How to have an affordable destination micro-wedding P

How to have an affordable destination micro-wedding P

Gold sequins and golden light at this Oregon beach wedding

A destination micro-wedding is simply a wedding away from home with 10 people or less as your witnesses. Here are 8 tips for how to have one, and how to save money doing it!

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

This is the biggest decision you will make cost-wise. Think about where your money will go the farthest.

Your first decision is domestic vs international. You might be happy to learn an international destination microwedding can actually end up being cheaper, even much cheaper than domestic. It automatically pulls the guest list way down which is what you need. The money you spend on an international plane ticket will pale in comparison to the cost of an American wedding reception with a healthy guest list anywhere.

Your second decision is which country. A wedding in most European countries, or even Costa Rica will cost you a lot more than one in the Dominican Republic, Southeast Asia, or Nicaragua. Put the adventure first, and your wedding moment second and your heart should lead you to the right choice and price point.

HONEYMOON

Let’s be real, you’ve probably been with this person a long time and there are no surprises at this point. So let your trip be your annual vacation, share it with your friends, and call it your honeymoon so your boss has to give you the time off.

LET YOUR SMALL GUESTLIST IN ON THE PLANNING

We didn’t want our friends to feel like our wedding was an “obligation vacation.” Our goal was to have an experience that our wedding party co-created with us and held as a dream vacation for themselves, with our wedding as a bonus. This is less about savings, and more just good etiquette.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AIRBNB!

Stay away from the resorts. The move here is to get a baller house with plenty of room for all of you and split the costs per person. Its like your own episode of Real World, all scrambling calling your bedrooms, swimming in your own pool, etc. Airbnb has a saved list function where you can create a trip list and throw properties on it. This helped us identify where we could get the best house in the best place for the least amount of money – for us that was Phuket, Thailand. We decided, #Phuketletsgetmarried

Check out our initial list of houses here: Around the World in 80 Infinity Pools

REHEARSAL DINNER

If this isn’t a moment you are invested in, you can totally skip it. But I love a dinner party so I took this as an opportunity.

Consider the following option: Since you have a baller crib and a tiny guest list, have a proper dinner party at your Airbnb and make the food yourselves.

You are only paying for the groceries, and you are probably splitting the costs with your housemates. It’s also a chance to let your friends who are wizards in the kitchen or badass drink mixers step-up and do what they love for the group as their contribution to your big day. Dress up if you want, have a friend take pics with their nice camera, light some candles, and make some toasts.

And remember: you don’t actually have to rehearse anything if you don’t want to. We didn’t.

VENUE:

This is the hardest part of planning an affordable destination microwedding wedding. If you can’t tour venues and meet with people how can you make this decision? I’m gonna ask you to take a deep breath and try to relax.

  • The whole point of getting married in a faraway place is to let the place be your production designer.
  • Avoid buying into a wedding package, think outside the box.
  • Show off the natural beauty of the destination.

We chose the beach at sunset. You just can’t go wrong. It was a public beach close to our villa that wasn’t over run with tourists. Since I don’t know the area, I asked my AIRBNB host to make a recommendation and he told me about the beach. My best man and I checked it out the morning of the wedding and decided it would work. (My recommendation here is to choose an AIRBNB where you can have the ceremony as a back-up.)

Don’t obsess over the ceremony, it’s only a moment. Just put the pieces together and let the moment unfold how it wants to. One of our wedding party got ordained and we signed all our paperwork stateside before we left. The ceremony in Thailand was symbolic, but let me tell you — that’s every ceremony unless you are literally signing your certificate on the stage.

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER

It’s worth it, you want to enjoy those pictures forever. Use Instagram hashtags to identify wedding photographers in your destination and hit them up for quotes.

Pro tip: In a budget-friendly location like the Dominican Republic or Thailand, photographers will offer good hourly rates — however hours add up. To save a bundle, only hire them for one hour. Have your camera happy friend document the getting ready and the reception, but save the photographer for the ceremony moment.

RECEPTION

One of the greatest cost savings for the micro-wedding savvy will be on your truncated reception. If you have 10 people or less you don’t have to do the whole expensive catered reception, you can just go to a restaurant together afterward.

