Jessis Story Our Practically Perfect Small Wedding
When my husband and I were planning a large, July 2020 wedding on family lake property for 150 guests, we couldnt believe how much it was going to cost.
We werent even paying for the venue and the price was still going to be AT LEAST $15K by the time we got a tent, chairs, tables, linens, flowers, food, officiant, photographer, DJ, cake, and minimal décor.
As we were planning our wedding, we heard reports of a large number of COVID-19 outbreaks around us. Crowd sizes became smaller and then we were quarantined. It took being confined to my home away from the love of my life to realize that all I wanted was to be married to my sweet fiancé.
I didnt care about having a huge wedding. I didnt care if I could even find a dress. I didnt care if we went to the courthouse and went out to eat afterward. All I wanted was to start our lives together as husband and wife.
Once we were out of quarantine, I lost count of how many times we said, I just wish we were married!
While riding around town on a cheery, Monday afternoon, I looked over at my fiancé and said, Why dont we just get married.this week! Youre leaving for your business trip on Saturday. We could just get married Friday and I could go to Asheville with you for our honeymoon!
His reply, Youd really be ok with that? Because Im good with that if you are.
Buy Food And Drinks In Bulk And Save Cost
Buy drinks and bottled water in bulk at wholesale pricing some drink manufacturers or their distributors even offer free ice block cooling drums to people who purchase in bulk for occasions.
There are many wholesale markets in every Nigerian big city, so take advantage of that. Resist buying from fancy supermarkets and malls which are more costly than buying from open-markets.
Buy The Wedding Dress Off The Rack And On Sale Or Borrow And Modify
The Knot reports that the average wedding dress costs $1,600, which is a tremendous cost for an item youll likely wear once. A much better idea? See if anyone in your family or among your close friends has their old dress and, if possible, see if you can borrow it. It may need some modifications to make it work well, but spending $200 on adjustments is better than $1,600 on a dress. If this isnt an option, look for a used dress and modify it similarly this will still be cheaper than buying a new one.
Strategy: Borrow or buy a wedding dress Savings: $600-$1,400
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A Farmhouse Gathering Can Plan The Perfect Wedding On A Budget For You
AFG specializes in planning a small wedding for other couples who are wanting a gorgeous wedding at a fraction of the normal wedding cost. A Tiny or small wedding is exactly how it sounds Its a wedding and its small.
The couple enjoys the typical wedding events such as pictures, ceremony, and even a reception. Its only considered Tiny because of the smaller size and shortened length of the wedding.
Instead of inviting a large number of people to stay for multiple hours, you keep the guest list short, 30-40 people, and stay for two to three hours.
Have Minimal Wedding Decorations
If youre having the ceremony or reception outdoors in the garden, you might have all the decor you need.
If you want to add to the scenery, the first thing I would focus on is good lighting for photos. I rented uplights, which was a mistake. It was still way too dark in the room.
I wish I had gotten brighter lighting like using these white Christmas lights. I saw the effect of these in another wedding later on and they were gorgeous and tasteful! They were hanging across the ceiling, but I can see this also being used as a backdrop for the dessert table.
Here are other ideas for simple and inexpensive lighting:
The second thing I would focus on is flowers. You dont actually need this. I skipped having flowers and I have no regrets!
I know fresh flowers add a nice fragrance and touch to a wedding. One way to lower the cost is to get used flowers.
My sister-in-law had her wedding on a Sunday and bought her flowers from a bride who was getting married on a Saturday. I thought this was such a great idea! You could advertise that youre looking for flowers on a local buy/sell Facebook group or other local community site.
You could also go with artificial flowers. There are some flowers that look quite real! There are also silk flowers. If youre having a Fall wedding, you might even be able to gather leaves outside to go with them without paying a dime!
Flowers are just one decorative option.
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Relax With Closest Friends And Family
When you have a smaller wedding, youre reducing the way you would with a sauce. It becomes tastier. It begins when you reduce the guest list, the need to please a large group disappears. You have the freedom to enjoy more and focus on the smaller details. Small intimate wedding ceremonies are much less formal and more spontaneous. Guests love spontaneity and real genuine displays of emotions, where they are an irreplaceable part. Smaller weddings give you more time to actually figure out what you want. They need less production too. You can create something delicious that is effortless and magical for everyone involved.
Dont Go On Your Honeymoon Right Away
The average honeymoon costs $4,000, which is a pretty penny to tack onto your wedding expenses. If youre on a strict budget, give yourself time after your wedding to save up some funds before taking your big trip. You can take a less expensive mini-moon right after your big day as a getaway, but save the honeymoon for later on. You can also ask your guests to chip in to your trip of a lifetime by setting up a honeymoon registry.
Kim Forrest has been writing about weddings for over a decade, specializing in etiquette and… planning advice. Kim writes and edits much of the content youll read on WeddingWire, and also manages our team of freelance writers. Kims love of the wedding space first blossomed when she was an assistant editor at Washingtonian magazine in the mid-2000s . She became WeddingWires first full-time editor in 2012. Kim is originally from Long Island, New York and currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two children. She loves baking, yoga, ballet, theater, trying out the latest skincare fads, and listening to podcasts on a variety of random topics.
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Limit Your Guest List
Less is sometimes more! You might feel tempted to come up with a guest list as long as the royal weddings, but think of it this way: Every guest is an expense. It sounds harsh, but its true, you guys! With each addition to your guest list, youre only driving up the overall cost of your wedding.
