Not the Wedding of My Dreams... | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

Well hello there BSB fam!

I have a confession to make; something that I’ve been holding out on you for a while (well, a month to be exact!). Would you like to guess what this secret is? I’ll give you a hint, ‘Kyle and Renae, sittin’ in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes…MARRIAGE!

Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Strozier

Yes, it’s official! Kyle and I trotted down to City Hall last month and got hitched (with our family’s blessing of course)!

If you had told me years ago that I’d be getting married in City Hall, I probably would have had a conniption. There was no way I’d concede to letting go of my dreams of a wedding to exchange vows in City Hall. City Hall, to me, was this dark unimaginable void that was to be avoided at all costs. I also had this perception that anyone who married in City Hall never had the promised follow up formal wedding/reception/party; I didn’t want to be that ‘couple’.

What made me change my mind? Love.

Yes, another ‘I did it for love’ answers. I’m not ashamed to admit that I conceded to a courthouse marriage because of the love of my life. Kyle has been ready to be married, and suggested a few times that we go to City Hall (or elope). He didn’t need the nice wedding, with pretty suits/dresses and flowers. He simply wanted to make me his wife, and he, my husband.

So, one day we met up on our lunch break and applied for our marriage license ($35). From there, I proceeded to plan out our wedding day.

Wedding Budget Recap

First things first, the dress! I looked high and low online and in stores and couldn’t find anything until I walked into JCPenney. I wound up choosing this pretty little number for $60 (forgetting that I’d be getting married in below 30-degree weather.)

I had high aspirations of making a bouquet out of silk flowers from Michaels. I also wanted to try making a ribbon boutonniere for Kyle and my friend’s husband’s, and a ribbon corsage for my friend. However, I realized that I’d come out better just ordering these from a florist. Which was true! I spent $46 for my bouquet (hydrangeas and baby’s breaths), 2 boutonnieres and a corsage (baby’s breaths) :-). I think I saved so much because I didn’t choose expensive flowers for my bouquet and the attendant’s flowers.

I didn’t want to make such a big fuss about my hair and makeup, so these I did myself.  Also, I couldn’t talk Kyle into buying a new suit (nor would he wear one), so we saved in that area as well. Our final expense was the marriage ceremony for $25, which was pretty steep for 5 minutes…but the memories are worth it.

Our City Hall wedding costs us $166 (technically, $541 if you include Kyle’s wedding band).

The Day

Since my family couldn’t physically be there, they did a prayer conference call that morning. I was sad that my mom or sister couldn’t be by my side on one of the most important days of my life, but the prayer call really helped and lifted me up. Since my family couldn’t be there, Kyle and I asked a dear friend of mine and her husband to be our witnesses. (Though, Kyle was okay with asking strangers on the corner to witness as well, I couldn’t have that.)

We met up with my friend and her husband at City Hall (the infamous New York City Hall on Worth Street!). I expected the process to take 2 hours, since that’s how long it took us to apply for our wedding license. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case because we were marrying on a Friday morning! Which also proved a great time to do some people watching :-).

A rush of emotions came over me when our number was called. I was happy, anxious, nervous, scared all at once! Kyle seemed to be holding it together, until I noticed his lips quivering. :-). Once we were settled in the chapel, the Officiant rattled off some vows to which we responded ‘I do, I will’. And just like that, we were married!

You May Kiss Your Bride

 

It wasn’t the wedding of my dreams. It didn’t happen the way I’d planned and imagined. But you know what? Marrying the love of my life and starting our lives together as husband and wife made it all worthwhile.

 

In case you’re wondering, YES, we are definitely having a formal Tompkins-Strozier wedding next year.

I'm a 25-year old bubbly bride-to-be! I work in advertising in New York City, and am marrying my high school sweetheart and best friend, Kyle, on April 12, 2014!

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    • Syreeta
    • March 8th, 2013

    This is so inspiring! I feel like I witnesses this from the beginning. You guys being the most nauseating couple at MAST & me being half-jealous thinking that high school love always ends but yours did not & I find that to be amazing & romantic. The vast majority of women have been planning their dream wedding long before it was necessary, most times not even having a prospect for a boyfriend, let alone being engaged! To forget all of that & focus on the most important part is brave, smart, & something I’d like to do as well. This marriage is built to last, a wedding is just an expensive party. I think you did the right thing & I’m so proud of you! Congratulations on forever with Kyle! Sorry this is so long.

      • Renae
      • March 12th, 2013

      Lol! “the most nauseating couple”. Thanks Sy! Sorry to make you go through that! :-P

  1. Your dress looks incredible, you are so beautiful!

      • Renae
      • March 12th, 2013

      Thank you Sarah! The dress is Kyle’s FAVORITE, he likes it better than my original :-O.

    • Denise
    • March 9th, 2013

    since WQ and I have been engaged, not 1 but THREE of my close friends have eloped. I understand the temptation!

    You look lovely in your photos and it’s awesome that you opted to go with an elopement, even after doing quite a bit of planning! We’ve wanted to so much, but just can’t seem to do it.

      • Renae
      • March 12th, 2013

      Thanks Denise! Before we initially set our date and went into full out planning mode, we seriously considered eloping in Paris or Thailand. But we felt guilty about not having our parents there. Fast forward a year later, and we were at City Hall. WE’re still going to do the formal wedding for (me) and the family :-), but that’ll be next year.

  2. This piece is such an inspiring example of how great your day can be when you let go of expectations that may not always be realistic for every bride. Of course, as little girls we all dream of this huge, glorious event with every detail perfect. But life isn’t like that, and sometimes, as this bride found out, love has to be enough. I thought this was an endearing story of true love in tough times. I hope there isn’t a bride out there that would forgo her love because her wedding day couldn’t be just as she imagined it.

    • Ashlei
    • April 21st, 2014

    Congrats Renae! I saw your comment on Liz & Lex’s blog. Great minds think alike and Chanda and Amber are definitely gems! Congrats again!

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