It was 5 years ago today that Mr LILs and my trajectory crossed and our wonderful life together started. Now we’ve been married for a little over two months and it still feels like a dream sometimes!
Our goal was to have a low impact and frugal wedding. It is easy to be sucked in to the wedding industry but we tried to hold back as much as we could and really think about what we wanted. In the end we got an amazing wedding that was just what we wanted in every single way. We had saved up so that we could pay for our entire wedding by ourselves but we didn’t have to because our families where incredibly generous. This didn’t mean that we did things differently because someone else was footing the bill. We still weighed every cost and tried to do what was environmentally friendly and frugal anyways. So even if we weren’t paying for everything I thought I would write a post about all the different aspects of the wedding and where we stuck to our goal and where we didn’t so get ready for a long blog post! The photos in the post are almost all taken by our great photographer Lena Larsson (you can probably spot the ones which aren’t 🙂 )!
Me and Mr LIL bought our rings at an auction house, I’ve written a post about our rings here. My engagement ring is second hand and made in the year 1980. I like that it has a history (whatever the history may be) and that it is 10 years older than me! Mr LILs ring and my wedding ring are made from repurposed white gold. This was a great way to buy our rings both for the environment and for our wallets and I really ecourage people to buy secnd hand for those two reasons. The other option we had which would also have been good for the environment and our wallets is to use a ring I already owned. I got a diamond ring as a present when I turned 18 (that we have had in the family quite a while) but it is in gold and I really like silver but most of all it is a bit too bulky. I don’t want to get stuck in everything and therefor you may notice that my rings are flat. I would also recommend talking to your relatives to see if they have any rings that you could be gifted.
I ordered my dress online from a company that sews the dresses in China and then it was shipped here. This meant that it was very cheap so a plus on the frugal side but not on the environmental side. From the start I have been adamant that I didn’t want an expensive dress. I didn’t want to be worrying about keeping the dress clean and the second hand value which I would have done if I got an expensive dress. In my world it felt really stupid to pay so much money for a dress that I will only wear once. I tried to find a dress second hand but even second hand dresses are so expensive becuase people are trying to get some money back from paying a huge amount to start with. So I chose the frugal option when it came to my dress. I was so happy with my dress and it didn’t look cheap at all eventhough I payed around a quarter of what the cheapest wedding dresses in stores cost. I didn’t think a second about dragging it through the forest for our photo shoot. My veil was from the same site and cost 90kr instead of 900kr. I bought new high heeled shoes which were really comfortable and I will be able to use them again. I had shoes that I already owned to switch to when my feet were tired. My earrings where my own but what I splurged on was a handmade necklace in silver from a woman in Gothenburg because I really wanted to support the handmade concept. I will wear this necklace a lot because I love it! Mr LIL bought a new suit but unlike my dress he will be able to use it again. The bridesmaids got cheap dresses online too because I didn’t want them to have to pay much for them.
Makeup, hair and flowers
My hair was done by our friend who is a hair dresser and I am so happy that she wanted to help me. Mostly because it is really nice that she was with us when I was getting ready and because it was a wedding gift from her I didn’t have to pay anything to get an amazing hairstyle. My make up was done by one of Mr LILs mothers aquaintances. I could have done my own make up buy I wanted it to hold during the whole day and night so I wanted it professionally done so I didn’t have to think about it. I ordered my boquet, my bridesmaids bouquets, crosages and flowers for my hair from a florist which was expensive. I wanted a specific look and that they would keep for the entire day so I though it was worth not going with the frugal option of picking or buying floers and making my own bouqets. They were so beautiful and exactly what I pictured so I was very happy with them. The flowers for the tables and the arch we bought from a bigger garden shop which was very inexpensive. We also used greenery from the garden and a tree that the neighbours has felled the day before which was free.
We got married in my aunts garden in Stockholm. We had the ceremony in the garden and then the dinner in a large transparent tent that we put up in her tennis court. If you’re thinking that a tent sounds like a frugal option compared to a venue think again! It was very expensive but it also saved us money in some ways. If we would have been at a venue for example the alcohol would have been much more expensive. We don’t regret spending the money on the tent for one second though because it turned out exactly as we wanted it. It felt like we were sitting outside and could follow the sun as set together with the lights we had put up which made it magical. Since we were at the same place all day and I got ready at my mums that is just 5 min by car from my aunts there was very little transportation during the day. This was a plus for environment and wallet. We rented all the tables, chairs, table cloths, napkins, cutlery, plates and glasses so that we didn’t have to buy anything (or use disposables!) and we didn’t have to wash the dishes or linens.
