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Our $8K Enchanted Backyard Wedding in Boston

We transformed our city home into the garden of our dreams

Dasha, Architect + Steven, Educator and Entrepreneur
One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: Enchanted garden in a city home.
Planned Budget: 5,000
Actual Budget: 8,000
Number of Guests: 8
Location: Our home in Jamaica Plain, Boston
Photographer: Kelly Benvenuto

Where we allocated the most funds: Private Michelin-Starred Chef ($2,500). My mother ended up gifting us the meal.

Where we allocated the least funds: Band (none), table and chair rentals ($300), Wedding Dress ($250).

What was totally worth it: Flowers ($1,700), after our wedding was cancelled for Covid, we knew the flowers had to be BIG! and make a statement. We scaled the whole ceremony back, but we upped the budget for the flowers to make the big impact. We asked our florist to transform our private deck into an enchanted garden. We also decorated the back garden where the ceremony was held with grocery store flowers to create a dramatic effect for less.

What was totally not worth it: Fancy shoes. I bought $200 shoes which were too formal for the occasion, and were barely even visible.

A few things that helped us along the way: The special and personal touches. We tried to include as many people as possible. Friends and family offered to help us out. My friends prepared the table setting including the small appetizers. My aunt and uncle gifted us table flowers, my mom gifted the chef’s meal. I also hand made the plates for all the (original 50 guests).

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Go with the flow, keep it light, and have fun!

  1. Our wedding was canceled during Covid. That could have been a disaster, we could have postponed but we decided to make the best of it and it was great! the intimate ceremony took so much of the pressure off for this to be a perfect wedding.
  2. Keeping a tight budget force us to be creative and allowed us to be more bold with the small details (like the flowers).
  3. It drizzled the day of the wedding, so we bought small plastic parasols to make the rain a fun prop.
  4. Our chef was running late, we only had thirty more minutes with the photographer so we opted to have cake and toasts before dinner! It was even more fun!

Favorite thing about the wedding: That we had this special memory in our home. We are constantly reminded of the day. We love that no one can ever have the same wedding as us! It was completely unique and fully represented us.

Anything else: Our parents stayed in our home with us and we decided to have the wedding be an all weekend event, capped with the wedding on Sunday evening. On Saturday we had a mini-pre party with neighbors and different friends where we hosted paella dinner in the driveway. This multi-day party made the whole weekend feel like festive and a joyful celebration.

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