Original Ideas, made for my by Snippet & Ink's Kathryn incorporating a couple things we talked about! She's the best!!
Sorry Ladies, this bio is being reconstructed to be more helpful to future (even the budget minded) brides... don't mind the mess!
And of course Martha, http://www.thebridescafe.com/index.cfm?page=real-weddings and stylemepretty.com
DIY'ing & budgets
DIY Weddings I love
Favorite bios and real weddings
Resources for a Budget Bride
Flowers will be DIY, here is the cost breakdown for 7 centerpieces (5 for tables, 2 for bar and guest book table) and personal bouquets for 6 bouts, 5 corsages, 6 bridesmaids bouquets and bridal bouquet
Flowers $370 fiftyflowers.com, depending on what you are looking for I hear Sam's Club may be even less expensive. NOTE: please see my review before you buy from fiftyflowers.com - the flowers were the great, the service was the WORST.
Other flower sources:
Materials $60 Michaels & Dollar Store (buckets from the dollar store for holding them, sprite+vinegar for plant food, moire ribbon which was by far the most expensive expenditure but I bought way way too much, wires for wiring corsages and bouts, floral tape, rose shears from garden supply, pearl head pins and wrist bands for wrist corsages)
Trumpet Vases $20 ea from flowersandsupplies.com, I ordered some that were on sale when they were $8 ea. For less expensive vases try ikea, flowersandsupplies.com and saveoncrafts.com. Also CB2, Crate & Barrel, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Pottery Barn and Target and such sometimes have great sales on vases and containers
More helpful resources:
$399 (now $499, ah inflation!) Dress - Julius Bridal "Coco"
$8 shoes + $10 DIY shoe clip, I had some gold leaf sitting around and got bored one night and decided to gilt my Target shoes so if you bought gold leaf and sealent it would be another $10-$15
$5 spare shoes, bottoms DIY with enamel paint ($3) and stickers ($3)
$10 clearence Hollywould for Target Clutch - something red, I'm removing the strap and using it for cosmetics but I will not really be carrying it around.
Crinoline Underslips Mermaid $60
$30 Gardenia from Rush Creations - I really wanted a silk one so I wouldn't have to worry about wilting but good quality silk ones were hard to come by, a lot had stray fibers/threads unravelling etc which most people wouldn't notice but I'm really annoyed by things like that! I have a veil but I haven't decided if I want to go without it. I'm also carrying a sixpence, another oldie, that a good friend brought with him on his last visit, he's based in London and had been holding onto any change he got for me! Again, the Oriental Trading hankie, check the "Favors & Gifts" for more info. Oh and Target shoes, probably not wearing them now because the lace doesn't match my lace on the dress but they were only $5!
Okay so the gardenia fell to bits the day-of (in my luggage I guess) which was totally fine.I had (thankfully) purchased these the weekend before when we were supposed to be sailing, haha. Since I had these beautiful J Crew silk back-ups which ended up being just perfect!
I used a crinoline to give it more shape on the bottom like this Vera dress and the gorgeous wedding of wittliz and her beautiful dress! I ordered a 2 flounce mermaid crinoline from underslips.com at the suggestion of SFAug07. I thought about 3 flounce but I don't know if I'm tough enough for it!
Will also wear earrings and tennis bracelet, earrings modeled after grandmother's and bracelet from mother
I have two veils, a fingertip and a chapel length but I'm not sure if I want to wear one, I'm totally in love with this photo though. Note- I wore the chapel length for the ceremony and photos, I'm glad I did.
Our first favor melted in a cross country move so our second favor is not a food. However it was really inexpensive because it was basically the same thing as the BM Brunch favors.
Instead we bought these for $2.50 ea I believe
For the BM brunch I tied lemon drops in a cello bags with pretty satin ribbon and a stamped label, the total cost for 10 was $3 cello bags (I have a surplus though, they come in multiples of 50), satin ribbon from Michael's Dollar Bin $3, Gourmet Lemon Drops $6 (I imagine bulk candy section would have been less expensive but I saw these at the store and since I was doing so few, just grabbed them). See the pic in "Weekend Events" section.
