Mia, Consultant & Marvin, project Manager
Sum-up of the wedding vibe: Joyful.
Planned budget: $20,000
Actual budget: $25,000
Number of guests: 140
LOCATION: Tyrone, Georgia
Where we allocated the most funds:
The venue, without a doubt! Catering and photography came in second and third.
Where we allocated the least funds:
We didn’t hire a wedding planner or coordinator. Our venue luckily came with a day-of coordinator, but up until April 6 (our wedding day) I planned the entire wedding on my own, with help from my mother and close friends. It was stressful at times—especially before my husband and I moved back home to Atlanta—but it felt good to be knee-deep in the planning of our union. It also made me realize I might have a knack for coordinating events. In a perfect world I would have had flowers cascading from the ceilings, but I quickly learned how expensive florals are—especially if you attach the word “wedding” to them. So we cut back on centerpieces and instead used greenery and lots of candles to give us the intimate/romantic feel. I don’t think anyone missed the flowers. I know I didn’t.
What was totally worth it:
The elephant magnets/escort card holders. Those were a little pricey, but I am an elephant-lover and couldn’t imagine that little touch not being included. They were so unique and the perfect favor as well.
What was totally not worth it:
Obsessing over signage and bridesmaid attire. At the end of the day, I don’t think guests needs signs to explain how to write in a guest book. Also, I cared too much about the shoes my bridesmaids wore, and I had to let it go. Everyone looked perfect, and I don’t even remember seeing their shoes under their dresses.
A few things that helped us along the way:
Help in general, a strong core group of family and friends, mutual respect, and marriage counseling. All of those things in combination prepared us for not only planning a wedding, but also the aspect and life-long commitment of becoming man and wife.
My best practical advice for my planning self:
Don’t sweat the small stuff, like your escort cards being written incorrectly two or three days before your wedding. It sounds like big stuff in the moment, but again, people don’t really pay attention… and you won’t care when you are about to walk down the aisle. Another big piece of advice: choose the best vendors. We had some mishaps occur the day of, and I think they could have been avoided had the right person(s) been involved. A month and/or day-of coordinator is essential! Make sure it’s someone who gets you and your vision.
Favorite thing about the wedding:
The exchange of our vows and walking down the aisle.
Other things we’d like to share:
Everyone always says it, but to thine own self be true! If you want to elope, elope. If you want to have an intimate wedding of only fifty people—do that. Don’t let what you think a wedding should be deter you from doing what is in your heart and in your soon-to-be husband/wife’s heart. I also suggest putting strict “rules” in place for family. Stick to a headcount and don’t budge. Food and drinks are expensive, and when you start looking at each guest as $65 per person, it makes it easier to not invite your third cousin removed or your friend from high school who you kinda liked, but kinda didn’t. Figure out a budget and have those tough conversations, especially if you and your partner are paying for some or half of the wedding like we did.