Hola mi gente!! It’s been very busy for me these past few weeks but I’m back and serving up the latest life’s tea. As you may already know, I love beautiful, lavish things. Life is about making the most of what you have and sometimes what we have- isn’t that much. When it comes to getting married, this can be especially true. People, often, take on tremendous debt to become husband and wife and it’s not necessary. Mr.Negro With Tumbao and I took the budgetistas approach to planning our wedding. You can still have a beautiful wedding while removing the stress from your wallet.
Here are some of the ways that you can shave costs.
The Afterparty: Basically a vacation that you turn into a wedding. Florida is a great place to take advantage of these types of weddings. There are plenty of reasonably priced resorts that offer great deals especially if you can arrive during the week versus on a weekend day. We chose the Westgate Lakes Resort in Orlando. We booked the 3 bedroom villa with 2 private balconies three weeks prior to our wedding date and it was a total of $720. We arrived on Thursday and check- in is usually at 4pm but they were gracious enough to allow us to check in at 1pm. We checked out on Monday morning. This place was beautiful. The Master Suite has an enormous walk-down, private jacuzzi bathtub surrounded by Grecian columns accompanied by a spacious walk- in shower.
This master suite had a comfy king size bed with numerous, fluffy cloud-like pillows. Flatscreen TV’s and free Wifi were also included. It also included a studio suite with its own private bathroom and another private villa across the hall. Fully functioning kitchens were on site as well.
The Cake: Typically, brides seek out the creme de la creme of bakeries for their wedding cake masterpieces. This can be extremely expensive. A great yet affordable alternative is trying your local grocery store. We purchased our 2-tier wedding cake from Publix (a chain of deluxe grocery stores located throughout the South) for a whopping $43 bucks. Did I mention that it fed 30 people? We opted for a cream cheese icing with yellow cake and raspberry glaze throughout 4 layers. It was AMAZING!
The Clothes: What to wear is another incredible aspect of your big day and of you don’t have to be super formal. Outlet and discount stores are an incredible way to go for looking like a baller on your big day..of course on a nobody has to know. Mr. NWT’s digs were a Calvin Klein dress tee ($19.00), Armani Xchange cargo shorts ($16.99), Nautica boat shoes ($24.99) and of course- he wouldn’t be caught dead NOT representing for Brooklyn! The hat was $15!
Our nuptials took place at a marina with a lighthouse so my 5th and Love nautical-inspired dress was perfect for that day. The cost was a whopping $8.00. My sandals were Vince Camuto and I did splurge a little. They were $20. EVERYTHING came from a little jewel called Ross- Dress for Less (a California-based chain of off-price department store).
The Locale: In terms of saving money, a civil ceremony is another cost-effective way to pull off your boda. In Florida, the total cost of a marriage license and getting someone to perform your ceremony (a clerk, judge or notary can do so for a nominal fee.)- the cost is a mere $120. If you know a notary that will perform it for free- EVEN BETTER! There are a ton of beautiful, free locales to get married. Many don’t require permits or appointments either. You just pray for good weather and the place is yours. We opted for Grantham Point in Mt. Dora. It is absolutely breathtaking especially, if you plan the time just right. Personally, this is Florida’s best kept secret. It’s a sleepy town outside of Orlando and it’s perfectly picturesque.
It was a little overwhelming at times but the outcome and the cost were WELL WORTH the minor bumps and bruises that we encountered along the way.