1. What drinks should you serve?
We were able to bring our own alcohol to our venue so we decided to do two signature hard alcohol drinks along with beer and wine. Our two signature drinks were Moscow Mules and Old Fashions and we had 4 different local craft beers from San Diego. There are some venues that only allow you to use the alcohol that they provide and then they charge per person so that can get really expensive. If you can, try to find a venue that allows you to bring your own if you want to cut costs.
Make sure to have options for people that do not drink! We had a lot of people under 21 so we provided sodas for them!
2. What is the hardest part of planning?
The hardest part for us was finding a venue. Before we could lock down any other vendors we had to have a date but you can't have an official date without a venue. It was time consuming because you have to visit the venue to get a good idea so be sure to start looking early!
3. Who do you give a plus one to?
We limited the amount of plus ones we gave out because it kept our number down and costs down. We decided for friends that didn't know a whole lot of people could bring a plus one and also those who were currently in a serious relationship.
4. Where did you get your cake?
Since I do not like cake, we decided that we would do a small cake for the cake cutting ceremony to keep some traditions alive. We had a friend of a friend make our cake and it was perfect, simple and much much cheaper than a traditional wedding cake. We had our florist supply a few flowers to make it look extra nice. So instead of serving cake, we decided on cookies. There is a local cookie shop called Cravory in San Diego and it's our absolute favorite so we decided to order their cookies! They were gone so quick that Joe and I didn't even get one! We even bought extra so we could take them home, but that did not happen!
There are so many options other than cake so don't be afraid to do something different. Our wedding planner would always say to us that it is our wedding and we can do things however we wanted to. .
5. How did you decide seating arrangements?
We had round tables that would fit 8 people each so we decided to sit Joe's family together and my family together at separate tables. For friends we sat them with other friends that knew each other and tried to keep in mind ages of everyone. We had a lot of people back out the couple weeks leading up to the wedding so that was the hardest part about the seating arrangements. We ended up losing a whole table after shifting everyone around after we lost those people.
6. When should you do bridal pictures?
I suggest doing them before the ceremony! We tried to do all of our pictures (other than family) before the ceremony but didn't have the time. We ended up doing them after the ceremony but ended up missing out on the cocktail hour and hanging out with our friends and family. There are a lot of pictures to take so try to get what you can out of the way before the party starts!
7. How do you decide wedding poses?
I did a lot of research on Pinterest and sent ideas to my photographer, but your photographer should lead you in the right direction with poses! Jonny Scott (our photographer) helped us and put us in some of our favorite poses.
8. Where did you try and cut costs?
When we were coming up with our budget, we made a list on what was the most important versus not that important to us. We decided that photography and videography were the most important to us so we put most of our budget to those two things! Flowers were not so important so we decided to do centerpieces that did not include flowers. Our flowers were done by Flowers by Erin and she did an amazing job and stayed within our budget! We also reused a lot of our flowers between the ceremony and reception. Our flowers on the arch became our flowers for our sweetheart table and the bouquets from my bridesmaids were placed on various tables for decorations!
Cake was another way we saved money. Like I said above, we had a friend of a friend make our cake and it was perfect. It was not something that we were serving to our guests so we decided to save money on that!
Alcohol is a huge cost at weddings. I would suggest finding a venue that allows you to bring your own alcohol because that will save you a lot of money! If you get the chance to bring your own alcohol, do signature drinks like we did, that way you're not buying a ton of different kinds of alcohol either!
We decided that invitations were not everything to us as well, so we decided to find some on Etsy! I had been searching on Pinterest and found the ones I wanted but they were going to cost me close to $1000 for everything and that just wasn't in our budget. So while looking at all the navy options on Etsy, I came to find the perfect ones that were so similar to the ones I found on Pinterest! Click here to find our exact invitations! We also did all of our signs with the same lady so everything matched. We had everything printed through Vista Print online and it was easy and painless!
We also made our seating chart arrangement using flowers and vines from Michaels. I just had all of our guests names printed with their tables and then attached them to our display! It was actually fun to make because it was bonding time with my parents! They worked hard on it for us!
9. Should we do a first look?
This is a personal preference! We decided to do one because we wanted the moment alone and to ourselves. It was a very emotional and special moment between the two of us and it didn't take away from seeing each other when I was walking down the aisle either. The whole day is so emotional so we wanted to make sure we had a moment with just the two of us. I have a whole post on our first look and why it was important to us so click here to read!
10. Do you need a wedding planner?
Our wedding planer saved our butts on so many things! She was worth every penny! Heather from Willmus Weddings did an amazing job on keeping us on track to make sure everything was done before the wedding and then on the day of. She provided recommendations for vendors within our budget because she knew of everyone and also thought of all the little things that one would never think of and it seriously made all the difference. We ran a little behind at the wedding so Heather was quick on her feet and moved things around so our guests did not get anxious before dinner! She was perfect and I could not have gotten through the day without her! She takes care of so much and she made life so much easier.
All pictures done by Jonny Scott Photo!