For children attending our wedding I bought some books and toys from Target's dollar section and from the Dollar Store, I spent $2 per child. Plus I bought some coloring books for sharing and packs of crayons for around $1 each (back to school sales). I'll upload some pictures soon but I found some really cute things from puzzles to finger puppets. I have one guest who is 13, for her I purchased some inexpensive lipgloss, an Italian glass ring ($4 Pier1) and a little bottle of pink nailpolish. I also threw in a copy of Emily Dickenson. Its not really a cool gift but it was $6 at B&N and she needs to read more.
For GM I bought bottles of "Texas Champagne" hot sauce. I was going to do more but we also hired a croquet pro to host a croquet match with beers and then FI is taking them to lunch. FI thought a sporting thing would be better than another wedding-type gift. Hot sauce was $3 ea and to hire a croquet pro it was $200 but there was no limit on participants. For the civilian groomsman, I purchased bowties at saveonties.com. They ended up being Jos Bank ties, I think its a discount TJMaxx type shop for ties.
BM's gifts were DIY silver earrings (really easy, check the handouts at craft stores, or the books they keep in the beading section) which cost me $8 to make six pairs. I paid $25 for a similar pair on the street in NYC a few years ago, yes I am kicking myself for not learning how to do it earlier! I also ordered e.l.f. cosmetics for $1 ea and a brush from them too. I found paisley picture frames from the Dollar Store, great find! I also ordered Crane's stationary during a clearence sale. $5 per pack, orig $15! I also found nailpolishes (Essie and OPI) on clearence for $1 ea, neautral colors, at a beauty supply chain. Check sales! I ordered their shoes for them from cutesygirl.com and they were honestly $11 ea... Amazing and cute satin heels.
Mother - handkerchief from Oriental Trading Company $3.95, says "Mother." Jay Strongwater picture frame (could use any inexpensive pretty frame too!) with a photo of my mother holding me as a toddler, copied in black and white at a Kodak station at a Kinko's.
Father of Groom - he really enjoys fly fishing and goes to these Canadian retreats (think "the Edge") to go fly fishing so I found a great artist that does this small fly fishing prints, troutprints.com $50, framing from Michaels $30
Mother of Groom - bifold picture frame from Restoration Hardware with a photo of FI in uniform on one side and a photo of her uncle in uniform on the other, both were/are Naval Officers.
FSILs - Restoration Hardware Picture Frames, Stationary from Cranes
FBILIL (married FSIL) - Navy PT gear (physical training) since he is a big marathoner, this is his fourth Chicago Marathon I guess.
Grandfather - Book, still need to pick one out!
Groom's gift- This is totally cheesy but I had planned to get him a sterling silver die that said "buy/sell/hold" on it and include a card that said "I'm glad you made a sound investment." but.... FI said he wanted to set a cap of $20 for each of our gifts and I'm sure I'll get a book of some sort haha but I found this crystal globe at Wallstreetgifts.com so I'm "giving him the world."
Regarding the handkerchiefs, they were $3.99 for the "mother" one and $5.99 for the "bride" and "groom" set. I took the lace off of the groom handkerchief using a seam ripper. All of them were from Oriental Trading and they do actually have monogram ones for $3.99 I just wanted the mother one because I thought it was cute.
Final Version, DIY iron-on floral enhancement. I wanted a little red on mine because my mother is Chinese and its good luck to have red, so I bought a pack of iron-on embroidered flowers for $4.99 at Michaels. I put an additional white one on my mothers for fun
All the gifts are in these kraft paper bags, stamped with a martha stewart stamp kit that allowed me to put our initials on it. I also stamped the tags (which I've been using for everything, so handy) and tied it with some lace from the fabric store:
FI is a Naval Officer so he really wanted to wear his uniform. He went through OCS (actually I went through it too, not hearing from him for months!) and he is really proud of what he does - which is fly planes :) We have six swordsmen for the arch, two will be ushers, four will be GM
For our two civilian GM, best friends of his from college, they will wear bowties. I really like Vineyard Vines but FI hates them since he dislikes them, but I like pastels. So we found common ground in a striped rep tie pattern (traditional) in purple (not traditional) and they were $9 ea on saveonties.com
Bridesmaids - I told them to each pick out their own navy colored dress, they will come out in different shades but I'm really okay with that. I bought their shoes for them from cutesygirl.com for $11 ea
When came to the venue, we had a hard time selecting. We had to do it from a distance because of the military so we found out that his grandmother's family vacationed there. She passed this year so we were really glad to be getting married here. The menu and the venue go hand in hand and are by far the most expensive parts of the weekend. Our original idea for a budget wedding reception was to have an outdoor picnic with a tent, catered bbq foods. We also thought about a renting out a restaurant for the evening, both of which would probably have been more budget friendly.
