Oh congratulatiions OP! We had a small wedding, 22 years ago now, (WOW). It was so lovely. We married in Las Vegas in a beautiful chapel. It was done all in Victorian decor – it was so pretty. So of course the officiant was part of the deal. We suppled the little bubbles for us coming out the chapel. We decided to walk down the aisle together. They played Kenny G for us at the chapel. A small 5 step if I recall tiny little staircase sat at the exit of the bride’s getting ready room. So I came out onto the top step and now Hubby was at the bottom and we went down together. And there were tears in his eyes when he saw me.
We reserved a room at an Olive Garden and it was wonderful. One long table plus a small table where I put the cake I made. I have made very fancy cakes and so it was kinda’ charming that my cake came out a bit crooked. It was 2 tiers, heart shaped in pink frosting (our colors were pink and gray) with the lovely Wilton premade roses.
We did tuxes and I found the most beautiful ivory tea length dress in ALL sequins, oh it’s a dreamy dress.
I made little favors out of these heart shaped stiffened lace boxes and used fllowers from our own gardens for the table. No photographer, but of course everyone took pictures. I did go all out on flowers though, they are a huge part of my life. Full bouquet, long trailing delectible thing in pink roses and baby’s breath. I had a wrist corsage for my daughter, little neice in law, and corsages for the three Moms (complicated story) plus a bouquet for my Maid/Matron of Honor and of course all the gentleman bout’ers too.
As this wasn’t either of ours’ first marriages, I opted rather than a veil, to do a small thin wreath, using tiny pink rosebuds and ribbons and pearls. It gave just enough pretty and “bride” look down my hair in the back, and pretty on top.
We just told everyone (20 people) to just order anything they wanted and to this day I don’t know who paid, we would have but I suspect my new Father-In-Law paid that bill. No games or “wedding activities”, just family and friends and it was magical.
I remember thinking, ok, what are the most important things to me and decided flowers. Hubby didn’t have any particular preferences. So I put the money big time into the flowers, found my dress for 100.00 at Burlington of all places, already had the shoes and made my wreath/veil and favors and flowers (mason jars wrapped in lace) for the table decor.
I had told my hubby that there would only be two occasions I would expect him in a suit, our wedding and any funerals. (We do not live a dressy lifestyle, and moved very shortly to a semi rural area and have loved the country life) so I got him as his wedding gift suspenders with adorable pigs all over them to wear on our Day. It was such a hit!
So for a tip I would say, each of you pick one thing that maybe means more to you, whether it be a photog or flowers or the cake, or the beverages, or favors, or?? And then, play that up a lot and go easier on the other stuff.