May 24, 2014

Backyard Budget Wedding

It already seems like eons ago; our wedding and time in Hawai'i. I did so much researching the year prior for the right place to stay, have the ceremony, ways to keep it cheap, etc. So, I thought I would share in case any of my readers are looking for pointers on keeping costs at a minimum for a wedding, renewal. Hell, any big celebration really!

We didn't want to go into debt just to get married. Our family & friends wouldn't have cared if we got married in pajamas. Though I'm sure some of them would've thought WTF? Ok, I think some of them would have SAID it to us;) So it was really all about what WE wanted. As it should be. Our criteria was simple:

-outdoor wedding
-NOT where we live
-don't spend a shit ton of money

At first we searched for a typical destination wedding. Ya know, at a resort, all inclusive, no planning on my behalf. But everything we came across was so expensive. $100 for a tiny bouquet of simple flowers? Are you effin serious?! Plus, all of our guests would need to get passports and ours were about to expire.

Next, we thought a cruise would be awesome! No one would need to find lodging, no need to get together and decide on where to eat or where to hang out. Just get your ass on the boat and enjoy! But, again with the passports and bigger price tag.

We pondered, where can we go that is far from here, beautiful, warm, water and no need for a passport or knowing another language. Hawai'i was the perfect choice! Considering all of the islands have their own unique appeal, it could've been a hard choice deciding which one. However, we knew we wanted to see lava! The creation of new land as we embarked upon a new journey and stage in our lives. The Big Island won our vote and off to planning we went!

I'm not counting the flights or rental house we stayed at because this was also a family vacation and those things would have been paid for regardless if there were a wedding or not. In case anyone is curious though, THIS amazing home is the one we rented. I can't give enough kudos to the house, the yard, the helpful owners and the sweet property manager. We didn't want to leave.

-Place of ceremony & reception: FREE (well, it was in the yard & house of our rental). A large part of the search was finding a home with a beautiful outdoor space for the ceremony & enough seating and indoor space for the reception so that we didn't need to rent chairs, etc. The house was a perfect choice!
-Officiant: Rev Barbara Concoby $400. Super sweet woman & fantastic ceremony! She included blowing of the conch shell, fresh flower leis, bubbles, foot blessing & flower shower.
-Photographer: White Dot Photography $936 She was AMAZING! The girls were all over the place & non-cooperative, but she still managed to capture beautiful photos of them. Of us:)
-Cake: We didn't want to spend a hundred on a cake so I went to the grocery store and ordered a plain white cake. It didn't include fancy flavors or fillings, but that was fine and worth the money savings. $15 from the Safeway bakery section. + this cake topper for $25
-Bride Dress: $190 from Alfred Angelo. Was actually a bridesmaid dress that I ordered in Ivory. The alterations cost almost as much as the dress! We decided to go sans shoes:)
-Groom Suit: about $200, from Express
-our little Flower Girls: I made the dresses, fabric was around $20
 -Bouquet: Free, by Mother Nature, picked by the groom, assembled by BFF
-Food & Drinks: Somewhere under $300. We prepped most the night before & people lovingly fired up the grill while we did photos post ceremony. It was all finger foods. We did forget to put out the plethora of cheeses. Oops. If I had to change one thing and could've spent more money on something, this is the place it would go. It would have been much easier to have the food catered. We saved on alcohol by only having beer/wine (which others brought) and a signature cocktail.
-Hair & Makeup: Lush Hair Salon. Technically I didn't pay anything for my hair because my hair fell before I even put on my dress, so I got a refund. Makeup was $35
-Decorations: Free. We used beautiful bowls, platters, vases that were in the rental house. Jeff brought some of his handblown glass bud vases. Used tree branches to display photos. Mother Nature provided the scenery.
-Guest Book: $10 Jenga game that everyone wrote on the pieces so we can read them as we play
-Rings: $130 tattoo rings from Big Island Tattoo. Neither of us can wear rings for work, so no point in an actual ring.
-Jewelry: less than $30 from Charming Charlie's
-Gifts for Guests: my dear friend Cynthia made, as a gift to us, adorable bracelets for all the women & the 4 little girls. Jeff made a glass pendant for all the dudes.

Keeping the expenditures at a minimum and not waking the next morning in a post wedding spending hangover made it even more pleasurable. Sure, a few things could've been done differently, but all in all it was a success!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful wedding, Amy and Jeff! It's so awesome that you got married in Hawaii ... it's on my bucket list of places to go! And the fact that you didn't spend thousands and thousands is impressive. :)


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