Up today? Kim Balance who didn't want to overthink the theme of her wedding. Instead she wanted the scenery and the simplicity to do the talking!
I really wanted something modern, simple, yet sophisticated, like me. I was referred to the Bahia Mar Hilton hotel in Ft. Lauderdale and it was perfect! The venue sits on the Intracoastal Waterway across from the beach. We decided on a garden wedding, a waterfront cocktail hour on the Intracoastal Waterway and an indoor reception where you could view the ocean.
Once I found the venue, I started looking at invitations. I just couldn't pay what I was quoted ($12 per invitation!). I needed bilingual Spanish-English invitations and the cost would have been over $800. That's when I decided to make my own. I found Cards & Pockets online was a great store for my stationery needs. I was able to order all my stationery for $125.
I also didn't mind having fake flower bouquets, so I made my own arrangements. I ordered the flowers from Afloral.com. For $140, I made six bouquets, two corsages and eight boutonnières. My inspiration came from looking at arrangements on Etsy. It's a great thing that I'm crafty because it saved me at least $2000.
I chose to go with five different black styles to complement my bridesmaids' personalities. (Thus keeping with the modern theme.) The men all wore black Converse sneakers since my groom was a casual guy. He loves his Chuck Taylors!
When guests arrived, they were whisked away on a trolley to the botanical garden area. I didn't want any decorations because the area was gorgeous and this helped cut costs. I walked down the aisle to Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and Foo Fighters all in a string quartet version, again keeping the wedding more modern.
I had tables along the pier with hors d'oeuvres. The trolley took everyone back to the hotel and we moved inside for a formal dinner and reception. I'm not a traditional girl, so I opted to not have a seating chart. I know that this is unheard of at a formal dinner, but I really wanted everyone to mingle on their own.
I had a photo booth for three hours at the reception. I also placed cameras on each table so I could have candids of my guests. I ordered a Domino shaped groom's cake for my Cuban groom. It had two frosted Cuban cigars on it and it was filled with Guava and cheese, a staple in Cuban culture (I had to insert a little tradition!).
The DJ was definitely money well spent! We had a Top 40 and Spanish blend of music to keep all the guests up on the dance floor! I decided 10 minutes before the end of the reception that we must keep dancing. I paid the DJ for an extra hour to keep the party going!
I loved how my wedding turned out. Getting married on a low budget is hard but doable. I was lucky to find my dress for $350 at David's Bridal. I had my wedding on a Friday, which saved me 10 percent on the reception cost. If you're creative, then doing as much as you can on your own can save you thousands! I planned a great modern wedding for under $10,000 and it was the best night of my life!
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