I was specifically asked to talk about my wedding, and though I did talk about it once, I’ll give you guys an update and information about the small details.
The General Details
We will be having an outdoor ceremony at what is a nice time of year in our area. It starts to get a little humid around the beginning of June, but it isn’t too bad. No bridesmaids or groomsmen- it’ll just be me, him and the officiant up at the alter. My nieces and nephews will act as the flower girls and ring bearers. Hot pink and black are the wedding colors, the reception will be in the main manor home on the same property as the garden and it has a lot of vintage character, just how I like it. (Part of the reason I decided it was the right place was because they have an old-Hollywood glamour vanity in the bridal dressing room, soooo me.)
Dollars and Cents
I’m not being stupid about how I spend my money on this wedding. I found my photog and DJ via Craigslist. Actually, the photog is a funny story….
A couple of years ago, I posted a request on Craigslist for a photographer to come out and do some holiday shots of my fiance (then just a boyfriend), myself, and our pets. This guy replied and said he would do it Trade for CD (TFCD) which basically means he’ll take the pictures, edit how he likes and we get the CD, but they can do whatever they wish with the pictures, including using them for promotional purposes. The pictures he took were great, and we were very pleased with the product- he’s a phenomenal photographer. Well, when we got engaged, I really wanted to hire him to do our photos. One catch- his base package is $2500!!
So, over time, I had posted ads on Craigslist, hoping to find gold again. We had one guy, but I sat on my hands too long and lost him. So, I kept on posting. Fast forward to two weeks ago, when I post one last ditch ad before I went for a photographer that was more than what I wanted to pay, but still was within my allowable budget. I start getting replies to my CL ad when low and behold, my photog from a couple of years ago replies. Not just replies, but is willing to do our wedding for approximately 75-80% off his normal price! I punched my fiance I soon as I saw the email, and when he turned and gave me a puzzled look, I told him about the ad and who replied. His face immediately turned to relief and said “SOLD!” We talked to him the next night, and now I just have to send off the deposit. I was so relieved, that my immune system tanked the next day and I was sick for a week.
The DJ was also found via CL. No fun story there, but we met him today, him and my fiance got on beautifully and we were sold. He will cost less than half of what most wedding DJ’s normally charge.
A friendly acquaintance has offered to do the boutonnieres, corsages and my bouquet for free, I just have to provide the flowers (I can get 100 roses from Costco for $80). I’ll make sure the photographer gets her some nice photographs to “pay” for her help, she’ll also probably be my best friend’s “date” since my best friend’s husband won’t be able to make it. The centerpieces are just going to be vases filled with [fake] rose petals, filled with water and a floating candle. I bought 5 bags of the petals for $10, I can get the vases from Michael’s for $5, but I’ll use their coupons to save more money. And to give it a little more depth, I’ll get plain mirrors from the dollar store. My plan after is to sell the stuff to recoup some of the cost (and in general, I don’t need 10 vases and mirrors!).
A friend, who’s a chef, convinced his boss to shave over $4K off their price tag for catering. Always helps to have friends in high places. We will also buy our own alcohol to save moolah. The cake and cupcakes will probably total $400-$500, standard price, I actually don’t know how we could possibly save on that outside of myself or a friend making them (which I honestly don’t want to do, we live near a famous cupcakery so we want to treat ourselves on this).
I bought the save-the-dates and invitations on Vistaprint, which again is waaaaaaaaaaay less than your standard stationary shop. The save-the-dates and invitations are beautiful. I will jazz up the invites though with some cardstock and ribbon to make them look like those expensive stationary store invites.
The Bottom Line
Apparently, weddings cost on average over $27,000. When all is said and done, ours will probably come out to about $12-13,000 (not including honeymoon costs). We wanted a traditional wedding, and let’s face it, that costs money. But, utilizing what resources are available to you and doing your research you can save a lot of cash.