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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2013
    Location
    Alabama
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    906

    Default Destination weddings?? Cheap ideas?

    I'm engaged, have been for 8 months and we have not set a date or have any real plans on getting married anytime soon.

    #1 reason we bought a farm this spring and are pouring all extra cash into making it into horse property (both of us are in agreement). We have no debt outside the mortgage and are unwilling to borrow money for a wedding. I've been married before so the big wedding isn't high on my list. He hasn't been married but is the kind that no one ever thought would get married (I say he was just waiting for me)...

    We've played around with cheap options of getting married on the farm (mainly because I'd like to ride my gelding down the aisle) but I'm not very interested in paying for the photographer, equipment rentals, food, etc... and most of my family and close friends are 500+ miles from here so I'd feel bad about asking people to get hotels. Not to mention this one is all out of my pocket, and I'd rather put up new fence or get a new truck before I spend thousands of dollars on a wedding.

    I will not go to the courthouse. I am not knocked up, it is not for me.

    I've played around with the idea of going away and just having it be an us moment. Something intimate without the big show. I keep threatening Vegas... but want to keep it classy.

    Does anyone have any ideas of something affordable?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
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    Just west of BFE
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    5,336

    Default

    Tahoe. Just as easy as Vegas, but way classier.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,335

    Default

    My SO and I are planning on doing a destination wedding as well, so I will be watching this. Basically, we just want to take a vacation and just happen to get married while we are there. Most of the islands have a free wedding package if you stay for at least a week. We were thinking maybe St Maarten, but we haven't don't much research yet.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Location
    CA to Costa Rica to WI
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    1,355

    Default

    In country, I second Tahoe. Northern California (SF, Sonoma, & Napa) can also be good destination places. There are many Napa destination weddings, but it's more expensive. Sonoma is very horsey and you could probably mix that in there.

    I'm currently in Costa Rica which is probably one of the meccas of destination weddings. But it is for a reason. If you want to leave the country, look into it. It's fairly cheap to get here and the same time zone as in the US (no jet-lag). If you want something small you could do it on a budget.

    I'm also going to recommend (gasp) Nicaragua. I know I know! But contrary to popular belief, most places are very safe. It is unbelievable cheap (the economy is in trouble) and has the same tropical beaches you'll find anywhere in CA.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2006
    Location
    Oxford, NC
    Posts
    663

    Default

    Very similar story here...I was married before, noone thought he would ever get married, had a farm to pay for, thought about having it on the farm, didn't want to deal with details and rental fees etc...we did VEGAS.
    In the ultimate of cheap, he was being sent to Phoenix for a week for work and wanted me to join him for a few days vacation (this way his plane ticket is paid for and some hotel cost). Since Vegas is only a few hours away, we figured why not? It doesn't have to be tacky, we were married by a classy nice guy at the Tropicana using there $99 walk up special deal at 10am on a Wednesday morning. Had a couple of friends and his parents there. I wore a very basic sundress, he wore nice shorts and a white golf shirt. Wouldn't change a thing! took about 15 minutes to get a marriage license in vegas, 15 minutes to book the wedding etc. Then we headed off on our own, had a pizza for lunch and spent the day just exploring, and had dinner with family at a buffet that night. Easy easy, and we're every bit as married as my first wedding which was flower girls, bridesmaids, big church, country club and horse and carriage!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,718

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    Reno has wedding chapels also. Wedding chapels don't have to be cheesy either. There are also wedding venues in towns besides Vegas or Reno, and you can get as big or small a wedding as you want, and they usually do the reception too, if you want to. A friend threw her daughter's wedding at a family friend's house near Atlanta, and had the ceremony behind the house-on the lake side. They rented chairs, had tiki torches to light the aisle, bought an arch that included square flower boxes to fill with sand bags and flowers (to keep the arch in place). You can rent arches or buy them at the big box stores in the garden shop. She had a tent, chairs were used for the ceremony for those who wanted them, and then transported by guests to the reception tent. The dinner was BBQ, catered, with a bar manned by a friend. They had iced tea, soft drinks, wine, and champagne for toasts-virtually no one drank the wine or champagne. They bought paper goods and heavy plastic utensils at the party store. You can usually get table cloths, silverware, plates, etc at restaurant supply stores cheap also. I think the whole wedding cost well under $10,000, and it could have been cheaper if they had fewer guests. Almost everyone came that they sent invitations to, and some really surprised them by accepting.

    It's standard for guest to pay for their own hotel usually, and it's a damn sight cheaper to pay for hotels for a few days, than to finance a trip to a destination wedding in the Caribbean, so they're getting off cheap. You scope out the local hotels, and get a great price on a block of rooms. The all-suite places are really nice, and not that expensive. If you do Reno or Vegas, then you can go during the week when it's cheaper, the rooms aren't expensive, and you can usually get a great price on hotel and flight packages. Just because it's Vegas doesn't mean you have to get an Elvis impersonator, or something cheesy either.

    If you want to stay in Alabama check out the state parks. Guntersville Lodge was used by a friend, and it included hotel rooms, reception, and wedding. It was nice, and not expensive. Dothan AL used to have a wedding reception place, and it was nice. There is at least one near Atlanta too. If you keep it small, then have it at the farm, rent some tables and chairs, have an outdoor ceremony, and then a catered BBQ reception. A cake from Publix bakery is really good, and not expensive too. Since you want a small wedding, then get a dress from David's Bridal or a local place from the sample sizes, and get something you don't have to alter. Alterations are quite expensive, and if you get something that only needs hemming or something that can be done locally, you'll save a bundle. If you don't want a formal wedding gown, then you can get a dress from J. Jill or J. Crew or something like that, and just get a nice, flowy dress. Also, look at the local department stores for something in the party dress department, and you might save big.

