When we started planning, I kept things simple because I didn’t want to add stressful detail after stressful detail to my plate. In the end, the simplicity made our wedding lovely, and kept us under budget.
The end result
I did my own hair, a friend did my makeup and I felt perfect.
Once we threw in the incidentals – the official’s fee of $150, the invitations I found at an online press for $275, the $40 guestbook, the $30 marriage license, and the quirky $70 cake-toppers that sit on our mantel now – we came in a few hundred dollars under budget.
Most importantly, the things we’d said “no” to didn’t matter. Guests commented on how much they’d enjoyed the wedding, and no one seemed to notice that we didn’t have a DJ (we used an iPod and speaker system), or that a professional hadn’t done my hair, or that my husband wore a navy blue suit he’d owned for years.
We even ended up in the DC/Maryland/Virginia edition of The Knot, and our photographer threw in a CD of our photographs to thank us (for which some photographers charge extra).
The wedding industry tries constantly to up-sell brides and grooms on so many items, and it was reassuring to realize that none of those (expensive) superfluities mattered.
At the end of the day, we have photographs we love, memories of delicious cake and happy friends, and the relief that we could throw a party without drowning ourselves in debt or liquidating our savings.