I don’t know about you but when it comes to spending money, I choose a few things I splurge on and in which areas I’m going to be more savvy.
If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that I just got married last weekend 🙂
Whaaaaaaaaaat?! Who dis?
I never really thought that getting married would cost a lot. But it does.
Al 3 (my ex-boyfriend.. now husband) and I wanted an intimate wedding with only our family and a few of our friends and go for a more extravagant wedding on 2019 in Tagaytay on my birthday.
However, as we both come from big families with close knit relatives.. not to mention my mom who clearly objects of having two weddings; we decided to have a bigger (still smaller compared to other weddings) wedding with 100 guests.
Now if you know me, a huge chunk of my income goes to traveling and trying new foods which is why I prefer to have a simpler wedding and allocate our budget to traveling together in the near future. So excited!
Anyway, here’s a breakdown on how we cut the costs in our wedding:
We shorten our wedding-planning time. Since we both planned to have two weddings and ended up having only one and with a hundred guests, we had to make use of the time we had.
According to Real Simple, “A recent trend I’ve seen is that couples are saving money by planning a more last-minute wedding, rather than the traditional 11-month runup. The shorter time horizon will force you to streamline and keep you, by necessity, from getting sucked into the vortex of elaborate weddings.”
We planned our wedding in 3 months because I really wanted to get married on the 18th. Any 18th of the month will do but my husband chose to do it in August because it’s 8-18-18. *eyes rolling* I know. LOL.
We got married on a Saturday. Almost all the articles I read says that you should get married on any day of the week aside from Saturday in order to save money. However, most of our guests, including our family members are not available on weekdays. Having it on either Monday or Friday beats the purpose of having a bigger wedding since we want our families to be there. The only problem we encountered of having it on a Saturday is the fact that it’s 8-18-18 and a lot of people got married on that day. Even my dad had to leave my reception to wed another couple in the same venue. LOL
I personally chose the venue. We planned on renting out a convention hall but after much thought, I really liked the idea of having an outdoor wedding. When we did our ocular survey of the place, we fell in love with it. When choosing a hotel as your venue, make sure to ask if they have a wedding package. Our wedding package includes the food, tables, chairs, sound system, tent (if it rains) and the venue.
The food was the priciest out of everything that we paid for. But I believe it was worth it because we chose to avail a wedding package. We just brought in more food because, hey, I’m a foodie and food is life. Al 3’s family and my family both brought more food to the wedding. However, some hotels have corkage for every food that you bring so you should discuss this before your big day!
The Wedding Dress
My wedding dress was a gift from Al 3’s aunt. All of my female entourage’s dresses were paid for by Al 3’s aunts and I’m truly grateful for their support. I bought a wedding dress base and I added a lot of lace details to make it look like the wedding dress that I had in mind. Yes, I sew each one on my wedding dress and it looks good (at least to me LOL). The reason why I didn’t buy a more expensive RTW gown is because I wanted a simple dress and I didn’t want to go with the trend. No offense to those who chose a trendy gown. It’s all about your preference as a bride.
I have to admit that a portion of our wedding cake was a gift from one of my best friends. I chose a design in Pinterest and in order to cut down the price, the baker told me she can change the sizes of the cakes (we ordered a 3-layer cake). Some people don’t distribute the whole cake during the reception but I wanted everyone to have a taste so I made sure that the cake could cater more than a 100 guests and that it tastes better than it looks. Because not everyone likes chocolate cake (surprise surprise!) we decided to only have 2 layers of chocolate cake and 1 layer of chiffon cake. I also don’t like a really thick icing because it robs the beautiful taste of any cake so I asked the baker to keep the icing as minimal as possible.
We had an afternoon wedding and because we are in a tropical country, fresh flowers and its leaves will wilt faster than I could finish a slice of cake so we had to opt for fondant flowers and leaves.
The Flowers & Decorations
I couldn’t say the exact price of the flowers and decorations because again, Al 3’s aunt ordered all the fresh flowers from a flower farm and also hired her friend who happens to be a great decorator. I believe we have saved a lot of money by ordering all flowers directly from the farm.
A huge bonus of not hiring the usual wedding decorator is you get an entire unique wedding. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go for the city’s in-demand decorator but I wanted a fresher look that I haven’t seen on any wedding photos in my timeline. Again, it depends on your preferences as a couple.
Our talented photographer is the husband of my classmate in highschool. We were lucky that they had a promo when I inquired so I paid less than their original service price.
Check out his website: http://www.storiesbyjestore.com/
The Planner, Coordinator and Host
Working from home gives me the luxury of having time in planning our wedding which is why I didn’t hire a wedding planner. I like to plan my travels and I must admit I did enjoy sending inquiries to the different wedding suppliers and conversing with them. Most packages offered by wedding planners/coordinators are very pricey compared to booking with the suppliers directly. And we had a lot of help from both of our families especially in running some errands that we can’t do because we’re both based in Manila.
I’m blessed with really talented friends and my classmate/coordinator was very kind to help us on our wedding day. Our host for the night was my churchmate, friend and “ate“.
Don’t be afraid to ask your family, friends or other people’s help because you can only do so much. I’m very blessed to have a partner, a family and friends that are very supportive and are willing to do things before you even ask them.
The Invitations, Programs and Favors
My layout and graphic design skills are not devianart-level good but with all the tools available today, making any graphic design is really easy. I designed our invitations and programs and my cousin came up with the final design. We bought all the materials and my cousin assembled each invitation by hand and it was perfect!
For our programs, we bought 60 pieces of tongue depressors, 6 packs of special paper (board type) and double sided tape. I like the idea of having a fan-type program because the guests can use it during the ceremony if it gets warm.
Planning your big day
Planning your big day might sound overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be stressful. It’s your big day and while everything can’t be perfect, the love that you share is. ☺️ Good luck and have a happy marriage. 💖