tera, clinical research compliance officer & tyson, risk management manager
Sum-up of the wedding vibe: A budget friendly party for our nearest and dearest, made complete by pizza, donuts, and lots of drunken dancing.
Planned budget: $10,000
Actual budget: $12,000
Number of guests: 110
LOCATION: Salt Lake City, Utah
Where we allocated the most funds:
Food and drinks: Our venue was small and couldn’t feasibly hold tables and chairs for over 100 people, so a migratory-type dinner with a food truck seemed like the right way to go. We also set up a donut wall and a grazing table inside the studio (basically a long charcuterie board full of cheeses, meats, dried fruit, and nuts). The grazing table was a crowd favorite—we couldn’t keep it stocked long enough to get a picture of the full thing. We got so many compliments on both that and the food truck. Seriously, the truck guys were awesome. They kept the pizzas coming all night, which was especially nice as the evening wore on into drunken munchies territory. They even made custom cheese-less pizzas for a few of our vegan guests free of charge. The best part: the grand total for the food truck was $1,200. The grazing table food cost an additional $200 (thank you, Trader Joes, for your amazingly cheap selection of delicious cheeses and salted meats).
Our venue allowed us to bring our own booze in, so we just hired a bartender for the night. We offered a selection of wine and beer, as well as bride and groom big batch cocktails: Pimm’s Lemonade for me (recipe courtesy of APW) and an Old-Fashioned for my husband. Grand total for bar service and alcohol was just under $2,000, and we had a bunch leftover, which is kind of great because we’re now stocked up for the apocalypse.
Where we allocated the least funds:
Photography and flowers: Both our photographer and florist were just starting their businesses at the time we hired them, so they offered us awesome discounts in exchange for our permission to use the wedding in their portfolios. Our florist used mostly locally foraged plants in her arrangements, which also cut down on cost.
What was totally worth it:
The DJ: We were just going to iPod playlist-it, but decided to hire a DJ on the advice of several of our friends who have hosted weddings. We ended up hiring a former co-worker of Tyson’s who turned out to be insanely good. He was mixing 90’s hip hop, 60’s funk, and contemporary upbeat music and people were going nuts. We ended up spontaneously asking the venue owner for an extra hour—which they graciously granted us—because nobody wanted to stop dancing.