Our beach wedding was nothing but simplistic & minimal - yet everything we've always wanted. I'm now such a supporter of small, humble weddings. After our vision was fogged by societal norms and what we've been taught a wedding should look like - we minimized it, gained clarity on caring more for the people who'd be present vs. the materialism, and then wanted to have an adventure
Our full wedding weekend + our week-long adventure honeymoon in beautiful Tulum, Mexico felt like an endless celebration and was all under $8,000. I hope my following insight on consuming minimally + spending minimally while still having a special day inspires you with a mindset on keeping your intentions true for your special day as well...
Once we got engaged, we were bombarded with loads of questions, wedding inspiration, decisions (you engaged or married couples know what I'm talking about). It all comes from a place of love and intent to help, however can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Chris and I only had a vision to get married by the sea (because we started dating by going surfing together & being outdoors). Snowballing off that, I thought it'd be cool to get married by the Atlantic when we got engaged by the Pacific (cheesy! I know hah). Then the snowball started to build as I hopped on Pinterest & went to my first bridal expo: you'll suddenly feel like you need a light up dance floor & a VERY specific shade of blue for the decor, and that color needs to be consistent on the invitations, and to find the PERFECT venue, and so on... its intense.
REGROUNDING WITH THE MEANINGFUL
"Focus on people, not things."
It took me 6 months of planning to then drop it all - get back to our roots - and look at what was REALLY important:
#1 We wanted to elope to "keep it small" yet also wished for our closest friends & family (the ones that have seen our relationship from day 1 and have been wanting to see us get married for so long) to be there. This meant sadly telling some friends & family they couldn't come - but we promised them lots of photo and video of the day
#2 Both mine and Chris' fathers' health was in a weak state. My dad needed to be close to certain machines & doctors, and Chris' father was in recovery -- so that remote, beautiful landscape away from the city was out of the question. Having them there with the rest of our immediate family & close friends was priority #1
#3 We had plans to travel & buy a home -- so we kept the budget small too, reminding ourselves "this is just 1 day". The grandeur of a wedding day will NEVER DEFINE a lifelong love spanning many days and years to come. We also wanted to put more of the budget toward our Tulum Mexico honeymoon adventures!
So we started fresh with those 3 "musts" + our top "wants" (which were good photo/video and good food) and put it all together in 3 months. If it weren't for Hurricane Irma's destruction to South Florida, mixing up our location plans - the planning might have been a little less intense those 3 months, but it all worked out: we had a morning ceremony on the beach (that Chris and I 1st visited when I introduced him to my favorite places back home), then lots of picture taking with everyone, followed by brunch and lots of Photo Booth fun, then a little afternoon siesta, and then an afterparty outing in downtown Brickell. It was a long day, but so worth it!
There were some moments leading up to the day that it felt like I was racing time, however it all worked out and I was probably overanalyzing haha - but I guess no matter how big or small your wedding is, that will happen to some extent.
A TAKEAWAY FROM THIS? ...
I once read
if you want to impress your guests, go for it: purchase the expensive gown, decor, and have that light up dance floor, and so on. But if you want to make an impression on your guests, show and inspire them of what love really is: Love isn't tangible like decor, cake, and attire - its the connection between 2 people that people can observe, learn from, be touched, and inspired to live and love their loved ones like that too.
As 2 people have their love on display in a larger wedding setting, I've felt that many times extravagant decor distracts more than serves the purpose of the party (in my experience). But of course, the beauty is still there and absolutely gorgeous in just a completely different way than small weddings.
Would you or did you have a small wedding too? What was your biggest take away from it? and, would you like a more detailed vlog on the rundown of planning this to learn from? If so, leave your Questions below and I'll do a Q&A follow up :)