As many of you know, I recently got married in September and have finally decided to share my wedding details with you all.
I got engaged in March of 2018 and knew I did not want a long engagement.
My now husband and I discussed what we wanted and what we did not want for our wedding.
We both agreed it would be small and we absolutely did not want to get into debt for this one day.
A wedding is a very intimate celebration and while there is nothing wrong with having a big wedding, Javier and I knew we wanted to keep things simple but with a personal touch to each and every detail.
Let’s start with the most important detail; the wedding dress.
I have a far from perfect body and was very worried about what I would look like in a wedding dress but asked around on where I should start.
Of course, I started with David’s Bridal not thinking I would find anything on my first visit but I did! I tried on three dresses and they were all very lovely but the one I chose made me feel like a bride.
The dress I chose was a traditional ballgown dress and the details were absolutely beautiful! It fit my body perfectly and my favorite thing about my wedding dress was that it was on sale! You can find it here and it’s still on sale! (My dress was the Ivory & Champagne color.)
After I found my perfect dress, I felt a small sigh of relief before I had to plan everything else. I highly recommend choosing your wedding dress first because it will take time to have it shipped in your size and have alterations made. (Research a seamstress around town if you can! Having alterations done can cost just as much as your wedding dress.)
Next, the venue:
My husband and I are immensely blessed for our Maid of Honor and her parents who offered their home to us for our special day.
Yes, we had a backyard wedding and looking back it was honestly the prettiest wedding I’ve ever been to. (Of course I may be biased.)
For the duration of our engagement (which was six months in total), I went to endless thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales for vintage dishes, goblets and candlestick holders, vases and candy trays for our wedding reception. I collected them all throughout the six months and had the perfect amount when our big day finally came. If you’re wondering, I did keep everything except for the vases. Those were the centerpieces and were for anyone and everyone to take home.
Believe it or not, I ordered my flowers in bulk from Sam’s Club for my centerpieces and made the arrangements myself with the help of my Maid of Honor and mother the night before. I ordered “100 Mini Sunflowers” which weren’t that “Mini” at all, 50 pieces of “Eucalyptus Leaves” and 50 pieces of “Mixed Greenery” for fillers.
I ordered them a month before the wedding and had them delivered 3 days before the wedding so that they could open up a bit.
Along with the bulk flowers, I also order this “Sunflower Wedding Collection” for the bridal party and myself. Everything came assembled so all I had to do once it was delivered was place everything in the refrigerator to keep cool.
The last two pieces I ordered from Sam’s were two enormous and beautiful arrangements to have at our Kingdom Hall. We placed one by our “Sign In” book and one on stage where we took our vows.
All of our flowers lasted for weeks! I came home from my two week honeymoon and found my bridal bouquet still alive.
If you’re curious to look into Sam’s Club for flowers for a special occasion, click here.
Unfortunately I have no pictures of our main meal but I have yet to hear a complain of what we served.
My brother’s older neighbor owned a catering truck so he asked him if he would smoke five briskets for him that day. My brother provided the meat and the neighbor smoked them for us, we also had 50 lbs. of grilled chicken prepared for us thanks to my brother and for our sides, Javier and I went to local restaurants to taste test for a few weeks until we agreed on Soulman’s Bar-B-Que.
Our Cake & Dessert Table:
Fortunately for me, my aunt and uncle had our cake made from a friend they grew up with and has made several of their cakes for special occasions and three of their adult children gifted Javier and I with a table full of sweet treats for everyone to take home. It was definitely a nice surprise and a huge financial burden lifted off of our shoulders. (Wooden cake topper came from a garage sale I went to! It was brand new and still in it’s box. Cake cutters were gifted to me by my former sweet co-worker who was like a mother to me.)
I distinctly remember planning my wedding and knowing I would be trying to save money in every possible way but wanting to splurge on a nice backdrop for photos. I came across Fab Little Designs and was obsessed with what I saw. I visited their website which you can find here to view their pricing and options.
They were local, affordable, very professional and best of all, they did all the work! While I was taking my bridal photos, the owner text me to let me know her team was on their way and when they finished delivering and setting up.
I highly recommend them!
Our sign in book was beautifully made by Parabo Press
Our DJ was the very professional Art Duarte, I would definitely book him again.
Our wonderful photographer for our special day was Roldan Rivas. Worth every penny and he captured so many candid moments which is exactly what I wanted.
