How to Series

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  • Small Wedding Venues in St Augustine
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How to have a Small Wedding 101 on a Small Budget.

The beginning of planning a wedding is always the best. You get a beautiful ring and all of your friends throw you great parties! But like most shopping adventures, you need to know what you are shopping for and more importantly, how to shop smart.

Be sure to tell your family and friends you want a small, private wedding and you don't want to change your mind.  It's your wedding and your decision.  Stand politely firm in your decision to have a small wedding.

When searching for the wedding venues that will forever hold the fond memories of the day you said “I do”, there are a great many questions that most brides forget to ask, let alone consider. It’s very easy to get distracted and fail to remember your venue.

Casa de Solana Bed and Breakfast in St. Augustine, Florida offers a range of wedding and elopement packages. The economy appears to be heading in a positive direction, not many of us can reasonably afford to spend over $20,000 on our wedding. However, most of us have imagined our weddings since childhood and can't fathom having anything less. Don’t fear, it is possible to have the wedding of your dreams with a smaller budget of under $4000 or less at Casa de Solana Bed and Breakfast simple wedding venues and elopements. The packages offered at Casa de Solana do not include dinner receptions that would be an additional cost.

How you might ask? You will need to first and foremost be realistic. Knowing what you can and can't live without. Then you'll need to make a list of all the things you'll need for your wedding and number them in order of priority. Our small wedding venues are for couples and a guest list of no greater than 20 guests. Here are a few important tips to take into account with a budget of under $4,000 (or less) budget wedding.

$$ Budget Wedding Tips

1. Your Wedding Dress: A huge percentage of a wedding's budget is spent on the bride's wedding dress. In order to save in this area, budget brides should consider second-hand gowns or purchase a gown from a discount bridal store. You can find second-hand gowns at thrift stores, consignment shops, eBay, the classifieds section of wedding blogs (ex. and e-stores selling used wedding gowns ( You can also borrow a gown from a friend or family member. Also, check with the older women in your family to see if they still have their wedding gowns. These older gowns are vintage and you may be surprised to see how a few alterations can modernize a vintage gown.

2. Your Save-the-Date Cards & Wedding Invitations: Your wedding announcement, save-the-date cards and wedding invitations is and added expense. You can keep money by making your own save-the-date and wedding invitations (including RSVP cards, return envelopes and place cards). You can find DIY kits at Target and Michael’s. Also, search online for templates which you can download, customize and print on your printer (check out for FREE wedding invitation templates). Creative brides can design their own invitations and purchase card stock paper from any office supply store or art store. Making your invitations yourself might take you a little time, but it will save you dollars in the end. Please remember, when creating your invitations and save-the-date cards, take postage in consideration. A save-the-date card or invitation may look beautiful, but cost just a little too much to mail. If you are into something unique, also consider hand delivering your invitations personally, if all your guest are in close proximity to your home.

3. Your Wedding Decor: Flowers, balloons, tableware, silverware, linens, lighting, candles, etc., all fall into the category of wedding decor. These items can take up to 40% of your total budget. It does not have to though. Casa de Solana has modest decorations for a simple and elegant ceremony for decorating our pergola. Ivory table cloths, candelabras, tulle, white silk floral garland decorating pergola beams above head and ivory rose floral balls decorated throughout pergola, etc. 

Depending on flowers of choice a bride’s bouquet can be another cost. Remember, your season and stick with seasonal flowers to keep the budget down.  In some of our packages bride's bouquet and groom's boutonniere are included with an allowance of $100.

Casa de Solana’s pergola is decorated with lights, depending on the time of your wedding and the reception. Save more money, plan your wedding during the day in order to use natural light from the sun. If you must have an evening wedding, romantic candle light always works adding more romance.

Whatever you do to save on your decor, remember to keep it simple, stylish and classic.

4. Your Wedding & Reception Venue:  Choose a wedding location appropriate for smaller gatherings.  The location of your wedding and reception is what accounts for over half of your budget. You can spend a majority of your wedding funds on this area. Our location is very affordable located in the heart of the historic district and only a few miles from the beach just minutes away.  The ideal and best location for your wedding photos making for years of magical memories.

Once you decide on a venue, you can save more money by having your wedding on a Sunday or early in the week (e.g. Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night wedding). These days might seem less convenient for your guest, but if you give your guest enough prior notice, they can prepare in advance to attend your early week wedding.

5. Reception Food & Beverages: You can save huge by having a family member or friend cook the food for your wedding. If you don't have a friend or a family member that can cook for you, consider a cocktail type reception where fruit, cheese and meat trays strategically placed through your reception venue for your guest to serve themselves while mingling.

Having a dinner reception in St. Augustine, Florida there are many romantic and intimate restaurants for a more formal dinner. Also, research for up and coming caterers and see if they will give you a discount if you allow them to use your wedding for marketing their services. Just remember to try out the food before committing to anything. Many local restaurants will cater your wedding as well if having the reception at the inn.

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