Our $20K Backyard Halloween Wedding Party

With a black wedding dress and lots of treats

Laura, Behavioral Therapist & Graham, Strength and Conditioning Coach
sum-up of the wedding vibe: Rustic gothic wedding meets Halloween party.

Planned Budget: $15,000
Actual Budget: $20,000
Number of Guests: 80
Location: Petaluma, California

Where we allocated the most funds:

Most of our money went to necessities. Since we had the reception at our small country home, we needed things such as portable bathrooms, tables, chairs, lighting, food (though our friends catered and gave us an amazing deal), decorations, etc.

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Where we allocated the least funds:

We managed to save a lot of money by really researching and utilizing sites like Amazon, as well as waiting to buy decor until it went on sale (Halloween decorations always go on sale starting no later than mid-September).

What was totally worth it:

The theme. Not budging from wanting something unconventional meant we can look back and never regret anything. Our guests had so much fun and it was absolutely memorable. AND THE DRESS. Again, it was unconventional but exactly what I wanted.

What was totally not worth it:

I’m not sure we had anything that I’d consider not worth it. Chargers? Wine glasses AND water glasses? It all looked so beautiful and classy, but it wasn’t really necessary.

A few things that helped us along the way:

Having each other really helped. We bounced ideas off one another, sent pictures, and really shared in the planning. Our moms were great and my poor best friend was bombarded with photos and ideas constantly, but always gave great feedback. I had wedding planning books and binders, but nothing beat my own blank binder and Excel.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Obviously think of what you really want and what’s important to you, but consider what might go wrong and plan accordingly. So much went wrong for us, but there was always a plan B that kicked in seamlessly.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

That it was at our home. Having our closest friends and family celebrate our marriage in our home, in our own way, was so special to us.

Something else I’d like to share:

As much as I love weddings and what they represent, it really is just a day and a party. If you have to make compromises, or just not have something because it’s not possible, IT’S OKAY! Because at the end of it, you’re married and in love and nothing beats that.


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