Hi budget savvy brides! I’m so excited to get to share my wedding plans with you all over the next couple of months. I’ve been following BSB since—well, let’s be honest—since before we got engaged, so to now be a guest blogger is terribly exciting. Let me tell you a little about me, my fiancé John and our wedding.
Me and my John:
John and I met through a mutual friend in 2009. After a few months of friendship, I realized I really wanted to be with him when he quit his cushy job to live in a tent in the woods. I knew I wanted to marry him after we lived together in a van for 3 months, traveling the western United States with our dog. The proposal wouldn’t come for another couple of years, but the wait was worth it. John proposed on a trip to Puerto Rico last August, in the crystal clear, shallow waters Playa Media Luna. There was no build up speech, just a kiss and suddenly a ring and “Hey Amber…will you marry me?” Although I expected the proposal to happen on our trip, I didn’t expect him to bring the ring into the water, so in my surprise I responded with “duh!”
We’ll be getting married Saturday August 9, 2014, with a budget of about $11,500. The theme is pretty loose, but I try to come back to the 3 adjectives we decided on: fun, intimate, and outdoors. For the fun aspect, there will be hundreds of yarn pom poms and a piñata. The intimacy comes in with our guest list: we’re keeping the guest list small–the venue only holds 44 people. After our immediate family and wedding party is counted, that leaves us with 14 spots for other guests. Our colors are John’s favorite color blue and my favorite color yellow. The blue and yellow also goes beautifully with our venue, which has the blue of the water and fields of yellow wildflowers.
To celebrate our love and connection in the outdoors, we knew we wanted an outdoor wedding. We ended up booking the first spot we saw: Camano Island State Park. The indoor space is small, but that’s all we need, and there are windows all around to look at the gorgeous view. The best part: we booked our venue for 3 days (Friday set up, Sunday take down), 5 cabins and the group campground for 2 nights, totaling only $1136!
Food & cake:
John and I have a passion for organic, local, and mostly vegetarian cuisine. Lucky for us, in the park next door to ours is a café that caters that focuses on those things. Since our venue has two gigantic grills, we figured we should either use them, or they’d be big eyesores. So, our menu included grilled salmon and veggie kabobs.
The cake was something that I thought would take awhile to find, but we ended up booking our first tasting. It’s a local bakery with great prices and even better cake. After two bites at the tasting we realized there was no need to look further.
When John and I sat down to make a list of what’s most important to us, I overwhelmingly said photography. John and I ended up clicking with Jessie Buttermore of Jessie B. Photography. She was calm, cool and collected and her photos have a sweet and candid feel for them. We put in our deposit and had our engagement session.
But then, 6 months before our wedding, we got an email from her: she was pregnant, and due about a week after our wedding. So, it was back to the drawing board for us. I knew that quality cheap photographers for a sunny Saturday in August book quick, so we went full throttle on our second search. After sending out about 30 emails in 24 hours to photographers within our budget, we only got 1 hit back, and upon further portfolio perusing, I wasn’t enthusiastic about their work. So John and I discussed it and decided to up our budget. After many more emails, we finally got a hit: Lucas Mobley. We met up with him and not only is he a super cool guy with a great vibe, his photography is exquisite. He was originally a photojournalist for newspapers, so when he went into wedding photography, he naturally shot photojournalist style. With “photojournalist” being such a trending word, there are a lot of photographers out there that claim to do it, but this guy is the Real Deal.
I’ve heard of brides feeling an overwhelming, giddy “Oh. My. God. I’m getting married! I’m going to be a bride!” feeling when they find their dress. I got that feeling when we booked our photographer.
I don’t want to say too much about my dress because I know John will be reading this. I ended up with something a little different than I went searching for—as my dress consultant said “You never know how big the princess inside of you is until you start trying on wedding gowns!” I truly wasn’t prepared for how the dress would make me feel.
You know that cheesey thing people say happens where “You’ll know when you find it.”? That’s what happened for me—with my wedding gown and future husband.
So that’s a brief intro to us. Can’t wait to share this journey with the readers of BSB!
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 pandemic wedding resources here.