minimalism, travel
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Our Minimalist Wedding

What do you like better, Christmas or Wedding Season? Mr. Grey?

Yes. The answer would be, um, Wedding Season?

Oh, it’s here! We are in full on wedding-season-mode, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last month. I still can’t believe that TODAY we celebrate our one year anniversary! YAY US! If you missed the post on how the universe planned our minimalist wedding you can read it here. Not long ago, I was asked about my most recent greatest accomplishment, to which I replied-planning a wedding AND honeymoon for under 5,000 US dollars. According to The Knot, a wedding planning site, the average American spent $32,641 for the big day in 2015; and that’s excluding the honeymoon! Say waaaaaaaaa!

But it doesn’t have to be that way, ladies! I know it’s one of the biggest days of our lives, but do we really need to put ourselves through months of stress, meticulous planning and extreme work-outs, all for an elaborate party we’ll barely have time to eat at, while dishing out the expenses equivalent to the price of a luxury car? Nope, but please do me a favor and make it the day YOU want. Don’t let culture, or society’s expectations, or Momzilla dictate what your wedding day becomes.

I’m definitely a free spirit and a follow where-the-wind-blows type; and when the idea of a ‘planned’ elopement’ presented itself-I jumped right onboard. I’m still asked occasionally if I regret the decision and I’ll forever give the same answer-HECK NO! Here’s how we managed to spend less than $5,000 on our wedding/honeymoon:

The invitations: FREE-perks of having a private ceremony! We did have an intimate engagement/housewarming party before our Key West departure, but we used cute, personalized Etsy invites for guests.

The coordinator: $525 + taxes/service fees- We used Geri at I Do Weddings Key West and she was fantastic! This price included up to 20 guests and photography. Chair rentals for guests would have been an additional cost.

The venue: beach-FREE! Ahhh nature-the most beautifully curated event space imaginable. And it’s free! Who would have thought?

Erin and Patrick Wedding (46)

The dress: $25-from a random beach boutique on Duval Street.  Bonus-it’s reusable!  I purchased it just a few hours before our wedding, might I add. Have I mentioned how well I work under pressure?

Erin and Patrick Wedding (33)

The hair: $100-professionally done at Isle Style. Hours upon hours of YouTube videos can’t help me when it comes to making my hair presentable. I just can’t grasp the concept; so I’ll gladly pay someone that does. What weirdo pays more for the hair than the dress?

Erin and Patrick Wedding (7)

The cake: $50-Geri arranged for a local bakery to make us a simple white cake with buttercream frosting. It was delicious and we ate it ALL!

The location/honeymoon: the remainder of our funds were obviously spent on travel, accommodations, food and activity expenses in Key West! We literally picked this locale out of a hat for a simple summer vacation, but as the universe would have it-also our destination wedding. Having a minimalist wedding meant honeymoon splurging-and we spared no expense. All said and done, we didn’t return home in wedding debt and one year into marriage-we are completely debt free (excluding mortgage).

My best advice for wedding day: Let the day unfold and RELAX! At the end of the day-whether you have a surprise backyard ceremony or an elaborate celebration-be grateful.  You are married! Best wishes and enjoy the season! 🙂

To Patrick-Thank you for embracing my spontaneous spirit and for complimenting me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. God knew what he was doing when our paths crossed so many years ago! Cheers to many more years. I love you!

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