Cupcakes and BBQ: a match made in heaven

Even though Kevin and I aren't getting married for another 9 months, my goal is to have most of our vendors picked out by the 8 month mark.  So far, making our vendor choices has been super easy and stress-free.  (It helps to have a good idea of what you're looking for and how much you're wanting to spend...that helped me narrow down our options tremendously!)

After reading this blog post about "Wedding Planning Do-Overs" via Pinterest, I decided to take more than one of Christy's suggestions to heart.  One of her regrets that really struck a cord with me was the fact that she regretted not having a videographer.  Our photographer Bobbi said that was one of her regrets from her wedding as well, so I made the decision to hire Aaron Powers and his wife to record our special day.  When we had our first meeting with them, they were both so committed to making sure all of the intimate moments of our day would be captured and are two of the nicest people you'll ever meet, so I was sold.  I can't wait to see what they'll come up with!

Kevin and I also made the executive decision to do cupcakes for our wedding.
Reasons why having cupcakes at your wedding is awesome:
1. They're less expensive than big fancy cakes
2. You can get lots of flavors to please everyone's cake preferences
3. You don't have to worry about ending up with a cake that might be featured on Cake Wrecks
4. You get to convince your soon-to-be-husband to make a fabulous nature-inspired cupcake stand that will fit into your wedding theme and totally impress your guests.

The goal is to end up with a cupcake stand that looks like this.

We visited Madison Sweets last weekend for a cupcake tasting, and after getting to sample six different flavors the decision to book them was easy-peasy.  When the cake tastes good and the price is right, how can you say no?!

Kevin and I also decided very early on that the type of food we were going to serve at our reception was not a huge concern.  I personally was completely fine spending money on a great photographer, videographer, and band for our reception.  But spending $8,000 + on just food?  No thanks.  And after we realized that our wedding guest list would top 200 people, it became clear that in order to feed our guests we would have to do something that was affordable but still delicious.  That's when we decided to do BBQ.

At first I was worried that BBQ wouldn't be classy enough for a wedding.  Questions like this kept going through my mind: "Will our guests think we're cheap?"  "Will having BBQ make us look like red-necked hillbillies?"  But then I read this amazing post at a Practical Wedding and my mind was put to ease.  Meg states: “Remember they want to see you get married, and they’ll eat whatever you put in front of them.”  Which I think is totally true!  Lots of wedding planning blogs will tell you that if you need to cut costs at your wedding, you need to cut down your guest list.  My thoughts on that topic?  F**k that.  Kevin and I couldn't imagine having to cut out all of these people that we love from coming to our wedding, and after we booked a venue that let us have as many guests as we want it was decided that we would plan our budget according to our guest list (not the other way around).

SO- after settling on BBQ, it seemed like there were only three places in the Madison area that had the options we were looking for.  One of the first places we checked out was Smoky Jon's, and we were hooked after the first bite.  Again- such an easy decision!
Reasons why having BBQ at your wedding reception is a good idea:
1. Compared to a standard catered dinner, BBQ is ridiculously affordable.  Especially if you need to feed a lot of people!
2. If you're having an outdoor wedding and your reception is in a barn (like us), it fits your theme perfectly.
3.  BBQ is something that's pretty hard to screw up.  We've all been to weddings where the chicken breast was dry or the tenderloin was tough.  Hopefully with choosing BBQ there's less room for error and everything will (optimistically) taste delicious.  Plus, who doesn't like good BBQ?!
4. Having BBQ gives you a reason to make adorable place setting bags like this for your guests:
Each bag will be filled with "BBQ supplies": silverware, bibs, wet naps, and napkins.

And after I saw this image, I just knew we had to have plastic bibs!  I don't want everyone's fancy wedding clothes to get barbeque sauce on them, after all...:-)

Bibs with "Marriage is Messy" on them would make for great photo ops, too!

As we continue to book vendors and make more choices regarding our wedding day, I keep getting more and more excited.  Both Kevin and I have said more than once, "this wedding is going to be freaking awesome!"  A beautiful barn backdrop, a fantastic live band, delicious BBQ and tasty cupcakes?  Sounds like a good time to me.

UPDATE: After a bit of deliberation and a great suggestion from my mom, we decided to switch gears with our baker and go with a small-town bakery in Dodgeville rather than a specialty cupcake place in Madison.  Not only will we be saving a ton of money (like, $300 worth), we'll also be supporting a locally owned bakery that I've gone to multiple times a year my entire life.  (If you're ever in Dodgeville, WI- you gotta stop by Quality Bakery.  You won't regret it!)  Not sure why I didn't think of them before!   While this means that we will only have chocolate and vanilla cupcakes at our wedding, we realized that in the scheme of things having fancy cupcake flavors wasn't at the top of our list (or at least high enough on the list to warrant spending another $300).  This story also solidified the decision: Kevin and I recently went to a wedding where they served cupcakes for dessert.  Both of us walk up to the cupcake display, and after checking out all of the flavors (blueberry, lemon curd, almond and salted caramel) Kevin said in disappointment, "I don't want any of these!  That's it- chocolate and vanilla are all we need."  And since I know better than to get in the middle of a man and his cake, I agreed. :-)

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