cake stand!

 

Nimble Well at Indie Wed

Nimble Well vintage jadeite, gold, and pink milk glass cake stands and vases, photo by Amanda Megan Miller.

 

Overall, it is cheaper to buy a couple cake stands, and then re-sell them as a set to another bride, all while keeping my favorite(s) for myself.

So, that’s what we did. We scoured garage sales and Homegoods to come up with our own set of vintage looking cake stands.

We did the same thing for the lanterns. The perfect lanterns happened to be at Target and all on sale as outdoor summer items were moved off the shelves to make way for fall. These lanterns were only on sale in stores and in small quantities, so there were plenty of trips to Targets all over the Chicagoland area. (Sorry you got roped into that dad!)

Once the wedding is over, I plan to keep these items in the wedding rotation by re-selling them to another frugal bride. There are a couple options for that:

Here is more information on where to buy and sell used wedding materials online.

The whole thing definitely is more work on our part, but I am okay with that. I know my purchases will be put to good use.

 

Gonna Be Composting at My Wedding

Yup. This is going to be a thing.

Let’s be honest. Weddings are quite wasteful. All that hullabaloo for just one day.

The biggest investment in our “special day” is feeding all of our guests. As a couple, we decided to avoid the detested dry chicken breast and sad, floppy asparagus in an unidentified sauce.

Instead, we are going for food that we love and that we know our guests will love. This will hopefully lead to less food waste since everyone will be cleaning their plates and filling their bellies.

But being realistic, everything will not be eaten. There will be food waste.

I have not yet researched into whether or not it is an option to donate unused food, but for now, I do know that composting is my number one option right now.

Healthy Soil Compost is a member of the Green Wedding Alliance and also the service that picks up my household compost. Since I love supporting my bicycle powered pick up service, it only makes sense that they come and collect any leftover taco bits from our reception.

Up front, I can already tell you that no, my guests will not be scraping their plates into an orange compost bucket. That should be taken care of by our caterer when cleaning up.

Either way, I am super excited to have this important element be a part of our important day!

Finally Found Our Venue: UPDATED

A bit ago, I posted that we finally found our venue.

That was premature, my apologies.

While we really loved that venue, communication-wise things were just not working out, and we decided to continue looking for other options.

Before I even had the chance to seriously look, I was suddenly making an appointment to view The Joinery, a new event space transformed from a millwork shop.

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It has the old, vintage, repurposed feel that I love, yet has all the amenities necessary for a wedding reception (brand new bathrooms, bride’s room, catering set-up space, blah blah blah).

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Besides the skylight, the coolest part is the woodworking machinery. It was kept purposefully and will be used as a bar! So neat!

the joinery4

What do you think? Well it really does not matter what you think because we put the deposit down yesterday, so this is happening for real!

Wearing Thrift for A Black Tie Wedding

We went to a wedding this weekend and it reminded me of the time I previously wore a thrift store dress to a black tie wedding.

Intrigued? Read on.


Before last summer, I had never been to a black tie wedding before. Fancy cocktail dress, long gown, what does one wear?

After some soul searching on the internet and perusing Rent the Runway, I figured I was just going to wear one of the five bridesmaids dresses I had acquired over the last few years.

The problem was most of those dresses looked very much like bridesmaid dresses and I usually don’t want to look like a bridesmaid in a wedding where I am not one (But that’s just me).

Not having any idea what I was going to wear, I walked into a second-hand shop near home to look around. Lo, and behold, on the mannequin at the front of the store was a hot pink Kate Spade beauty!

WITH THE

TAGS STILL ON! 

Before I got all excited, I had to remember the real drawback of shopping at second-hand stores. The item you find is only in that one size. Unfortunately, you cannot ask an employee to go find you a size small in the back, because there is not one.

I asked for the size of the dress and held my breath. It was a size that I could wear! I tried it on and it was love at first sight.

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K insisted on being cropped out of the picture

Everyone loved the dress and I felt super cool telling people I got it at a resale shop that supports a charity. 🙂

 

 

Finally Found Our Venue

It’s been a journey so far, but our venue and date have finally been decided on.

We looked far and wide, from suburban to urban options.

Should we go farther out into the suburbs for a better price, but more complicated transportation for everyone?

Or stay in the City with easy access to transportation, hotels and other things to do?

In the end, we decided to stay in the City, but still make the budget work for us.

The venue is an operating dance studio (which I love because I danced all they way through college). It is not a super common venue for a wedding, which I also love. When I mentioned it to a few other vendors, they had not heard of it as an event space (which can be good or bad, I guess).

We can choose any vendors we want and it is BYOB!

 

latin rhythms

The location in dance studio mode

 

It is an intimate timber loft with string lights already strung across the ceiling and wrapped around the beams. The hardwood floor and exposed brick complete the look I was going for, without the large price tag attached.

There won’t be much to decorate, just a bit here and there.

We just need our long banquet tables for our family style dinner (either BBQ or tacos) and I think it will be gorgeous!

I’d Rather Job/Apartment Hunt than Wedding Venue Hunt

Two weeks into being engaged and I am already considering hiring someone else  (or preferably have them volunteer) to figure this whole wedding planning thing out for me.

 

venue-search

Helpppppp Meeeeeeeee!

 

K and I have created a modest budget that we really want to stick to, so finding a venue in Chicago is pretty darn hard. It is more important to us to use that money towards our first house than on a lavish wedding reception. Therefore, we are additionally looking around Wisconsin, Michigan, Chicago suburbs, and Indiana.

I have already torn through The Knot‘s venue search option and am spouting traditional wedding etiquette facts from the number of wedding planning books I have received.

Chicago’s Green Wedding Alliance has some good resources, but their list of venues is pretty small (There will be a post on eco-resources soon).

There are just so many factors to consider:

  • distance
  • waste collection/diversion
  • food quality
  • price
  • a space that feels like us
  • a lot of other important factors I haven’t quite figured out yet

But there are also so many other things that we don’t actually care about:

  • wedding cake
  • the day we get married (Friday vs. Saturday)
  • the season
  • favors

Hopefully, all of the things that we don’t care about will help us save money in the long run.

Do you have any suggestions on an how to secure an affordable wedding venue in the Chicagoland area?

I will keep you updated as we start to narrow down some options. We probably should figure out which geographic location first! Ugh!