How My Wedding and Honeymoon Went (On a Budget)

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Hey Ladies! I know I haven’t posted anything for a while now, so I realize this is probably overdue. I have so much to share and I thought you would all appreciate it :D.

So it is now October 1st, and I am still surprised that the years fly by so quickly. I have a few announcements to begin this all before I get into the wedding deets’ (details)… I’m married now and we are expecting our first child! So I will tell you all about the progress of the pregnancy and our choice in midwife & decision to have a water birth soon.

I was very thankful that me and Daniel had a short engagement (July 4th to September 6th 2015).  Just a little over two months, and I think that was the perfect amount of time for us. We had already been courting for over 2 years and our relationship was beginning to feel a little stalled and lacking in promise because we were holding so much back yet we cared so much for each other.

I know some people have no trouble with LONG engagements, but I think ours was perfect. Even though we didn’t entirely have everything prepared for our married life. Like, a house.

My parents have a particularly hard time letting go of their children. So when Daniel was talking with my dad about us getting married and letting him know we would be getting a house and not living here… my dad added the ‘condition’ in his blessing that we would have to live here (with my parents) for a few months before moving out. So we could save up as much money as possible. At first, I was really bummed out and… I cried. Thinking that we would never move out and my dad was always going to treat me like a child, and my mind was blowing things out of proportion. Everything seemed so much gloomier than it actually was… I’m not a dramatic person (although I do enjoy dramatic humor). I was scared of all of those things because that’s the life all of my other siblings have (including the married ones).

No one else ever moved out because my parents have never been very financially stable, and none of us wanted to feel like we were ‘abandoning the ship’. In my opinion though, marriage is the time for me to get off on my own ship with my husband and our future family. And for the time being, I am trying to help my parents incorporate a budget (my mother has trouble telling people ‘No’ when at the grocery store and buying lotto tickets). All that aside, here we are and we are doing our best to help them prepare emotionally and financially for their first child (I’m number 6 out of 8 children) to leave the nest.

Now! Into the fun stuff. My receipt book for the wedding, bridal shower/bachelorette party *we combined these into one long party because we wanted everyone to be able to make it, a lot of our guests didn’t come until the day before the wedding*, bachelor party and our post-marital vacation (the Honeymoon).
Please note Daniel and I paid for our wedding by ourselves excluding a few small items that my parents paid for or Daniel’s relatives paid for party decorations for the Bachelorette party.

The Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Party
There were a total of 11 ladies (we included every woman that came to the wedding because we had such a small wedding we wanted everyone to feel included in everything), we went kayaking in Seabrook Texas and then stopped by my (now) sister-in-law’s work. She unfortunately couldn’t make it to the party and to make her feel included we stopped by anyways to say hi and fill her in on the fun while picking up a few snacks then heading to our bachelorette party house (hosted by Daniel’s niece **and mine too I suppose :D). This cost me $150.00. ($30.00 for small gift bags for each of the ladies *even the one that couldn’t make it*, and $120.00 for the Kayaking event).

The Bachelor Party

I was really happy that we were able to get a Groupon for Daniel’s party. They went Paintballing and later on they went to the theater (I don’t remember what they saw.) It had too many suggestive comments for Daniel to actually enjoy the movie, but the other guys seemed to have a really good time especially at Paintball Bonanza! This party, with 8 guys (3 were unable to make it, otherwise it would’ve been 11 people at both parties lol) cost $269.00+. ($44.00 for the 12 all day passes and gear for paintball at Paintball Bonanza, $168 for paintballs when they arrived *21.00 of paintballs per person*, $57.00 for movie tickets and then snack money).

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The Wedding Costs
We had the wedding in my parents’ backyard, we made all the food at the house, including our wedding cake truffles *I made those by myself*, and we made almost all of the decorations.
Catering can be expensive unless you go for a smaller, family owned company. We looked into catering for a very short amount of time because the pricing was soo ridiculous and we had so little time we decided we would make it at the house on the morning of the wedding.

