Nathalie, policy and Advocacy & Rommel, registered nurse
sum-up of the wedding vibe: Focused on our friends and family having a great time with us.
Where we allocated the most funds:
We allocated the most to catering the food and drinks. Our venue was a very DIY venue so everything had to be brought in and that added up (something that we did not account for when we booked it). The bar we stocked ourselves so we were able to significantly cut the cost of an open bar for seven hours. The next big expense was photography and lastly, our outfits.
Where we allocated the least funds:
Photo booth and the DJ. We were able to get a great price for a DJ, emcee, and photo booth through a connection, so that ended up being what we spent the least on.
What was totally worth it:
Everything was completely worth it, but the three elements that we had identified in the beginning as our biggest expenses lived up to the expectations. We wanted our guests to have a full sit down meal (family-style) and access to an unlimited bar. The food and drinks were perfection. Our vendor was Creative Foods Catering. We struggled in the beginning with committing to a photographer, but when we spoke to Kate Thompson at Betty Clicker we knew that we had to go with her, and in the end the pictures we got back captured the entire day beautifully. Our attire was also something that we wanted to do right and be true to our own styles and in the end we were very happy with the decisions. All in all, perfection.
What was totally not worth it:
The money spent on some decorations. There was a lot of stress associated with several DIY projects, because we had a DIY venue, and in the end they were beautiful but not completely worth the time and effort spent on completing them days before the wedding. Unless you can finish projects well before the wedding date I would rethink the value that they will bring to the day.
A few things that helped us along the way:
Organizational skills are key when navigating the millions of options that you are presented with. We ended up having a very hard time making decisions because things were out of our budget, leading us to adjust the budget as much as we could, but when you reach out to twenty different caterers, keeping your correspondence and price quotes organized really took away some of the stress. Google Drive was our best friend. We also have a wonderful support network and many people pitched in to help with the planning, including my mom who did all of the florals (she ordered flowers online and had them delivered a few days before the wedding and it worked out very well).
My best practical advice for my planning self:
Decisions are mostly based on your budget, so once you have narrowed down your options go with your gut. Even if a vendor is in your price range, but you do not click with them when you meet, go with someone else—in the end, your initial evaluation will almost always hold true. Also, if there is a feature of the wedding that you want but cannot afford, don’t cut corners because in the end it will not live up to you what you imagined, save yourself the money and allocate it to something else you value.
Favorite thing about the wedding:
Having some time in between the ceremony and the reception to be together as a newly married couple and get excited for the party ahead. We both have wonderful relationships with our family and friends and were so happy to be able to have them join us from California, so we wanted to create a wonderful reception space to thank them for celebrating with us and everyone had an incredible time, a memory that we will always hold dear.
The one thing we knew we wanted was a day of coordinator and it was absolutely 100% worth it. It allowed us to sit back and let the day unfold without worrying about the details. With that said, try to remember that the day is about your union, the love you will feel is utterly overwhelming, cherish every moment of that.