Menu for the weekend
Friday Rehearsal dinner, just family so its small enough to let everyone order their own
Friday Cocktails, served with bar foods like snack mixes
Bridesmaids Brunch - French toast, fruit and sausages with Mimosas
Groomsman Lunch @ Pub - allowing everyone to order their own
Pre-Reception - Fruit & cheese platter - we wanted to do passed HDO but we couldn't agree on them so to make us both happy would have been really expensive, haha so we decided to keep it simple and easy
Dinner - Rosemary rack of Lamb in a brandied demi glace with haricots verts and new potatoes
Wedding Cake (see below)
Late night snacks of mixes, peanuts, chocolates etc. Again we thought about sliders but really we weren't sure if everyone would eat them so we opted not to do that.
Continental breakfast buffet of fruit and pastries with hot biscuit sandwiches
Marble pound cake with vanilla syrup and vanilla buttercream, garnished with coconut flakes but just imagine the top three layers!
Cake topper, kitchsy no? Ordered from JW Cake tops which was less expensive than the other online retailer of these specialized tops. I had it customized with his rank, warfare designations (mini aviator wings basically) and medals as well as my hair color obviously and no veil. You can customize everything from the skin color to the dress style to the flowers but I decided not to go too crazy! With customization $70, without $50. Here is the cake topper in action, its whokilledkimmy's cake, very pretty! Its customized to look like her and her FI, ours will also be a little different since we decided on no veil.
Its technically a "destination wedding." We planned a few events for the weekend for guests.
Here are the invites using colored cards from Michaels and the white one has an embossed fleur de lis and came from Office Max. I used clear vellum to print the information out with our trusty inkjet and cut them to fit the cards. The bridesmaids' brunch favors are lemon drops in cello bags, tied with satin yellow/white striped ribbon and a stamped tag with a lace punched edge using Martha Stewart Crafts punches.
Friday family dinner - just parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and my little cousin. My little cousin is 13 so I have a little gift for her of a copy of Emily Dickenson's collected poems, lip gloss, an Italian glass ring, stocking stuffer type puzzles (like rubix cube) and nail polishes. She's a little tomboyish so I'm not sure if I should add some more sporty gifts but for now, that'll do.
Rehearsal cocktail party - "Southern Nightcap" We wanted to feature mint juleps and arnold palmers and some other southern drinks. Playing country music, we're not big country music fans but we thought it would just be appropriate.
Bridesmaids Brunch - just a nice chance to give out bridesmaids gifts, yellow roses, lemon drop favors, yellow card invites with vellum inserts, mimosas. Centerpiece will be inspired by this ranunculus bouquet but with roses from a grocer. It will be a garden brunch underneath this huge magnolia tree.
Groomsmen croquet match - we hired a club pro and will have a table set up with ice tea
Morning after brunch - more yellow roses, pastries, fruit and breakfast sandwich buffet.
Only the main reception has a live band so for each party we created a little different playlist and we'll be using our ipods and a portable player.
I still can't believe how little I paid for these gorgeous invites. I ordered them from Invitations by Dawn after my handmade calligraphy invites were crushed in a cross-country move and I needed to send them out the next week. The service there was incredible and they show you a mock up online before you submit it. It was perfect because we wanted classic invitations and I think in total the cost for two inserts, inner & outer envelopes with lining and printing was $170. Also the paper quality was excellent. I do calligraphy and the way the ink flowed on the envelopes was just beautiful. We decided to use the Tiffany stamps even though we had to do added postage because the chapel where we are getting married has stained glass windows designed and made by Tiffany that Louis Comfort donated as he attended church there.
Before this I ventured into the DIY invitations and printed some equally lovely ones on the computer for $30 ($15 for cardstock and envelopes and $15 for decorative paper belly bands) but we decided they were too cutesy with the decorative paper and too plain without. They're in my photos though if you are thinking of DIY'ing some invitations.
My Save-the-dates were simply printed cardstock. I designed them in powerpoint to print three to a sheet and then fed them back in to print travel information on the back. We put them in simple common envelopes from any store and included a brochure for the club.