Summary cost of the wedding day…. *drum roll please*….. For a wedding with 22 people in attendance it cost around $920.
If we had added a few more people the cost wouldn’t have gone up very much. It would’ve been difficult to have anymore people fit on the patio for the reception though.

While I’m at this I will do a cost breakdown to give you an idea of what went where and how much we actually spent per person to hopefully give you an idea of how affordable your wedding (or daughter’s wedding) can be!

My dress, my only bridesmaid’s dress, my little sister’s dress and my sister-in-law’s dress + our shoes cost: $279.49. (We ordered all of our dresses and my hoop skirt from SammyDress.com and AliExpress.com. I purchased all of the shoes on ShoeDazzle.com).
The Groom’s & Groomsman’s attire: Daniel didn’t want to go the traditional black and white + tie route. So he went with a button up under a vest with a bow tie and had Josh (my brother, his Groom’s man) sport a periwinkle dress shirt with a bowtie and no vest. They made the shoes and pants they already owned work for the day of the wedding. That helped save some money! So if you can do that or are interested I would consider it ;).. The total cost spent here was: $79.96. (Daniel ordered the shirts off of Belk.com, bow ties from Amazon.com and his vest from Ebay.com).

Food: We did all the food at home, like I said, so the cost of our food was just the ingredients. I will separate drinks and food but will include things like the toothpicks and skewers in the food price. Total cost for food was $97.53.
We had a brunch time wedding and served Brie En Croute with pita chips, homemade kosher sushi (my little sister is a pro at it!), Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs *we bought these and I cubed/marinaded the chicken, but sadly in the scramble of the morning the chicken got left in the fridge, never kabobed and never cooked 😦 *, Caprese salad on a toothpick, turkey meatballs with homemade jam-chili sauce on a mini fork, kosher spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce, Bruschetta and pita chips, and vegan cake truffles sweetened half with stevia and the other half sweetened with sugar. In the end, with the heat, it was definitely more food than we actually needed. It was all small and light foods (which you can get away with at a brunch time wedding 😉 ), and everyone had plenty! My parents said they and the guests dinner on the wedding leftovers until the third day of our honeymoon! lol So you could definitely spend way less in the food department if you take the time to carefully calculate serving sizes or have your guests select their meal choices beforehand.

If I could do it again, I would get a little less of everything. Because, there are still sauces and club sodas in my parents’ pantry cupboard lol and for drinks we had bottled Martinelli Sparkling Apple Juice, Watermelon Slushies, and Ginger Mint Agave Soda (Recipe is Season’s 52 Copy Cat), this cost around $17.40. (I can’t give you an exact number here because the watermelon is in the food cost, and we made the slushies, and the ginger mint sodas, but add the food/drink cost and you will get the right number).

Summary: we spent $5.23/per person on food and drinks at our wedding. Everyone LOVED the food. They all had plenty. I think that is a happy ending! lol

