An unforgettable event on a small wedding budget

Last weekend I was honored to attend the wedding of a good friend. It was a sweet and beautiful event, and had a lot of great inspiration for how to make a relationship last while involving your guests and having a great time on a low wedding budget.

The couple, “K” and “N” had already been living together since getting engaged two years ago. As a result, they had no need for the pots and pans, matching plate sets, Cuisinarts and other traditional home-making gifts. Since more and more couples are living together before marriage, this is a pretty common situation. They came up with a great alternative. The couple decided that instead of accepting presents or a gift registry, they would ask for participation from their guests to help make the wedding extra special.

First, they held the wedding at a 4H campground N had gone to many times as a child. It was a beautiful secluded camp with a creek running through tall redwoods. Guests had the opportunity to come early and stay the whole weekend camping, or to rent rooms in the hotel of a nearby town. The days leading up the the wedding were full of fun activities. All were invited to help decorate the grounds, make bouquets and create fun centerpieces. This was especially good for the little kids running around. The night before the big day there was a big latin-themed potluck and masquerade.

So many things made this weekend special. I appreciated being invited to participate in the wedding. It reminded me that this is not only the union of two people, it is the joining of two families sets of friends into one big new community. By the time the ceremony came, I felt I had bonded with the other guests. And, by having friends and family help out, K and N were able to keep the wedding simple, intimate, and low-cost.

Of course, camping weddings in the forest aren’t for everyone! At the same time, involving your guests in some way can make the event extra meaningful. There are creative ways for everyone can participate, no matter what the budget or style of the wedding! Here’s a great video, done on a big budget, that inspired me to write this post. It’s very different from my camping experience, but just the kind of thing I’m talking about. You can check out how they put together this amazing video at