venue

On the Way To A Less Wasteful Wedding

135 days to go until our wedding day.

Less than 5 months.

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That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you start this wedding planning journey a whole year and a half beforehand, it’s a lot.

Plenty of things have been crossed off the to-do list, but there are still many more tasks to go.

Here is a roundup of my less wasteful wedding planning experience so far:

Yet there is still so much to do!

 

wedding dress

This is NOT my wedding dress. Just one I tried on.

 

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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

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3.)Finally Found Our Venue

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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? 

 

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McCook Reservoir

 

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

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6.) Who Needs Cotton Balls?

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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!

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.

 

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!

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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!

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!

 

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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!