Decorations, Seating, Dining ware:
1.We had a runner (I personally glued every fake rose petal to that runner so that no one would have to clean up rose petals after we left) — $21.60 @ Joann’s Fabric for the runner and $15.56 for 1500 rose petals ordered from http://www.efavormart.com/ and the glue sticks were about $2.67/bag we used 5 or more bags (we had 3 at the house already, so I only needed two from Walmart).
2.There were countless paper flowers decorating the fences around the ceremony and the reception area, each one was made of the tissue paper that was used for the inside of a present, $0.99 for a pack of 20 – 36 sheets. We bought a total of 10 packs. $9.90 (You can look on YouTube.com or my pinterest for video tutorials to make your own giant or tiny paper flowers 🙂
3.Plastic roses from the 99 cents store $10.89
4.Plastic 3D butterflies 1 pack of 48 from AliExpress.com $6.48
5.Two bouquets that Daniel had to pick up on the morning of the wedding (… poor guy lol) 3.99 each plus tax $8.64 (picked up at our local Aldi’s)
6.100% Soy Wax Unity Candle + 50 Floating Tea Light Candles + a post honeymoon Rendevouz candle for our bedroom $30.00 from PrismAura.com
7. Wrapped the tables in wrapping paper to pretty them up instead of tablecloths, $7.00 (bought 7 rolls, for our one 32″ and four 36″ tables)
8. Center pieces freshly picked flowers from along the fence + 2 bags smooth spa rocks to hold the flowers down + the floating candles and water. I already mentioned the candles prices. We purchased 4 large clear Wine Goblets and 1 Medium/Small Wine Goblet ($1.00 each @ Dollar Tree) $7.00.
9.  104 yds of Tulle and 75 yds Organza for decorating the porch / trees, 3pks of 10 chair sashes $66.53
10. 1pk of 36 Bubbles, Tiny bells that we tied then glued onto the send-off bubbles’ bottles, 2 pks of napkins (different colors) from Party City for $20.52.
11. Because this wedding was in the backyard we painted the concrete a light pistachio green to make it look cleaner and just overall, more festive. We managed to catch a sale for almost everything we purchased. The paint we picked just so happened to be discontinued after we bought it so it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to come by near the end and cheap in the beginning. We bought 4 gallons of concrete paint for $47.66. (Home Depot)
12. 22 Chairs & 5 Tables $106.45 from Event and Tent Party Rentals. ($2.50/chair and around $7.00/table)
13. Plates & Cups were from Kroger (we get a 10% discount, cause Daniel works there) $13.98
14. 6pks of 12 Silverware ($6.00 @ Dollar Tree), ice bucket ($1.08 @ Dollar Tree), serving trays & dip bowls ($16.15), eyebrow threading ($10 @ a local salon), 3 tiered glass cake truffle display tower ($19.99 @ Target), two glass drink dispensers ($14.98 @ Aldi’s).

So we could’ve easily added 8-10 more guests without needing anything other than a few more chairs and 1-2 more tables. $778.45 went to Pre-Parties and attire, and food + decorations cost $562.00. Overall a really inexpensive wedding! 🙂

There’s so much that went on in this tiny little wedding, I was so surprised. First of all, if you’re about to get married, it’s no joke that you need to be making lists/schedules and communicating with everybody involved so everyone knows what is going on, when and who needs to prepare what. I was hoping me and Daniel could do most (if not ALL) of the work. BIG MISTAKE. I did however accomplish my main goal. I had a laid back, fairly inexpensive and low maintenance wedding. It was beautiful. I definitely recommend that you call in favors and make sure that everyone who is helping plans on it. For us the morning of the wedding I was in my pajamas in the kitchen cooking until my dad told me to go get ready.. I had about 45 minutes before the wedding started. Needless to say we didn’t start the wedding at 11am lol!

When we shopped for anything -decorations, food, my dress, etc- we looked around online and at a few stores to guarantee the best quality and right quantity for the best price. My sister’s have a candle company so I ordered my candles from them and only spent $30.00 for our huge scented unity candle the two long lighting candles, and 50 little floating tealight candles for our centerpieces. I also got a huge 20oz Rendevouz candle for our bedroom that we lit as soon as we got home from the vacation. I use the left over candles now in the hanging candle lanterns above our bed! 🙂

Honeymoon

And for our honeymoon we stayed in the Galleria / Downtown Houston Texas area. We booked our room through Travelocity.com and got a great deal! The entire honeymoon including a few fun outings and food/water/drinks was less than $599.00! We were gone for 6 whole days. We definitely did our best to keep it inexpensive while still thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Since we saved ourselves for marriage we were so excited just to be able to share a bed we didn’t need to go out much to have a good time. We stocked up our mini fridge with healthy snacks,we still went out to dinner and to the theatre, we had planned on going to the beach for a boat ride but decided instead to go to an art museum for free.

It was more important to us that we were together than anything else. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to have a lovely wedding or a romantic honeymoon. It would’ve been nice to see more things but trust me… we have the rest of our lives to adventure and travel more. If your wedding and honeymoon aren’t lavish & expensive that is money you can use for buying your home, paying off your debts or taking a trip later on in life.

I hope you guys enjoyed this and as always I would love to hear your thoughts or questions, how did you save money on your wedding? How do you think we did on our wedding? Have a blessed day! 🙂 ❤

See also, How Was Our Wedding Different? Details about our day.

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