How we threw a wedding for under $5,000

CoffeeCatDogKid | How we threw a wedding for under $5,000

Woke up early, threw on a sweatshirt and boots, then met him in the hotel hallway. Braved the snow and the rain for hot cocoa at Starbucks. Held hands and kissed a little in line, giggling like we had a secret.

Parted ways with him a while later. Dropped by Walgreens to buy lipstick.

Lots of waiting, lots of sitting. Then a burst of activity all at once: hair and make-up and getting dressed and picking up the cake and eating lunch and taking photos and decorating. And suddenly it was time, and just as suddenly it was over.


I never dreamed of a winter wedding. In fact, I always wanted to get married outside, in the summer, with fireflies and lanterns and the works. But when Alec and I got engaged in late September, it just seemed crazy to wait another nine months. We had waited long enough! So we set the date for December, just days before Christmas, literally the only day that worked for everyone on both sides of the family.

I shied away from a Christmas-themed wedding at first, though, with visions of sugarplums and tacky Santa costumes dancing in my head.

Alec and I wanted casual. We wanted comfortable. We wanted rustic.

In the end, we embraced Christmas, but we used it in our favor. Pine-needle green, cranberry red, starlight gold, log-cabin brown. You get the picture. And I was thrilled with how the wedding turned out. (Of course, I got to marry my absolute best friend in the whole world, so I might have been thrilled even if we got married at a landfill.)


How did we manage to keep our budget minimal without sacrificing things like aesthetics or comfort? If you stick around for this upcoming series of posts, I’ll try to answer that question.

Other posts in this series:

How we threw a wedding for under $5,000: flowers

How we threw a wedding for under $5,000: catering & cake

How we threw a wedding for under $5,000: cutting costs on clothes


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