Since my husband and I began dating, he always swore his honeymoon would involve a trip to Costa Rica. I always brushed it off, never thinking we’d actually get married, let alone be able to afford a wedding and a honeymoon. Sure enough 2 years later I found myself getting ready to board the plane to Costa Rica with a wedding band on my left finger.
I have never been one for being the center of attention. When we got engaged and starting looking into what it took to plan a wedding I quickly became overwhelmed. I vividly remember my Mother-In-Law taking me to a wedding expo and me coming home and crying in my husbands arms. We debated on running to the courthouse but then settled on a small wedding. This small wedding would allow us to not only have a nice wedding that didn’t involve grandma’s crock pot to feed everyone, but also afford the honeymoon he’s always dreamed of.
It was hard but we narrowed the guest list to our parents, grandparents, our aunts and uncles without children and our wedding party consisting of four people each and their spouse. Our guest list ended up involving about 50 people which was a small amount compared to our very large families. We felt a bit bad not inviting some cousins and coworkers, but in the end, no one gave us a hard time and we had the wedding of our dreams.
We rented out a small park where everyone but grandparents stood for a short and sweet ceremony and then everyone met at a nice room we reserved above a local tavern. There was an open bar and appetizers waiting for guests. The room we rented included wait staff, delicious food, a small dance floor, and included set up and clean up. Having the wedding on a Sunday also got us half off of the room rental.
Our total wedding budget ended up being around $5,000. This still sounds like a big number but included our attire, DJ, open bar, food, location rentals, cake, photographer, and decorations. This left us $8,000 of our budget to have the honeymoon of our dreams. We spent two weeks in Costa Rica. The first week at an amazing adults-only resort in the rainforest, and the second week at an all-inclusive resort on the beach. Breakfast on our private patio in the rainforest is still my go to happy place when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
We had the time of our lives and have every intention of returning with the kids one day. We daydream about our honeymoon often, especially when the kids have us pulling our hair out. We have zero regrets about our small guest list at the wedding and I recommend doing the same to anyone I hear that is completely overwhelmed by the thought of planning their wedding day.