The Budget Savvy Bride » Anne helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Mon, 25 May 2015 13:00:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Our Wedding Day Recap! Tue, 30 Aug 2011 13:30:32 +0000 The wait is over! My fantastic photographers have been super busy (good for them!) But know I have all of or wedding pictures and we couldn’t be any happier!!!

What was your budget?

Venue: The Roof With a View  $3,300
Caterer: SMS Catering $4,271
Photographers: Evergreen Studio $1,687
DJ: Little Dreamer Productions $550 incl. ceremony
Cake: SPLAT Cakes $250
Decor/Flowers $851
Invites $231
Bridal Shoes, Hair and Hair adornment $183
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Gifts $600
Total $11,923

*My dear sweet sister bought my wedding dress for me as a gift, so I did not include it in my breakdown, but it was $800.  It was from NY Bride and Groom, here in Charlotte.

Our original budget was $10,000, but once we fell in love with our venue, we expected to go over.  We knew that ahead of time so we were able to plan and save money in our day to day lives.

How many guests did you have?

We had right around 100 people.  It was just the right amount, we were able to speak to everyone!

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

Everything!!!!  To save money we made all of the decorations ourselves. Along with my fabulous mother, sister, grandmother and aunt we arranged the flowers for the tables, the bouquets and the buttonierres.  My sister and I made all of the bridesmaids’ necklaces for their gifts.  I made the tissue paper flower streamers hanging in the windows, and the arrangements in front of them.  We made the tassels that hung from under the paper lanterns.

We really love our coozie favors,  I am a huge fan of coozies at any given time there is probablythree in my purse!  Andrew went to Appalachian State and I went to the University of Tennessee.  Luckily both of the schools initials make our initials, it was a no brainer! One side has an orange Power T and “The Todds May 14, 2011” And the Other side has a Gold App A and says “Anne & Andrew”.  They were a big hit!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We really did our research when it came to finding our vendors.  We met with three different caterers, we asked friends and family for recommendations.  Our cake lady went to high school with Andrew.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

I honestly would not have changed a thing about our wedding because it was everything that we wanted.  However, we choose our venue because we could pick our own caterer and bring in our own alcohol.  In the end it really did not save us any money because the venue needs the bartenders to be insured and insured bartenders are a pretty penny if you are not buying your booze from them.  I would really reccommend exploring all of your options because we would have saved more money if we choose a venue that did it’s own catering.

I am typically a very relaxed person, but my bridesmaids were shocked that I was so calm on our wedding weekend.  I definitely say not to sweat the small stuff the day of.  If you spend the whole time worrying you are going to be too busy to remember all of the amazing moments!

What was your biggest splurge?

We splurged on our photographers because after the wedding is all said and done, all you have are those memories that were captured in pictures. Our photographers were fantastic and they were really very reasonable compared to others in Charlotte.

What was your favorite detail?

There are too many to mention! It truly was everything that I hoped it would be!

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

There are also too many of these to name! A couple that stick out are the rainbow that popped out after the storm!  Also when I turned the corner and saw Andrew as I was walking towards the aisle.  It was such a special night because all of the people that love us were all in one place!

Thank you all so much for reading my posts along the way.  If you want to keep in touch, follow me on Twitter.  I do not have my own blog yet, but I have a feeling that will change soon!   Best wishes to all of those brides out there!

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A Short Post-Wedding Update Mon, 20 Jun 2011 13:00:57 +0000 Hello my ladies! My FABulous photographers took a gazillion pictures at our nuptials so I am waiting ever so patiently until they edit them all. But I thought I should give you a sneak peak! So without further ado-

Four out of five of my beautiful maids!

The G2B/Husband and I!

Here are some decorations that I made to hang behind us for the ceremony/ dance floor!

Married life is blissful, thank you for asking! Andrew and I had a fantastic honeymoon in Jamaica, at Couples Swept Away! We would definitely recommend it. It was not budget savvy, (although you can register for your honeymoon these days!) but we knew we wanted to get away. It was all inclusive, and oh sooo relaxing!

One of our favorite parts was probably the hammocks on the beach.

I pinky promise to have more pictures for you as soon as I have them!

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A Few Groomsmen’s Gifts Mon, 23 May 2011 14:00:19 +0000

As you may recall our groomsmen are wearing tan suits. So as part of their gifts we found periwinkle and white gingham ties. We found these on sale at a local department store for about $20 a piece.

I had mentioned to the G2B that our very own BS Couple Jessica and Eric got bright argyle socks for the guys to wear, and he thought that was such a great idea. After hunting all over town, he decided to buy them online. These perfect ones were $7 a pair! And he is looking forward to similar pictures too. Jessica, imitation IS the highest form of flattery, right?

Andrew had seen this Buffalo Nickel money clip awhile back and thought it would make a great groomsmen’s gift. These are really cool, they have the magnetic money clip, a pocket for important cards and places for credit card, etc on the opposite sides. I tried to better document these in pictures, but to no avail. These were $40 a piece at a local store. Hopefully they like their gifts as much as we do!


