Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Real Florida Wedding: Julia & Raul

This is our first "Real Wedding" entry on BrideByYourSide and I am so honored that it be my friend Julia's beautiful Florida wedding. My favorite thing about Julia & Raul's big day is that the most obvious element is their love and the company of friends and family. Their wedding is proof that celebrating a marriage doesn't have to (and shouldn't) put anyone in debt. It's also a perfect example of how to throw an incredible party on a budget.

I love this picture of Julia and Raul right after they said their vows. THIS is what a wedding is all about people.

Weddings Specs:
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Elks Lounge in Winter Park, Florida
Bride & Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Angelo
Flowers: BridalSilkFlowers on Ebay
Photographer: Family
DJ: Family friend
Cake & Catering: The Elks Lounge 
Guest Count: 110 people
Budget: $5,000.00

Advice from the Bride:
               "Whether you hire a wedding planner or just really utilize the maid of honor, don't try to do everything alone. ESPECIALLY when you are try to save some money and doing a lot of DIY things. Centerpieces and favors for  may not seem like a lot when you plan them out, but after hand addressing each invitation and keeping track of RSVP's, things get overwhelming and time consuming FAST! Use everyone you can to make things easier, even if you just give everyone in the bridal party one job that you just have to check at the end, it will help.
                Think of venues that aren't popular, the art center or garden yard at local hotels or parks may not be the thriftiest options. If you are planning a wedding indoors, do not pay as much attention to the outside of the building. The pictures and the memories are all indoors, therefore paying attention to the uneven paint of the building's exterior will drive you crazy and force you to use a location that may be hundreds of dollars more expensive. Think about using clubs that a family member or a friend is a member at, this is almost always the cheapest  route.
              My last piece of advice is for those who are trying to plan a wedding on a budget. This is not the time to try to impress your new in-laws. I was married less than two years ago and I can tell you I do not remember one brand of alcohol at the bar or a single thing that was on the menu other than meatballs (because that's the only thing I specifically requested). When you have choices like top-shelf or well liquors, go with the cheaper of the two. People will still drink vodka and soda wether it's brand name or not. The menu doesn't need to be steak and lobster to be fancy. You can serve grilled chicken with roasted potatoes and a steamed vegetable medley for one quarter the cost of the fancier options and everyone will still leave full, and I PROMISE YOU that no one is going to say, 'nice wedding, but I can't believe they didn't have steak'. I found pasta to be the cheapest and easiest route, and who doesn't love pasta?!
            Most of all, enjoy the planning process, because the wedding came will come fast and seem to only last minutes. Most of the memories will be from planning process... trying one million cakes and five million dresses and making eighteen different centerpieces at your house before deciding to use premade ones. Enjoy it, be specific, and get what you want and your wedding day really will feel like a fairy tale!"

This entry is LONG overdue. Julia and Raul have just welcomed their first baby into the world, Xander Enrique. And he is adorable. Congratulations to both of you and thank you for being our first "Real Wedding" post on BrideByYourSide!

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