Our wedding favors really came from the heart for me and I had them custom made. I kept in touch with a beekeeper from Buda, TX and had him harvest this honey for our wedding favors and had these seed bombs made only customized to look like sunflowers.
Napkins were a huge surprise from my grandmother who felt that every wedding should have personalized napkins.
Even after I protested that not many people do that anymore, she felt every classic wedding needs them. Quote of course, is from Toy Story (My favorite childhood movie.)
Tablecloths, seat covers and bows were provided by a cousin of Javier’s whom we were so grateful for! (Try and reach out to anyone who does party rentals. You more than likely know of one person who has something to offer.)
Mirror & Calligraphy:
My mirror came from a thrift store where I found it marked down to 50% off and took it home to spray paint over it a bronze color and had a sweet friend Haley write out our names and illustrate flowers with her lovely calligraphy skills.
Tea Cups and saucers were rented from a vendor on Craigslist for anyone who wanted coffee throughout our reception.
Our Sweetheart Table was decorated with an old tablecloth of my mothers she uses for special occasions and the “Bride & Groom” wood cutouts I received as a gift when I was engaged.
“Mr. & Mrs.” wood cutouts I bought from a Bridal Garage Sale held earlier in the Spring.
From time to time I get asked about wedding tips and this is what I’d like for every Bride to Be/Engaged Couple to consider before the big day:
- Be open and honest with each other about what you want and what you do not want and be firm about it from the start.
- Everyone is going to give you their opinion of what they think you should have but keep in mind that they are not paying for anything and later on they won’t be the ones in debt.
- Having a huge and glamorous wedding is truly beautiful but small and intimate weddings can be just as lovely, don’t let others make you feel insecure and please do not compete.
- Go thrifting for unique pieces for your special day. There are so many things you could find that will set you apart without breaking the bank.
- Save coupons and watch for sales anywhere and everywhere.
- Talk to former brides and see if they have anything from their big day they would like to resell or give away to a Bride to Be in need.
- Stay organized! That is priority. I don’t know how anyone can plan a wedding without having everything organized in a planner or binder.
- If you don’t have Amazon Prime already, maybe speak to someone close to you who does because it will come in handy when you need last minute things. (Example: For my wedding favors, I bought satchel bags in bulk to hold my seed bombs and jars of honey. Our personalized wooden ring box even came from Amazon and you can find it here.)
- Utilize Walgreens for photos! I ordered my “Save the Dates,” printed a poster sized photo of Javier and I for our Wedding Shower, ordered a custom printed Wooden Panel to place by our “Sign In” book and printed 100 wallet sized photos of us to place in the Wedding Favor bags. I used a promo code for each order and saved so much money!
- When thinking of invitations, look into Vistaprint. Yes, they do more than just make business cards. They make beautiful invitations and so much more! (Javier and I chose a design similar to these for our invitations, envelopes, reception cards, and entrance sign.)
- Focus more on having a place to live after you get married rather than spending so much for just one day. I know you want everything right then and there but a home is the biggest gift you could give to yourselves and you and your partner deserve to be alone together to have your own space and privacy.
- If someone offers to help, accept it!
- INVEST into a decent photographer! I cannot stress that enough. Don’t just go with someone because they are the cheapest you could find. You will only have these photos to live off of for the rest of your life so make sure they are worth it and make sure you find a photographer you are comfortable with. The moment you get engaged, start researching a photographer and reach out to more than just a few. Reach out to as many as you’d like!
- Don’t feel bad if you decide to not serve alcohol at your wedding, if you decide to not have children allowed at your wedding or if you decide you can’t invite just anyone and everyone.
- Pick a loyal bridal party. The people who have supported you from day one and who will be there to talk some sense into you when you feel like you don’t want a wedding anymore. (Also, if you choose to not have a bridal party, that’s fine too!)
- The most important tip I can give you honestly is to pray. Pray for strength and endurance to get through this process, pray for obedience to deal with family members, pray for insight on how to spend your money wisely and more than anything, pray for God to bless you and your partner on this beautiful new journey you two are embarking on.
Javier and I are eternally grateful for the love and support our families gave to us while planning our wedding and we are so thankful we decided to plan something small, pay for the majority of it ourselves and not go into debt. We were able to really enjoy our honeymoon and come back home without any added anxieties or debts.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns that I can address regarding budgeting for a wedding, please feel free to reach out to me and drop a comment below or send me a DM on Instagram.