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Anne’s Guestbook! Mon, 16 May 2011 15:00:02 +0000 Long before I was a Budget Savvy Blogger I won a giveaway on BSB! I won a photobook! We used our engagement pictures to create our photobook, and we will be using this as our guest book. I plan on guests signing around the pictures and at the beginning and end of the book, kind of like a yearbook.

photo guestbook from lulus

We really could not be any happier with the theme and layouts that we used.The whole process was super easy and we love the results!

custom photo guestbook for wedding

And we are looking forward to reading our guests sweet messages to us!

a custom photobook for wedding guest book


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A DIY Bridal Hairpiece Tue, 10 May 2011 13:00:46 +0000 One day during a dress fitting, I fell in love with a hairpiece the bridal store had. When I turned it over I was bummed to see that it was $60. But upon further thought, I decided that I could make an equally chic hairpiece for less!

I purchased some assorted tulle and felt at a local fabric store for about $3. And I tracked down a vintage brooch for $20. I was willing to pay a little extra for the brooch because I can remove it from the hairpiece and use it after our big day! And this one was perfect, the dangles on it reminded me of arrows, a symbol of my sorority, and the baguette shapes remind me of my engagement ring and wedding band. I already had a needle and thread and a small hair clip.

I started by making a flower pattern (that’s it with the red stripe) and cutting it out of the finer tulle about 24 times. This will vary depending on how full and overlapping you would want your piece. I had a wider tulle that I folded into the rectangle shape that I wanted. I then laid all of the flower shapes and larger tulle together and began to sew around the brooch. Once I felt that I had securely fastened the brooch to the tulle flower I finished my sewing with a secure knot and glued a circle of felt to the back. I wanted to make sure that this part is small enough that you do not see it from the front. I then glued the small hair clip onto the felt.

And for $23 I have a more personal hairpiece and I think it looks just perfect!

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DIY Moss Wreaths Tue, 03 May 2011 13:00:08 +0000 Our venue is practically a blank canvas so there is lots of room for DIY projects.  There are a few blank white walls that definitely need some adornment.  My sister had mentioned one day when we were at the venue that is would be great to put rectangle wreaths there.  I knew I probably would not be able to find any in a springier green, so I set out to make a pair.

I started with a large piece of green Styrofoam.  Using a retired kitchen knife, I cut it lengthwise into 4, 3” pieces.  Then I cut the remaining piece of Styrofoam to create the ends.  I then used toothpicks and glue to fit all of the pieces together.  I let the rectangles dry overnight.  Then I glued green Spanish Moss to cover the Styrofoam forms on all sides.  Any greenery would work, and bayleafs would be awfully neat if you have that much patience.  My wreaths measure 24”X18” but you can customize them to fit your space, I think squares would look really cool too!

The Styrofoam sheet cost $13 and I used two bags of Spanish Moss that totaled $16. I plan on enlarging a couple of engagement pictures to put in each wreath.  And I’m sure a periwinkle bow will find it’s way in the mix as well!  There are more DIY projects coming up from me, so be on the look out.

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Invitation Cost Breakdown Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:00:27 +0000 So now it is crunch time, there are less than 30 days until I say I do! The invites are out!

I thought I would give you the complete breakdown, on these bad boys. As you may remember the invitations cost $81.16. Postage to send 70 invites (including response postage) came to $73.50. We originally were going to print them ourselves but wound up having them done at our neighborhood Kinko’s which came to $76.64.  This would have been about $30 more, but the lady at Kinko’s printed them UPSIDE DOWN!!! As you may have guessed this caused a complete bridal breakdown. (come on, I know we all have had one or two) Which was quite unfortunate because this breakdown happened on my G2B’s birthday.  G2B calmed me down, and we decided to swing by Kinko’s before I flipped out on them over the phone. However, the invitations still worked upside down, I was quite worried because they have the decorative jacket and ribbon on one end.  And I addressed them myself after brushing up on my non existent calligraphy skills.

So all in all the the invitations cost $231.30! Not too shabby when you divide it by 70, making them $3.30 each!

While we are on the subject of bridal breakdowns, let me explain another one of mine.  Recently I had purchased two ceramic garden stools for wedding decor.  I had wrapped bubble wrap around one of them and had driven all over town afterward.  I was at my apartment and ran out quickly to get medicine and chicken noodle soup for an ailing G2B.  And as I pulled into the parking lot, one stool crashed against the other.

I stopped the car to assess the damage. It was a pretty clean break, but I was still pretty upset.  Not only had it cost $50 and not even made it out of my car in one piece, but I had just been home and should have put them away safely.  I put it in my storage room as soon as I got home and left it there for a few days until I had simmered down a bit.  Then G2B and I managed to glue it back together!

And it is almost as good as new!  And the G2B saves the day again! I am so lucky to have him! Does your Groom help put out fires and calm you down when wedding planning gets crazy??

