about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



A Big Fat Checkmark.

Hurrah! I have actually researched, decided, and booked something! You may remember my previous struggle to find a wedding photographer. My search began on The Knot, which, while it does have many beautiful ideas and pictures, should really be called “KNOT going to fit in your budget.” Can you even blame them though? Since every bride searches The Knot, these vendors get tons of publicity and site traffic, and can get away with charging out the wazoo for whatever services they are offering. (But can they sleep at night? …probably…) I sent emails to a few of their “Knot Pick” photographers. Here is an excerpt from an email I received back:

Dear Emily,
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptuals! Our most popular wedding package is Package 2. Details are listed below:

Package 2 – $3295.00 – Includes: Two photographers (10 hours), an Engagement Session, 400-450 proofs, One Leather Art Album, Two Leather Parent Albums, and 7 digital enhancements.

Information on our other packages is attached. Please let us know if you are interested in meeting soon to discuss your wedding, as our 2009 calendar is filling up quickly!

Thanks for your interest,
{Overpriced Photographer}


And so began my hunt for alternative options. Why would I even need that much stuff?

Enter Craigslist. I have used good ole Craig many a time, so I should have thought to look there sooner. Through the years, Craigslist has helped me find our dog, find both of our last 2 houses, sell and buy many concert tickets (i’m currently selling a lawn ticket to Friday’s Rascal Flatts show if anyone’s interested!), find both my mom and myself jobs…

The list goes on. I was pretty excited when I stumbled on the “event services” section that I had never noticed or explored before. What a gem! Hidden in between lots of posts for things like lawn decorations, hot dog carts, and hiring clowns, are a number of artists and musicians getting started in the wedding industry. There were tons of ads for wedding singers, photographers, planners, and more. I ended up finding a few photographers that claimed “budget pricing” and also seemed to take decent pictures, but nothing that got me overly excited.

And then I found Shannon.

I don’t know what it is about her photos, but I just love them. Her style is exactly what I was looking for. Also, her ad wasn’t like the others – filled with cheesy posed photos and sappy romance quotes. She simply stated that she was a photography student out in Washington (State), moving back to Ohio in October, and hoping to get more wedding experience. We emailed a few times, and I told her what Casey and I were looking for in a photographer. Really we just want someone to follow us around and capture the day – not so much to take posed photos. She emailed me back with her price quote, and I literally jumped around the living room. I emailed her back immediately and told her to mark her calendar for May 9th.

I haven’t met her in person or seen her photos in print, but I sent her a $100 deposit without a second thought. They say with weddings, you just know when it’s right. Usually this in reference to choosing your future bride or groom. Well I knew that was right, and I know this is right too. Welcome aboard, Shannon!



Is plastic too drastic?

Yesterday, I finally decided it was time to set up an official wedding budget. We’re getting close to making some of the big decisions (caterer, florist, photographer, etc.) so I wanted to make sure I knew where we stood financially first.

Ummmmm… Let’s just say the number added up to a much higher number than I was expecting. I sat at my computer with a quivering lip for about 15 minutes, and then I pulled it together. Plenty of people make it happen, and I can be one of them. The question for me isn’t “How can I come up with $xxxx?”, but rather “I refuse to spend $xxxx on one day of my life, so how can I make this work?”

Casey and I looked over the spreadsheet last night and decided that the first thing we have to do is seriously scale back the projected cost of food. We’ve reconsidered our buffet dinner and are thinking now that we might just do heavy hors d’eourves, or tapas if you’re trendy. We also like this idea because we won’t have people sitting and eating for half the reception – we can mingle with people and it will be informal and easy.

So I took out our original catering proposal and got out my red pen. What is expendable? The first thing that jumped at me was $675 in china and glassware rentals. Ridiculous! So now I am considering a new possibility. Stay with me…

Plastic dinnerware. I know, I know, but hear me out. Honestly, would you even remember, or more importantly care, if you went to a wedding and the plates were high-quality disposable plastic, rather than dingy over-used china? I found some nice “china-like” plastic ware online, and it looks like I could get everything we need for around $200 – a savings of $475! Added bonus, there are lots of fun colors and shapes in plastic, while most caterers have standard white china. These lovely charcoal plates are around $1 a piece, and pretty stylish if you ask me!

Let’s be real. Am I fooling myself? Have I taken the budget-friendly wedding too far? Will my grandmother ever speak to me again if she eats off plastic at my wedding?

Comments and advice are appreciated. Even if it makes me want to stab myself with a {plastic} fork.

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