Do I need a wedding cake? Only if I find a delicious baker. Should I include a garter toss? Naw, it’s not my favorite. Are we going to smash cake into each other’s face? Not with that historical context. I shun status quo and I am a nerd. Even (especially?) on my wedding day, I bucked trends and made decisions on what I wanted not what tradition dictated.
When it came time to budget for my wedding, then, I knew my love of Excel spreadsheets and my loathing of status quo would come into play.
My priority was fun for my guests and beautiful photos. I chose my location in a way that would sustain both priorities AND be meaningful – guest could enjoy the woods, play games in the field, photos were impossibly wonderful. Plus, my parents met and married on this same property 30-some years before. Nostalgic and beautiful? It was perfect.
Knowing that my marriage would mean moving across the country (and into a new country!), I deliberately DIY’d. Every craft night was a girl’s night, an opportunity to forge memories with my dear friends before I had to say good-bye. Not only did this save money (I spent $15 on burlap and made my bridal bouquet, for example!) but the memories we made will stay with me forever. (I’m still sorry for your burned fingers, Kami!)
Other than DIY’ing almost everything, I also chose to cut corners: shoes I would wear again, a dress made for me while I shot a wedding in Vietnam, no wedding favors (I loved creating gifts for my wedding party, though!), our favorite snack foods instead of a full dinner (we had an extensive rehearsal dinner for out-of-town guests, though: not part of the main wedding budget, but still fulfilling the desire for quality time with our people), thrift store and repurposed decor. (My bunting, for example, was made of vintage National Geographics.)
Instead of following “standard practice”, I followed “personal preference” by creating a budget I could both afford and enjoy.
*I used budget percentage suggestions from RealSimple.com for this example.
I’m here to say: it’s possible to have a fun, beautiful, and thrifty wedding. Our guests loved their day with us and I love my photos AND we didn’t break the bank.
And aren’t these photos by Jenna simply spectacular?