The wedding is over and I had the bestest time. It couldn't have turned out better. It was a whirlwind of fun and excitement. The few days before the wedding were spent with close friends and family. The day, itself, went rather smoothly. The only real hiccup was our musician didn't show up. Luckily, I had the foresight (and paranoia) to bring along a cd player and a wedding song compilation cd that I received as a free gift from Macys. I was ever so slightly worried that our officiant wouldn't show up since she was the only other "non-do-it-ourself" aspect of the wedding. I had a back up plan for her too since my ex-brother-in-law (who was a guest at the wedding) is ordained in the state of Oregon. My fears were unfounded, however, as she not only showed up but she did an amazing job. She really helped make the day special.
Nick and I both wanted a very intimate, very inexpensive, but very special wedding. And I am happy to say that's exactly what we got! Some of the unique aspects of our wedding is that we had polaroid cameras for our guests to take pictures of their favorite moments. We set up a shrine by the fireplace to display pictures of our married guests on their wedding day. We had a picnic reception with blankets set up on the grass inviting our guests to sit down (and play with bubbles) but we also had picnic tables set up so that our older guests also had a comfortable place to sit. Nick and I are both kids at heart so it is no surprise that our wedding was tilted towards the whimsical. We had a cotton candy machine (which was a huge hit with both kids AND adults), pinatas, chalk for the kids to draw pictures on the ground, and pinwheels. I was tickled when I over heard my niece exclaim "This is the BEST wedding ever!!" :-)
The best part of all is the total cost! While we didn't reach our original goal of keeping the wedding under $1,000, we only over shot by about $200 (not including attendant gifts and a very expensive locket that I bought for my mom as a thank you). The most expensive aspect of our wedding was my dress, alterations, and undergarments which came out to about $640 (over half of our total wedding expense). The reason we were able to keep our expenses so low is that we did practically everything ourselves. The roses and hydrangeas were picked from my mother and her co-worker's backyard. We did purchase some extra flowers from the grocery store the day before on a half off sale. Practically all of the decor including tablecloths, serving utensils, plates, baskets, blankets, candles, etc were all things we already owned. We gathered everything from my house and my parent's house a few months in advance and just filled in what we needed from the dollar store. My Aunt Jan and my mom made the delicious sandwiches, desserts, and side dishes. It also helps that one of my best friends is an amazing photographer. She took all the photos and her husband did the videography as a wedding present. I made our own wedding cake so it only cost me the ingredients (which was about $20). We did splurge on reserving the location for our wedding ceremony and reception (you can get married there for free but for a whopping $75 you are guaranteed the space for the whole day...BTW, that was sarcasm. I'm fully aware that $75 is very cheap for a location).