$4024.88 – that was what our wedding photographer, luncheon, makeup/hair styling, clothing (rentals and dress), announcements, flowers, thank you cards totaled. we even got a few hotel rooms for family and aunties helping out with the wedding to be close to everything the night before the big day!
a big part of the small price tag was the scope of the wedding. we were married in the salt lake temple and had a luncheon after pictures…that’s it! the whole wide world was not invited, just family and a few close friends. people are shocked, appalled, and baffled by this.
if you’ve been to any of those cultural hall receptions, you will likely not notice the hoards of women-relatives in the kitchen cutting fruits, vegetables and other refreshments for the trays, unless you are family to the bride or groom. usually the splendor of the bride and groom and their decor outshines any of the hard work going on in the background.
my tip: let someone else handle the food and prep work of setting up a facility for you. focus on the family, taking really good care of those who traveled all that way.
if you search hard, you do not have to use those expensive reception halls if they don’t complement your vision for the wedding. a lot of nice restaurants have banquet facilities with linens and staff to help serve food.
for our wedding, we went to tucanos in salt lake for lunch. this was an elegantly-done buffet at a fraction of the dinner price. there’s fancier out there, but not at the price i was willing to pay. they totally took care of us and the wedding guests.
we had our florist (a close family friend) set up flowers with her fabulous daughter and some siblings had a laptop/desk monitor set up for our slideshow, but no one prepared any of the food the day before, no one had to fold napkins, arrange for tables to be set up, cultural halls to be cleaned or anything. simple right? i love it.
i don’t want to diminish the hard work of our family friends who helped on our special day, but their workload was not comparable at all to the two recent weddings of brothers on both sides of the fam. our relatives and friends worked their butts off and spent part of their summers being slaves to the newlyweds. why not give them a break, since your family, like ours, will likely travel to be with you on that day? give them a treat, not a service project.
so, a few people may say something about not having the traditional cultural hall reception. my mom was kind of against the idea at first. but i’m sure she knows now, after experiencing both types of weddings. for me, the most important part of getting married is ceremony, in the temple and the promises you make. temple marriage is a really big deal in the church. we should not diminish the importance of it just because the world says that brides need $10,000 weddings, fancy cakes and matching this and that. those types of traditions can be broken!
i would never ever take back the alternative wedding that we had. in fact, if i had a younger sister, whose wedding i could persuade, i’d do it exactly the same, for the great reasons of saving money and allowing relatives to relax with minimal prep work.
a budget-friendly wedding is possible. go spread the beautifully simple movement into the great world!