WHERE WE ALLOCATED THE MOST FUNDS: The venue. We really wanted a venue that felt like “us” and was unique, and we fell in love with this one that used to be an actual functioning speakeasy in the 1920s and was later restored and turned into a venue. The venue felt like the most important element to us as it really dictated the rest of the planning, and Speakeasy on State was worth every penny. It worked out great because we were able to get a package that included food, DJ, cake, bouquets, and a coordinator. We also couldn’t get enough of the umbrella alley on the side of the building. It turned out to be extra appropriate since it rained on the day!
WHERE WE ALLOCATED THE LEAST FUNDS: The decor. We found this to be the most daunting aspect, and it just didn’t seem worth it to spend a ton of money on centerpieces or ceremony decor, especially when the venue had so much personality on its own. All of the flowers outside of our bouquets and ceremony arch) were fake and purchased from Michael’s every time there was a big sale, we borrowed fake candles that were leftover from Elana’s brother and sister-in-law’s wedding, the TV themed table cards were done by a friend (Holly Oddly), and Elana made all of the signage in Photoshop. Even the cake topper (from Little Clay Land) was won from an Instagram giveaway.
WHAT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT: Outside of the venue, the photographers were our biggest concern and they were worth all of the countless photographer websites we looked through! Hollow and Grace are a married couple and were so relaxed and easy to work with. We found it really important early on to choose vendors that we clicked with, and they were just so great. We feel so grateful that we have such gorgeous photos to look back on, especially while we’re social distancing from our friends and family.
WHAT WAS TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT: We spent so much time worrying about the music, and it ended up not mattering at all on the day. We were very adamant about wanting to only play oldies and classic rock and spent a long time thinking about the playlist. Before the ceremony started, our DJ asked one more time if we wanted to take requests and at that point, we just decided it was fine. It ended up being a great mix of the music we picked along with a lot of the songs we didn’t want, but everyone had a blast and tore up the dance floor. Once we were there, we realized that all that mattered was everyone having fun.
John Sawyer is a wedding expert and author of several popular books on wedding planning, including “The Ultimate Wedding Checklist” and “Wedding Day Tips and Tricks.” With over a decade of experience in the wedding industry, John Sawyer has helped countless couples plan their dream weddings with ease and joy. Her writing style is warm and engaging, and her advice is always practical and actionable.