* Sophi, Architectural Graduate (looking for work) & Travis, Marine Electrician’s Apprentice *
Invited: 120 / Actually Attended: 100 guests (we were pretty casual with all the counting, of course, as we were casual with everything) but we borrowed approximately 100 chairs and they were mostly full, and there were some folks standing on the hill.
$1,000 (A gift from Travis’ mom when we got engaged.)
About $1,000—but I have no idea what was spent. So many things were crowd-sourced and donated to us that the hard numbers were never calculated!
Where we were married: My parents’ house on Peaks Island, Maine was the perfect venue for our laid-back, outdoor, garden wedding. The chairs and tables were borrowed from the local elementary school for free. My mom paid $50 for wide muslin at JoAnn Fabrics and we covered all the tables with it. Flowers were donated by my then-boss and arranged by my mom in vases and bowls that were leftover from a friend’s wedding the summer before. The rest of the “decorations” were photos that we had printed online and strung up around the garden. I think this cost us about $50, and the pictures were fun to look at as people milled about. The wedding was outdoors, which meant I was freaking out about not having a tent. I eventually decided that since the cheapest I could find was $1800, and that more than doubled our budget, I was going to risk it. We lucked out!
Where we allocated the most funds: The live band. It was so important to me that we have a band play at the wedding. Going to see live music has been something that Travis and I have always enjoyed together. Who doesn’t enjoy a good concert? So rather than spend any money on a DJ set up or renting speakers to play iPod music, we paid a friend of mine $400 to play music with a bunch of his buddies for three to four hours. (Not a super close friend or anything, just a local musician that I knew well enough to ask what he would charge.) They played in the grass, with a carpet for the drum set, and we told them they could drink our beer and eat our food. They seemed happy and they sounded great! My best friend plays viola, she offered to do our ceremony music for us, and she ended up jamming with the band for a bunch of tunes. Just the best money we ever spent! (Fun fact—I actually forgot to go to the ATM to get cash to pay the band, but luckily our wedding gifts and cards had enough cash in them to cover it!)
Where we allocated the least funds: Everything else. We bought some pretty paper invitations (with pressed roses in them) for $50. We then needed more invites, so I just printed them on fancy-ish cardstock paper. Our wonderful friend and fellow sailboat-enthusiast offered to do our wedding photography as a wedding gift as soon as he heard we were getting hitched. So awesome. My dress was $125 at a vintage shop, and I sold it for $125 a few months after the wedding on preownedweddingdresses.com. Travis’ tux rental cost us $200-ish at Men’s Wearhouse and his uncle paid for it. (We still paid for the best man’s tux so it evened out. We thought he would look so nice in it and knew he couldn’t afford to pay.) I debated buying new shoes and ultimately am glad I didn’t, since it was so hot out we all walked barefoot. I used my great-grandmother’s brooch as a necklace and one of my “bridesmaids” made hairpieces for everyone. I made my reception dress from $40 worth of fabric and a $3 pattern, and I love it and can still wear it all summer long. The flower girls wore matching dresses that their mother got them at TJ Maxx. They also had matching sweater capes, which were so super cute, but it was eighty degrees so they didn’t need them! Continue reading How We Did It: Sophi & Travis’ Outdoor Potluck Wedding