From the beginning we knew the cost of the wedding had to be kept with in this realm of reality. We set it at a modest $10000, which by most wedding standards is quite modest. We felt at this budget we could get what we want but not go broke doing it.
This budget was able to work for us for 4 reasons:
1. we wanted a small wedding
2. we wanted the wedding to feel like a homespun intimate backyard wedding
3. so many people are willing to offer their help
5. I am so damn crafty
We started by limiting the wedding to just close family and friends, no more than 80 guests invited but knowing only about 60 will show. I know there were some hurt feelings out there but this is what we wanted.
The venue was the next hurtle. It need to be a place that was charming enough to reduce the amount of deco needed, it had to be close to accommodations for our many out of town guests and they need to serve, or allow us to bring in, TACOS! Tacos have to be our very favorite food, so why serve "beef, chicken or fish" if that is not our style. We found a perfect location, a funky hotel with loads of vintage character that had a separate house and large yard for events and...they can do tacos! And the absolute best part that made this the perfect budget saving addition, no charge for the space as long as we meet the food minimum of $1000!!! So doable!
We were set on the venue. Now it was time to decorate. We were going for a vintage, handmade look. We scoured thrift stores and collected vases and canning jars to decorate the tables. Each table will ahve three vases clustered in the center, one large, one medium, one small, all different styles but all glass, and four canning jars with candles in them. The large vase will have all coral roses, the medium will have all orange roses and the small will have all yellow roses. FYI, Costco has a great deal on roses. You can order them in the color you want and have them deliverd to your local store at half the cost of any online vendor. We found old rusted cast iron house numbers at a antique store which we will use as table numbers
Here is one of my favorite cost savings. The escort cards and favors are working double duty. I wanted a favor people will actually use. Not some silly item that will be thrown away or put in drawer somewhere. I want them to see it in their home and remember our wedding. I came up the idea for magnetic picture frames for their refrigerators! I wanted to make them very inexpensively but cute and functional. Using empty cereal boxes, scrapbook paper, rubber cement, adhesive magnet, and transparency sheets and maybe 30 hours of work total, I have 80 of them all under $40! The favors will also be usded as escort cards by inserting a print with the guests name and table number on it. We purchased an old 30 x 36 frame, replaced the glass with galvanized metal. The magnetic frames will be arranged the in the large frame which will be set on an easel at the reception.
Additional deocr items which were DIY:
-runners made out of vintage handkerchiefs
-wood signs made from scrap wood and transferring laser print onto it using a blending pen, (This looks so awsome! And sooo easy!)
-welcome bags for guests using the same transfer method as above
-designing our own fold and send invites. These are both cost effective and environmentally friendly
Major cost savings came int he form of help from family and friends. My future brother-in-law will be officiating. My best friend, who is a pastry chef at a swank hotel, is making our cake. My friends sister is photographing. A friend of the family is our wedding coordinator. Another friend of the family is our videographer. All of them are working for little or no payment! Ca-ching!
So all in all we are about a month from our wedding and coming in at about $9584.00. We were actually about $2000.00 below that but decided to pay for our immediate family and wedding party to stay at the hotel for 2 nights. That way we can all enjoy the wedding and each others company that much more!
I am looking forward to the wedding and even more our marriage.
Good luck to all those brides out there,
P.S.If you would like more details on the DIY items above I am happy to share.