We’re booking our date for 9-19-20 (50-75 guests), so we’re a ways out, but here’s the plan so far…
1. I bought my wedding dress from ModCloth…it needs no alterations (I don’t expect to lose much weight so that it won’t fit), and at 20% off, came to $120! I know of people that went with Lulu’s as well.
2. Non-traditional venue with tables, chairs, no catering restrictions, and BYOB. Our wedding venue (a summer camp) is going to cost us about 2k, and while we could have gone cheaper, we’re pumped to have the campground for the weekend! Plus we don’t have to worry about a tent, renting Porta-potties, tables/chairs, which can add up (to the point where sometimes it’s cheaper to rent a venue than use a backyard!) I’ve seen a barn for around $500 and a cool mill for $700. A restaurant reception is also a potentially cost effective option. I like the advice about booking with a short timeframe, but you can also miss out on cool venues if you don’t book far in advance. It seems like if you have a long engagement, start looking early, but if it’s a normal engagement, then maybe book closer?
3. Since we don’t have catering/alcohol restrictions, we’re going to get a keg and either boxed wine or a bunch of wine at Costco (they have a no-return policy on alcohol, so we’re probably going to only get things we’d drink if left over, which is most things). We might also do a pitcher of an easy-to-make mixed drink like sangria. We’re probably not going to have a bartender.
4. As for food, we’re looking either at catering BBQ from a restaurant or from a grocery store that will also do eggplant parm/ziti for our vegetarian guests. Food trucks are also a potentially cheaper option. Our cocktail hour is probably going to be grocery store platters, but we’re looking into that. The camp has a large fridge, so that’s going to help us out.
5. Dessert? We’re deciding between a. A small single tier decorated cake with a Costco sheetcake or b. Small decorated cake with grocery store cupcakes. Tiered wedding cake doesn’t personally seem worth it to me. And later on we’re doing s’mores, which is going to be awesome (and cheap).
6. No wedding party. It doesn’t have to be a huge expense to have one, but we decided to go against one and just have his best friend officiate (so no paying for an officiant/we’ll have someone significant marrying us).
7. No DJ. I know, some people say you need them, but my friend didn’t have one at her wedding and it was fine. People still danced! She had her dad be the one in charge of announcements…it’s better if you have a charismatic family member take on that role, though. We’re also going to have board games/archery/canoeing/maybe lawn games, so a DJ is less essential in our case.
8. Our decorations are probably going to be minimal, since a camp has its own beauty. But my mom reminds me 2x a day to go to the Dollar store after holidays for cheap decorations. I might also try Facebook marketplace or local wedding groups for things. We’re probably going to get fake flowers off of Aliexpress and limit the amount we buy.
9. Coming up with a budget breakdown. Create a Google Sheet, share it with your future spouse, and try to figure out what you feel like you need/can cut out. Shop around a little to find out what’s reasonable for your area.
10. Not stress out about making it perfect. Everyone says people just care about decent food, enough booze, and having music/fun. Remind yourself that someone spending double your budget isn’t have double the fun.
11. FH got his titanium ring on Etsy ($200), and I got my wedding set from Starsgem ($600 for both). You can get tungsten and titanium for cheap, and they’re more durable than gold (although they can’t really be resized and are difficult to remove in emergency situations). You can get either metal for under $25 on Amazon.
Anyway, since I haven’t had my wedding yet, we’ll see how it comes out, but I feel pretty confident we make a fun weekend for everyone under 10k.