Congratulations to all of the soon-to-be wedded!
I just saw this thread, and thought I would chime in.
I got married about 2 1/2 years ago. We had a medium-sized wedding...about 130 people. It was on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. Our ceremony was in a rose garden, and our reception was at a banquet hall. I did all the planning myself, with a lot of help from DH, my sister (MOH) and my mother, and I had a blast doing it. In fact, I even thought about going into the wedding planning business afterwards. I do a lot of event planning as part of my current job (most of it long distance), so that isnâ€™t as much of a stretch as it sounds like.
Amy, the Mulberry Inn looks beautiful! Keep in mind, though, that it will probably end up being even more expensive than what theyâ€™re showing you now. There are always last-minute expenses that come up. Plus, remember that youâ€™ll have to pay tax and gratuity on top of the prices theyâ€™re showing you. So the whole thing will probably end up coming in at 35-50% over what youâ€™re seeing now.
I think both the dresses are beautiful. Personally, I like the second a little better, but either one is gorgeous. Youâ€™ll definitely want to go try some dresses on before you make a final decision, though. I had two dresses I had narrowed it down to, but when I went to try them on neither one looked good on me. I ended up with a dress that was totally different than what I originally thought I wanted.
eburgess, what an awful situation! I swear, weddings bring out the best or the worst in most people. Do what you want to do as far as who you have as part of your wedding party. Your number of bridesmaids donâ€™t necessarily have to be the same as your fianceâ€™s number of guys. Iâ€™ve been to lots of weddings where the numbers arenâ€™t the same, and it all works out fine. I donâ€™t necessarily agree with the advice to make your high school friend an usher just to appease her. If sheâ€™s somebody that you want to be involved, great, do it. If not, giving her another role may lead to more headaches than it solves.
The size of your guest list will probably be dictated by your budgetâ€¦if your budget will allow for 200 guests, no problem. Otherwise, youâ€™ll probably have to either narrow down your list of make some compromises on the reception. The reactions of other people probably wonâ€™t be as much of a problem as you fear. I thought that weâ€™d have a lot of people mad at us, but most people understand that there are limits to what you can afford.
My best (unsolicited) advice for everyone planning a wedding is to find somebody to coordinate everything on the day of the wedding. If you can hire a day-of coordinator, great. If not, find somebody who isnâ€™t otherwise involved, and who you trust, to take charge on the day of. You will be SO overwhelmed and busy that day that you donâ€™t need to deal with it. (And, frankly, your wedding party will be worrying about their part and may not be as helpful as youâ€™d like.) I had a friend of mine do this for my wedding, and it was wonderful. All of the inevitable crises were dealt with by her, and I was free to enjoy the day.