Budgeting is definitely a really smart thing to do with every aspect of your life! That’s why we wanted to cover how to budget for your adventure elopement or tiny wedding. In this blog, we’ll include a ton of tips and tricks, plus estimated costs to help you gauge your budgeting because let’s be real, budgeting is HARD. And money can be hard, too. But it’s all about prioritizing what’s important and being smart with your spending. We’ve got you covered!
Hannah is a huge list person. It personally helps her organize just about everything in her life. She makes lists for daily tasks, big goals, groceries for the week, chores, and more. Her lists are written on sticky notes, in the note app on her phone, and in journals. It really just depends on what helps her the most for that specific list. So, of course it makes sense that she’s going to recommend writing a list of things to budget for. That’s the very first step to organizing all of the important things for your elopement.
So, for this list, we recommend what’s called a “brain dump.” Grab a scratch piece of paper or a journal and sit down with your partner. Jot down everything that comes to mind that you both want to include on your wedding day. It can be anything from big things like your attire to smaller things like the decor details you might want to include for your small family reception. This is not a neat or organized list. This is literally just a list with every single idea that comes to mind. To help you focus on ideas instead of what the list looks like, you can even set a timer so that you and your partner are only focused on writing down as much as you can.
Some ideas for your list:
The next thing you’re going to want to do is grab your “brain dump” list and maybe some different colored highlighters. Let’s say you have 3 different colors: pink, blue, and yellow. Take your yellow highlighter and highlight the things that are non-negotiables. These are the things that you can’t sacrifice on; these are the things that you are willing to splurge on the most because they mean a lot to you. Everyone’s list is going to be different, but some of the top things that most people choose to splurge on for their elopement include photo + video, location, and an adventure or special experience. Then use one of the other highlighters to list the things that are important, but not as important as your non-negotiables. And finally, do the same with the last highlighter (these might be the things that you’re willing to DIY or spend very little on because they aren’t as important to you).
Using a highlighter or another method of categorizing your list will help draw attention to the different things you’ve listed. Highlighting in particular is effective because it requires you both to think about what you want to highlight (giving you time to choose what’s actually important), and then it gives you a very powerful way to review that information later when you’re making your “priority list.”
Your “priority list” is a list where you take your highlighted things and make separate lists with each category. Your first “priority list” might be your non-negotiable things. These things are going to be what you want MOST. Write them out in order of importance and then maybe include a price range that you’re willing to spend on each. Adding a price range from minimum to maximum will help you gauge the estimated total for your elopement.
After you’ve made a list with your priorities and the ranges that you’re willing to spend on those things, do some research. Reach out to vendors, see what other people have spent on certain things, look for coupons for adventures or hotels. Figure out where you can save a little bit of money!
Is it cheaper to drive?
If you’re renting a car, don’t go for the luxury car if you don’t plan on driving a ton. Snag the cheaper rental!
Take the redeye flight for a better price.
Ask about payment plans with your vendors!
Don’t buy the most expensive gear just because that’s the only brand you know (for hiking). Ask around and see what other brands have good gear for a good price.
Maybe be willing to do some DIYs for decor!
Photography + Videography: $5,000 – $15,000
The cool thing about booking us for photo + video, though, is that we also count as your wedding planners because we’ll help you find other vendors, pick a location, and build your timeline!
Travel: $400 – $1,000* $1,400 – $4,000** $1,000 – $5,000***
Travel can include anything from flights and rental cars to your accomodations.
* Travel within the region that you live
** If you plan on flying domestically
*** If you plan on traveling internationally for your wedding
Wedding Attire: Dress $300 – $2,000 Suit $300 – $1,000
Officiant: $500 – $800*
* Depending on where you are having your ceremony, additional travel fees could be added on for travel!
Florals: Bouquet $100 – $500 Floral Archway $300 – $1,000*
*With an archway, there may be additional expenses that include the travel to the location and time to hike in the supplies for the archway.
Hair + Makeup: $70 – $700
Food + Drink: $400 – $800
Food and drink often depends on whether or not you’re feeding any guests or if you want to hire a private chef to serve the two of you on your wedding day.
Your elopement is not just a day that is going to come and go. Or at least, it shouldn’t be. The entire process of planning your elopement, choosing what is meaningful to you, and celebrating your special day should be an extremely memorable experience. This day is an adventure that you and your partner get to enjoy together, along with any other guests that you choose to invite. It is so important that you invest in this day so that you create magical memories! Seriously. It’s so important to include things on your elopement day that are exciting and that make you genuinely happy. After all, this is supposed to be one of the best days of your life with your partner! We encourage all of our couples to do the proper research and ask us as many questions as they can, not only before you book us but when you book us as well. We want you to be informed about your options and help you make all of the right decisions so this investment is 100% worth it. We truly want you to be able to look back on your adventure and feel nothing but happiness!
We can’t stress enough how important it is that this day is exactly what you want it to be. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice or compromise anything. This day is about YOU. It’s about your love and this new adventure that you both get to start together. That’s why it’s so dang important that you invest properly! We’re here to help you with that every step of the way.