The invitations for the weekend events cost around $40. $10 for the notecards I used for GM croquet from Office Max, Gardner Studios I think. The envelopes were lined with this grey chalkstripe, like a nice suit, and the front of the card had an embossed fleur de lis. The yellow cards, yellow insert cards (not pictured but used to request people to attend the mini rehearsal) and clear vellum all came from Michaels and cost the remaining $30.
I should probably explain what went on each invitation piece for the weekend since it is kind of confusing with so many parties. The main invitation was the main invitation, one insert card had the reception information, RSVP information and dress code. The second insert invited people to the Morning After breakfast and the Southern Nightcap cocktail party.
The seperate invites were for the BM Brunch or GM Croquet, each had inserts requesting they attend the rehearsal before the Southern Nightcap party and the third card was for family only inviting them to a small dinner party, again with the rehearsal inset cards.
I also made our programs. I used a paperterie image and recolored it to the right tint of purple and then pasted it into a powerpoint. I printed two programs a page and then fed it through for the back which has the actual program information. They're really simple but they get the job done, I just used the information suggested on about.com. See "Decor & Details" for more info.
Our Save-the-dates were a partial DIY on cardstock. I used these Felix Doolittle Save the Date Stickers.
Other inexpensive invites:
We're putting these on either side of the chapel doors. There are walls on either side of the stairs leading to the chapel doors and those little walls have hooks underneath the flower box so these will go on either side. I bought two hydrangea stems for $3 ea at Walmart, actually I bought way too many but only used two. I bought these 10" letters from Hobby Lobby, they're MDF and were $3 ea as well. I used a trusty hot glue gun, $1.99 and the ribbon was Martha Stewart Crafts ribbon. Total project time was really 30 min.
These will go on the back of our seats. Our seats are covered banquet chairs so they'll tie around the whole back of the chair. Ribbon was $3.99 Martha Stewart Crafts, $1.99 cardstock cut with my handy dandy $11 paper cutter (I've used it for everything) and the letters were transfer letters from Martha Stewart Crafts $4.99. I put his rank "ENS" and obviously "MRS."
We have a fireplace in the ballroom (I use the term loosely since it was a 1920's mansion, its a smaller private ballroom) with a sailboat model on the mantle. I'm putting some pottery barn garland on the hearth, I picked it up on sale for $25 ea, I have two so they'll wrap around the stair railing and one on the guestbook table.
We'll have family wedding photos as far back as my great, great, great grandparents in her black Victorian dress on the cake table! I also have a photo of my great grandparents from the 1920's in a flapper dress! I'm so excited about it!
Table numbers are aviation letters as FI is a pilot. I calligraphed them and punched the edge with a Martha Stewart Craft punch. The stand is a place card holder from Oriental Trading, bell holders that were something like $3.99 per dz, just absurdly inexpensive. I took place cards from Michaels and calligraphed them.
I hate hate hate the floating hand ring shot. So I found some props. We're taking four ring photos, excessive I know but it just shows how many ideas you can come up with if you try! First is with chess pieces, like the inspirational Tacori ad, another with the FT because FI reads it everyday, another with his sword because it has engravings on it and another on this overpriced wedding rock! I found it at the Bibelot in St. Paul, Minnesota on a recent visit.
Some other creative ring ideas :) I've been collecting them! They don't require the animals, maybe just high quality photos or art paper?
I made my own programs (see "Invitations & Stationary") and cut them to size. I'm displaying them on a table with a table cloth outside of the chapel. I grabbed one of my tea trays. I grabbed two of our crystal bar bowls, one for tissues, one for bells (to be used in the recessional, family tradition). The tissues came from the Michaels $1 bin and the bells were $3.99 for a pack of 50 at Michaels. All the ribbon is Martha Stewart Crafts.
FI liked the idea of offering some cigars so here's a little inspiration photo:
Jennifer Connely's make-up
Or Catherine Zeta-Jones make-up
Reese Witherspoon Hair
More random photos!
A lot of people seem to have trouble finding beaty inspiration but try fashion magazine sites, runway shots from style.com (Vogue's site) or these links from Sephora:
I love this photo of whokilledkimmy! This will be FI's uniform for the day. I was never a "uniform" swooner but I do love this uniform, haha. Plus he already owns it so another wedding to-do that never had to be on my list!
