- 12 months ago
- Wedding: May 2018
Our photographer sent us the wedding photos this weekend and I was so excited to revist that day. All the pics make me smile and get a little teary eyed. I thought I’d post a recap for future budget LDS brides, or whoever might find it useful. We did keep our budget under $5,000 and a price breakdown is below. We invited 185 guests and 142 guests came.
So ours was a two day celebration since it’s a custom in dh’s family to have the marriage on one day and reception on the next. It was a strange idea at first, but I liked it the more I thought about it. Because we are LDS, not everyone we want to celebrate with would be able to be there for the actual wedding, so we opted to do a ring ceremony right before the reception for those who couldnt be there for the wedding. I hope it isn’t confusing when I speak about sister’s, I have 4 and all were awesome! They kept me tremendously.
Also, yes, I maybe have some bruises and scratches and scrapes. I somehow thought it was a good idea to finish moving out of my house the weekend before the wedding. So I was dealing with moving stress and wedding stress at the same time. And I was not careful and am clumsy and have a tendancy to bang into stuff, so the effects of my move were sadly still visible during the wedding. My new sister in law even asked me if I was okay in a very, um, meaningful way. I had to explain the moving situation and she now knows I am a bit of a klutz lol.
So to recap, shall I start with Thursday night? We had a girl’s night at a hotel and finished making the favors and watched a couple of musicals, My Fair Lady and 1776 (I know, not very wedding-y lol, but fun to sing along to).
My sister showed off these cute belts she had made for my neices. The second one is mine lol.
Then around 10pm, I tried on my wedding dress. Apparently, I’d lost weight since the last time I tried it on a few months before and it was gaping open. So we went to work. I’d already brought my sewing machine because my sister offered to do the bustle(a pretty quick alteration), but with having to take it in…… Well, we did it slapdash and my sister did remind me that I’d promised to bring it to her for the fitting alterations a month before, but I never got around to it. Yeah, don’t be me bees. Get your dress altered before the day before the wedding. That’s a less fun concept, so here is my neice trying on my crinoline:
And here’s my dress on the table while we work on bustle points
So yeah, we were up until 2AM the night before the wedding and now they have a fun story at my expense about my procrastination of dress fittings. Yes, they do laugh about it, but I’m so lucky to have a sister who is a professional seamstress.
Then the hair and makeup artists arrived Friday morning at 11AM
Our sealing was scheduled for 3PM, so we left the house at 1PM to make it there an hour early. It was a lovely ceremony and I’m just so happy to sealed to my partner for eternity.
We did get rain in the morning, but it cleared up as soon as our ceremony was over.
We were out and taking pictures on the Temple grounds after the ceremony. This included pics with every possible combination of family members. Considering we have more than 70 family members with all the kids, it took some time.
Then my in laws took whoever wanted to join us for dinner out to dinner at a buffet place. We did got to the church to start setting up for the reception on Saturday after the dinner, but didn’t stay long. We were home by 9PM.
My sister made me a bouquet Saturday morning because we didn’t pick up the baby’s breath until then. I’m so lucky she enjoys flower arranging because I am not talented in that way.
So for Saturday, we went to the church at 12:30 to see if anything needed doing.
We finsihed getting everything set up by 3:30 and then I spend the next half hour getting back into my wedding dress and attempting to duplicate the professional hair and makeup. Our ring ceremony began at 4:30. It’s an experience I wil forever cherish. My grandmother was able to be there and I had asked her to speak about her experience being married for almost 70 years. She passed away a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t describe how happy I am that she was able to share our wedding with us and be a part of it. If you are reading this and planning to be sealed in the temple and wondering about doing a ring ceremony, I’m so happy we did one and the ring exchange was such a lovely moment to share with our loved ones.
Then on to the reception that officially started at 5, but really, we were greeting people for awhile and we actually didn’t schedule anything to start before 5:30.
It did take people a few minutes to sign in at the guest book. It was a quilt my mom made for us and I love it. We should probably hang it up or something, but we use it as a quilt and I curl up with it on the couch and read the messages sometimes.
We scheduled wedding stuff to all happen at the beginning of the reception because I knew my grandparents weren’t feeling well and I wanted them to be there for the main stuff, but not have to stay any later then they felt up to. So my dad welcomed everyone. Dh’s brother blessed the food. Then we did first dances with our parents and then each other.
Dh and I danced to the theme song from Jurassic Park and I really wish I had agreed to let his brother dress up like a t-rex and run out on the dance floor. I declined the offer, but it would have been a really fun end to the dance. Instead, we gave up our middle school shuffle to pose like this toward the end
Then we cut the cake and I was again reminded how great a cook my husband is. He made us a keto strawberry cake it was was delicious. There was none left at the end of the night. We probably could have made a huge one and served it all. Instead we didn’t think anyone else would want it, so he just made a small round cake.
Then we had dinner, it was a buffet, but the caterer served it and the DJ called tables up one by one to keep the line reasonable. It worked out pretty well. We did dancing and board games for the rest of the evening.
Yes, people loved drawing with crayons.
And the board games were a hit
Of course, we did lots of dancing too. I’m not too much of a dancer, but we did have fun dancing, include a memorable moment of all women and girls on the dancefloor dancing to “Shake it Off”
Of course, I was not a part of the most memorable dance of the night. Our Bishop took over the dance floor to dance solo to Thriller. He doesn’t do that for every wedding reception 😉 and it was totally a highlight. I would post a pic, but I’d feel weird posting a solo pic of him on the bee.
