My first wedding was very traditional and formal, in a church with a guest list of around 300 people. Because my faith is such a central part of who I am, I knew I wanted to get married in a church, too. But I wanted a smaller guest list of people who will still be part of our lives five plus years from now and I wanted a less formal feel to the event.
We decided early on to have a church ceremony where both our families attend. It is already part of our lives and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. It made sense! The policies and fees were minimal but apparently several couples got engaged over Valentine’s weekend, so it took a couple of weeks to get approval for our date – Yay!
Just next door to our church is a gorgeous Confederate Era home used for various events and a friend of mine just happened to be the bridal coordinator for the venue. I inquired about fees, availability and what would be included: Interior seating and outdoor space with fountains and gardens cascading down to the river. I loved it. I wanted it. For a few weeks I indulged myself with the idea of actually having it.
But the reality was that it would have taken more than 50% of my then-budget. It would have limited the time of day and created a formal setting … more than my original concept. Slowly, I began to see that while it would have been dreamy, it didn’t fit in with the scope of our day. Saying no to myself can be really difficult.
So, I contracted with the church to have our reception onsite, too. That freed me up to do a bit more with the caterer and the decorations can do double-duty. The entire event is simplified!
Next, I’ll share the number one thing we did to save money and I’ve already hinted at how we came to our decision.