My husband and I got married at a cozy Irish pub in downtown Louisville. The only time I was even stressed out and nervous was the hour or so before the rehearsal on Friday. After that, it was smooth sailing all the way through.
1. We majorly cut the fat
This was such a basic wedding to throw. We assembled a few decorations, didn’t fret over tiny details at all, and laid out from the beginning what we cared about most.
2. We didn't use a typical wedding venue
We got our venue for super-cheap because it wasn’t a typical wedding venue. This place had three rental floors. We chose the two non-wedding floors and avoided the wedding penthouse. The cost of the two floors was still cheaper than the one wedding floor. The number one wedding planning rule: once you add “wedding” in the name, it doubles or triples in price.
3. We got a venue that already looked gorgeous
This really contributed to my only spending $130 on decor (including flowers, which were dried from grandma’s garden). The venue had fabulous lighting, cool exposed brick, and looked great on its own.
4. We combined vendor services
The venue was also in charge of the catering and drinks, so there was only one person to contact for all of that stuff. We also used a company that provides DJ, video, photo, and photo booth services. We used three of their four services, and got a huge discount.
5. We let the guests be grown-ups
Something I think a lot of us get worried about is having to take care of our guests and making sure they can figure out what’s happening at every moment. OMG, we didn’t make a sign pointing to the bathroom! We forgot to make dessert labels! We put the coat rack in the back of the venue instead of the front! These little things that can take up so much head space really don’t matter. They’ll figure it out. They’re adults. They can tell which one is the chess pie and which one is the blackberry. It’s all okay.
6. We surrounded ourselves with drama-free people
My bridesmaids are chill as hell. I could never imagine any of them having a dramatic freak-out or doing something to ruin my plans. Sure, I know people who are like that, but I didn't ask them to be in my bridal party. I also made sure that only my mom was around during the getting-ready process. I had so many offers of help from other relatives, but it would have been way too hectic to have them all hanging around all day.
7. We had a cocktail hour before the ceremony
This last one was partially out of our control, but it put me at ease for the rest of the night. I wanted us to greet everyone at the door — I’m hosting a party, I wanted to greet my guests! That alone took off a lot of the pressure of being “presented.” Everyone had about one drink (some probably had two). We departed around back for the ceremony.
When my husband walked out with the officiant, the whole crowd cheered and shouted like they were at a sporting event. It was completely spontaneous. It just kind of happened. When I walked out last, same thing. That set the fun, light mood for the rest of the ceremony.
This could easily be recreated if you want that at a ceremony to kind of stifle the somber, quiet tone that a lot of people feel they have to bring to a wedding. Make a couple of applause signs for people to hold up. Seriously, just getting to make some noise releases so much tension.
In the end, there was nothing I would change about our wedding. Everyone had a blast.
It was special to us. It was offbeat just to our liking, and downright fun.
And that was the number one thing we wanted from the beginning.