Stacy and Jared wanted an elegant wedding, but knew that executing their vision with a large guest list would send them thousands of dollars over budget. They decided to cut their guest list down to immediate family only, and in doing so, were able to host the wedding of their dreams for only $4,000. That sounds like a dream come true to us!
Thanks to Melissa Biador for sharing all the beautiful photos with us!
Stacy, 31 & Jared
San Diego, CA
Wedding Date: October 10, 2013
Number of Guests: 10
Wedding Cost: $4,000. (Our vendors were so amazing and really worked within our budget.)
Wedding Ceremony Location: Presidio Park
Wedding Reception Location: The Prado Restaurant
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
We were on a tight budget to begin with, then encountered unfortunate financial setbacks during the planning process. The wedding I originally planned for was $8,500, but after several setbacks, we were down to $4,000, less than half our original budget.
What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
The guest list.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
I ran the numbers over and over to figure out how to accommodate 50-100 people for dinner. Now it is *possible* with the budget we had, but I couldn’t create a worthwhile experience to justify guests flying in from out-of-town. So we stuck to immediate family.
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
We had a few family members that really wanted to come to the wedding and we had to remind them that we were on a limited budget.
Family and friends may not be too happy that they’re not invited, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stop talking to you. Family and good friends will still love you no matter what.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
The video from our amazing videographer, Mellow Entertainment. (The video is included at the end of the post.)
What were the highlights of the reception?
The reception was just a dinner, but it was so lovely to be able to sit with just family and relax and eat.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
I was able to get a sophisticated look and feel for the wedding. I wanted our wedding to *look* expensive without being expensive. I had beautiful flowers, cake, chairs, and stationery. Since it was just immediate family, I didn’t have to multiply these costs. If we had our original guest list with the vision I wanted, this wedding would have sky rocketed from $4,000 to $40,000!!!
I was also able to enjoy the wedding with family without the obligation of entertaining so many guests. As a former wedding photographer, I worked with couples that barely had time to sit and breathe. For our own wedding, I was able to relax. I didn’t have to *do* anything, just eat, drink and be married.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
1. It’s not stress-free, but definitely less stressful 2. Just because it’s small doesn’t mean you don’t need a DOC! I had a ton of details that needed to be taken care of at the ceremony site. I’m so glad I hired Liz from W.E.D. San Diego 3. More budget ideas from my blog post
Day of Coordinator: WED San Diego
Hair & Makeup: Meredith Andree
Photography: Melissa Biador
Videography: Mellow Entertainment
Cake: Hey There, Cupcake!
Flowers: Root 75
Rentals: Raphael’s Party Rentals
Stationery: Stacy Barnes Creative
Officiant: Shawn Kennedy