When you live in the Bay Area it’s kind of hard to imagine a more perfect setting for your wedding than the surrounding wineries of Sonoma. Despite being from Texas and Louisiana, Ellinor + Tim decided to get married near San Francisco to give their guests a glimpse into their Northern California lives. So happy they did, because now we get to share all its beauty with you!
In terms of money saving tips, we started from the frame of mind that we did not require all of the usual wedding elements. We decided very early on what parts were important to us, and that is where we spent our money. We served a variety of desserts and only had a small cake for cutting, which cut off a whole line on the budget. We did not have a traditional bridal party, and instead we each spent time with our closest friends on the day-of while getting ready, and our siblings stood up for us at the ceremony. That saved hundreds in bouquets, dresses/suits, etc. – not to mention the stress of picking bridesmaid and groomsmen outfits!
After I added double sided menus, a double sided info card for the invitation, and day-of signage the cost for my paper goods went up, so I decided to save by addressing them myself using a typewriter at my office. Instead of a calligrapher, I bought a $9 ribbon for the typewriter and finished them off in 1 night! We accepted RSVPs via our website on theknot.com, which saved the reply card, envelope, and postage. Although I was on the fence about letting that traditional element go, it made things much easier in the long run and folks who did not want to RSVP online sent us their RSVP via old-school letter, which I loved receiving.
Although having a wedding planner is an added expense – and one that I had always viewed as a non-attainable luxury – it turned out that Emily De Ayora of Downey Street Events saved us thousands of dollars by negotiating with vendors, price shopping, and knowing exactly what we did and did not need. She kept an eye on the budget and its many moving parts, and ensured that we came in under budget while accommodating our wish list items, some of which popped up along the way. Most importantly, her services allowed our families to relax and enjoy the event, and no price tag can be placed on that! I cannot say enough good things about Emily!
Their favors? Homemade soap (made by Tim’s mom!) wrapped in pink tissue paper and raffia with a tag designed by Ellie.
We saved a good deal of money by having the florist make forays into event design, and we were lucky to find someone talented like Baylor, who could do that. Emily provided us a few things from her collection, including ribbon to hold the table cloths on the cocktail tables despite gale force winds, candles, and vintage votive holders. By utilizing things Emily had in her collection, as well as things she purchased in bulk, we were able to save money over what we could buy in a store ourselves — again, another reason to hire a planner!
The moral of the story? When in doubt, hire yourself an event planner! They’ve got connections, know who to call, and will take away every teeny bit of stress you’ve got running through your head so that you and your hubby can enjoy marital bliss! Congrats Ellinor + Tim!
Photography: Annie McElwain / Event design & coordination: Emily de Ayora, Downey Street Events / Floral design: Baylor Chapman, Lila B. Designs / Venue: CornerStone Sonoma / Hair & Makeup: The Dream Team, Toni Marion & Chris MacDonald / Caterer: Living Room Events /Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Napa / Paper Goods: Ellie Snow / Band: Quinn DeVeaux and the Blue Beat Review / Lighting: Illusions Lighting Designs / Ceremony musician: Harpist Sally Fletcher / Bride’s gown: Reverie by Melissa Sweet / Bridal jewelry: Earrings from Giraux, pearl bracelet from Divine Jewel / Groom’s attire: suit and shoes – Prada, tie – Ralph Lauren, shirt – made by Andres Gorges
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