To save money on your wedding, you may want to host a smaller, more intimate affair. If the number of people at your wedding isnt important to you and your fiancé, try cutting your guest list by 20%, then another 20% on top of that. Or invite more guests to the wedding ceremony and host a smaller reception with your family and closest friends.
Consider A Restaurant As A Wedding Venue
Restaurants are only often associated with celebrations and events but not weddings, which is understandable. After all, weddings usually require more tables, a dance floor, a DJ booth, a space for the bar, and other requirements!
But thats not always the case, is it? There are amazing restaurants with great layouts that allow you to work around your own floor plan goals. Some restaurants can accommodate your wedding and can also possibly save you money!
You got great food in-house, you can plug into their existing sound system, you can have bar access, great staff, an intimate vibe, and just all the good stuff! Its just a matter of finding the right restaurant!
Sourcing a venue that you can have both your wedding ceremony and reception will reap some savings!
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Add Some Personal Touches
Erich McVey Event Planning by Alise Taggart
Whether it’s familial or cultural wedding customs that have a special meaning, or if there’s a tradition that the two of you want to start for future generations, don’t be afraid to incorporate some heartfelt, personal touches into your wedding day festivities. Remember, this is your day!
Dont Buy Your Attire From Wedding Clothing Stores
Dont buy the wedding dress or tux from the wedding stores. Here are a few places you can find wedding clothing:
- Department stores: Check out the prom or formal sections. Instead of getting a tux, you could get a suit, which is formal and can be worn at more events.
- Used wedding dress or tux stores in your area: Thats where I got mine! It was in great condition. Nobody could tell it was used. After I finished using it, I sold it online. Here are a few used wedding dress stores online StillWhite, Wore It Once.
- Your moms or relatives former wedding dress: If you dont like the style, get it altered or ask an alterations expert to give you advice on how to freshen it up.
- Wedding attire rental store: You could rent your wedding dress and tux for a fraction of the price. Youll probably only wear it that day anyways! If youre looking for different wedding dresses perhaps for a change of clothes in the evening, Rent the Runway has a nice selection of designer dresses.
- Wedding dress sample sales: You might be lucky to live in a city that has the occasional wedding dress sample sale.
If your heart is set on a particular piece at a wedding clothing store, sign up for their email newsletter or website so you can get on the list for upcoming deals.
Tip: Borrow jewelry from family. Not only is it nice to wear jewelry from your family, it can be your something borrowed!
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Make Your Own Invitations
Again, according to The Knot, the average cost for wedding invitations is $590. This cost can easily be trimmed, however, by getting a DIY wedding invitation kit and printing them yourself.
My wife and I did this for our own wedding after balking at the hundreds of dollars for more traditional invitations. We chose a nice DIY kit that cost around $70 for our guest list and printed them ourselves. If you have access to a professional-quality printer and can do basic layout, you can easily create a very classy wedding invitation on your own for $100, with another $50 for any extra inserts and $50 for postage.
Strategy: Print your own wedding invitationsSavings: $390
Make Sure You Have A Plan B In Place
No one likes to hear the word no. Youll find out if youre prepared for any outcome when you take steps in advance.
This will save a ton of trouble and stress down the line. If wedding planning has taught me anything, its that there is always another way to make something happen especially when you know your Plan B.
Have a backup plan in place for when things go wrong to ensure that the wedding will still be an event worth remembering and celebrating!
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The Wedding Budget Breakdown
First things first: Give your budget a little breathing room. Unexpected expenses will arise, so know that your budget will evolve throughout the planning process. Take those surprises into consideration by putting in a little bit of cushion. That way you have the flexibility to handle any surprise expense.
A wedding is a huge event to plan, so its helpful to know what you can get for a certain dollar amount. What does $5,000 get you? $10,000? $15,000?
Here are some budget breakdown examples for weddings ranging from $100 to $30,000 and some suggestions for how to make them happen.
Construct A List Of Wedding Day Priorities
Sit down with your partner and determine what the three most important aspects of your wedding will be. Is it the venue or specific wedding date? Locking in a certain wedding photographer or live band? Prioritize those details and be willing to compromise on the rest. This will help you stay within your budget and help you focus your efforts on what really counts.
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Produce A Schedule Of Events
Creating a comprehensive wedding day schedule ensures everyone is on the same page about timing and location and helps to make sure the day’s events run smoothly. Include things like hair and makeup appointments, when vendors will arrive, timing for transportation to/arrival at the ceremony location, timing for the couple’s arrival to the reception, speeches and the first dance, when the cake will be cut, etc. Print out copies to your MC, photographer, maid of honor, key family members, all vendors, and anyone else that should be in the know.
The Painful Truths Of Planning A Wedding On A Budget
Whether a couple is planning a wedding on a seemingly never-ending budget fit for Kim Kardashian or choosing details for a celebration that has more financial confines surrounding it, there are truths. So, lets dive into the painful truths of choosing to be mindful with your wedding money. Keep in mind: at the end of your wedding day, no matter how much you have spent, you will be
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Small Wedding Venue Ideas
Intimate weddings allow for creativity. To pull off an intimate wedding, see some creative wedding venue ideas for small weddings.
Here we see another advantage. Choice of the wedding venue is much easier when you have a small group of guests. Besides, it is far more likely that a group of close family and friends shares the same interests, so setting up activities will be easy and fun. Take a destination wedding in Phuket for example. The most beautiful venues are suitable for no more than 50 guests, plus there are endless choices of ideas to do before or after the day. A smaller wedding allows you a better choice and control of your location! says Ilaire, destination wedding planner, founder of Wedding Boutique Phuket.