I promise to post formal reviews in the review section once I get professional photos to add to each review but here are some informal reviews for starters:
Jekyll Island Club; Jekyll Island, GA - A+, I couldn't have asked for more from the staff. Everything was perfect. Beth Williams was my sales manager and handled our account from start to finish answering every little question. We didn't see the site until about a month before the wedding because of the military and being stationed in the middle of nowhere (three hours to a decent civilian airport...). Beth took the time to email me photos and contracts and made it almost too easy for me. Kristie Newsome was our catering manager. I loved working with her because we made so many adjustments to our menu in the week preceding and she rolled with each of them! She was so flexible and accommodating. Then our event manager, well we worked with different ones for the brunches but for the most part it was Darren. I didn't catch his name but he was so on top of everything. The weather threatened to rain on our cocktail party Friday before the wedding. I called his office to ask if we needed to move tables inside, he said he already had it taken care of! Then two guests had converted since college and decided to keep kosher without notifying me... Darren made the last minute change and got two kosher meals with moments notice! Then during our first dance, Darren coordinated the timing to be perfect so that the fireworks started once we hit the dance floor! It really exceeded my expectations in every way. The cake was phenomenal and the food was even better. The rooms were wonderful as well. Best decision I made in the wedding planning process! It was by some wedding standards extravagantly priced but not really considering all they did for me. And you really do get what you pay for. In the end our bill was way under my original budget.
Cargo Portside Grill; Brunswick, GA - A+, the food was incredible, the staff was knowledgeable and so friendly. We had a small, family-only rehearsal and they took care of everything. The food was even better than I could have expected. Wonderful atmosphere!
Katie Hill; Jacksonville, FL soon to be Honolulu HI - A+, Katie has phenomenal taste and can really make your hair look the way you want. She did all the bridesmaids hair and my make up. She was wonderful, easy to work with, really reasonable. My hair didn't move all night and she stayed through dinner to make sure it wasn't falling out. I was really pleased, especially since I was planning to DIY my hair but it was so much better with her help!
Faith Chapel; Jekyll Island Historic Authority; Jekyll Island, GA - A+, this historic chapel is just gorgeous, the stained glass windows donated by members Louis Comfort Tiffany and Maitland Armstrong were gorgeous during the ceremony. We really didn't decorate the chapel, its so beautiful in its own right, it didn't need it. Our contact was Meghan McKinney and she did a fantastic job helping time the ceremony, was very timely and very friendly.
Reverend Jim Kenney; Jekyll Island, GA - A+, Reverend Kenney was a great officiant. He had such presence and a wonderful air about him. He really organized and directed our rehearsal, I think it would have been chaos without him. The fee is a donation to his daughters work as a missionary. Couldn't have found anyone better
Anne Jennings; Pianist; Jekyll Island, GA - A+, Mrs. Jennings is an excellent pianist. I really didn't have to micromanage the music with her, she knew exactly what to play, how to time it, I mean it was really a blessing to have someone who could manage their own role. She played beautifully and it really added so much.
Julius Bridal; New York, NY - A+, the dress far exceeded my expectations. I was hesitant on choosing a gown since a endocrine condition had caused me to uncontrollably gain weight. I was so nervous about dressing myself in this foreign body, if you will. I spoke with Julius himself on a couple occasions and he was so helpful with deciding on a dress shape that is universally flattering. I ordered it a size too big and had it tailored to fit perfectly. I really was amazed by the quality of the material. Some of my guests included women who had bespoke wedding dresses from the big names (Vera, Ines, Monique themselves) and even they said the dress looked gorgeous and like it was made to fit like a glove. I would really really really strongly suggest that any bride (even those NOT on a budget) consider Julius, I couldn't have been happier. From orering to front door it was about 1.5 mos which was good since I ordered it only 2 mos before the wedding!
