Photographer: Andrew Jade Photography
Venue: The Gatekeeper Museum
Caterer: The Dish Cafe & Catering
Coordinator: Melody Holland
DJ: DJ KC Bouchard
Dress Designer: Custom Design Atelier Diagonal
Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse Vera Wang
Jewelry: Francesca's Collection
Lighting: Celadon Events
Prop or Furniture Rentals: Camelot Party Rentals
China and Glassware: Event Masters Party Rentals
Wood Shaven Flowers & Reindeer Moss: Save on Crafts
Bride's Jewelry: Shane Co.
Makeup & Flowers: The Bride | Hair: Bridesmaid | Cake: Maid of Honor | Officiant: Groom's Uncle
Read on to see how much this Lake Tahoe rainy day wedding cost, as well as get all the details from the bride about this romantic day. Please note that costs change as the years go by, and prices are subject to change. This is just one couple’s breakdown to give you a rough estimate on how much a wedding like this may cost you.
From the Bride:
The bridesmaids wore an ombre of white to beige- creating a blank canvas for pops of earthy colors with their shawls and jewelry. The jr. bridesmaids wore a light coral color with pearl embellished necklines, just the right pop of color I was looking for to the match the flowers in all the girls bouquets. Each bridesmaid was giving a wedding chicks canvas bag, I chose the La La La Love bags, filling them with goodies and each had a different inspirational book by Kobi Yamada or M.H. Clark; the perfect way to celebrate your bridesmaid for how amazing they are!! The guys wore black with gray vests, and each had a different tie that had a mixture of sage, gray, and cream! Needless to say, we had one good looking bridal party ;-) !
One word comes to mind, “preparation”!! Planning a DIY wedding that is simultaneously a destination wedding, requires a lot of energy, blood, sweat, and sometimes tears. During the planning, my best friend’s name was Preparation! Although, I will confess that I neglected her many times!! For the most part we had the bouquets, boutonnieres, and décor ready, but there was still so much to do once we landed in Tahoe! I should have had so many more things done so that I, and most of all my family, would not have had to stress about it while on our wedding weekend vacation! Also, for all your outdoor adventurous couples, like ourselves, you never know if your beautiful sunny outdoor wedding is going to quickly turn into a cold and rainy, intimate adventure causing you to kiss under an umbrella all day! While this is not the worst thing, it defiantly tacks much more onto the “To Do” list!! Even if your wedding isn’t a destination wedding, have as much as possible prepared, organized, and completed! You do not want to have to worry about where you packed the engraved cake forks, or why you can’t find the bridesmaid mini champagne bottles on our big day!!!
A destination wedding can be tricky! You want to make sure that when you are setting your budget, travel and lodging accommodations are a big part of that! For us, we stayed almost an entire week in Tahoe, so staying as a family in a Vacation Cabin Rental was the way to go. Rental Homes are great because you can have multiple people staying with you, at one low cost per night!
DIY weddings can be tricky too! It is easy to get off budget and out of hand because with a lot of the decorations you are creating, you go through this “trial period” of trying to figure out what it is you’re looking!! Once you figure out all the exact materials, calculate it up and multiple it by how many you may need. This will give you an idea of what your cost for décor will be and it will help you stay on price point! Not including flowers, our table and misc.
Another great budget saver was the fact that our venue was on state land, and we were married on a Monday. This is double the savings!! State land property cost a fraction of the price from any other wedding venue, and weekday weddings are discounted as well!
We would have been lost without a wedding coordinator, especially being out of state! It was great to have someone that was close to Tahoe that could check on things, or visit the venue if need be.
Our photographer and our location were our top two most important decisions! When we booked our photographers, we were not only ecstatic, but we knew that our wedding was going to be captured in the most perfect and special way! Our photographers are local to Arizona, so we knew that we were going to need to pack them in our suitcases when we set off to Tahoe! If you’re choosing a photographer that is not local to your wedding venue, travel accommodations are usually an additional cost. Andrew and Emily were more than willing to work with us and make a package that suited us and our day individually!
Another reason that having your wedding on a weekday can benefit the budget is that some vendors will offer a discount for their services! Our DJ did just that! He was nothing short of amazing, and was very generous with his discounts!
We struck gold with our caterer because he just plane LOVES what he does! Talking out what your budget is and what your love of food is with your caterer is HUGE! They will take what you say and turn it into delicious food to reflect you guys on your budget! We were able to keep the cost at about $14 per head for passed appetizers, gourmet buffet, and assorted desserts.
We found my dress at a boutique that sells discounted dresses from the overflow of franchise shops. These stores are everywhere; sometimes you just have to do a little digging!
Our venue did not supply any tables or chairs, so that is something to consider when venue shopping. Since we made and sold a lot of our farm tables, we only needed chairs, china, and glassware.
We knew that having an outdoor wedding there was always room for last minute weather changes! We did not want to have a closed environment for our guests, so when the bad weather hit, getting a clear tent was an obvious choice for us! The clear tents tend to be on the higher end, but regardless, always be prepared in your budget for “just in case” situations such as this!
Other estimated costs stayed relatively low because of DIY:
Buying [the fresh flowers] in bulk and having reliable friends and family arrange, really helps the budget! Using a variety of silk flowers and real greenery allowed us to get the look we wanted for a low cost. Having a friend or family member make your cake is a huge money saver! Plus it adds a whole new sentimental element! I made our invitations. It was budget friendly and a lot of fun to create such a special keepsake!
Photographers: $3500 (including traveling accommodation)
Car Rental, Flights & Lodging: $1500 (for the week for us two)
Wedding Planner: $1500-$3000
DJ: $1000 (for 6.5 hours of jammin’)
Wedding Gown & Bridal Accessories: $1500 (including alterations)
Prop & Furniture Rentals: $1050
Tent Rental: $1500 (with delivery and set-up)
Real Flowers for Table Décor: $300
Bouquets & Boutonnieres: $300
Wedding Cake: $75 (including succulents)
All in all, our final budget was $20,000 and that included all traveling accommodations for us and immediate family.