Today’s budget-savvy wedding shines with the loveliest of details! I love how Elizabeth and Carlos created an outdoor wedding with a classy and elegant flair while incorporating so many personal elements. I’m especially smitten with the monogram cake topper Carlos made for their wedding cake. Enjoy today’s outdoor NY wedding with handmade details! xoxo, Jessica
Elizabeth + Carlos
August 22, 2015
Erin, NY | Backyard Wedding
What was your budget?
$10,000, (we came in under $9000, not counting our plane tickets to the US, we live in Chile). We spent 28% on catering and alcohol, 22% on tent and chair rental, 20% on the photographer, 12% bride and groom’s look, 7% on ceremony music and audio equipment rental, 6% on decorations and flowers, 3% on an officiant, and 2% on stationary.
How many guests did you have?
We invited 110, and about 80 attended.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We had it on my parent’s property near my home, which immediately made it very personal. We helped design our own ceremony, including a hand fasting, and had readings in both English and Spanish. Our ceremony and readings directly reflected our personalities, backgrounds, and beliefs which was really important to us.
One of our more personal aspects was the cake topper which Carlos designed and made himself.
My sisters and I also used my grandmother’s favorite nail polish which I had been saving for my wedding since she passed away in 2001 and I had the heart locket she gave me in my bouquet. My “something blue” was hidden in my bouquet, a tiny “fairy winkle” toy with a blue flower head from when I was about 5 years old.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Instead of having a DJ for the reception we rented audio equipment, I got Spotify premium and made a Spotify playlist, and my cousin was the MC. And we brought wine for the wedding in big suitcases from Chile (it’s really good wine for only $3 a bottle).
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Don’t forget to consider certain grocery stores as vendors. Our cakes, chocolate chip cookie favors, and centerpiece flowers came from a local grocery store. They didn’t have the wedding-price bloat like traditional vendors and they went above and beyond in every way.
Spanx cost way more at a certain mainstream bridal store. You can get them for way less at Target.
What was your biggest splurge?
The photographer. She was very reasonably priced and worth every penny, but it was still a larger portion of our budget than we were planning on paying.
What was your favorite detail?
The arch my family made from dried grape vines and covered in flowers. The hand-embroidered guestbook my maid-of-honor Jaime made for us.
We had a punch called “Copa America” because Chile had recently won a very important soccer North and South America-wide championship that summer for the first time. It’s a pun because the championship is called “The American Cup” and it is a cup of punch. Get it? Also, the fireworks.
During our welcome speech we announced all the countries that were represented at our wedding. We had guests from something like 10 or 15 different countries since our friends are from all over the world. It was really fun announcing each one like a gameshow host.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
I think one of my favorite moments was when I was dancing with my mom and sisters and I felt so happy to be surrounded by everyone that I loved.
A stray sparkler spark went down my dress and set my silicone bra burning. I literally burned my bra at my wedding! Viva feminism! Luckily, I smothered it, but the melted plastic left a small scar. It could have been way worse. Unknowingly, my photographer captured this moment and my pained face looks exactly like I am having a great time.
Photographer: Smile Peace Love Creative • Cake and Decor: Wegmans Elmira (local grocery store) • Cupcakes: Light’s Bakery • Minister: Rev Darcy Laine • Rentals: Rick’s Rental World • Flowers: Floral Fantasy • Hair and Makeup: Platinum Hair Salon • PA System: McNiel Music • Ceremony Music: Tim Ball
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, 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! Learn more here.