The Most Expensive (And Best) Day Ever

There’s rumors that you can have an inexpensive wedding.  The event of your dreams for under $10,000. The stars will align – your parents’ backyard will transform into the perfect rustic chic setting, friends will work tirelessly on catering, and your decorations will take nothing more than a few minutes together with a hot glue gun, your future spouse, and a glass or two of wine.

Pinterest lies.

I gave up the idea of having a “cheap” wedding pretty quickly. That’s not to say that I didn’t freak out about the idea of spending more than what we spent on our car on one day of our lives. I wasn’t happy about it. I resented the fact that this is what weddings are now. But I succumbed.  And I don’t regret a penny. Every aspect of the day came out perfectly and throughout the festivities I kept thinking “this is EXACTLY what I wanted.”  In the end, that’s what matters.

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Now that I am a seasoned professional, I’d like to offer you some wedding planning tips.

  • If you’ll remember it, spend the money

In the midst of “holy cow the catering costs HOW much?” and “WHY DID WE NOT JUST ELOPE” I had one silly idea: gosh darn it, I wanted a photobooth. Did we need to spend the money on it? Nope. We had a fabulous photographer (more on that later), and picture-snapping friends in attendance but I knew it would make me happy to see everyone enjoying a photobooth and that I’d love the results.

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  • Use your network

The two places I definitely saved money were actually two things that were really important to me: the cake and the photographer.

I know it’s very “in” to have a bunch of small desserts or even candy for a wedding nowadays. That, my friends, is blasphemous. You only have a few occasions that specifically call for cake: birthdays and weddings. Why are we sacrificing one of these? STOP THE MADNESS. And don’t get me started on carrot cake. Just don’t. Luckily, my mom used to make cakes professionally when I was a kid so I didn’t have to look far for a baker who wouldn’t scoff at my request for the ridiculous cake I picked out when I was 4. In 1989. I’m not kidding.

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I don’t even want to know how much that would have cost to have made. For more personal touches, Adam’s Warhammer figures ascended and descended the stairs and my bear (just out of frame) and my sister’s Cabbage Patch Kid were decked out in formal wear and looked adorable as Cake Attendants.

My photographer and I took selfies before selfies were selfies. Kate (who will forever be “Katie” to me, so it feels weird to type that) and I have been friends since middle school and was my first and obvious choice for photographer. I was so happy to have someone I knew, who also knew my family, and who was so easy to work with. Plus the fact that I LOVE her work.  And, of course, the deal she gave us on her already reasonable prices.

  1. Ask for help

First, a warning. At some point in your wedding planning, you’re going to ugly cry. It will probably be unprovoked and completely unhinged. Roll with it. Accept it. Take a nap. Then ask for help.  I’m kind of a control freak and prone to anxiety.  This combination does not work well for stress free wedding planning. I was having a really hard time until I finally delegated some tasks.

  1. Know your limits

I knew from the start that I was NOT going to be a DIY Bride.  My plan was to not make/produce ANYTHING myself for the wedding.  Some who knew my crafty/creative tendencies were surprised at this but it was really to save me from myself.  I knew if I took on any projects it would just be too much.  Sure, putting together my own flowers might have saved money but in the end I was more than happy to have the finished product delivered into my hands. I did end up making the escort cards because I had something very specific in mind, but it wasn’t a big deal.  More props to my mom for also making the favors (chocolate covered oreos).

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If you’re planning a wedding in the area, you should definitely check out some of the vendors we used.  The whole thing was seamless and a huge part of that was due to these people/companies:

Our wedding took place at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH (my hometown).  It was a perfect all-in-one, unique setting.  Lisa, the event coordinator at the Currier, helped us out until she went on maternity leave and Melanie Voros handled the day-of coordination.  Melanie was FANTASTIC – low-key, on top of everything, and really responsive. Our catering was done by Celebrations and was deeeelicious. Fred, the owner, was always super quick to email back if we had any questions, was more than happy to accomodate my allergy needs and worked with Adam to create a unique menu.  We worked with the entertainment company C-Zone for the DJ (John Dolan, who was SO good) and live guitarist for the ceremony (I never actually met him but he sounded great.)  I met with John a couple times beforehand and he knew exactly what we wanted.  He kept the energy up and had great mixes. And of course, Katlyn Ashley Photography was delightful and I’m soooo excited to see the full gallery.

Overall, it was a perfect day and I’m perfectly happy that it’s. all. over.

Life Update – Everything’s Comin’ Up Molly

I’m here, I’m well rested, I’m caffeinated. Let’s ride this train.

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Rather than a post about cheap stuff, here’s a post about why I haven’t been posting about cheap stuff. Exactly what you came here for.  You’re welcome.

August has been a packed month with lots of wedding planning, mini vacations, and working my booty off.  I restrain myself from posting a lot of “life is freakin’ awesome!” tweets because no one wants to be that guy but lately, life is freakin’ awesome.

