Our officiant from Sensational Ceremonies wore a GoPro clipped to his tie during the ceremony. We love the candid, informal feel of it and would recommend to any couple wanting footage but not wanting to splurge on it within your wedding budget. We’ve kept the longer, full ceremony video for ourselves, but wanted to share the highlight reel. Fun and short!
THANK YOU to Lon Tosi for officiating and capturing the footage and to Anya Rahming for further editing it down to a highlight reel.
In keeping with our wedding planning motto of simplicity & ease, there are a number of traditions that we banished without a second thought. For example, we skipped bachelor/bachelorette party and we didn’t have dancing at our reception. You can read more about how this suited our morning wedding in this blog post. However, there was one tradition we didn’t want to completely forgo- having a bridal party!
Instead of doing away with a bridal party altogether, we limited it to one attendant for each of us. My sister filled the role of Maid of Honor while Jasons’s brother served as the Best Man. The only other non family members in the processional were our precious ring bearer and flower girl. If you’re planning a wedding in a hurry or are just a low key person in general, keeping a small wedding party has A TON of benefits, but here are the top 5 that sealed the deal for us:
Fewer bodies to coordinate during the ceremony and reception. The wedding processional and standing in line during the ceremony may seem self-explanatory, but effortless looking weddings are not actually effortless at all. If you do not have a coordinator and are DIY-ing much of your wedding, keep the wedding party small. Like, no more than 4 attendants small.
Fewer people to obtain a consensus on what to wear and coordinate fitting. We didn’t need to create a group number when renting tuxedos. We used Men’s Wearhouse and both Jason and Scotty just walked in and got fitted. Jason ordered his 2 weeks before the wedding. Breezy.
Bridesmaids can wear whatever they like, and still look cohesive if there are only have 1 or 2.
Off the rack gowns can be considerably less expensive than traditional bridesmaid’s dresses and look just as good!
Sticking to your budget is much easier with a smaller wedding party. For arguments sake, say bouquets cost $40 and boutonnieres cost $20. 4 bridesmaids bouquets plus 4 boutonnieres will add up to $240 vs 1 bouquet and 1 boutonniere for a grand total of $60.
Whatever size bridal party you choose, as long as you have the people who mean most to you by your side, the rest can be worked out. Having our siblings beside us is a big part of what made our wedding so special!
We had always intended our wedding to be a simple and intimate affair. A year or so before we got engaged, I remember telling Jason everything that my ideal wedding would entail- a small guest list, local ceremony, no garter and bouquet toss, and a reasonable budget. When we got engaged the following year, those same desires held true. An 11:00am wedding ceremony and lunch reception perfectly suited who we are as a couple and gave us the freedom to focus on what was truly important- celebrating the beginning of our new life simply and openly with our family and friends. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt at our wedding and would choose to do it the same way all over again. Here’s a look at why a morning wedding was the right choice for us and might be right for you too!
Less time to be anxious. It was barely 12 hours between the end of our rehearsal dinner the night prior and our first look the next morning. Jason spent the night at our apartment, while I stayed at the Alfond Inn. Being separated for more than those few hours before our wedding would have driven me crazy! I was ready to see him the moment I opened my eyes on our wedding day.
Morning light. Tons of dreamy morning light in the courtyard at The Alfond Inn. Our first look was alternately bathed in soft shadows then gleaming with the promise of a beautiful day. During the ceremony, sunshine streamed through the chapel windows. I can’t emphasize enough how enchanted we were by the glittering freshness, the newness of it all. It was so romantic that I get chills writing about it even now. Do it for the photos and for everything that mornings stand for- life made new, a fresh start. There is a reason people repeat the phrase “Joy comes in the morning.”
Vendor availability! My fiancé and I were engaged a total of 8 months, but we didn’t get serious about planning the wedding until we’d set a date that was 3.5 months out. If we’d decided to get married on the ever popular Saturday evening, we would have had to wait much longer for vendor availability. Our musicians, officiant, and hair stylist would most likely have been booked, as well as the chairs we selected from Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals. It’s crazy how far in advance vendors and venues get booked (12-18 months)! Scheduling our vendors early enough in the day allowed them enough cushion to turn around for other weddings and events in the evening. So even though I was awake by 5:00am and had a 6:30am call time for hair and makeup, it worked to our advantage to get an early start.
Venue availability. We were so lucky that the Winter Park Chapel I had my heart set on before we were even engaged was wide open for the date and time we selected. If it had not been available, it would have derailed our wedding timeline since there is nowhere else I could have fathomed being married. Apart from the chapel, another bonus is that we had our entire reception venue to ourselves. We chose a lunch reception at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, which meant we had full use of the main dining room for our party of 63 rather than a smaller private room. We were able to comfortably fit all of our guests, our 2 musicians, and a cake table with room to spare. Lucky for us, there was no extra charge for the use of the main dining room, since the restaurant normally opens at 4:30pm for dinner service. Our reception began around 12:30pm and we were out by 3:00pm (ok, we may have run a few minutes over!).
Lunch menu options are considerably less expensive. The Fleming’s event menus start at $35/person for lunch and go as high as $119/person for dinner. We chose to offer a burger as our red meat option. However, if we’d opted for an evening reception, we would have had to select from pricier red meat options like filet mignon or ribeye.
Time to spend together. We left our reception around 3pm and spent the remainder of the afternoon opening gifts in our hotel room, basking in the newlywed glow, and reliving the day while it was all fresh. We then took a nap, ordered room service, then took an evening walk down Park Avenue. The next morning we woke up feeling fresh and ready for an early breakfast with our out of town friends!
No pressure to dance if it’s not your thing. We skipped the DJ, garter, and bouquet toss. Instead, we had a string duo from the Classern Quartet play at both our ceremony and reception. Without dancing and the accompanying traditions, we had enough time to talk and take pictures with all of our guests after the meal was served. The only other entertainment we had was a slideshow that our families put together. It somehow featured my husband and I in photos with nearly every guest who attended our wedding. And of course, we had toasts by the maid of honor & best man.
A casual and intimate vibe. We felt more than ok NOT taking too much creative license with the look and feel of our wedding. In fact, our wedding coordinator advised early on to get off Pinterest and limit the décor and DIY projects. Since our ceremony time was different from the norm and less formal, we felt comfortable sticking to simple decor. No uplighting, no dramatic florals, just us, the chapel, and that gorgeous morning light.
BONUS Reason: We kept our bridal party small. Just 2 attendants! You can read about why in this post.
From my bridal shower in Longwood, Florida on April 22, 2017. I had the best time and will share more in a post to come.
Our wedding is on May 20, 2017 in Winter Park, FL at the Winter Park Chapel! Just 5 DAYS AWAY! I’m playing “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie Cups on repeat, packing for the honeymoon, and testing out my new Sephora waterproof eyeliner (because crier). These days leading up to the ceremony are so much fun and I will cherish this time forever.