The Budget Savvy Bride » Maureen http://thebudgetsavvybride.com helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:00:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My Wedding Recap http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/my-wedding-recap/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/my-wedding-recap/#comments Tue, 25 Dec 2012 13:00:35 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=18257 Hello BSB fans! Well the big day happened. The last couple weeks leading up to the wedding got very hectic, as you will all probably (and unfortunately) get to experience. I put my blogging on the wayside to get things done. But I definitely did not forget about you, the fans. The biggest change to our day […]

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Hello BSB fans! Well the big day happened. The last couple weeks leading up to the wedding got very hectic, as you will all probably (and unfortunately) get to experience. I put my blogging on the wayside to get things done. But I definitely did not forget about you, the fans.

The biggest change to our day was we had to change our plans for a beautiful outdoor ceremony under a willow tree facing a pond to an all-indoor affair in the barn where the reception was held. After having a drought in the Midwest all summer, the weekend of our wedding we received 6″ of rain. So no matter what, we got plenty of wedding “good luck”. I still wouldn’t change a thing though. It just added to the memories of the day. While this is the logistics of the budget, to read how the whole day unfolded and how I felt throughout the process, check out my blog.

 

Maureen & Max  

October 13, 2012

 Willow Pond Bed, Breakfast & Events, Weyauwega, WI

 

What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.

Our budget was $10,000. The cost we paid was about $8,600.  You can debate how you want if we were under budget or not. With our gifted items the cost was about $10,100.

Venue (entire grounds, barn, tables, chairs, indoor heaters & ceremony props) – $1200

Catering – $3000

Cake – $425

Decorations – $60

Bridal Dress & Accessories – $420

Groom’s Suit & Accessories: – $667 (yes, his stuff cost more than mind did LOL)

Favors – $60

Flowers – $620 (bulk ordered and assembled ourselves)

DJ (covered ceremony, reception & up-lighting) – $500

Paper goods – Save-the-dates, invites, stamps,  favor tags, programs  – $200

Personalized Website w/RSVP feature (7 month subscription) – $135

Photographer (all-day wedding coverage & engagement photos) – $600

Pre-wedding pampering – $160

Gifts for Wedding Party – $500

Bridal Hair and Makeup, Alcohol, Rehearsal & Bus for Guests – Gifted (approximately $1500)

How many guests did you have?

90

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

The venue was personal. I grew up on a farm and that shaped who I am today. The venue was in the area of Max’s family cabin where we both spend a lot of our free time and many of our memories as a couple have formed. Merging the two was really a great thing.

I tried to do as much as I could  DIY. Knowing time constraints and what I could handle planning everything myself, I left some things out. I made the chalkboard mugs for wedding party, which became one of the fun parts of the reception with them constantly changing what little sayings were on them. I painted the mailbox card holder and the guest seating arrangement decor myself. Since I am a graphic designer, I created our save the date video and all our stationary. My mom, Max and I also made the burlap and ribbon wrapped vases and jars (which doubled for table decor after the ceremony). The favors were DIY. The photo clothes pin timeline was DIY. The morning of the wedding the family also helped with arranging all the flowers, creating the bouquets and corsages for the men. It was really a team effort that paid off. My mom was very touched she got to make my bouquet as well.

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

 

I really scoured the internet for deals, comparable things, coupons and really tried to think “out-of-the box” when re-purposing household items. Having a green theme really helped us prioritize what was necessary and what was not. It helped us cut costs and keep things minimal but still meaningful. I work at Goodwill so I was regularly looking for deals after work. We also hit up our local home improvement store and not going to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby unless we had to. An example of that, heavy decent twine for miscellaneous projects was $1.89 at Menards (our local home store) where it was $9.99 at Michael’s and not as heavy or a good fit for the theme.

 

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

 

We loved our sweetheart table. Although its not for everyone being completely on display, we loved that we could eat our whole meal (and dessert, I ate all three flavors of our cake), our friends could be with their significant others and we got to share those first few moments together whispering to each other and sharing our experiences. The day was all about us and we loved that.

 

What was your biggest splurge?

 

Definitely our catering and our cake. We wanted the best possible food for our guests. We went all out with a regional award winning caterer but the cost was still less than half if we were married in the metro area of Milwaukee or Madison. It was a win-win for us. We had real dishes and silverware and specialty linens that went to the floor for a extra long tables that were included in the venue rental. Our cake was made by a cake artist with special elements of our wedding. Each layer was a different flavor and all were amazing.

 

What was your favorite detail?