Food and Drink
We found a catering company that served organic food which was really important to us. The food was amazing and what was great than instead of just throwing what was left they came round and offered people second helpings. For dessert we had a normal princess cake with white marsipan made with organic ingredients instead of ordering a “wedding cake”. Both because we love princess cake and because it saved us a lot of money! A slice of a wedding cake was about double that of a “normal” cake. We bought the alcohol the liquor store Systemet which has a two week return policy so we stocked up with loads of alcohol and just returned what we didn’t drink after the wedding. this saved us lots of money and we didn’t have to worry that the alcohol was going to run out. Another thing that saved us money was our choice to not serve champagne for our wedding toast. Mr LIL and I really don’t care about fancy alcohol so it seemed silly to serve champagne just because “thats what you do”. Instead we served our favourite cava that was the cava that we toasted our engagement with. We decided on having two themes for our own bar that we set up to minimize the different alcohol types to buy. My side was “pimp your prosecco” so we had bought lots of prosecco and lots of juices and fruits while mr LIL had “let the fun be-gin” and had different gins and fun tonics.
The “chandilers” we made ourselves, see my post about decorations here. I gathered my glass jars together and used as vases and we borrowed glass candle holders. I had been collecting pine cones during the year that we sprinkled over the tables and my dad made the wooden candle holders and the wooden discs. My dad also made the beautiful arch that we had. Me and Mr LIL made all the signs. Mr LIL has worked with venue set ups and decorations previously so we could borrow decorations from them like the bar, the stage, some of the white fabrics and fake ivy. Two of our friends got married a month before us so we bought the LED lights together with them and used them on both weddings. We also got the name plate holders from them. Much of the fabrics came from Mr LILs sisters wedding last summer. What I did buy was the Mr and Mrs signs for our chairs along with the fake ivy.
We sent out a digital save the date that I had designed myself. For the invitation we ordered cards that matched our theme (ferns) and also ordered name signs with the same theme. As for the signs I did some print screen magic and printed them at work. We also had programs for the ceremony and the dinner which I made. We bought some thicker paper and Mr LIL printed them out at work. I designed digital thank you cards that we sent out through email so we could send some pictures along with the thank you. Our photographer also made a slide show of pictures documenting the day online that we inculded so our guests could see some of the photos.
Entertainment and photography
Since hiring a DJ is quite expensive and we didn’t have that many guests we had an ongoing discussion for quite some time. We could have used Spotify lists but in the end we didn’t want to have the responsability over the music so we went with a DJ that was reasonably priced. This was a very good decision! The DJ really felt the room and played a lot of music that was great mix between older and newer music that we never would have chosen ourselves but was so much fun! Me and Mr LIL and a lot of our guests were pretty much dancing the whole time the DJ was playing which is a very good grade.
To hire a photographer isn’t cheap either… And unfourtunately we don’t know any photographers. It was very important for me that we had a professional photographer because I want to have high quality photos. Hiring a photographer for the whole day was unbelievably expensive so we settled on the 4 hour window that was most important to capture. So we got photos from our first look and portrait photos before the ceremony, the actual ceremony, some group photos with family and the bridal party after the ceremony, some more photos of us and then during the mingle period before we sat down for dinner. My friend who did my hair took lots of photos when I was getting ready and we asked the guests to take lots of photos too so that we would have some from the parts that the photographer didn’t cover. I think this was a great middle ground so that we could afford a good photographer but not be ruined by it.
We decided to spend our wedding night at a hotel close buy. We didn’t pick the honeymoon suite but got a bigger than normal room. Since we got there very late and left after breakfast to go back to my aunts this was something that we could have skipped. The breakfast was nice but we could have cooked breakfast at home. Neither me or Mr LIL sleep that well in new places either.
I wrote about our first honeymoon in this post so won’t discuss it further here. We are going on a second honeymoon this upcoming summer to Canada. Since we didn’t want any material gifts a contribution to this second honeymoon was what we asked for as a wedding gift from our guests. Almost everybody stuck to our wishes and we are very grateful for their generosity!
I feel like we managed to keep our wedding low impact although it turned out quite a bit more expensive than we thought. Since we got the wedding of our dreams this feels okay. It would have been a lot worse if we weren’t happy or disappointed with how the end result turned out but it was quite the opposite. Everyone we were in contact with delivered above and beyond which made us feel like the money we spent was worth it. So there you have it, the details of our whole wedding!