Low Stress Woodland Fantasy Wedding for Under $2500

Christelle Morgan Photography

December 19, 2017

Mercedes and Roman are both big fans of sci-fi and fantasy gaming (think Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering) so they wanted their wedding to hint towards a fantasy theme, without being too over the top.

“We wanted to do something with a subtle fantasy theme,” explained Mercedes. “Our venue really allowed us to play with that theme and our photographer was more than happy to use that for inspiration in some of the edits of our photos. Rock n Roll Bride helped us realise that we could achieve our goal while sticking to a budget and maintaining a low stress experience through planning our wedding. All in all, the focus of our wedding was to be romantic, personal, and low stress to plan. We probably could have gone more all out with a fantasy theme, but instead chose to keep things simple.”

As a hint to their theme, Mercedes wore fantasy inspired accessories with her wedding dress. “I have a bit of an alternative appearance and style and chose to wear a light blue and lavender dress as well as Elven and fantasy inspired accessories. Roman has bit of an eclectic and vintage style and was happy that he wore something a bit different from a standard tuxedo.”

Mercedes was never super ‘wedding-y’ and found the planning process initially overwhelming, “I was never, ever that girl who started planning my wedding or picturing what it would look like when I was younger. When we first started planning our wedding we looked at all sorts of local venues and into what we were ‘supposed’ to include to have an amazing wedding, for the sake of our family and friends. I quickly got overwhelmed and wanted to just elope and get it over with. It took some inspiration from other small alternative weddings to realise that a wedding ceremony is really just about my partner and I and our commitment to one another. While having family and friends there can be nice, our ceremony really isn’t about them or spending extra money just to impress anybody. Anything that causes us too much stress to enjoy one beautiful day of celebrating our love is not worth the hassle.”

Their ceremony was small and intimate with only parents, siblings, and grandparents invited. “We had a friend officiate and were very fortunate to be friends with our photographer, so we were very comfortable with the only people there who were not family. I walked down the aisle to the theme from Jurassic Park (a beautiful classical piece composed by John Williams) and we both wrote the script for our officiant as well our own vows. Reading our vows to each other was a very special and powerful moment. I will never forget it. Our entire wedding day was beautiful and perfect. We even managed to avoid getting rained on even though we have very rainy weather in the pacific northwest, particularly this time of year!”

In fact their whole wedding day was very emotional. “I really thought that crying on your wedding day was something that happened in the movies, but I definitely cried a few times. What started the water works was that I always cover my tattoos around my grandmother as she is a bit more conservative and I was afraid she would disapprove. I had my dad tell her about my tattoos when he picked her up from the airport the night before the wedding, because they would be very visible in my dress and I wasn’t certain what her reaction would be. She told me before the ceremony that she loved me just the way I was and that I was perfect, tattoos and purple hair and all. My grandfather had passed away a few years prior and she told me he would be very proud of me. We hugged and cried.”

“My husband and I both cried during our vows. He and my friend both cried when they saw me walk down the aisle with my father. It was very emotional day and that made it more special than we could have ever imagined.”

Their biggest expense of their $2500 budget was their photographer, Christelle Morgan Photography. “We managed to stay within budget, but it was the one thing we wanted to truly capture our wedding. I used to work in a photo lab. Most of what I processed were wedding photos and have seen the difference a good photographer makes. You can have a wedding in courthouse, wearing jeans and a t-shirt and the right photographer will make it look amazing and capture all the special moments.”

They saved money on lots of things, including food, flowers, their venue and Mercedes dress. “My entire wedding day outfit cost less than $250. By going to thrift stores and shopping on Etsy, I managed to get exactly what I wanted and at a very reasonable price. We saved my money on food and flowers, through help from our mothers who both prepared easy finger foods and made my bouquet. Our venue was about a 40 minute drive away, but since it was property my family owned, it was free.”

“Our advice for future brides and grooms is that your wedding day is really about you two and your love for each other, if there’s anything that takes away from being able to enjoy that on your wedding day, don’t bother with it. I found all of the initial planning process awful, until I decided to stop worrying about what other people were expecting of us and just do something that my partner and I were happy with and, in the end, our wedding was everything we could have dreamed of and more. We wish the same for everybody else on their wedding day, especially for those of us who ‘aren’t really into weddings’. You can change the idea of what a wedding is supposed to look like, instead of changing yourself to fit into a traditional wedding.”