 

Surprisingly enough, it came down to who was there and not what we did. Having a smaller guest list not only cut our budget, it made our ceremony and party that much more special. Only our nearest and dearest were there. We got a chance to talk to everyone and still bust a move with our closest friends during the night.

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

 

As our last song, Max requested Billy Joel’s Piano Man since they always sang it after parties and formals for his fraternity. Every guest, both family and friends, gathered around Max and I in a giant circle and sang the entire song. It was a moving and very intimate moment shared by all.

 

VENDORS

Venue Willow Pond Bed, Breakfast & Events  |  Photography & DJ All Business Photo & DJ  |  Caterer Rockman’s Catering  |  Cake Cake Guru  |  Flowers FiftyFlowers  |  Transportation R&S Limo Service  |  Dress J.Crew via eBay  |  Groom & Groomsman Attire Calvin Klein via Men’s Warehouse  |  Bridesmaid Attire Nata Jane  |  Hair & Make-up Studio 212

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Pre-wedding Fun & the Rehearsal http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/pre-wedding-fun-the-rehearsal/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/pre-wedding-fun-the-rehearsal/#comments Mon, 17 Dec 2012 14:00:37 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=18487 Hello BSB fans! I hope you haven’t forgotten about me since my last post was in September. The months leading up to the wedding, I was a sleepless wreck. I tried very hard to stay awake but either nerves or the 100 things swirling around my brain just would not keep me asleep so usually somewhere […]

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Hello BSB fans! I hope you haven’t forgotten about me since my last post was in September. The months leading up to the wedding, I was a sleepless wreck. I tried very hard to stay awake but either nerves or the 100 things swirling around my brain just would not keep me asleep so usually somewhere between 2-4 AM I would be up and on here. Overall, I was usually highly productive but I really started to look like a zombie that last month.

I got a little relief a month before the big day with my bridal shower and bachelorette party thrown by my matron of honor, Katie. My favorite parts of the day/night were spending time chatting catching up with all my closest friends and sister, seeing all the creativity that went into their gifts and the comedy show we went to. Thanks for all the fun ladies!

Myself with my bridesmaids Grace, Erika, Katie and Brittney. I gave them all signs for their home pertaining to our personal friendship.

 Photo via Erika McKee

Bridal shower attendees along “the pantie line”. A very fun gift with new underwear for me and creative gift to go along with. My friend said she got the idea off of Pinterest.

Photo via Erika McKee

Myself and all the ladies of the bachelorette party at the comedy show “Bye Bye Liver”.

 Photo via myself

The week before the wedding. Max and I spent his 29th birthday with a trip up to Wild Rose to drop off decor, our wedding outfits and miscellaneous things at the cabin. I figured since we would have Turk the following week, I didn’t want him stomping all over my wedding gown. Although Max wasn’t thrilled about spending his birthday in the car, we ended it with a nice dinner at home and a house less filled with wedding things. Don’t worry, Max spend the next day celebrating his birthday and bachelor party in one. I hear paint-balling and a trip to Goodwill were part of the day.

Max with his brother Mitch at paint ball.

Photo via Mitch Anderson

Max and I left for our big day the Thursday before the wedding. We had planned to leave early in the afternoon and have a relaxing evening at the cabin before the hectic weekend began. Our plan got derailed when our last minute stop to FedEx to get our programs printed got derailed and we ended up spending an extra three hours there since our card stock kept getting stuck in their copy machine. So much for trying to save time and energy. At this point, my stress level was through the roof and I just wanted shut down.

The rest of the night with the family we tied labels on to favors and tried to get to bed early.

The start of the next day was filled with errands to run and a hall to decorate. While Max and his dad, Mark went off to buy the alcohol for our day, Max’s mom, Ellen, and I headed to pick up linens for our tables and pay our catering bill. On the way back, we heard the weather report on the radio. “Tomorrow chance of showers 100%.” Have you ever heard of 100% chance of showers. Me neither until now. Of course, also on the day of my wedding no less.

After a quick rendezvous at the cabin to eat lunch and pack up the cars, we were all off to Willow Pond, our venue site, to start with set-up and actually rehearsing.

From the weather report, it was a no brainer that this was going to be an all-indoor wedding. So much for the beautiful outdoor ceremony and photography. That was completely gone. I had to reconfigure the whole event to be placed inside the barn.

This was the raw view of our venue space about mid-afternoon. It really was a gorgeous place to have a wedding and I started to feel a little better that the whole event was going to be inside.

Photo via Kalin LeBrun

When configuring the reception tables, I came up with a snag and the way I had it set up did not fit with the actually venue layout. This was admit-tingly my largest “bridezilla” moment. I with so many adults all trying to help out, there were just too many opinions of how it should turn out. After about three different tries, I screamed and chucked my papers up in the air. I snapped at Max’s brother, Mitch, who was just trying to help. Again, I’m so sorry Mitch! Luckily, Max’s dad, Mark, came to the rescue with a layout that was similar to my overall plan. Problem solved.

