A $16,299 Maui Lahaina Loft Wedding (140 Guests)
Choice of lobster mac & cheese, fried quail & waffles, steak & potatoes, or mushroom risotto for 75 people, plus appetizers
All-day use of property
All-day use of venue, tables, chair, linens, uplighting, chair covers, dance floor, speakers, wooden centerpieces and lanterns
All day coverage. Merinda was visiting from St. Louis to shoot another couple’s engagement the next day and gave us a great deal!
Open bar with beer, wine, and 2 signature cocktails
All day coverage. They were building their portfolio and did an incredible job!
Family friend made cake for cutting, Krispy Kreme for guests (120 assorted donuts)
75 Chairs for ceremony (we forgot 13 people would be standing and ordered way too many!)
We made our own flowers the day before. Enough for 7 bouquets, 5 boutonnieres, and 12 centerpieces.
Sign, cake topper, faux eucalyptus, picture frames, paint, crates, trays – we resold almost everything after the wedding for $50
Allure Romance 3015 – got a sample off the rack
My seamstress hand-made my veil using the lace from my mom’s wedding dress. She also took my dress in from a size 10 to a size 0, aded a belt and bustle, and made the sleeves detachable for dancing.
Bridesmaids: robes, facemasks, lotion, lipstick, shooter, handwritten card. Groomsmen: cigar, zippo lighter, flask filled with whisky
Grey suit, utilized lots of coupons and got it 50% off!
We designed our own invitation suite using an Etsy template
Printed the custom design. ALL RSVPs were online, so less printing and postage!
Cheaper than renting glassware, and was able to re-sell them for $50 after the wedding
Re-sold after the wedding for the same price
100 sparklers for the staged exit
We love to travel, so this was a no-brainer for us for a unique guest book that we’ll actually use!
When we were planning our wedding, it was really important for us to keep things small and intimate, and focused on the celebration and not the “stuff.” We didn’t want to be in debt at the end of it, and did our best to keep costs low without it feeling too DIY or putting extra stress on people. I’ve worked in the wedding industry both as an event coordinator at a wedding venue and as a wedding photographer for a while now, which helped me decipher what I felt was worth spending a good portion of our budget on, and what we could DIY or skip altogether. Luckily we have a lot of incredibly generous, talented friends and family who stepped in to provide services, which made the day that much more special! We knew we didn’t want to skimp on the food or the photography, wanted an outdoor ceremony in the mountains, and needed it to be accessible for our grandparents. We love to dance, so it was also important to us to have a great space to party with our friends and family at the end of the night! Because Colorado weather can be so unpredictable, we made sure to have an indoor space for the reception in case of bad weather.
We found it really helpful to utilize businesses who were just getting started (our reception venue and our videographers), which helped us save a huge amount of money. Our photographer lives out of state and was wanting to photograph a couple while she was visiting Colorado, so we were able to get an incredible rate with her as well. If there’s one thing I don’t recommend skimping on though, it is the photography. We’re 6 months out now and I am so glad we found someone we loved, because our video and our photos are really the only two things we have left from the day!
Another huge cost-saver was getting creative with my dress. When I was looking for a dress, I had a hard limit of $250. I ordered sample dresses online from Lulu’s and Brideside (these were technically bridesmaid dresses, but came in ivory!) and found a couple that I really liked during a try-on party with my bridesmaids and mom at my parent’s house. My mom talked me into going to a bridal store just to see what they had before I made a final decision. The first two stores I went to weren’t super successful and pushed me to buy dresses WAY out of my price range, but the last one we went to was a dream! I told the owner, Danielle, exactly what I was looking for and my budget. Because my budget was so small, I told her I only wanted to look at bridesmaid dresses that came in white because I didn’t want to fall in love with something I couldn’t afford. She pulled a ton of gorgeous dresses that fit the bill for me to try on, and snuck in a sample wedding dress that was on sale and right in my budget at the very end. When I put it on, my mom immediately started crying and I knew it was the one! Wedding dresses can be one of the bigger costs, so don’t be afraid to look around several places and get creative. And definitely leave any store that is putting pressure on you to buy something, especially if it’s not what you truly want!
Making your own bouquets and boutonnieres is a lot simpler than you might think, and can save you a HUGE amount of money! We put our flower request in about a week before our wedding with Trader Joe’s and were able to pick everything up the morning before our wedding. I had a blast making the bouquets with my mom, mother-in-law, and bridesmaids, and our best man did a great job with the boutonnieres! We spent a fraction of what we would have if we hadn’t done it on our own, and ended up with WAY more flowers than we needed! When our wedding was over, my mom pressed by bouquet, which I now have framed above our bed, and we dropped the rest of the flowers off at our local domestic violence shelter so they were put to good use while we were on our honeymoon. Definitely consider donating your flowers (shelters and nursing homes are great options!) instead of throwing them away at the end of the night!
At the end of the day, I think the biggest takeaway is to remember to focus on WHY you’re having a wedding. Looking back, there’s so many things we really could have gone without, and that probably would have made the day a bit less stressful if we didn’t have to worry about them getting set up that morning. I firmly believe that as long as you are married to the love of your life by the end of it, the little details don’t matter nearly as much as you might think they do in the long run!