This is a true vintage weddings story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

An open letter to brides wanting a vintage wedding…

I got married about 10 years ago, and am part of the wedding industry. I have seen some gorgeous high-end weddings and have seen some weddings that were full of love, but less than stellar. And with all my experience, I wish I would have done some things differently.

Here’s how my wedding went down. We were going to live at the beach after graduation, so we invited our friends and family down for our wedding. The first reason was so that they would fall in love with the beach there (and come back to visit us!), and the second reason was to cut down the guest list. Half of the wedding party was late to the ceremony, so a bonus about the beautiful scenery was that the guests definitely didn’t mind hanging out on the beach during the delay.

We rented a clubhouse nearby, made it as cute as we could, and catered in our meal. The cake and flowers were both from Publix (neither of those choices do I regret!). We played a slideshow and our favorite music over the sound system from when we met for a sentimental touch. The favors were handmade, and the wedding planner was a family member who was actually a wedding planner. And my husband’s dad was a pastor, so he was an obvious officiant. It was sentimental, and absolutely full of love. But it wasn’t exactly what I would call elegant or gorgeous.

See, I was on a tiny wedding budget. I mean, tiny. My parents didn’t help me out very much, so I wasn’t really working with a pre-planned budget. But, in the end, I probably spent as much as another bride with an elegant catered wedding.

How could that happen? Well, first, let me disclaim this by saying Pinterest wasn’t around to give me tons of DIY budget wedding ideas. These days, you really don’t need to spend much at all to have a dreamy wedding.

Here’s how it happened: I spent my budget in the wrong place. On the things that didn’t matter.

My hardest job was finding a wedding venue. Unfortunately, Spring Lake wasn’t around back then. I didn’t have $10K for a venue plus catering. I DREAMED of a vintage wedding venue like Spring Lake. Just a field or some beautiful woods with a bathroom would have been good enough for me (and my budget), haha.

Fall Vintage Wedding Venue

Photography by Once Like a Spark

But Spring Lake is so much more. You can plan it right and get every. thing. you need. for your wedding for around $6300. Add a beautiful budget dress, pick out a chic outfit for your man, and hit up Pinterest for all the details to make it meaningful, and you’ve got yourself a date!

Seriously. You can get caught up in all the little things to overspend on like I did (think decorations and invitations, etc.). But in the end, if you you have a gorgeous venue with a ton of adorable decorations and catering included, just bring your own jams and you’re set for a night to remember.

Take my word for it. Are you listening? This is it. The ultimate secret for planning the perfect wedding on a super tight budget. From a former budget bride and current wedding pro. Get a pen. Ok. Got it? K. The secret is……save your money on the little things.

Spend your money where it matters. Your wedding venue.