Here was Mitch’s girlfriend, Kalin, and Grandma Anderson sharing a blanket through our cold rehearsal ceremony.

Photo via Mitch Anderson

One last snag was a groomsman was lost thanks to his GPS and ended up missing the entire rehearsal. Luckily, most of our wedding party are seasoned veterans and had no problem filling in and flying solo.

Photo via Molly Swiderski

After the rehearsal, we headed over to the hotel where the rest of the guests were staying to enjoy a little Mexican food (Max’s favorite) at De Fuego in Waupaca. I was so happy to get a drink in and decompress my stress a little. Horray for margaritas! Our party shared their back room. The food was delicious.

Look how excited Max is!

 Photo via Tom Werner

This photo shows how stressed I really was.

Photo via Tom Werner

After a couple of margaritas, I finally relaxed and started to enjoy all our friends and family’s company.

Here we are with Max’s dad, Mark, and our flower girl/niece, Claire. She was just getting her gifts. She also looking very happy for her uncle tying the knot.

Photo via Molly Swiderski

Another special moment of the evening was Max’s grandma, Muriel, gave him his wedding band. It was a family heirloom from his Great Grandfather Maximillion Anderson, who he is named after.

Photo via Molly Swiderski

When all was said and done, this how everything turned out. Gorgeous and everything ended up being perfect.

Photo via Kalin LeBrun

What pre-wedding jitters, mishaps and random things went wrong for your special day? How did you deal with them?

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It’s All About The Accessories http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/its-all-about-the-accessories/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/its-all-about-the-accessories/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=17492 My JCrew dress is super simple. No adornments, no bling, no lace. So does that mean that I was just going to be plain on my wedding day? Of course not! I love to accessorize. Starting from my shoes (since I’m slightly obsessed), I knew I wanted a pair of  TOMS for my green wedding because […]

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My JCrew dress is super simple. No adornments, no bling, no lace. So does that mean that I was just going to be plain on my wedding day? Of course not! I love to accessorize.

Starting from my shoes (since I’m slightly obsessed), I knew I wanted a pair of  TOMS for my green wedding because of their “One for One” philosophy. A child in a third world country gets a pair of shoes for the ones I bought. I also wanted to be able to wear them after the wedding and for them to be comfortable enough in to dance in all night and not have to switch. After some research of their wedding styles, I decided to go with a colored wedge. I went to a local boutique store, which is by far my most glamorous shopping experience through this whole process (oooh, fancy), Faye’s, and picked up the TOMS Savannah Wedge in Blue.

 

They are now discontinued but I found a few pairs are floating on eBay. The TOMS Blue Paz Wedge is now the closest comparison. Both were listed for $69 online. I picked up my shoes for $63 at Faye’s. I thought they were quite reasonable since I knew I’d wear them again after the wedding. My bridesmaids will also being wearing  TOMS in Natural Canvas. With our little flower girl, that’s six pairs of shoes for children in another country. (Possibly seven, Max still might get a pair to wear with his suit).

Moving on up, my garter. Even before I had the groom, I always knew one thing about my wedding. I’d be wearing a Green Bay Packers garter. Its one of those personal garments of your wedding that really speak everything about your personality and what you love. I found a perfect two garter set, one is for the garter toss and one is for my keepsake, from an Esty store called lilBittythings that specializes in custom garters. Cost for both was $29.99 with s+h.

I’m a die hard fan. Most Sundays we get together with our friends and watch games, other Sundays when we are home alone, I am glued to the TV while Max cooks. Role reversal much? I can’t wait to watch the guys fight over this one!

Although I have been working out and eating right, there will still be some unsightly pounds I want to smooth out the day of the wedding. I got a two in one body slimmer and bra from TC Fine Intimates in nude from Bare Necessities on sale for $57.60. I’m it will give me the sleek sexy shape I want under my A-line gown.

I also ordered lingerie for our wedding night… ooh la la! Can’t pass up a good sale!

I had a crazy hard time deciding on jewelry. Did I want to do the colored jewelry? A bib necklace? Something super sparkly? I first leaned toward a blue statement necklace to go with the wedding colors but then decided against it with my already blue shoes. So my MOH Kate had been bugging me if there was anything she could help with. I let her know I was looking for jewelry and did she ever hook me up with websites! I found exactly what I was looking for at Bauble Bar. I instantly fell in love with the Gold Crystal Mix necklace.

