North Carolina-Outer Banks

Vow Renewal with an EXTREME budget

Hello fello OBX knotties :-) I figured after lurking long enough, it was time to introduce myself and share our story/wedding plans. I'm sorry if this is too long...but we have a complicated story, and I am a share-er! :) 

My husband and I will be renewing our vows in Avon on June 30, 2013. I know it seems insane to say we are on an extreme budget and then plan our ceremony for the most expensive time of year...but there are reasons! Essentially, several key members of our family including my husband, kids, mother and SIL can only vacation around the school vacation calendar.  So, essentially,  our choices were late June, July or early August.

We are also extremely limited budget-wise due to the fact that we weren't planning on renewing our vows until our 20 year anniversary (we have always wanted to renew our vows eventually, since when we first married, although our ceremony was beautiful to us, we were flat broke and it wasn't at all what we had wanted). Originally we were planning on renewing in Hawai'i with just our parents and children in 2017 (we love Hawai' holds a very special place in our hearts).  However, devastatingly, my father was diagnosed with a terminal form of lymphoma a few years ago.  Whenever we had talked about renewing our vows over the years, being able to give thanks to our parents for all of their support through the years was of extreme importance to us. Since, as of right now, my dad is in fairly good health relatively speaking (due to a stem cell transplant which put him into a sort of "remission". although they won't call it that since this cancer never fully goes away) we decided that we are going to go ahead with our renewal now, while he can still be there with us. That is much more important to us than where we do it or how extravagant it is. We will be married 17 years, which is ironically fitting actually, as that is kind of our family's lucky number (our wedding date, our first daughter's birth date, the date our adopted children moved in).

So anyway, moving the date up obviously means less time to save $$.  Our total budget will be in the realm of about $5,000, maybe a little more. My parents insisted on paying for our rental (not an event home, just a regular ocean-front vacation rental for mine and DH's families) which is a HUGE gift and blessing.  And I am okay with making our budget work because after isn't an actual wedding. It will be much smaller and more intimate than most weddings...appx. 20 people total.

My (unrealistic) dream renewal would be a romantic beach ceremony towards the evening with chairs or benches for our family, some type of an arbor, our pastor (haha...), our kids as our attendants...dinner served on tables set up on the beach with candles (haha...beach wind I know, I know) with guitar/vocalist playing throughout. I already know most of that is not doable...but just so you get an idea of my original vision.

My slightly refined version so far is a beach ceremony without music, still would like the benches and arbor, DIY flowers (real, though...that is one thing I won't give up). We are not having an officiant, but rather having our 16 year old read something, then we will exchange vows. I want to do a sand ceremony with us and our 4 children. I have a friend who is making my girl's dresses and I think that will be around $75 boys will be wearing tan shorts and white short-sleeve dress shirts. DH will wear tan shorts and a Hawaiian shirt with a white-on-white design we found. I am planning on trying to find a beachy-casual wedding dress. I didn't have an actual wedding dress for our first wedding, so I plan to this time! For our rings, I'll be buying him a band of titanium or white gold (not decided yet) and Koa wood. DH re-proposed to me last year with a beautiful past-present-future diamond band, so for my ring we are looking at having my original engagement ring re-set (right now the 2 rings won't sit together on my finger, and I'd like to wear them together). If we don't do that, we are looking at a sapphire & diamond style ring (both of our birthstones). As far as a reception, we are looking at just a dinner on the deck of our rental home, so we'll still probably need to rent tables/linens. Probably drop-off BBQ catering (I wanted to hire a personal chef to cook for us but our owner won't allow that due for insurance purposes). As far as cake, not sure on that yet. We could do cake or cupcakes, but I haven't researched that enough yet to know what I can do in our budget. Worse case scenario, I make my own cupcakes (I actually have a side business doing I don't worry about them not being up to par...just REALLY would like to NOT make my own while away from home LOL). 

I have a friend who is a wonderful artist who is creating artwork to use on our DIY invitations...I have already ordered postcards I designed on Vistaprint for our save-the-dates which will be sent out as soon as they arrive. I am hoping the same artistic friend will be able to come along and take photos (she is also a gifted photographer). That is one area I just can't see fitting into our budget, sadly, but I so do want good photos (again, something we didn't have for our original wedding). I still don't know how doable all of this will be on our budget, every time I crunch the numbers it's SO tight...and there are little things we WANT to do that I haven't marked off the list yet like welcome bags, a mani-pedi day for the girls, fishing trip for the guys. 

What do you all think?? Impossible on our budget?? Any insight or advice would be AMAZING!

Thank you all so much!!

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