What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We wanted a laidback, fun celebration with friends and family. As we considered wedding dates, we thought what could be more fun than a New Year’s Eve wedding! We skipped many of the traditional ceremony and reception traditions, opting for things we know we enjoy as wedding guests: good food, good entertainment, and good laughs.
It was important that the Bride’s daughters be involved in all aspects. Besides helping with planning and making event decisions, they had a part in the ceremony with the honor of giving away their mother and joining the end of our first dance.
The groom is a basketball enthusiast and a high school coach. His love for the game was incorporated with a unique basketball guestbook and a humorous, NBA-inspired wedding party entrance that left attendees chuckling.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
All of the bouquets, boutonnieres, and decor were DIY. We collected enough pinecones from family and friends to fill two 30 gallon containers. All other items were bought at thrift stores, dollar stores, or purchased at heavy discounts. All decor got a coat of silver or gold paint, then covered in Mod Podge and glitter. So much glitter! The Bride’s aunt is a talented DIYer who made the bridesmaids and bridal bouquets.
The Bride is a professional graphic designer, who created all of the wedding invites, menu cards, signage, and table place cards.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We kept the ceremony and reception short, starting at 7 p.m and ending after the midnight countdown. This meant many of the vendors time was shorter as well, and therefore less expensive. Opting to forgo live flowers also saved a large sum.
We took advantage of one of the country’s largest college towns (State College) being on winter break. Our venue rental was discounted 50% because it was during the wedding off-season with no additional charge for the holiday. For our guests, hotels in the area were significantly discounted. Vendors were eager for business during a normally slow time.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
We had two splurges: All-inclusive venue and photographer.
We did not want the hassle of coordinating rentals of tables and chairs or an off-site caterer. By choosing an all-inclusive venue, the planning was much easier. The location provided staff to flip spaces, tables and chairs, linens, plates, utensils, catering and bartending.
We wanted an experienced photographer to create lasting memories of our special day, so we could always look back to enjoy and relive. Additionally, our photographer had yet to fulfill her bucket list of shooting a NYE wedding. We all got exactly what we wanted!
What was your favorite detail?
Everything that glittered! The NYE theme was easy to create and the DIY decor looked spectacular.
Our humor and style were captured perfectly in all the little details, from our wedding invitations, to the ceremony, to the reception party entrance.
Some of our DIY décor is reused as holiday decorations in our home, bringing back great memories of the day. This includes the bride’s and daughter bridesmaids’ bouquets – one of our favorite details.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
All of it! We had a great time with friends and would not change a thing.
It was especially important to us that our day was fun, stress-free, and that our guests had a good time. The wedding invite set the tone, saying “No dress code. We just want everyone, including kids, to have a good time. Keep it casual or to the nine!”
We are eternally grateful that those wishes came true. AND, we did it all within our budget.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Do your research and allow time to do so.
When we started planning and requesting costs for venues, photographers, and DJs, we were quickly discouraged by costs that were way out of our budget. We did not give up hope, and eventually found vendors we loved and fit into our budget. By prioritizing our top three priorities (all-inclusive venue, availability on NYE, and quality photography), we matched our budget to these three items. We used customer reviews for many of our decisions and were not disappointed.
- Ring in the New Year with New Year Cards from Minted
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