Stephanie, community college Program Manager & Rocco, director/producer
SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: A relaxed bohemian elopement surrounded by love.
PLANNED BUDGET: $5,000
ACTUAL BUDGET: $4,000
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 5
LOCATION: Lands End Park, San Francisco, California
Where we allocated the most funds:
Most of our funds were actually spent on our plane tickets to get us from Pennsylvania to San Francisco! And the other portion was allocated to ensuring we had an amazing photographer to capture our day.
Where we allocated the least funds:
Instead of a traditional reception, since we only had five guests, we opted for a beachfront dinner at the nearby Beach Chalet restaurant to celebrate our nuptials. It was a perfect setting, delicious, accommodating (we made reservations that day!), and memorable.
What was totally worth it:
Rocco and I both agreed that it was very important to us that our wedding day be captured in a way that we would cherish forever. We wanted a special photographer who could not only highlight the big moments of our day, but also spotlight the details that we incorporated. It was also important to us to have some artistic photo ops, and Joie used her skills and eyes to go above and beyond what we could ever have imagined. Since our wedding was an elopement, photos were all that we would have to show our family and friends back home our favorite memories from our big day. Joie was amazing at ensuring we had what wanted!
What was totally not worth it:
I really can’t think of anything. We made sure to incorporate exactly what we wanted. I would just say that, generally speaking, stressing out is not worth it. The day will happen exactly how the universe decides it should, so you can only do so much planning and worrying. Just relax and surrender to it all. It will work out.
A few things that helped us along the way:
Knowing that we had love and support from those that mattered to us. Also, Rocco and I would keep checking in with each other in the planning process to ensure we were on the same page. It can be a very emotional process so we wanted to be sure that we were making decisions together and based on both of our wants and needs. We also made sure to keep focused on our love for each other and not on making our day about pleasing anyone else. It was all about what we wanted, and that made it so special.
My best practical advice for my planning self:
Keep an open mind and welcome the unexpected changes you will have to make; it may all just work out for the best. And focus on keeping your wedding special to you and your partner. Don’t pay attention to what others may voice their unwelcome opinions about. Do what is special and cherished for you.
Favorite thing about the wedding:
Our wedding came with an unforgettable story and roller coaster ride. It led us to an unexpected ceremony location with the most amazing backdrop (Golden Gate Bridge, ocean, forest—we had it all!). And of course staring into Rocco’s eyes while simultaneously laughing and crying as we exchanged our most precious words to each other.