Janice Henderson Tailoring; Jacksonville, FL - A+, Janice really made the dress fit my body perfectly. She has made, from scratch, several other wedding dresses including hand making the lace. I was very confident she could do it considering how she had worked with lace in the past. I was really pleased with how she sewed in undergarments which made it so much easier for me. She really made the dress my dress and her services were very very reasonably priced
Wilson Photography; St. John's/St. Augustine, FL - A+, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to suggest Mike & Jess. They have a way of making you feel so comfortable, they are the sweetest people to work with and they are really talented. I sent Jess a 17 page slideshow of sample photos, some photographers would be really annoyed by that but Jess was thrilled to see what I liked. They were really flexible in trying to get shots that we requested and really to get the feeling of what we liked. Mike has an eye for it and can capture the most wonderful light. Because of my medical condition, I was really nervous about my body and how it would look in photos. Mike and Jess did their best to capture the most flattering angles and while I haven't seen the entire final product, I've been really pleased with the samples thus far. I would absolutely not hesitate to send someone to them. Also, included in your package is a free engagement session which I thought was awesome, just as a chance to get to know them so you can be relaxed and really enjoy the wedding day. Also, they were very discreet and agreed to allow my videographer to put some of my photos into the video as a montage. Again, do hire Mike & Jess, you will not regret it and to top it off, they were reasonably priced so even a modest budget could afford them.
Fiftyflowers.com - D/D-, Before I get into all the things that went wrong with my DIY flowers that I ordered from them, I will say the quality of flower is superb. I was really pleased with my Giant pure white hydrangeas but that is a testament to the growers, C.I. American Flowers, more so than the distributor. Now to the good stuff. This was the WORST part of my wedding experience. The roses I ordered were bright yellow and green instead of white and cream. No they did not change color as the phone operator told me they would. When I called they refused to send new flowers and started lecturing me in a patronizing tone. After going back and forth and trying to be nice I just cut in and started tearing the girl to bits over the phone. She still refused to fix the situation in any way so I proceeded until she hung up on me. I made her cry and I don't regret it for one second after how rudely I was treated. I called back and they refused to answer. I called again and the manager picked up, again the same extremely rude treatment, refusing to do anything to fix the situation. I finally negotiated a $30 refund but considering that I spent $400, $200 or so on flowers I couldn't use, I would still give them a D. Plus the stress of having to scream on the phone two days before the wedding was not what I needed. Also, I spent that same afternoon visiting and purchasing white flowers from every floral department of every grocery store in my area. Something I DEFINITELY did not need before the wedding.
DIY Flowers - A, I loved doing my own flowers. It meant a lot to me to make my own bridal bouquet, hand selecting every flower. I had a team of two friends help me trim them all the day of the wedding and put ribbon around the stems, without them I probably would have run out of time. I put a little white vinegar and 7up in six Home Depot giant buckets. I really did not save much money because I had to rent an SUV to move them to the Jekyll Island Club (haha there was no way they were going to fit in the two seater Porsche!) so my costs added up but I really don't think a professional could have done quite the job for the price, the number of blooms I used far exceeded what I would have had if I hired someone. If you have questions about supplies or tips, please PM me!
Flowers & Supplies; San Diego, CA - A, great value, loved my silver trumpet containers which I filled with hydrangeas, really turned out beautifully.
JW Cake Tops - A, I loved our personalized military cake topper and this seller was by far the best price. I paid around low $70's where others quoted me around $100 for the same exact topper. It was a hit, so kitschy, people loved it! They were very helpful in answering my questions and shipped it out quickly.
MyPublisher.com - A, I was really impressed with the quality of our guest book and how quickly it was shipped out to me. I also loved how simple the program was to use and really, the price is right!
Calligraphy - I do calligraphy and I did EVERYTHING from the seat cards to table numbers to the seating chart to the envelopes to the little signs around, it was probably my most time consuming wedding project but it was really worth it, people loved it and I recieved so many compliments.
Southern Charm & Swing; Savannah, GA - A, We loved our band. We signed them through East Coast Entertainment. We got so many compliments and saw everyone dancing. They really were able to manage themselves, they didn't need to ask me anything when it came to playlists or setting up. They played our requests and were really talented. It was such a relief to have vendors that could manage themselves! They really captured the atmosphere of what we wanted. I'm so glad we decided to have live music instead of DIY ipod. It really contributed to the feel of the party and while it was a percentage of our budget, it was a lot less than I originally thought it would be and was worth every penny.
Sarah Yarborough Nanny Services; Jacksonville, FL - A, I was really happy to find her since we were not sure how many children would show up. We originally though five or so but it ended up only being one. Sarah watched movies, kept them entertained and was really responsible. It was really worth it considering it was very reasonable and ended up being only a couple hundred for the night. I know it enabled the parents to really enjoy themselves at the party and even the little girl had fun watching movies and "hanging out" with Sarah!
Okay, more to come but I'm exhausted now!