Our $33K Super Hip Rustic LGBTQIA Wedding

Love and dancing beneath the stars

Patricia, Theater Manager & Grace, X-ray Technician

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: Our wedding was a rustic love-filled gathering with s’mores, dancing, and book nerd elements under the night stars.

Planned budget: $23,000
Actual budget: $33,000
Number of guests: 125
LOCATION: Oak Glen, California

Where we allocated the most funds:

The venue for us was the most funds because it was an all-inclusive package, so it was quite the deal! We really were thoughtful about the venue. We wanted to represent both of our personalities and aesthetics, but most importantly, we wanted it to be LGBTQIA friendly. After venue we spent the most on documentation because we knew that we would look at our photos and video for years to come! And boy—do we!

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Where we allocated the least funds:

Decorations, as our venue took care of most the details for us with our package. We also had such generous friends who helped create things such as the flower girl basket, stamping our favor tags, decorating our cake, and hosting the bar, and since we are avid antique collectors, we had a lot of vintage items to use already!

What was totally worth it:

Cannot stress how important it is to get a photographer who is going to really capture the day beautifully, who you feel comfortable with, and whose work you love. The biggest must have was a day-of coordinator. Even though our venue was awesome, it’s such a relief to have someone just in your corner and who is able to oversee every last detail for you. I have now recommended to all my engaged friends that this is an expense worth every penny.

What was totally not worth it:

For us it was the favors. We bought hundreds of mason jars thinking that folks would take them home with them at the end of the night, but even with a sign encouraging them to take them, folks still left them, and our venue had cute drinking glasses so these became completely unnecessary. Also, we thought we wanted to give folks a treat to eat on their ride home, so we also ended up doing candy apple favors as well. Overall, folks just loved being there and they were not really looking for the favors, so we ended up with a lot leftover at the end.

A few things that helped us along the way:

Not doing a B-list for invitations but simply inviting everyone we wanted to be there so we did not have to stress about adding folks last minute. Also, asking for specific needs from close friends and family: folks want to pitch in but they need specific asks. I recruited one couple for a craft project, one for signs, one for day-of help, etc. Their help was incredible. It helped us keep our budget lower overall, and I am forever grateful for them pitching in.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Create a budget very early, and this starts with booking the venue first and foremost. So many things fell into place after we had our venue, and we were able to build a realistic budget around it. We had time to open a joint savings account and start to accrue interest and to ensure we were not putting any major expenses on credit cards. Then as the day gets closer you can decide if you have the ability to go over budget for certain items and not just for the entire wedding.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

Besides having a wife after, which is the most important thing! We both loved our silhouette artist vendor who left us with an album filled with our guest’s silhouettes. It is so special for us and our guests had an amazing time sitting for her and getting a keepsake for themselves.

Something else We’d Like to Share:

We had a fun signature cocktail tasting before the wedding with some key friends, and it was a blast to get their input. Then the day of the wedding there was a lot of bragging that they helped craft the cocktails!

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