Devin: Our first date lasted 56 hours. It only ended because we had to go to work. A few months later I drunkenly told him to move in and help me pay my rent. I cleared a small space in my closet for him and we adopted two fur babies Hank Chinaski and Ruth Bader Ginspurrrg.
Joe decided to propose during our annual cinco de mayo blow out party. He told EVERYONE he was going to do it so it was even more crowded than normal. He hid the ring in a pinata which he had a hell of a time trying to break open. The ring box fell to the ground he nervously/anxiously dropped to one knee and said "One ring to rule them all! Will you marry me". I laughed at him, gave him my ring finger, and said (in a typical me fashion) "yeah, maybe". We waited two years so we could save money and get married on Cinco De Mayo. My love of tacos, margaritas, and color collided.
Our wedding was cost efficient and fun. It was laid back (quite chilla). The cocktails were made by myself, my father made a special barley wine for our wedding day (aged 2 years!), and Joe bought 2 kegs of beer. We DIY'd every single aspect. From the 2,000 flowers the bridesmaids and I made, to the chandeliers of streamers made the day before the wedding. We wanted the whole thing to feel like one big house party with all the people we love wearing colorful party clothes. We had yard games and food trucks, great music and dance offs! The best part of the entire wedding was the ceremony. Our officiant was hilarious and thoughtful and a very very dear friend of ours. Joe and I ended up using the exact same quote in our vows. It was a quote from HIM on our first road trip together! "I feel... very happy... very festive...very excited to be with you on this occasion." - Joseph S. October 17, 2013.
The dress alterations. Even though it was a bit above my original budget I ended up with a dress that was uniquely me! Also, my sneaky addition of getting cardboard cutouts of our kitties to surprise Joe with was TOTALLY worth all the sneaking about and hiding. Oh! Shelling out for a school bus to transport our drunken wild wedding guests... worth every stinkin' penny.
That extra keg... seriously... we didn't need it!!
Tradition. Dress codes. Bouquet/garter toss (to me it's cringe worthy). Structured time lines on day of. Fancy anything. Long religious ceremony. Cookie table (seriously this is EXPECTED in Pittsburgh). Favors. Paying for a fancy cake (a friend ended up making it for us and it was GORGEOUS). New jewelry, I borrowed a necklace from my sister and it was far more special to me than anything I could have purchased new.
Sit down with your future spouse and lay out what the most important aspects of the wedding are to each of you (outside of the whole marrying one another things obviously). Use that to set your budget. Don't feel pressure to compete or compare your wedding to other peoples. Do what is uniquely you two. If your wedding day feels like *you* it will be perfect whether or not you get that whisky fountain. If you can find it in your budget to pay for transport from the venue to hotel/etc. do it! Nothing is more satisfying than knowing your guests were safe and responsible and got to let loose all at the same time.