Wedding Chicks

Stick To Your Wedding Budget, Look Into Buying Out A Restaurant

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cute and candid wedding photo style

Brian and Taylor weren't looking to spend a ton on their wedding day, so with a limited guest list and a love for the nontraditional, this adorable couple decided that the restaurant they stopped into after their engagement would be the perfect location for their big day! The result was a fabulous laidback event that felt special and intimate in the perfect way. 

Keep scrolling to get some solid wedding advice from Taylor and don't miss out on a moment of Brian and Taylor's big day, we have a full gallery packed with images from Britt Crowe


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bride and groom so excited for their wedding day

Breaking the Norm

From the Bride: Brian and my goals from day one of wedding planning were to make it stress-free, to make it fun, and to make it feel like us. None of those were negotiable. Part of making this process stress-free was keeping our wedding on a budget and keeping it intimate. We both knew that having a beautiful wedding did not equal spending a fortune. It made no sense to us to spend a ton of money on one day. We have our whole lives ahead of us. 

Brian and I wanted to get ready together and spend the whole day together. We are not super traditional! We already knew this day would go by so fast, so we wanted to be together the whole day and just enjoy it! Getting ready together was so much fun! We woke up and exchanged letters we wrote together and then toasted to the day with some mimosas. We did not have a wedding party because our wedding was so small, it felt like every guest was basically a wedding party member! We wanted people to have the freedom to do what they wanted while in California (since no one was local) and enjoy their time there.


once in a while in the middle of an ordinary life love gives us a fairytale

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Finding The Venue

We always knew we wanted to get married in Northern California. We started by looking in the Napa Valley. After only a few phone calls to venues, we knew that Napa Valley was out. We redirected our search to the Point Reyes Peninsula because that is where we got engaged. The evening we got engaged we stopped in to grab some oysters and celebratory wine at a local restaurant, Saltwater Oyster Depot. They were the first place, and only place, we called when researching venues in Inverness, CA. They allowed us to do a restaurant buy out and we decided it was exactly what was supposed to happen. Searching DONE. 

Luke is the owner of Saltwater Oyster Depot and we joked that he became our wedding planner! Our flowers were created by Amy Whelan, who always does the flower arrangements for his restaurant. His friend Stacey Lauer created our cake. Luke's Executive Chef came up with a delicious family-style meal for us, and we didn't know what we were eating till we sat down! I would encourage anyone to work with a restaurant for a wedding. 


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Trust In Your Vendors

We found Britt Crowe through my sister's wedding photographer. I emailed her and she sent me a few names of photographers who belong to a Northern California Photography Group. After looking at her website for literally 10 seconds we knew she was our girl! Her style is so artistic, natural, and she focuses on the love couples show when they aren't looking at the camera. 

Brian (groom) is a chef and I am a meeting planner and we know that we are good at our jobs, and we wanted to give respect to the people working so hard to make our day wonderful. We trusted every vendor we had and my one big piece of advice I would give to any bride and groom is: TRUST YOUR VENDORS! They will do a good job because they love what they do. Let them do what they do best, and your wedding will have a bit of magic behind it, instead of perfectly ironed out details. 


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think about buying out a restaurant for your wedding day

Intimate & Fun Settings

Another key to keeping our day stress-free and feeling like us was choosing locations that were beautiful the way they were and close to each other. We did not want to have a lot of DIYs, or bring in a lot of rentals. We rented out Ten Inverness Way Bed & Breakfast for our family to stay at, and as a "meeting ground" for our friends and family traveling in. It is such a gorgeous B&B and it had the exact style we wanted. We got married at a local park next door to the restaurant, and all we added were chairs and a few pieces of local greenery. Every location for the wedding was within walking distance from each other. 

Lastly, our goal was to show our friends and family the way we like to party! Which means: Let the beer and wine flow, tons of Oysters and delicious food, a gorgeous setting, and a laid-back vibe for the whole weekend. We had 50 of our closest friends and family at our wedding, and we loved how intimate it was! It was the perfect group and the perfect day! We kept our wedding us, we kept it simple and it was so much fun!


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Budget Breakdown
Our budget was $12,000. This was for 52 people (including us). We had our wedding on a Sunday to help keep costs low. We did a buy out at the restaurant Saltwater Oyster Depot. I would tell any couple getting married to do a restaurant buy out, it was very reasonable and we got a lot for our buck! Click here to find out more about Taylor and Brian's budget-friendly wedding.

Included in our buy out costs were passed appetizers, oysters, family-style dinner, open beer and wine bar, flowers, a reception venue, tables and chairs, and AV. The buy out was the majority of our budget. We kept other expenses to a minimum. I kept my dress cost low, and Brian wore a tux he already owned. We sent email invitations, we got married in a park next to the restaurant that didn't cost anything, we only rented chairs for the ceremony (nothing else), and we did not have a bridal party. We really kept things simple and organic! Brian and I think less is more, and we didn't include a lot of extra things that can add up quick.

Planned Budget: $10, 000 - $12,000
Actual Budget: $12,000
Number of Guests: 52

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ServiceVendor
Accessories & LingerieKara + Kate
ModCloth
Groom & His MenEcco
Stance
JewelryAlan Rocca
Dress AlterationsSilver Moon
PhotographersBritt Crowe
RentalsJRB Events
VenuesSaltwater Oyster Depot
Wedding DressesBHLDN