I'm back with another budget savvy wedding for you! This couple planned a Florida destination wedding all the way from Canada – and managed to pull it all off for under $10k (CAD) including the honeymoon!! Talk about budget savvy! I absolutely love the bride's advice so don't miss it. I love the idea of renting a private home and using it for lodging and the wedding venue – it definitely helped this couple keep costs down! Hope you enjoy this fun wedding! xoxo – Jessica
Joey + Kirstie
April 4, 2014
Star Lake Manor, Kissimmee, FL
What was your wedding budget?
We are from Canada and wanted to go somewhere warm for our wedding, but also wanted our friends and family to be able to have a family vacation at the same time. Our budget for our entire wedding and honeymoon was $10,000. We came in under budget at $9,300. Yay!
This budget covered EVERYTHING for our destination wedding (accommodations, flights, car rental, wedding attire, gifts, invites, officiant, marriage licence, rings, reception food and drinks, music, rentals, decor, food and drink for the week in Florida, entertainment for the week, and also our honeymoon cruise).
We rented a huge home in Kissimmee, FL called Star Lake Manor. The wedding party and other close friends stayed with us in the 7 bedroom home and we had the rest of our family and friends rent homes close by. We had the ceremony and reception on the pool deck of Star Lake Manor and it was absolutely perfect! Here are the costs for our entire 13 day wedding/honeymoon vacation:
- Rental home (also the venue) $3266
- Flights for bride and groom $438
- Car rental and gas for the week $145
- Bride’s attire $670
- Groom’s attire $430
- Groomsmen attire (also their gifts) $200
- Bridesmaids attire (also their gifts) $30
- Invites and postage $52
- Officiant's online ordination $17
- Marriage license $100
- Wedding rings $463
- Reception food and drinks $400
- Daiquiri and ice cream machines $350
- Rental chairs and tables $420
- Linens, plates, glasses, utensils $40
- Flowers $40
- Favours $100
- Decor $135
- Food and drinks for the week $100
- Theme park tickets FREE (Air Miles)
- NHL hockey game tickets $130
- Honeymoon (4 night cruise, 1 night at our pre-cruise hotel, cabs, onboard purchases, etc) $1774
- GRAND TOTAL (CAD): $9,300 or $6,700 (USD)!!
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We really wanted to keep our day personal. We didn’t want any strangers at our wedding, so we put our family’s talents to good use. My aunt was our officiant. She became an ordained minister online months before the wedding and did a wonderful job of the ceremony. Another one of my aunts was our photographer. She is so talented and our photos turned out beautifully. Two more aunts did the readings at our ceremony. Also, my brother played the mandolin while we signed our marriage certificate. The whole day was very personal and family oriented.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We did everything ourselves, with amazing help from family and friends and it helped save a TON of money. Some examples are:
– We bought EVERYTHING on sale or second hand.
– We used Air Miles to lower the costs of flights from Canada to Florida.
– We shared a car rental with friends to help save money.
– We made all of the food for the reception.
– We bought all of our own drinks, including alcohol.
– We held the ceremony and reception at the same place which helped keep costs down.
– We did all of the decorating ourselves.
– We didn’t have a DJ – just a Spotify playlist and a Bluetooth speaker system.
– A friend did my hair and I did my own makeup.
– We bought flowers at Publix the morning of the wedding and our friends made the bouquets.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Have the wedding you want. We decided that we wanted a casual, fun wedding – and that’s what we got! We were so happy with our day and wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. Don’t let anyone pressure you into having a certain type of wedding. Stand by what you and your partner want and your day will be perfect!
What was your biggest splurge?
The venue was definitely our biggest splurge. We spent 1/3 of our overall budget on the rental home, but it was absolutely worth the money. Not only was the home our venue for the ceremony and reception, but it was also our accommodations for the entire week in Kissimmee. It helped us save money on our food costs by having all of our meals at home. It had a games room, a movie theatre, and an amazing pool deck so it was also a lot of our entertainment for the week! The 9 friends that stayed with us also helped cover some of the cost of the home, so in the end – it was an extremely affordable venue!
What was your favorite detail?
We had a daiquiri machine and a soft service ice cream bar set up at the reception. It was so fun to help yourself to a daiquiri and ice cream sundae throughout the evening!
But I also just really loved the fact that we had a perfect, casual wedding day surrounded by our loved ones. And not only did we have a great day, but also a great “wedding week” with our friends and family in the sun! We spent the week shopping, going to theme parks, going to an NHL hockey game, and lounging by the pool. So many amazing memories were made and we’re already planning a 2 year reunion!
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
When my husband read his vows to me. We had both written our own vows for each other and in his vows, he had mentioned that “today, we have been together for 7 years, 8 months, and 9 days”. It turns out that I had also written that in my vows! I didn’t know that he had written that in his vows and he had no idea that I had written that in mine. He read his vows first, and I was in complete shock! Great minds think alike – guess we're meant to be!
Bride’s attire: David’s Bridal // Groom’s attire: Moore’s // Bridesmaids’ attire: Old Navy // Groomsmen’s attire: Moore’s // Invitations: Shutterfly // Bride’s wedding ring: Blue Nile // Groom’s wedding ring: Tungsten Affinity // Venue: Star Lake Manor // Reception food: Costco // Reception drinks: Wal-Mart // Flowers: Publix // Rental tables and chairs: Orlando Party and Wedding Rentals // Daiquiri and soft serve machines: Frozen Drink Man // Pre-cruise stay: Hampton Inn and Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport South and Cruise Port // Honeymoon: Celebrity Cruises
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.