We Had A $250 Zoom Wedding In Our Kitchen

We focused on the things that really mattered to us

Yael, City Climate Change Program Analyst + Wes, Battery Engineer
One sentence sum up of the wedding vibe: Pared down to what we really cared about: talking with our closest people about commitment and relationships.
Planned Budget: We didn’t really plan because we knew it would be cheap.
Actual Budget: ~$250
Number of Guests: about 50
Location: San Jose, CA

Where we allocated the most funds: Flowers (we ordered a few bouquets for about $50 and Yael’s parents ordered some for us too). The cost of our county wedding (also conducted over Zoom, in a cafe patio on our way to a cabin for our honeymoon) was a close second.

Where we allocated the least funds: Our only other expense was a one-month subscription to Zoom Pro.

What was totally worth it: We spent a fair amount of time talking about exactly what we wanted to have our wedding be and what was important to us and what wasn’t. Through this we realized that we weren’t interested in having a party—we just wanted to talk with our close people about marriage itself: what is marriage? What’s hard about it? How have other couples overcome the hard parts? We wanted a way to open up this conversation that might not naturally come up with everyone. Our wedding really succeeded that way and that’s a gift that keeps giving.

We also spent quite some time designing the structure of the wedding itself—who would say what, when, and how would we invite input from others—and that was so worth it. The whole thing went smoothly and successfully fostered the kind of conversation we were hoping for.

What was totally not worth it: We decided we didn’t want to have any alcohol, and toasted with mango puree + sparkling water instead. By the end of our wedding we were so hopped up on feelings that it was great not to be knocked out by drinks as well.

Wes tried to paint a blue star on his cheek, but in the video it looked more like a tear maybe.. oh well.

A few things that helped us along the way: We asked some close friends to help us design the ceremony/wedding and to host it for us. They gave us a lot of helpful input and it was great to have someone else keeping track of the time and all those practical details during the wedding itself. We were inspired and strengthened in our resolve not to have a “normal” wedding by the Book of Life articles on marriage, particularly this one.

My best practical advice for my planning self: Making a guest list is always hard—at least, deciding where to draw the line between invited and not invited. It went well to trust our instincts and no one complained (to us at least) about not being invited, so don’t be scared!

Favorite thing about the wedding: Having all our favorite people “there” with us at the same time, even though they live all around the world.

Anything else: We got engaged at the end of 2019. By a few days later we were already sure we wanted our wedding to be like a conversation with friends, and that we wanted part of it online for faraway friends, but we would probably have never had the whole thing online if not for the pandemic. We loved how it turned out, though. It was so special to have everyone together at the same time. And it was amazing that after two hours, it was over and we were alone at home and could take a nap!

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