Here are a few of the major ways we were able to save money:
1) We didn't have to book a venue- The ceremony and reception took place in my parent's backyard. I'm a true homebody and wouldn't have had it any other way. We were truly blessed to have this "location" work out- I realize most people wouldn't even have this as an option. The biggest overall expense was in terms of rentals. We rented a large tent, tables and chairs and linens- not only to divide the ceremony and reception, but the tent would have been essential if it would have rained. God was really smiling down on us that day- and the weather was perfect.
2) We didn't have a "photography package". When the planning began I looked at booking a few amateur photogs. I was absolutely astounded at the prices for wedding packages. Astounded! I was so, so thankful when a family friend agreed to photograph the ceremony and our portraits for us for next to nothing. I wanted all of the important moments to be captured, but was less concerned with fancy editing, albums, etc. My aunt also took photos throughout the day and at the reception. I have two beautiful sets of photos saved to discs that I can do whatever I want with, and didn't have to wait for months to get them!
4) Skip the florist. The morning of the wedding, my sister and I put together the bouquets arranged from flowers from Trader Joe's and Aldi. Some rose petals were scattered around the reception tables, and there were small bouquets arranged in Ikea vases to mark the aisle. I think we spent less that $40 total on flowers! So simple, yet so pretty!
I have a few more details to share- I haven't gotten to gush about my vintage dress yet! Will be back with another post soon!