Our $12K Christmas Wedding At Santa Rosa Beach Florida

When winter meets the sand

Christine, Project Manager & Mitchell, Environmental Engineer

sum up of the wedding vibe: Relaxed and simple, but a day full of pure joy and fun between family and friends.

Planned Budget: $15,000
Actual Budget: $12,000
Number of Guests: 90
Location: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Where we allocated the most funds:

Our reception beach house that we rented and the reception food and drinks.

Where we allocated the least funds:

Decorations for the ceremony venue. We got married in a beautiful, wooded back yard, so we only needed minimal decorations. Nature did most of the decorating for us!

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What was totally worth it:

We spent a little more money to rent a house right next to where we had our ceremony. I wanted our guests to be able to feel relaxed and happy the whole time. Being able to walk a few steps from the ceremony to the reception helped to make that happen, and I loved the simplicity of it all. And some of our guests even got to stay in the house, which made it even easier for them!

What was totally not worth it:

We rented a bunch of tables and chairs to put on all the balconies of the reception house and not a single one got used! Everyone wanted to be around each other the whole time. We couldn’t really have known that beforehand, but I wish we had been able to allocate that money and setup time somewhere else.

A few things that helped us along the way:

I kept a very detailed budget sheet of every purchase we made for the wedding. There are so many little purchases that are made throughout the whole process that it can be easy to lose track of how much you’ve actually spent.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

Spend the extra money to have a day-of coordinator and a few people to set up. We did not, and it made the day way more stressful than it should have been for both my wedding party and a few guests. You want to be able to enjoy the day so you can feel more relaxed throughout the entire process.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

Our ceremony! While I was planning the whole thing, I thought I would just want to rush through the ceremony to get to the party, but the ceremony turned out to be my favorite part. Take the time to add personal touches to the ceremony and savor that part of the process. You won’t regret it.

Something else I’d Like to Share:

My uncle catered the whole wedding, so that helped with our budget. We did spent some extra money on quality ingredients, but we never could have provided the unbelievable meal we did without his help.


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