    You can also just have a get away to Vegas or Reno, get married at a chapel in the hotel, get the package deal, and have a party at home after. That way you get a fun vacation, and save big too.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2013
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    906

    Default

    Thanks for the suggestions, and please keep them coming!!

    I'm overly sensitive about the whole having guests pay for hotels because most of the wedding's I've been to lately have required me to travel 4+ hours, pay for a hotel, and take vacation from work. Plus arrange for people to take care of all the animals at the farm... I'm happy for the couple but I'm getting tired of using all my vacation on friends weddings... I want to use it on me! (mini-rant over, the last of the friends to get married is next week. yes during the week and all guests will have to travel... then hopefully I'll have a break).

    If we go somewhere for the wedding there won't be guest's invited. We would more than likely have a 'party' at the farm later in the year. I'm not sure I'd even want to get an actual wedding dress... I was thinking mini-skirt/dress with sequins

    We got engaged on vacation this past winter, at Snowshoe Ski Resort in WV. It would be nice to go back in January/February and get hitched on the way up there... then come home and surprise everyone. I ran the Tahoe ski wedding by him and he thought it was Cheesy (but not too cheesy to propose that way)... it would be nice if we could stay within driving distance so we wouldn't have to pay for airfare (maybe Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge area??)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Alabama
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    There is no rule that you have to spend money on a wedding dress you'll never wear again. You can get married in anything you want to. I like the idea of a ceremony with just the two of you, and then the party at home later.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2000
    Posts
    666

    Default

    It's not exactly within driving distance for you, but Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC would be an amazing place to have a wedding. Their website list details for big weddings but you might be able to call and see if they would be willing to have a small private ceremony.
    Hanlon's Razor

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2001
    Posts
    2,516

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    We're not going to get married there, but SO and I are headed to Savannah for a vacation this year. If we were going to get married, it would be as good a place as any for us. Neither of us are "beach people", but we are both history buffs and enjoy dining out.

    I'm a big fan of going off with just your SO and getting married - I would miss our pets, but not our families.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2013
    Location
    Alabama
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    906

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrakHack View Post
    I'm a big fan of going off with just your SO and getting married - I would miss our pets, but not our families.
    ^^This...

    I think I'm hanging on to the idea of getting married at the farm just so I can include the pets in the wedding... ride my saint of a gelding down the aisle, have my little JRT be the flower/ring girl, pictures with the ponies, etc... We had picked out a date in June of next year, then we went to an outside wedding in June and it was miserable. (it's also the birthday of my first horse that I lost a few months before we started dating so the date is kinda special)

    I would really like to just have something with just the two of us. But then a little part of me doesn't want to hurt the parents feelings. Mom has mentioned my Dad would like to give me away again and I don't want to rob his Mom of being at her baby son's special day. (He is indifferent).



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2005
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
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    Why not have it at your farm and just do a very, very small wedding - both sets of parents, other immediate family (siblings/grandparents), and one or two very close friends from each side? Set the thing up with a laid-back atmosphere and you don't have to spend a ton on food and the like - if you do a farm theme with the horses and pets, have a BBQ with someone manning the grill and a couple of salads and cookie platters from the local deli, etc. rearranged onto nice plates. You can make a simple, fun day that people will remember without breaking the bank.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2002
    Location
    Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrakHack View Post
    I'm a big fan of going off with just your SO and getting married - I would miss our pets, but not our families.
    This is the main reason SO and I want to do the destination wedding thing. We would rather not have anyone else there, not have everyone under the sun giving their opinions of what we should do/who we should invite/etc...

    We want to go on vacation, get married, and then come back, have a cookout and tell everyone. We don't even want to bring our own witnesses, but would rather just use someone local.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,495

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    Quote Originally Posted by furlong47 View Post
    Why not have it at your farm and just do a very, very small wedding - both sets of parents, other immediate family (siblings/grandparents), and one or two very close friends from each side? Set the thing up with a laid-back atmosphere and you don't have to spend a ton on food and the like - if you do a farm theme with the horses and pets, have a BBQ with someone manning the grill and a couple of salads and cookie platters from the local deli, etc. rearranged onto nice plates. You can make a simple, fun day that people will remember without breaking the bank.
    this.

    and plan on doing photos later, just a photo day for you two and various critters

    for your one year anniversary or whenever, have a farm party/reception big fun thing...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,722

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    Book a vacation and get married early on in the trip. My husband and I booked a cruise and got married in the first port of call.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
    Location
    Charlotte
    Posts
    1,800

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    Cancun. I attended my best friend's wedding there in 2008 and it was a fantastic trip. Easy travel, beautiful beaches, and cheap (but REALLY nice) hotels. I'm not much of a traveler, but I would go back in a heartbeat!

    If you want to stay in the US, Savannah is beautiful (as someone mentioned earlier), or Charleston, SC.
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
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    I say just go for the farm wedding that you want. You can do it on the cheap, doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive, it will be what you want it to be (and you can spend as much or as little as you want).



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