Autumn Hilltop Wedding
Janelle and Tyler made the most of their glorious outdoor venue for their October wedding. I love the simplicity of their event, keeping the guest list to their closest family. Their $10K budget included not only a rehearsal dinner for all their guests, but also their mini honeymoon after the wedding. Make sure you check out all of their beautiful photos capturing the fall colors. Enjoy this autumn hilltop wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Janelle + Tyler
October 10, 2015
Stowe, VT | Private Residence
What was your budget?
Our general budget for the wedding was $10,000. We knew we wanted a small wedding (family only) and that our pictures and location were very important to us. Our two biggest expenses were the private home we rented in Stowe, ($3,000) and our photographers ($2,000). We saved money by avoiding an actual venue that required in house catering and furniture, as well as deciding not to have a formal engagement photo shoot since we lived far away from our photographers and the location.
The remaining $5,000 was spent on the rehearsal dinner which was a casual restaurant in town ($450) and we paid for everyone’s food, not drinks. We also bought food for our fathers to cook their signature dishes the wedding day ($350). We did cupcakes instead of a wedding cake ($250), and the dress fittings and a suit for the groom ($1,500). The only other expense we had was travel since we were driving long distance for the wedding. Travel was around $500 since we drove instead of flying. We spent the remainder (approximately $2,000) on our “mini-moon” trip back south, stopping in upstate NY Wine country for several nights before finishing the drive home.
How many guests did you have?
We had 24 guests for the wedding, all family members.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
The wedding was very personalized for us. My husband grew up close to Stowe and being from the south, I’ve always enjoyed visiting the mountains and seeing the foliage. Renting a large estate allowed my family to stay with us the days leading up the wedding and help out. My Nana decorated a special display stand for the cupcakes to be on, and both our dads cooked our favorite foods the morning of the wedding to enjoy after. We had spoken with our photographer frequently before the wedding and they were able to set up some picturesque scenes we were hoping to get to show all our friends when we returned home. I even walked down the aisle to “The Final Countdown!” The day was ours to do what we wanted, and it was great.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Keeping the guest list small was the main thing we did to save money. We didn’t want to upset any of our friends by having to choose between them, so we chose to keep the party family only since we had a destination wedding anyway and knew a lot people wouldn’t be able to make it. Since the guest list was small we didn’t send out formal invitations either. My Nana made me a silk flower bouquet to keep, and the scenery and house were so beautiful we didn’t need extra flowers, so we saved on floral. The other things were making our own food, I did my own hair and make-up, and we bought cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. It’s amazing how the price of so many things increases when you add “wedding” in front of it. The house also saved on hotels for the family and ourselves, and decreased venue expenses since the property was all ours for the weekend.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Unless you are an extreme budgeter, you will most likely spend more money than anticipated. We were originally hoping for about $7,500, but things kept popping up that we wanted to include or have. Traditional isn’t always the best way to go. We had cupcakes, home-made food, and just a portable stereo for some music and everyone still had a great time. It truly was the best day. Make your wedding day more about you, and less about the wedding.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest splurges were the venue and photographer. We knew we wanted a big grand house with a great view for pictures and where my family could stay, and we wanted to capture it all for eternity with the pictures. I think we got both of those things!
What was your favorite detail?
Truly the place and the photos we were able to take. We lucked out on the weather and really seemed to hit peak foliage. Everyone from my husband’s family was concerned we chose a date too late in the season, but it could not have worked out any better.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Besides our actual ceremony where we read our vows to each other, I had hoped and dreamed to find a secluded “lover’s lane” type road and capture a great picture. We found one of the perfect roads and when our photographers showed us the pictures, we were both thrilled to capture the day and the moment that way.