First Comes Love, Then Comes Wedding Planning

Wedding planning has me like:

What? You thought I was going say that I’m losing my mind? That I just want to elope already? That love is overrated and marriage is a waste of time and money?


In all honesty, I think the key to keeping your whits about you while planning a wedding is…. wait for it…. keep it small.

Our guest list at the very start was around 30 people (which is the number we gave to the caterer). Now that invites have been sent out and RSVPs are rolling in, it’s looking like we’ll have about 26 people attending. Do you know what that means? It means less stress than if we had invited everyone we knew and more enjoying time with people we actually give a damn about. It also means that we’ll have enough food for our photographer, videographer, and musician. Yay!

Since our wedding will be so intimate, Fella and I have decided to not have a wedding party. There is no rule saying that we have to have people standing alongside us during the ceremony, so instead, all of our friends and family will be seated watching us say our vows- reveling in our beauty and mushy-gushy love for one another, while we keep what monies we would have spent on the wedding ‘extras’ in our pockets.

One of our main concerns going into planning a wedding was how much throwing this kind of shindig costs. I’d done some research before actually planning to see what averages are for weddings locally. I about caused Myocardial infarctions in both Fella and myself when I read that the average spent on a wedding in our area was about $29,000! Who has that kind of money to spend on a wedding!?

Since that point, I’ve been on a mission to keep costs low:

  • Our venue will double as the ceremony and reception space and was priced extremely reasonably.
  • I’ve made our Save the Dates and Invitations (courtesy of this Etsy printable).
  • I’ve been making my own decor such as a sign for our cake/cupcake table that reads: “I Love You More Than Cupcakes” that will be hung in our kitchen after the fact and our guestbook accoutrements (we’re doing a Bucket List of adventures).
  • We will be providing our own drinks and dinnerware for the reception to avoid the 30% hike from the caterer.
  • I’m having my caterer make my cake and cupcakes, so I was able to score a ‘package deal’ and not worry about 2 separate shipping costs.
  • I bought my wedding dress off the rack during a inventory clearance event and scored $400 off.
  • I’ve opted for a faux flower bouquet (this one with lavender instead of pink flowers) and boutonniere instead of real ones (have you seen the prices for those things!?) and as a bonus I’ll have a pretty keepsake.
  • I won a slight discount off my videographer by shamelessly plugging a Facebook contest whenever and wherever I could to secure votes (for those who are curious, I lost to first place by only 4 votes, but the business owner felt bad for me, so he gave me $350 off!).
  • I bought my wedding shoes secondhand from a girl who wore them once and sold them to me at a 75% discount compared to buying them new.
  • I’ve booked an old friend from grade school as my photographer who is just starting out and is working on building her portfolio (major discount and free engagement shoot included!).
  • I’ve used a free wedding website builder to offer guests wedding details and track RSVPs online.

As you can see, I’ve worked very hard on keeping the budget low while still getting what I want and then some. With everything pretty much already planned, our total is hoovering right around $12,000 (not including our honeymoon to Belize(!)). That is less than half of the average cost I mentioned earlier. Woo!

I have managed to plan an amazing evening to share with family and friends that will celebrate Fella and my’s love for one another, and I am beyond excited. We are exactly 100 days away from saying “I Do” and I couldn’t be any happier.

Are you planning a wedding? Need any tips or insights? I know how daunting it all can seem- sometimes you just need someone to tell you you’re making the right decision. Do you have a wedding planning nightmare story to share? It could potentially ease the nerves of those of us in the thick of it…

29 thoughts on “First Comes Love, Then Comes Wedding Planning

  1. We have been exactly the same budgeting, I’ve yet to post about the wedding planning but I will! We get married around the same time πŸ™‚ So happy your videographer gave you discount, but 4 VOTES!!!! ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds amazing! I love the idea of a small wedding and not having to go into debt just to make it happen. If I ever get married, that’s what will happen – small and simple. I don’t even want a dance after (yeah, that simple!) But the kids I nanny have other ideas…they have picked a date already, and there will be a chocolate fountain, and a fog machine, and LOTS of dancing from my own private DJ. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just sighed heavily.

    I haven’t even chosen my date yet never mind anything else! I am only just getting around to emailing venues and even that seems exhausting. There is NO WAY we can keep it small considering just family members are 200 people. Just….

    I still think eloping looks like a good idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whoa! 200 people just with family!? That’s a little much. I think with my family alone, we would have about 70, but only about 10 have been invited. My rule: if I haven’t seen or spoken to them in the past year, then they’re not invited. And Fella’s family just let us know they won’t be able to make it. 😦

      I still say you and Scrubs should elope and then have a gathering to celebrate for friends and family, but obviously it’s your wedding. Whatever you decide will be wonderful!


  4. Absolutely love your approach! If I can’t successfully convince boyfriend (soon to be fiance, he swears he’s proposed before my birthday this year!) to go with a simple courthouse wedding, then I’d want exactly what you’re doing. It honestly sounds perfect to me. I can’t wait to hear how it turns out!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure it’s done, but you don’t hear of many brides opting for a small wedding these days. They all want their Kindergarten best friend and their sorority sisters as their bridal party, their 4th cousin twice removed and all 14 of their children, as well as the police officer who pulled their brother over that one time at their wedding. I just don’t get it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t understand that either! In my oh-so-humble opinion, with every extra guest being added to the list, a very special moment becomes less and less intimate, more and more of a spectacle and thus, less special. But that’s just me, I understand that not everyone feels that way. Anddd also that I’m not engaged so my opinion basically doesn’t count LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  5. We cancelled all the fancy stuff right before the wedding, just in time to still get refunds. It was getting ridiculous with both of our huge families and family friends. It was legit making me nauseous. We told everyone in the wedding party to go suck an egg and sit in the audience. All of the older women in the family were thrilled to cook a ton of food and we decorated a family members nice backyard for the ceremony. Afterward, we went into the house, ate like cows, drank the booze and danced until bedtime. I’m so proud of you for not falling into the trap of a huge ceremony. The day flies by in a minute!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CONGRATS!!! I’ve been on this same boat how am I now knowing this UGH! I get married on June 9!!! We have a total
    20 guests. And decided on a destination wedding because MIAMI is ridiculous expensive altogether and also because no one helped us and we can’t afford a nice honeymoon so BAM 2 in ONE!!! We did 7 days in the Dominican Republic in an all inclusive resort with round trip flights (for us and our 3 kids) with wedding and reception and the whole nine for 9,000$. And I’ve never been to the island and did I mention ALL INCLUSIVE food and drink?! Um yea! Sold lol πŸ˜‚ I’m so nervous and still overwhelmed! They didn’t include many details so I’m traveling with some basic decor that won’t weigh much but where have you beeeeen Lol
    I’ve needed a wedding ranting buddy SOOOO BADLY ahhhh!!!! When’s your date??!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are literally AMAZING! and your tips listed are the best! Ive been thinking about using Etsy for my invitations too! and honestly doing a lot of decor myself too. I’m so excited for your wedding day!! did the time pass quickly??? I feel like we’ve been engaged forever already and have to remind myself its only been 3 months lol


    • The time had definitely blown by! We got engaged last June and we both said we wanted a long engagement (since we were looking to buy a house), but as of that September, we secured a date with our venue and it has been all down hill from there. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that exactly 3 months from tomorrow, I’M GETTING MARRIED!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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