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Jewelry for Bridesmaid Gifts Fri, 25 Mar 2011 12:37:46 +0000 Hello fellow budget savvy brides,

When it came to choosing my bridesmaids gifts, it was a no brainer.  Jewelry of course! I work at a bead store here in Charlotte, On A String Bead Shop and we create custom jewelry for our customers.  I am sure that my bridesmaids are pretty much expecting great statement necklaces.

Since they girls have their choice of dresses, they will all have a different necklace.  Each of my bridesmaids has their own personality and style, so this is the perfect opportunity to help them showcase it during our big day! They will all use similar components and colors, but  help to make each maid feel special.  I have not completed all of them, but here is a sneak peak at the first two.  Let’s see which bridesmaid finds his post first!

Often times creating your own jewelry can be more budget savvy than purchasing already made baubles! And don’t we all love another DIY project?

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J. Crew Bridesmaid Dresses Tue, 22 Feb 2011 14:00:54 +0000 After searching high and low I decided to go with J.Crew bridesmaids dresses. Although these are not super budget savvy, they are super easy order, receive and return. I really appreciate the customer service that the company has to offer as well. We found two styles that we liked so we ordered both for my sister. And once she decides which one she will keep she can return the other at our local J.Crew store. Both styles were super cute on, so I am giving the girls the option between both of these styles! All of my bridesmaids are similar sizes, but have different proportions. I believe that giving them options, will help to ensure that their dress is more wearable after our wedding.

My sister, pictured in both dresses, holding one of the bouquets from my trial run through. The necklaces are just styles that we are thinking, we will not be using those colors. One of the bridesmaids gift will be a necklace for the wedding. And we are still deciding between gold or silver strappy sandals.

p.s. less that 3 months! Woo Hoo!

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Arranging Flowers Part 2 Mon, 14 Feb 2011 14:25:45 +0000 As I mentioned in Part 1, I plan on doing my own flowers for my wedding.  And have recruited the help of some friends and family. This is something that I want to do because I love flowers, and just so happens to be budget savvy.  I decided to use a local floral supply.  I just felt better picking out my own flowers, and this way I can ensure that they are the colors I want them to be.

Since I have never done more than a couple of arrangements at once, I needed to do a trial run.  This way I would have a more specific number of how many of each flower that I need, I would also have a rough estimate of how long it would take to make each item, centerpiece, bouquet, boutonierre, etc.    I had already picked up the non perishable items I would need for my arranging:

Assorted ribbons, good stem cutters, green florist tape, clear florist tape, corsage pins, scissors, E-6000 glue, floral wire.

So on one of my days off, I headed to the floral supply and picked up a small assortment of the flowers that I wished to use.  I picked up 10 blue hydrangeas, 2 dozen roses, 1 bunch of delphinium, 1 bunch of baker fern, and 1 bunch of solidago.   From these items, I created, photographed (well the G2B can be thanked for the photos) and then took apart each piece.

Top Left: my bouquet  Right: centerpiece A

Bottom Left: bridesmaid bouquet  Right: centerpiece B

To create each bouquet, I built around a central stem, once I had the desired size and design, I wrapped each bouquet with about 3 feet of florist wire.  I then wrapped double faced satin ribbon around most of the handle and used E-6000 to glue in the end.  I then cut all of the stems to the same length  For the bridesmaid bouquet, I added a dash of the periwinkle ribbon.

To create each of the arrangements I started with an empty vase, then placed the clear florist tape in a grid pattern, and taped around the edge of the vase.

For centerpiece A, I used a cross formation, and for centerpiece B, I made a grid of 3×3.  I then began arranging the flowers until I thought that they were full enough.  I am planning on using a couple of different colors of linens, so I though it important to have a couple of different arrangements.  I plan on using at least two different vase sizes, but at this point only had one.

For Centerpiece A you may have noticed the crystals, I created these as well, working in the jewelry world, crystals like these are things that I come across, so I adhered them to these willow branches with fishing line and a little E-6000.  I bought the bunch of willow branches already with the greenery on them.  The came in about 4 foot sections that I cut down to create many pieces.  The items used for these are here:

I also will need boutonierres so that was next.

The grooms, the groomsmen, and the mothers’ were all created in the same way.  I started with a flower and a piece of baker fern, cut the stem to about an inch and wrapped with about a foot of floral wire.  I them wrapped green floral tape around the base and secured with a little E-6000  (in case you didn’t notice this is my fave glue for all kinds of crafts).    Then I stuck a pearl tipped corsage pin in each one.

Overall I was very pleased with my research, I have recorded the flowers and assembly times for each piece.  This will help me better budget my time and money when making my own florals.

What I learned:

  1. The boutonierres wilted first, so we will make them last.
  2. The bouquets need lots of water, and in an effort not to soak the ribbon handles those will need to be made the day of our wedding.
  3. The centerpieces lasted for a few days, so they could definitely be made before hand, maybe the day before.

Anyone else DIYing the flowers for their big day? Any tips you learned along the way?

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