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Texas-San Antonio

Where to Start

Hi. We're absolutely new to wedding-planning and don't know where to start.

We haven’t chosen a date yet - Ideally we wanted it to be before the end of 2015 on a Saturday morning-afternoon, but don’t know if that’s realistic. The reason for this is that we want the wedding to be in San Antonio, TX though neither my fiancé nor I live in TX at the moment. Our budget is $30K which we believe is substantial — but it has to cover literally everything (Invitations, Wedding Programs, Travel, Accommodations, Wedding dress, Flowers, Photo, Video, Ceremony & Reception to host about 100-130 guests). Our personal tastes lean toward simple yet elegant, and we’re not particularly skilled with DIY stuff. There are 4 things that are non-negotiable: Wedding has to happen in San Antonio, TX; Ceremony has to happen in a church; Catering for the reception must be Indian food, and we cannot exceed our budget.

I don't know if anyone here can offer any advice on this matter or whether this is even the right forum to ask such questions. What percentage of our budget should go towards each of these. Which vendors would you recommend based on the information I provided? Hoping to hear some of your ideas:

  1. Church - We will arrange our own priest. However, we need to find a church that can hold a large number of ppl and will allow us to rent the building for a reasonable price.
  2. Catering - We need a restaurant that caters good Indian food. They will have to set it up at the Reception venue & offer waiting-staff to help with service. It would be great if they could provide the waiters, necessary china, glassware & flatware, as well as do the set-up & take-down of what they bring without charging a lot of money.
  3. Reception Venue - This could be difficult since a lot of places do not provide Indian food or allow outside vendors without charging an atrocious amount of money. Reception has to be indoors with adequate space for seating everyone in the same room, and be during the day time (lunch). It would be great if the place would provide all the required furniture, speaker/mic system, stage set-up, decorations, linens, floral arrangements, etc. If not, we hope the rental of a space alone does not cost a lot of money.
  4. Photo / Video - We would prefer photographers whose method leans toward romantic, yet classic & traditional — since the photos/video will be shared with family & friends who are very conservative.
  5. Decorations and Linens - We want to do some simple touches to decorate the church (tulle, bows or flowers for the aisle).  For the reception, we will need table linens, draping for the stage, and some decoration for the Bride&Groom table. It would be great if everything could be found at one place to save us the time and stress. Even if not, it would be great to find places that would help with set-up & take-down without nickel-and-diming for every little thing.
  6. Flowers - We do not wish to splurge on flowers. For centerpieces, we’re hoping to buy flowers in bulk and do simple arrangements ourselves. However, we will need a florist to prepare a Bridal bouquet, couple of boutonnieres & corsages, and 2 simple flower arrangements for the church altar.
  7. Cake - Not looking for anything extravagant - A small and simple 1-2 tier cake to cut during reception. We’re still debating on what to offer the guests for dessert since many will be diabetic. It wouldn’t make sense to splurge on cake to feed 130 guests if it’ll go to waste. 
  8. Stationary - We want elegant and traditional wedding invitations. An example of what we might like would be: a folded card with designs on the outer leaf with our names. Inside leaf will hold a verse on one side and the invitation message on the other. We looked through some designs on Vista-print & Etsy, but didn’t find anything that matched our taste. Any recommendations? What would be the best way to print wedding program booklets (10 pages) without shelling out a lot of money?
  9. Hair & Makeup - Need to find someone who will either travel to the house or will open their salon early on a Saturday morning.
  10. Wedding attire - Anyone here familiar with traveling with wedding dress/tuxedos? We're just wondering whether to buy/rent our wedding attire at our respective locations (NY, NJ, CT, etc) & travel with them, or buy/rent it in San Antonio. What would be a good store in San Antonio to purchase a modest but elegant wedding gown without breaking the bank?
  11. No alcohol - Instead, would it be permissible to provide apple cider for toasts?

We understand that this does not sound like the makings for a fabulous party, but then again that’s not our goal. We are hoping that some of you will be able to provide suggestions to help us arrange a simple, elegant and budget-friendly event.

Re: Where to Start

  • Pink Rhino Photography is excellent and Packages are very well priced - for 8 hours and you get TWO photographers, they have a few package selections also.  Look them up on Facebook and check out their work.
  • Hair & Makeup - Blush Makeup & Hair off Thousand Oaks is MAGNIFICENT!!! They do travel also to you.  Tell Ashley Chrissy sent you.
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