We had originally planned to do a big send off, but we were having so much fun, we ended up staying for the entire reception. I never did get to play a board game though 😉 lol we were too busy dancing and visiting with guests.
Our families were kind enough to clean up at the end of the evening since we were leaving Sunday morning at 6AM for our honeymoon to Orlando, FL. I am so grateful for all their assistance. Yes, I’ve helped with my siblings wedding receptions in the past, but it was hard for me to ask for help. I like to be the person helping, not the person being helped I suppose.
We are located in an large metropolitan area, but I guess one benefit of an urban area is that we could be selective in our vendors. TBH, I set a line item budget and just tried to get the best option I could within our budget. It was also helpful to not have the expectation to spend a lot of money. In fact, every time we hired someone to do anything, we got pushback from our families. So we did hire professional hair, makeup, DJ, photographer, and caterer. But we did ask for help setting up and cleaning up afterward. We knew we were going to TTC after the wedding, so we really didn’t see the point of spending a lot of money or making it too big a party. This was just some of our discretionary income for a few months.
Dress/ Accessories: $217 for dress plus $7 for the comb to attach the veil. The veil was my mother’s. I did order my dress from China and was really impressed with the workmanship. I have no regrets and would order from them again if I needed a formal dress for something. My shoes rose gold flats that cost $13 after taxes at a local discount shoe place and the jewery set was $20 off Amazon. I don’t recommend the jewelry set because the necklace moved around a lot an looked off. No alterations for the dress Total $257
Hair/Makeup $480 after tip and with travel fees for me, my mom, my sister, and my neice. It was a splurge, but we had money left in the budget. I didn’t pay for a trial and feel she did go a bit heavy handed with the makeup and it felt cakey, but it was okay in pics from a few feet away.
License/Officiant: $71- No cost for officiant, but $71 for the license in my county. It would have cost less in dh’s county, but he got off work easier the week we went in.
Photographer: $600 covered engagement shoot and 2 days for the wedding and reception. She probably spent a good 15 hours shooting between al three days.
Food: $650 for the caterer. She served 2 drinks, fruit trays, veggie trays, salad, rolls, bbq chicken, brisket, mashed potato bar, and green beans. She also supplied cutlery, plates, napkins, and cups. I was a little worried about a vew vegetarian friends having options, so a friend offered to bring vegetarian chili and I accepted her offer, but covered the cost of ingredients. I gave her $20 and she took care of preparing it and setting it up. I’ll note that my friend is a former caterer and she wasn’t expected to be there early. I explained the situation to the caterer and she understood and we left it on the serving tables and anyone who wanted some could serve themselves. I have no idea how much of it got eaten. I do know that my vegatarian friends did eat it. We had a donut cake($150) with fresh fruit($10) and a costco sheet cake($20) and dh made us a keto cake($15). Total for food: $865
DH’s parents did treat everyone to dinner after the ceremony since the reception was the next day. They spent almost $400.
Venue: Free- I kept looking at venues and really wanted to find a fun one that would be a bit different, but I got sticker shock and couldn’t bring myself to pay for it when I could have my reception in the same place my parents and sisters did theirs. Free, but with plenty of parking, full kitchen, sound system, bathrooms, tables, and chairs is hard to say no to.
Paper: We got a stamp for our return address for $28 off etsy. It came in handy for sending off invites and thank you notes. We spent $20 on a custom etsy invite with me and dh made into cartoon characters. It cost $60 to print, plus $15 for butcher paper envelopes. We spent $30 on postage for the invites. We bought out thankyou notes off Amazon for $15 and postage for those were $10. We didn’t have to do too made thank yous since it seems most people got our message about their presense being present enough. Total $178
Decor: We spent $100 on Aliexpress, this included table number signs, photo booth set that matched our colors, crayon holders, our favor boxes, and ribbon wands. We spent $120 on tulle, lights, string, butcher paper, and burlap bunting off Amazon. We spent another $150 at the local party supply store on fake flowers, stuff to make a bouquet, tablecloths, and a few other odds and ends. We spent $60 at Dollar Tree on vases, clear rocks to put in them, crayons, and water pitchers. We spent $90 on 100 stems of baby’s breath from costco. Then finally, we spent $35 on candy from Winco to put in the Favor boxes. My sister’s husband is a professional photographer, so he let us use his backdrop for the photobooth and our photographer did take pics there for awhile at one point in the evening. Our guestbook was a gift from my mom. She made us a quilt in our wedding colors that people signed. Total $555
We gave gifts to our parents and grandparents and the officient. Parent gifts were $35 per couple for framed family trees and officiant’s gift was $50 for a paperweight. Total $120
Rings: My engangement ring was $350 for a vintage sapphire and diamond ring off etsy. My wedding band was $325 for the moissanites off ebay and the local jeweler to make the ring in 14k gold. My husband’s band was $225 in 10k yellow gold of ebay. Total $1000
So we ended up way under budget at $4826. This is still far more than what either of my sisters or any’s of dh’s brothers or sisters spent, but we are happy with where we spent our money and with the celebration we were blessed to have.