Our Intimate $15K Central Park Wedding

A heartfelt elopement with our closest family and friends

Medyna, ICU RN & Christopher, Firefighter

sum-up of the wedding vibe: Intimate and romantic.

Planned Budget: $15,000
Actual Budget: $15,000
Number of Guests: 27
Location: Central Park | New York, New York

Photographer: JC Lemon

Where we allocated the most funds:

We spent the most on The Writing Room, the restaurant where everyone met after the ceremony. That cost close to $8,000. We opted to have a three-course meal and an open bar for our guests.

Where we allocated the least funds:

We spent the least on little details and our cake ($50). Chris ordered a red velvet cake from one of our favorite diners.

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What was totally worth it:

The photographer. There is not one minute that we regret asking Jon for help. He was AMAZING. Everyone gets to relive the synopsis of our day, but we have so much more. The photos that we couldn’t and wouldn’t share hold so many anecdotes. My advice when planning; learn what kind of style you like, find a photographer that matches that style, and jump in! Although, I’m not a big fan of video, but the videographer was awesome as well. She and Jon braved the very, very cold day for much longer than we anticipated. We stayed at The Paper Factory hotel ($1,500) in Long Island City for a minimoon. We could have easily stayed home, but it was nice celebrating ourselves outside of our routine.

What was totally not worth it:

There’s actually no evidence of this, but we had wooden names ($100) laser carved for each of our guests as place cards. We also had custom cake boxes ($150) shaped like books to match our literary theme. Absolutely not worth it. Everything was cute and matched, but it was a waste of money.

A few things that helped us along the way:

MAKING A BUDGET. It’s very easy to get carried away. We didn’t know how much was too much and was typical. We made a budget to include everything we absolutely wanted. Everything else was discussed as needed.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Ultimately, the small details that I thought would really make our day notable are barely remembered by any of us.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

Having our family and friends. It was perfect (and stressful). Originally, we were going to elope in Canada and return with the news. We finally decided to welcome our immediate families and what would have been our bridal party to attend. Now it’s fun to relive the day from their perspective.

Something else We’d Like to Share:

Be prepared for anything to go wrong. Our minister (a relative) cancelled a week before the wedding, and we hired an officiant ($300), Caitlin, from Officiant NYC. Not everyone could get to the ceremony (due to the cold or physical limitations). Although we knew it would be cold in January, it so happened to be one of the coldest days of the year. Luckily, I packed back up booties and extra tights to wear during the ceremony.


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