As I write this, my wedding is in 32 days. Excuse me while I hyperventilate. All the wedding magazines tell you to just have fun!!! while you’re planning this major event.  I’m here to tell you they’re all in denial. It’s not fun. There’s no part of it that’s fun (ok maybe trying on dresses was fun.) It’s months of questions and decisions and money flying out of your bank account. Now, a month out, I can finally say I’m excited. The celebrations are beginning and it’s less about choosing napkin colors and more about spending time with people we don’t get to see often. And counting down the days until we’re on a beach in Aruba, there’s always that.

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Our annual trip to Maine started with a quick 6 hour jaunt to the ER – my first! In case you didn’t know, kidney stones are super painful and super scary when it wakes you up at 3am unable to move.  On our trip to Maine two years ago I attempted to climb the Beehive and couldn’t do it. Part of it was fear but most of it was the fact that I was so far out of shape I was huffing and puffing a few minutes in. I was determined to redeem myself this year and no kidney stone was going to hold me back. (Fast forward a few days when I’m back at the doctor finding out my low back is in spasm and I shouldn’t have gone hiking at all but shhhhh.)

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this on the blog but I now work at a gym. Aside from my hours there as a Massage Therapist, I’ve become a full blown gym rat.  I exercise regularly with a trainer, in classes, and solo, and get restless if I can’t. All this has built muscle (tickets to the gun show are on sale now), but more importantly confidence. I trust my body again. Does that sound weird? I went so long thinking “I can’t do that.” Spinning classes? Nope. Weight lifting? Nah. Climb a mountain? Definitely not an option. I do all three now, with enthusiasm.

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Speaking of massage, I now feel fully transitioned into this new odd-houred career and I am LOVING it. Almost every shift I get a wave of “yes! This is what I’m meant to be doing!” and let me tell ya – that. is. awesome. There are some fun and exciting possibilities on the horizon, too.  If you’re interested in following along, go over and LIKE my massage Facebook page.

How’ve you been, sweet readers?

Where you won’t find me this summer

Confession: I haven’t been following my own advice.  I haven’t been making the most out of life in Boston during these hot-but-not-completely-miserable-actually summer days. It seems like every spare moment is spent nailing down yet another detail for the wedding.  Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER excited for the big day.  But at this point, I’m looking forward to it being OVER.

Other than that my days have been filled with reading (hint: don’t read Stephen King while alone at night, Molly, you dummy), cooking (another successful Whole30 is almost in the books), and exercising (which I actually love now, WHO HAVE I BECOME?)


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(Also – eating a probably unhealthy amount of watermelon)

Other than another squishy addition to the family – my nephew, Griffin, born on June 23 and so stinkin’ cute – I haven’t done anything new. And isn’t that my “brand”? Trying new things around Boston, finding new ways to have fun? I’ve been feeling slightly angsty about that.

When I started Wicked Cheap in 2010, I was newly unemployed and had nothing to do but discover (and cry about the fact that I couldn’t find a job but let’s gloss over that fact for now). I had done relatively little exploring in Boston before then so EVERYTHING was new. Now I’ve been around the block and that whole “been there, done that” attitude is starting to sink in.

There are, obviously, things I haven’t done. Some of those fall on my “I’ll do that…after the wedding” list and some of them fall on my “I mean, it would be a good blog post but…eh” list.

So now I give you: Things In Boston Molly Doesn’t Want To Do

1. Outdoor fitness

Free outdoor fitness classes are all over the place this summer. Proof: check out Boston On Budget’s comprehensive list.  You could get your sweat on in the great out doors every day of the week if you wanted to.  There’s the rub: if you WANTED to. I do not WANT to. Since starting my job at a gym, I’ve become something of a gym rat. I work out four days a week (you can go ahead and congratulate me now). The best part of the gym? TEMPERATURE CONTROL. I can’t really think of something I want to do less than sweating my butt off in the classic Boston humidity.

2. Outdoor movies

Are you getting the idea that I don’t like to be outdoors in the summer? You are very perceptive. Along with a plethora of outdoor fitness, there’s a huge selection of outdoor movie nights going on around the city this year.  You will find me at none of them.

3. Shakespeare in The Park

For the 18th year, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is up and running in the Boston Common.  This is something I’ve actually tried.  Last year, I headed over to catch their production of Two Gentlemen of Verona which was getting rave reviews.  I lasted about ten minutes.  This is nothing to say about the company, the actors, the production, etc.  This is everything to say about my ability to comprehend Shakespeare when I’m not reading it slowly and with Spark Notes.  I’m confident in my other intellectual abilities enough that I’m ok with this. If you want to give it a shot, check out Twelfth Night Tuesdays through Sundays at the Parkman Band Stand.

Yes, I just tricked myself into writing a blog post about stuff I didn’t want to write a blog post about. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED.