Bryan and I agreed we wanted to have a small wedding with intimate guests and family. We were beyond blessed to be have an amazing wedding planner- Jessica Hubacher, friends offer services (music and make-up) and family contribute to wedding expenses. Here's how you can have a wedding under $10,000.
Location: Think out side of the box. Look for event venues rather than designated "wedding" venues.
Our story: We took a tour of a local art gallery, we were skeptical at first and we knew we hit the jackpot by the end of the tour. Stay open minded and see the potential a venue can have.
Pros: Non-wedding venues could cost at a third of what most venues charge. Venue contract: A 1 pager- can you believe it!? Venue contacts are generally not too busy, quick to respond and flexible with making accommodations. They may also have flexible guidelines regarding access of the venue and we were able to bring our own alcohol! Privacy: Entire location for us with a guard to ward off the public. It was a private event, you know...VIPs only, people!
D.j.: Ask your planner or vendor for recommendations and don't get the whole package. Sometimes a venue will provide discounts when you book their preferred vendor. Ask the d.j. what packages he offers and if you want the basics- music, one microphone, bridal party, and bride and groom entrance services than say so! You may not need a projector playing the music video in the background (plus it could get a little awkward) or a light show. On the other hand, sometimes d.j.s can provide great uplighting as a part of their services, ask them what they can do!
Pros: My mother helped me find a great bilingual d.j., she asked for the basics to get a smaller package, and he gave us an additional discount.
Florals: Go online to your local large wholesale store such as: B.j.s, Sam's Club, or Costo (on the east coast that is) we found Costco to have beautiful and very inexpensive flowers which we actually NOT under their wedding packages section!
Our story: As we saw costs increase I did NOT want to purchase flowers BUT I am so glad we did. It made the space absolutely beautiful! My mom purchased a large amount of my flowers from COSTCO online and had them shipped a day or two before the wedding for safe keeping and to start working on the arrangements. She purchased more from a local shop, she was able to splurge (just a little) on my bouquet, boutonnieres, and arrangements for my table.The vases she purchased inexpensively as well. A little goes a long way! Plus- I had no idea flower arrangement services start at $2,000. Heckkk nooo!
Wedding dress: Go to that hole in the wall store, boutique, or consignment shop. Heck, know a friend of a friend selling her dress?! You never know where you'll find it. Also, see if another store carries the same dress for a lower price and or has any special(s) going on. Psssttttt...the holidays (holiday weekends) are great times to shop for a dress. Boutiques need business and you need a dress- win, win, and grin my friend!
My story: The most gorgeous wedding boutique was in a quaint town but not in an upscale shopping center. The service was the absolute best. While I did not purchase my dress there I found it there, kept searching with a captivated heart and just couldn't move on to another dress. I ended up getting the same dress at a boutique which had a few Christmas specials including: free veil, credit for accessories, and discount on the dress.
Caterer: Choose wisely! Enjoy and go to the tastings! Be sure to thoroughly read the contract(s). Also have your planner, or wise friend, parental figure etc. give it a good look over, because when push comes to shove, if you signed your name on the dotted line than you'll be responsible. Pssttt...get a receipt for all fees paid associated to your wedding and keep track of it all.
If you want to step aside from catering, think about a fun food truck (Mexican anyone!?) or purchasing alcohol in bulk inexpensively from Trader Joe's or a wholesale store like- Costo, Sams Club, B.j.'s. as well as: napkins, plates, hors d'oeuvres, and more.
Rentals: tables/chairs/lighting. Shop around and get pricing- go to a warehouse and see the quality of what they're providing you. Ask your venue if they provide anything- it'll be free from them and great for you!
I found pipe and drape to rent for $99 online. They send it to you 2 days before your wedding and you have another 2 days to send it back. A 5 day rental for a fourth of the pricing on just one section of pipe and drape! We used it in the back of our room to hide the waiters from coming in and out of our venue's unpleasantly looking kitchen and to keep guests from coming up the stairs into the hallway as the magic was taking place flipping the room.
Miscellaneous items examples: Ring box, props (cute signs/frames for tables: head-cake-and gift tables), flower girl basket, gift card box- I hit up TJ Maxx and asked my mom what she had available.
Words of wisdom. Remember...its yours and your husband's day.
Focus on what matters and is meaningful- making memories. This moment-unforgettable...
At the end of the day- you're still getting married- everything is going to be great- a constant reminder I got from my husband.
What did you do or not do that made yours and your husband's day special!? I'd love to hear about it!