Engagement Pictures by Wrightsville Beach
Disclaimer: The photo above does not depict the couples mentioned in this article. It is included solely for illustrative purposes, while certain Reddit threads I discovered online have proven useful.
I’m open to a micro wedding with everything done and included (I’ve looked at auberge in Cabo and I’m not sure I can ask my few guest to shovel out $$$ for their hotel stays which a 3 night minimum is required) or larger in an open space outside (venues I’ve looked at start at $17K) for <100 people.
Our families will likely only shell out no more than $10K per bride and groom (probably less). Our families are all over the US so our wedding will be destination by definition.
Any ideas where we can do this thing? We really want an outdoor space and also talked about a super small thing followed by a party later for friends. Help! I’m overwhelmed!
This is very location dependent. We’re in the US and our budget is $30k for ~90 people in suburban Philadelphia. We’re getting married at a hotel and the reception is going to be on a covered deck because we also wanted an outdoor element; we’re also hoping to take group & first look photos at a nearby park.
We have close friends who got married at a state park a couple of hours away and then had an after party a week or so later at a local brewery in the city. I’m not sure of their budget but I do know they tried to be very thrifty and money conscious, so I think it was probably lower than ours.
All of this is to say it’s definitely possible to have a wedding for this budget in 2024 and have an outdoor element! You just have to do a lot of digging, unfortunately.
I would not, however, rely on guests for reaching a hotel minimum. Everyone’s work and financial circumstances are different, and committing to 3+ nights away is a lot.
I definitely think it's doable, but definitely not at nicer places like an Auberge.
We are doing a semi destination microwedding also and covering two nights of hotel rooms for ourselves, our parents and my sister+husband at a Fairmont. (Everyone else lives locally where we are getting married or can stay with family). We are also dining at a Michelin star restaurant for our wedding.
I believe we will be spending a little under $30k. It definitely could've been cheaper without the luxury hotel or dining.
I'll def do some more digging regarding "luxury" hotels other than auberge because it's just too much. Your microwedding sounds similar to what we're looking for. May I ask where you found this sweet spot? We LOVE food and a michelin starred restaurant would be something we'd be into for a microwedding. Our vibes: great food, great people, great time and of course, our love for each other ;) Thank you for your help and congratulations!
I see from your other comment that you are based in the Bay Area. We are getting married at SF City Hall and having dinner at Spruce. Here is our budget breakdown so far:
City Hall 1 hour ceremony rental: $1000 + we have to pay for chairs. I think it's $7.50 per chair for 16 guests is 120
Dinner: there's a minimum for the private room we reserved and we will definitely exceed that after wine, we are budgeting getting dinner to cost $5000 for 18 people.
Dress: $3400. I don't know what alterations will be yet. Purchased from Sarah seven. I definitely could've gotten a cheaper dress. There are tons of good shopping options at various price points in the bay.
Hair and makeup for myself and makeup only for MOB and MOG: $945
4 hotel rooms for two nights: $6000ish
Violinist for ceremony: $800
Bridal bouquet: $495
Invitations: I'm estimating around $500
Not included: grooms suit and our wedding bands and my accessories.
I think that is everything
We got married in the Colorado Mountains (where we live) - 24 guests, pretty simple - recap here if you're interested. Completely different location than you mention but it was a "destination" for most of our family members.
One thing we considered carefully was having a variety of lodging options including really affordable within walking distance of our venue. We spent about $20K.
Your recap is amazing! I need your organization skills! This is good news for me! Because it'll be destination, I want to make sure it's easy to get to for most folks. We may have a 93 year old grandmother attend too, so accessibility is also important to us. Thank you and congratulations!
Have you thought about a Vrbo in another destination that would double as a venue and lodging? This is what we’re doing, and at about $2,500 a night for a beachfront property allows us to have a great looking venue and provide a place for about 30 guests to stay. We live in socal and venue quotes for one day were about what we’re paying for a 5 night stay, and then the rest of our budget went to hiring a coordinator, vendors, decor, etc. Obviously you couldn’t provide lodging for everyone for a larger wedding but if you are doing a micro wedding this might work!
We're definitely looking at VRBO and air BNB options. My concern is going over budget since I assume we'll need to hire and book everything independently. What has your take been on that?? More control = easier to stay within budget? Are you DIY-ing anything? Any hidden fees you've come across yet? Thank you and congratulations!
We hired a wedding coordinator who actually lives where our venue was so we had someone with an ‘in’ and recommendations/connections with local vendors and honestly I would recommend this over trying to contact individual vendors outside of where you live! The way ours worked is after we booked the venue/Vrbo we set a budget for how much we wanted to spend on everything else and gave that number to the coordinator, her fees were included in that number. I believe we spent about 10k on the Vrbo and gave her a budget of 12k, and then we spent outside of that for dress/tux/misc purchases.
I think our total spending is the same that you are budgeting for. I’m not DIYing anything but an open bar sign and guest gift bags, and then shipping some pool floats and silly straws to the venue that the coordinator couldn’t find locally. It’s also worth mentioning that my partner and just got married in the US on the down low to avoid having to deal with the hassle of getting a marriage certificate in another country and a cost that comes with that. That also allowed for one of our close friends to be the officiant without having to get ordained, so it is more of a symbolic ceremony to celebrate with close, friends and family, and the legal marriage is already taken care of.
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