What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Photography: $0 (personal friend)
- Dress: $160
- Favors: $50
- Venue: $1,500 (included finger food catering, cake, champagne, wine, beer; chairs and décor)
- Flowers: $30
- Groom’s attire: $400 light gray suit (Men’s Warehouse, office suit)
- Flights/ Bahia Principe Resort: $2500 3 Flights (myself, my husband, and our 2.5 year old daughter at the time)
Total Budget: $5,000
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We chose colors and cake, decorations, etc that were provided by the resort. We got creative and personal when we decided we really wanted to do this wedding as cost-efficient as possible.
I made my own bouquet and the flower elements for my husband and our daughter (flower girl). We worked together in the weeks leading up to the wedding to put together a wedding playlist with songs that meant a lot to us on Spotify and had his sister act as the DJ.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
The bouquets were handmade by me; my hair decorations were also handmade, and we made our own jar to pour sand into.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We side-stepped the resort’s “wedding package” by telling them we were having an event and saved a few thousand by recreating the wedding package we wanted. We figured out early on that the word “wedding” would automatically up the costs of everything. The guy we were working with didn’t figure it out until the day before our wedding and at that point, we had a good working relationship so he didn’t care, he actually comped all of our champagne when he found out.
We also took care of the marriage certificate in the US because the DR has a $400 marriage license fee as opposed to the US $90 we paid. We also had a friend that has a great camera and some photography experience do all of our photos. It was his wedding gift to us.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Know what you want then do your research. If you are truly on a budget, remember that it shouldn’t be about what everyone else wants you to do.
We did not have a traditional wedding party (best man, etc). We invited family and close friends and knew that there would be people that wouldn’t be able to travel to the resort, so we both made a video and had friends do lives/facetime so they could watch.
What was your biggest splurge?
The flights over. Our daughter was 2.5 at the time and it was our wedding, so we splurged on first-class airline tickets. It was worth every penny.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Our wedding cake actually turned out really well even though we never told the resort it was actually a wedding cake! We try to recreate it every year on our anniversary here but it’s hard to find a bakery that can replicate it.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
We realized that 2 pm in July was HOT but couldn’t change the time of the actual ceremony. So we got through the ceremony and jumped in the water in our wedding attire. We didn’t plan it beforehand, but the pictures turned out great and it was an amazing memory to share with family and friends.