What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We chose to have the ceremony at our church and our reception venue was at a local garden where we had our first kiss and got engaged.
Several of our vendors were friends who have businesses in the wedding industry. It was wonderful to support them and also celebrate with them on the big day!
Both of us are very close to our families, so at the reception we included photos of our parents and grandparents’ wedding days to honor them.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
I ordered templates from Etsy for our ceremony program and other signage at the reception. One of the bridesmaids has a graphic design background and made the invitations herself, and we printed them at a local print shop.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We figured out our priorities right from the beginning, so that made it easier to decide what was worth spending on. The ambiance, photography, and food were most important – while having a live band, elaborate cake, and lots of decor was not. Also, while choosing vendors, we were very up front with them about our budget. It was important to us to pay them fairly, while also setting everyone’s expectations on the front end. We also had our wedding reception in the afternoon!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Know what’s important to you, and stick with it. People have a lot of opinions about what’s right, but that doesn’t always mean it’s best for you and your partner. It’s also okay if your priorities change a bit during wedding planning. Initially, our linens were not a high priority, but when we realized that we wanted some more expensive, thicker ones, we cut down costs in other areas to be able to rent them.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our reception venue was definitely our biggest splurge!
What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail was our reception venue. We chose to have few florals or decorations and the space really spoke for itself. It had a modern but also cozy feel, with all-white walls, large windows with natural light, and beautiful wood beams in the bridal suite. We were able to get ready and have our first look there before going to the church.
It was also incredibly meaningful to have our reception at the same park where we had some of our first few dates and got engaged. It felt like our relationship had come full circle.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Just before our exit, the DJ had everyone circle around us for a slow dance. We were able to take a moment and soak in the presence of our family and close friends gathered with us. It was so special to have them there to celebrate with us and to feel their enthusiastic support for us as we began our marriage.