May 24, 2014
Backyard Budget Wedding
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:
-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!
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
-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
-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!