It was important to me, to get to experience the dance party that goes with a traditional reception while avoiding the seating charts and centerpieces. But that might not be important to you, which will make it even easier.

I poured over Trip Adviser looking for restaurants nearby that had a nightclub element or dance halls that had a dinner option and I found it! (#research) We ended up at a place in Phuket Town called Ka Jok Se. I don’t have the word count here to fully describe it but I will say, it was pure magic, and all I had to do was make a reservation.

Remember the wedding is only a moment, take advantage of the opportunity to give yourself a thrill but don’t take it too seriously. The marriage is what really matters. Lock that shit down!

Black and White Boho Glam Acre Baja Wedding P

Black and White Boho Glam Acre Baja Wedding P

If you’ve been following Junebug for a while, you know that we can never get enough tropical wedding inspo. The minute we laid eyes on Madison and Jeff’s black and white Acre Baja wedding, we were in love. Between the simple white florals from Let It Bloom, the macrame backdrop against the palm trees, the sophisticated black bridesmaids dresses, and Madison’s Grace Loves Lace sheath wedding dress, their special day was the perfect combination of elegant yet casual. Oh, and did we mention that the day included wild peacocks and a donkey? Everything about these photos captured by Junebug member Los Ébano is Pinterest worthy so get those destination wedding boards up because this one is worth saving.

The Couple:

Madison and Jeff

The Wedding:

Acre Baja, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Recommended reading: Adorable Bridesmaids Robes for Your Best Girls

Shop similar pearl anklets: Nautral Pearl Ankle Bracelet ($22); Baroque Pearl Anklet ($18.52); Fresh Water Pearl Anklet ($34.14)

Shop similar bridesmaid dresses: Lulu’s Aveline Black Off-The-Shoulder Maxi Dress ($94); Lulu’s Air of Romance Black Maxi Dress ($74); Essence of Style Black Maxi Dress ($98); Lulu’s Love Me To The Moon Black Pleated Midi Dress ($58)

Shop similar cathedral veils: Cathedral Wedding Veil ($49.99); Soft Wedding Veil ($58.95); 108 Inch Classic Simple Cathedral Veil ($40.50)

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Los Ébano
Event Planning – About Love Cabo
Venue – Acre Baja
Floral Design – Let It Bloom
Cake – Sweet Dreams Cabo
DJ – DJ Mijares
Videography – Jorge Ibarra
Makeup Artist & Hair Styling – Los Cabos Makeup
Wedding Dress – Grace Loves Lace
Bridal Accessories – Mark Patterson
Rentals – Let It Be Events
Transportation – Cabo Premium Logistics

Congratulations again to Madison and Jeff on their glamorous wedding Acre Baja wedding! Big thank you to Junebug member Los Ébano for sharing their special day with us. To see more of their work, check out their profile in our directory of best wedding photographers in the world!

 

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Tropical Industrial Millwick Wedding, Full of Laid-Back Vibes P

Tropical Industrial Millwick Wedding, Full of Laid-Back Vibes P

Does it get any better than an industrial and tropical wedding? We don’t think so. Lauren and Julian’s tropical day at the industrial Millwick in LA plays up the venue’s lush aesthetic perfectly. One look at the ceremony space and you would think we were in Tulum.

The beautiful white and green flower arrangements by Best Day Ever Floral Design totally pop against the brick interior, and we can’t get enough of the couple portraits the two took with Gabriel Conover outside on the streets of Los Angeles. The couple–with the help of Pop The Champagne Events–clearly paid attention to all of the small details, and we love every minute of it. So, get those Pinterest boards ready, Junebabes, because this one is totally pinnable.

The Couple:

Lauren and Julien

The Wedding:

Millwick, Los Angeles, California

Why A Millwick Wedding

The question we always asked ourselves when touring a venue was, “Is this the kind of place we would hang out at?” Walking into Millwick’s quirky, tropical-meets-industrial space–with tons of lush greenery and a low-key, casual vibe–felt like a place we would grab a drink—if it were open to the public. I think we decided before our tour even started that it was going to be the place.

A Quiet Moment Before The Ceremony

There’s a photo of us in the couple’s suite before the ceremony. We’re sitting in two armchairs, holding hands and chatting. It was a small moment where we were preparing for what was about to unfold–what five years of love led up to. It’s my favorite picture of the day.

