Party over here!

The hubby and I had a chance to drive up to Nashville this weekend for a fabulous party. It was perfect: plenty of unfussy food and drinks (homemade ice cream, yum!), a variety of seating, live music and a 9:55 viewing of the relay race. It made me think of how much energy and money we put into planning the perfect wedding, when really it boils down to these very simple things.

My favorite DIY wedding is profiled in Party Central: A month by month guide to entertaining on the cheap by the now defunct Budget Living magazine. The book is probably the best party planning book I’ve read so far. Each calendar month has a party dedicated to a certain theme. September’s theme is back to school. In it, they profile Jessica Murnane and Dan Jividen. They eloped to Jamaica, and after a year of marriage threw a bash for their friends and family. The budget? $1000 for 100 guests. The actual cost? $600. Astonishing, when you consider that this includes decorations, dinner and drinks.

fuss chicago school wedding jessica murnane school cafetera

The result is quite possibly the sweetest and simplest wedding I’ve come across. Inspiration struck when the bride saw a schoolroom cafeteria in the groom’s hometown. The school allowed the couple to use the cafeteria for free! The menu consisted of pizza, tater tots, tossed salad, cupcakes, Scotch Er Roos, Gin and Sparkling Wine Punch (appropriately called “Get Loose Juice”) and make your own Cotton Candy. The couple created a custom CD mix for their guests as favors. Decorations were construction paper chain link curtains and encyclopedias (thrift store purchases).

simple wedding fuss chicago jessica murnane school cafeteria

They also created pop quizzes for each table. Love the apple!

Check out the book (well worth the purchase) for the full details! It’s really a valuable resource for the DIY bride as many of the other parties could be turned into a wedding. Each party comes with a complete menu and decoration ideas.