Did y’all know that we originally planned to have our wedding today, January 16, 2021?! It was supposed to be this whole party at the Springs venue in Brookshire, Texas with a bunch of our friends and family. Well, a month into planning it (and booking the venue… Brianne at the Springs in Brookshire is the BEST, by the way), COVID thwarted everything. Well, here is why we decided to get married in August and how we did it, including costs!
Why: The uncertainty of whether we would be able to carry out a super fun wedding made us consider all the costs. We had to wonder if the $40k budget was worth the uncertainty for one day…and it wasn’t. What solidified our decision to marry early was a home we found that exceeded all of our (un)realistic criteria while we were passively browsing communities. This was the perfect home for us especially as a young couple starting out. We decided to put that wedding money toward the house and that might have been our best decision yet… after deciding to do life together FOREVER.
We decided on an intimate ceremony at our church with our closest friends and family and it truly seemed like this was God’s plan all along. There were two separate rooms that looked into the sanctuary, and were big enough for different parties to space out 6 feet apart. This was where we put our two small groups of friends who wore masks pretty much the entire time, who also quarantined before attending. The sanctuary was large enough to allow our different family members to also maintain social distance while wearing masks. The room was equipped with the tech needed in order to stream our wedding for anyone who couldn’t be there, so we did a Youtube Live for the event.
Planning this smaller wedding was pretty much smooth sailing since the day we (sadly) decided to terminate our contract with the Springs. We look back and think about how much money we saved and our budget for this one single day seems completely insane now. I know that many brides love to “Go Big or Go Home” for their weddings, and I completely respect it. I can appreciate a beautifully lavish Christine Quinn-inspired wedding, but I also really loved my low-key ceremony. I had my Maid of Honor with me the entire day and my SIL took care of many miscellaneous happenings. They were troopers and we were exhausted. We’ve been discussing the possibility of holding a reception once this pandemic is over, but… we’ll see. We have a mortgage now, hah!
Marriage License: $74 | Be sure to make an appointment and bring I.Ds. | IMPORTANT NOTE: The date you receive your marriage license should be at least 72 hours prior to your wedding date.
Ceremonial Ring with Flowers, Tulle, Candles and Lanterns: Glitter n Glam by Sarah | Decor depends on your budget and what pieces you need | While Sarah’s Instagram handle focuses on makeup, Sarah is amazing at decorations, event coordinating and emcee services. She is the WHOLE package. Need someone who is bilingual in English and Vietnamese? She’s your woman.
Photographer: Janisse Valenzuela Photography | Wedding Package starts at $2,500 | Includes either a Bridal Portrait or Couple’s Engagement Session | Janisse was honestly thrown into a much different photography environment than she was used to but she was SO adaptable. She worked hard throughout the wedding and outside in 100-degree weather. I highly recommend her for any wedding photography needs! She is from the Houston area, but is willing to travel.
Bouquet: Trader Joe’s | Hydrangeas, Baby’s Breath and Eucalyptus | Less than $10
Wedding Dress: Lulu’s | under $100 | Still in stock | My favorite part about this dress was that it was lined. It was a beautiful white and thick fabric that hugged my body in all the right places.
Robes: Robemart.com | Bride’s Robe: $20 | Bridesmaids’ Robes: under $15 each | This was the best deal for robes based on my extensive research. In addition to being affordable, the quality was also great! I wear mine to this day…. I doubt my bridesmaids wear theirs… but it was comfortable when they tried it on. Maybe at the next wedding/reception, hah!
Wedding Shoes: ASOS |under $50 | Discontinued | I added this price to simply show that wedding shoes don’t have to cost an arm and a leg!
Makeup and Hair: Makeup by Tammy | Cost depends on the makeup style you want | Tammy knows exactly how to highlight your best features for the camera. She is an absolute artist and basically the only makeup artist I trust with my face.
Wedding Cake: Whole Foods | 8 inches Berry Chantilly Cake for $35 (Price depends on your Whole Foods location)
Food: Rudy’s BBQ | Husband said this costed a couple hundred to feed 10-15(?) of our family members and we still had lots of leftovers.
All photos by Janisse Valenzuela Photography.