uber naïve initial wedding thoughts

halter dress front

I don’t have a Pinterest account, as I waste enough time on social media like Facebook, blogs, and sometimes Twitter. I’ve been getting random ideas, and taking my time, looking at other PF bloggers’ wedding planning posts and am especially loving NZ Muse’s series on being a “bullshit-free bride.” My kinda girl! I also bought a paper copy of the book based on the Broke-Ass Bride blog. (I like the book but have found the website a little overwhelming with all the ads and affiliate links.) Some people really do get married for under $5,000! There’s hope yet!

After getting engaged on New Year’s day, then becoming completely overwhelmed with new job responsibilities, deciding to move, and undergoing the actual moving process, somewhere in the middle there I signed up TheKnot.com, bought some wedding magazines, then promptly freaked out from the huge list of things to do and crazy expenses. Along with everybody and their brother’s ideas on where we should get married and what we should do. Ugh.

We aren’t fancy high maintenance folks and have no intentions of becoming that type, so after stepping back, we’ve started putting some thoughts together on what we wanted, and when, and where, etc.

cliff point

Who: Me and Mr. Bacon, and 50 guests

What: small waterfront backyard wedding

When: April 2015 (possible the 18th as it’s a Saturday and 8 is a lucky number in Chinese)

Where: Somewhere on the Eastern Shore of MD, a “neutral-ish” location.

How Much: Under $5000!

Ok, so maybe the “50 guests” and “under $5k” price tag are uber naïve, but we all gotta start somewhere, right? The hardest part has been picking a location. His family’s in Delaware, mine is in California, but the two of us live just outside DC. We wanted it on “neutral territory”, i.e. not DE and not CA, as it wouldn’t be fair for one side of the family. We even thought of doing something kinda in the middle like Galveston Island, Texas, as we both want something on the beach.

The first concept we had was renting a huge beach house at the Outer Banks–like a huge 10-12 bedroom vacation rental, where we could have our immediate family members and wedding party all stay together, and we’d just get married in the backyard on the beach. They haven’t met each other yet, and it’s about bringing the families together. But it’s kinda expensive and about a 4.5-hour drive from us. It’d cost us money just to take trips out there for the recon and planning, so we thought closer to home–our home.

So then there’s the Eastern Shore. It’s about a 75-90min drive from us, depending on traffic, and pretty close to Baltimore’s airport. There are a bunch of beautiful vacation rentals on the waterfront, some for $300-$500 per night, but none that are both beautiful and huge. So maybe we won’t have everyone stay at the house, as that might just be too chaotic and full of drama. (Trying to be drama-free here, folks!)

Initial thoughts are to rent a place for two or three nights (Friday, Saturday, and maybe Sunday). Have a Friday night reunion dinner, Saturday wedding and reception, and Sunday brunch! Notice I didn’t say rehearsal dinner. What would we be rehearsing anyway?! The venue would be the rental house, which is where we would stay and host the events and hang out and catch up with everyone. I don’t like how at many weddings I’ve been to, you only get to talk to the couple for maybe 10 seconds.

Food would be a BBQ buffet (he’s redneck), with maybe some Southeast Asian food as well (my side of the family, obviously), and most definitely our wedding cake is going to be ICE CREAM CAKE! The ice cream cake is non-negotiable. 😉 (No photos here, I just googled “ice cream wedding cake” and had to shut that browser to stop the drool.) Maybe we’ll do something like disposable bibs with our names on them so people won’t worry about getting BBQ all over their pretty clothes. 🙂

As for the dress, I’ve been perusing Amazon and wondering if it’s a terrible idea to order from a company with factories in Asia (aren’t most made in Asian factories anyway but just priced ridiculously higher?). I mean, I’m pretty sure my mom and aunts worked at a sweatshop in Chinatown when they first immigrated to San Francisco (she didn’t call it a sweatshop, but mentioned they got paid by each piece they made). My mom actually made her own wedding dress along with me and my sister’s prom dresses, along with many Halloween costumes. I’d possibly have her make me one if we lived closer…

Here’s the back to the one I’ve been eyeing. First picture at the top is the front…

halter back

I’m a small-chested girl, so no strapless gowns for me. And it’d be under $142 after shipping! Totally within my budget!

And another photo of one of the vacation rentals I’ve been ogling…same place as the sunset photo above. It’s $285/night if you rent it before April 30, for a 3-bedroom, 3-bath place that sleeps 8. All vacation rentals seem to go up after that point, which is one of the reasons we wanted to do mid-April!

cliff point 2

Anyway, just some initial thoughts. We also still want to throw post-wedding parties in Delaware, California, and DC for the other friends and families that won’t be able to make the actual wedding (or that we won’t invite as we’re trying to keep it small). Which probably won’t be too fancy either but will be excluded from the $5k budget.

We’ll see what actually happens a year from now! So what do you think? Am I naïve to think we’ll keep it small and relatively inexpensive??


6 thoughts on “uber naïve initial wedding thoughts

  1. Having a wedding with a budget of $5,000 is very feasible. You’re just going to have to think out of the box. Pinterest is a great place to find unique cheap ideas to make your day special. There are so many simple things you can make yourself that will make your wedding stand out and be unique.

    Also if you have very close family members that want to help you out, I would have them help pay for the big day vice giving you gift. That will also allow you to stretch your budget.

    One thing I would never go thrifty on is the photographer. Nothing like looking at bootleg pictures of a wedding. Good Luck

    1. Thanks DFM! That would be great if we got some of the familia to chip in, which will probably happen but first we’ll assume that it’s all on us. And yes…photographer is key!!!

  2. I LOVE that dress!! We had a pretty big wedding, but I love how you’ll have a lot of quality time with your guests with the guest count! I think it’s doable (Michelle at Making Sense of Cents is also having bbq at her wedding and it was very economical!), and I can’t wait to hear more about it. Love the ice cream cake idea, as well – yum yum!!

  3. Totally doable. My wedding was right about $5000 and we had 100 people. I would say I was not happy with the dj and the photos were just okay, so I would have found a way to spend a little more there and a little less somewhere else. Give your far away family enough time and they can save up for the trip. I found a ton of decorations on craigslist and thrift stores, and sold them on craiglist and made some of my money back. I bought linens off of eBay and sold them too. My friend did my makeup and my niece who was in beauty school did my hair. It was really nice and we just did a practice run beforehand. Be resourceful and enjoy the time 🙂

    1. Hi Karren! Thanks for checking out my blog! I’m always so excited to hear about these $5k weddings and don’t feel like I’m just a crazy cheapo. We just got a great lead on an awesome beach house that one of my clients from works owns–he wants us to check it out and use it at no charge for our wedding! Pretty exciting 😀


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