Personalizing The Ceremony With Friends & Family

Instead of having a flower girl, we opted for “flower grandmas!” Both of our grandmothers did tremendous work helping raise us, and we wanted to make them part of the procession somehow. We had them walk down together and hand out flowers to our guests, which ended up being one of our favorite moments. We also had our moms do a couple of readings from authors that were meaningful to us–Shel Silverstein for him, Haruki Murakami for me. To top it all off, our friend Nick graciously agreed to officiate and marry us. He’s known us both as friends and as a couple, so he was the perfect choice. Together we collaborated on a ceremony script that was short, sweet, and best of all, uniquely us.

Wedding Advice From The Bride

Make peace with the fact that you probably won’t have the time or budget for every single thing in your wedding planning vision. You may set out wanting x, y, and z, but all of a sudden, z is no longer attainable for whatever reason. This happened to me with custom invitations. Initially, I wanted a custom-designed invite, but after prioritizing my list of must-haves, I realized it wasn’t as important to me as having other things.

Laid-Back Tropical Wedding Day Vibes

Millwick is a cool, unconventional venue with a tropical-industrial aesthetic and we really wanted to embrace that. So we opted to keep the florals tropical yet modern in terms of the color palette. We stuck to creams and muted pastels accented by pops of amber and lots of tropical greenery. Annie–our florist–kept things from becoming too monotonous by playing up textures and hues.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Gabriel Conover
Event Planning – Pop the Champagne Events
Venue – Millwick
Floral Design – Best Day Ever Floral Design
Catering – Two Doughs
Cake – Mwokaji Cakery
DJ – Hey Mister DJ
Videography – Kristine + Charles
Makeup Artist – Nikki Davis
Hair Styling – Carmina Milian
Wedding Dress – Sarah Seven
Bridal Accessories – Untamed Petals
Bridesmaids’ Apparel – Lulu’s
Groom’s Apparel – The Black Tux
Rings – Anna Sheffield
Photobooth – Flipbooth
Bar – Huntington Catering

Congratulations again to Lauren and Julien on their tropical industrial Millwick wedding! Thank you to Gabriel Conover for sharing it with Junebug. Ready to recreate this look for your venue? Check out our 8 tips to turn any venue into a tropical paradise! 

 

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Vintage-Inspired Nashville Wedding at Wilburn Street Studio P

Vintage-Inspired Nashville Wedding at Wilburn Street Studio P

Audrey and Isaiah are the quintessential vintage-loving couple who wanted every detail of their wedding at Wilburn Street Studio to emit classy old-school vibes. Inspired by Audrey’s love for thrifting, she–along with her sisters–went on endless trips to Goodwill to collect glassware, books, and figurines to use as decor for their special day. Doing all of the planning themselves, the couple created a day that was nothing short of rustic and charming.

One of our favorite aspects? Audrey’s Grace Kelly inspired Emmie Phelps Thompson wedding dress! She looked as if she had stepped out of the Golden Age of Hollywood as a rising starlet. Ready to see the chic affair? Keep scrolling to see the beautiful photos captured by Swak Photography–and be prepared to be transported back in time.

The Couple:

Audrey and Isaiah

The Wedding:

Wilburn Street Studio, Nashville, Tennessee

The Vintage Hollywood Inspired Bridal Look

I knew I wanted more of a vintage, Hollywood vibe for my hair and make-up. I have always loved Grace Kelly’s look, so I did have that in mind when I described the general aesthetic I wanted for my wedding day look. The dress was inspired by one I had coveted for a long time by a New York designer but knew I would not be able to afford it. I had a wonderful friend who made the dress for me, and it turned out so wonderfully! I decided on this dress because I felt it was a nod to the vintage era, but still very modern.

DIYing the Entire Wedding

I DIYed almost everything. My family was such a HUGE part of it all, and we could not have pulled it off without them. The archway made out of PVC pipe was my Dad’s handiwork, and we spray painted it gold. My older sister helped me thrift for weeks and designed all of my flowers–even my bouquet! My younger sisters helped decorate and painted signs for gifts, the entrance, etc. I pulled my apartment apart for the decor and used glassware, books, and figurines for almost all of the decorations. I was even collecting greenery the day before the wedding while walking around Nashville! It was a lot of work, but it was truly my style and a dream to collaborate with my sisters on this big day!

Wedding Advice From the Bride

Don’t get too caught up on the small, truly insignificant stuff. A lot of our day in the planning stages was dictated by what we could afford and make happen in Nashville while living in Atlanta. So many factors changed from what I wanted to what we could physically make happen. When frustration set in, I always told myself not to lose sight of why I was doing all of it–to marry the man I love and celebrate our new life together. I always made an effort to enjoy the moment and not get caught up in what I simply couldn’t make work. 

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Swak Photography
Venue – Wilburn Street Studio
DJ – Steven Mullan
Makeup Artist & Hair Styling – Ana Monique
Wedding Dress – Emmie Phelps Thompson
Rentals – Liberty Rentals

Congratulations again to Audrey and Isaiah on their vintage-inspired Nashville wedding at Wilburn Street Studio! Thank you to Swak Photography for sharing their special day with Junebug. We hope you loved it as much as we do. To see more vintage wedding inspo, check out Elizabeth and Dan’s Vintage Celestial Wedding at The Outdoor Club!

 

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Epic Top of The Rock Elopement Overlooking NYC P

Epic Top of The Rock Elopement Overlooking NYC P

Sweeping views of New York City are romantic and provide an incredible backdrop.  There’s something particularly magical about rooftop elopements, and Jade and Shaina’s epic Top of the Rock elopement is no exception.

The couple, who originally planned on getting married in Nashville, had everything organized for their September 2020 wedding. They couldn’t wait to reveal their outfits, venue, and officiant–Jade’s grandfather—to their guests. Unfortunately, Jade’s grandfather unexpectedly passed seven months before the two could tie the knot. Left grieving and missing their officiant, they entered Emily Reno of Epic Elopement’s elopement giveaway. The day after the couple entered they found out they won and were swept away to The Big Apple.

Everything was planned out including the venue, the florals by Nava Florals, and the photographer–Aesthetic Sabotage Studio. Although it wasn’t what they originally had envisioned, we can’t get enough of this unique elopement. These photos are truly unforgettable.

The Couple:

Jade and Shaina

The Wedding:

Top of the Rock, New York City

Why a Top of the Rock Elopement

So, we initially decided to wed in my fiancée’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. It was such an exciting time. We had our venue booked, my dress was ordered, my fiancée’s suit was ordered, we had all of our vendors lined up, and we had a date set for September 25, 2020. A very personal touch that we agreed on was that my grandfather was going to officiate our ceremony. Unfortunately, we unexpectedly lost my grandpa on February 19, 2020. The week after my grandpa passed, we then received word that Emily Reno was doing an elopement giveaway and knew that we had to apply. We found out that we had won the elopement the day after we applied and canceled our Nashville wedding immediately!

Wedding Day Advice From Mom

I think the most important thing for us was something that my mom told us, “It’s not about the wedding; it’s about the marriage.” At times we were both so overwhelmed and worried about if eloping would upset our family and friends–or if we went ahead with our big wedding, what details would accommodate everyone. Going through that process, we found that through stressing out over little details, we lost sight of what it was all about–our marriage. No matter how you choose to get married, know that the day will eventually end but the love and memories will last forever.

Favorite Photo Captured by Aesthetic Sabotage Studio

My favorite photo was the one of us on the Brooklyn Bridge, and Shaina and I are holding hands as we look off into the distance. That photo is our favorite because of the moment it conveys. We were nearing the end of the photography session, and we kind of had a moment to reflect on our ceremony, our marriage, all that we had overcome as a lesbian couple to make it to this point. We were able to honor and reflect on how blessed we were to share this moment together. Out of loss, we gained something so beautiful that it will forever be the highlight of our lives.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Aesthetic Sabotage Studio
Event Planning – The Epic Elopement
Venue – Top of the Rock
Floral Design – Nava Florals 
Hair Styling – Liza Ray
Wedding Dress – Impression Bridal
Bridal Suit – Mens Warehouse

Congratulations again to Jade and Shaina on their Top of the Rock elopement! Thank you to Junebug member Aesthetic Sabotage Studio for sharing these beautiful photos with us. To see more of their work, check out their profile in our directory of best wedding photographers in the world.

 

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