 

The necklace was the perfect pop I was going to need to help my simple dress shine. It is adorned with many clustered crystals to give lots of sparkle. When I originally ordered, I bought these Icicle Drops earrings in gold (shown in rose). When then arrived they were just too much for what I was going for. They would overpower the necklace since it was a bib style and higher up on my neck. So thanks to their free shipping return policy (which they include the return sticker, bonus), I sent them back and ordered the Gold Bubble Drop earrings.

I was so happy they were a great balance to the necklace and the crystals matched perfectly. The necklace cost $44 and the earrings were $40.

Finally moving up to my beautiful head, my veil. This was another thing I hemmed and hawed about and just couldn’t decide what route to take. I like the birdcage look but I didn’t feel it worked super great with my flowy dress. I loved the unconventional veils from twigs and honey that I kept seeing pop up on some of my favorite wedding blogs.  I was pleasantly surprised they had head adornments that pretty much fit any bride’s budget. I ended up choosing the Mini Tulle Veil in ivory. It has simple styling wouldn’t overpower my dress or  jewelry, a birdcage feel, but still gives a flyaway effect and I just couldn’t beat the price at $40.

 

Personally, I couldn’t be happier with what I found.

Green Measures Taken:

  • TOMS support a great cause helping children in third world countries
Current Budget Breakdown
Total Budget $10,000
 Item  Cost
 Venue for Ceremony and Reception  $1200
 Photography – Complete  $600
 DJ & LED Lighting  $500
 Invites & Stationary – Website  $135
 Invites & Stationary – Save The Dates  $3
 Bridal Gown & Accessories  $403
 Total Budget Left  $7159
What was your favorite accessory from your wedding? I think mine has to be my necklace. I feel so glam when I put it on.

*Images from eBay, lilBittythings, Bare Necessities, Bauble Bar and twigs and honey

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Wedding Woes http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/wedding-woes/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/wedding-woes/#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2012 14:28:22 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=17489 I knew it would happen. The snags that lead to a mini melt-down. I came across two wrenches in my wedding plans that of course I didn’t plan for. The first snag came up when I was starting to plan out my DIY decor projects. I had planned to make chevron table runners out of […]

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I knew it would happen. The snags that lead to a mini melt-down. I came across two wrenches in my wedding plans that of course I didn’t plan for.

The first snag came up when I was starting to plan out my DIY decor projects. I had planned to make chevron table runners out of a fabric I had found months prior. The fabric was Riley Blake’s Large Chevron in Navy. I’m sure you’ve seen this fabric pattern a lot lately. I did not realize how hard it was going to be to find. Not one fabric store in the Milwaukee area carries it. I found only a handful online that carried it. The store that was the least expensive was Hawthrone Threads which carries tons of modern fabrics patterns.

First the pattern was on back order until early August. I thought, “two months, no problem” So then I check at the beginning of August to order the fabric. “On Order Until Late September”. I freaked a little. I already had sent my invites out and invites set the tone of the day. There was just no way that was going to work. What would I do?!

So I started to think of how I could still incorporate the pattern without the runners. What would any fashionista do? Accessorize! I ordered 20 Navy and Plum (my other main color) table runners from Linen Tablecloth for $53.50 with s+h to give the room some color. I also saved 5% overall by liking them on Facebook and getting a promo code (new one monthly). Already knowing my way around a paint brush from my home blog, I decided to paint the chevron onto items that I already had to give that chevron feel without over powering the beautiful barn. Surprisingly enough, heading to my local home store and just buying a few things like extra paint supplies was going to cost me about a sixth the cost of the fabric I originally budgeted. Overall, not as bad as I thought.

On a side note, which also sort of made me mad, the day I bought all supplies for painting and the runners arrived, the fabric was available again. Go figure right?

The second thing that really made me lose it was a snag in the bridesmaid department. My sister is a procrastinator. Always has been. So it was no shock to me when it was late July and she still had not purchased her dress. The dresses are custom Esty purchases which take six to eight weeks to make, so I had to get on her to order it finally.

My sis had a very small wedding in May for just immediate family and best friends, so I knew she was tight for money. Another reason I didn’t get on her until that time to let her build up a little cushion again. When I finally talked to her, she said she didn’t think she could afford it with them saving for their honeymoon and she needed to talk to her husband about it. I said ok, I’ll give you the weekend, please get back to me on Monday. She did and decided she didn’t want to be in the wedding. The cost was too high and there was just too much pressure to be a maid. The cost I understood. The “pressure”, not so much. She was not my matron of honor, who was doing my shower and bachelorette party, so I didn’t know what else she really thought she had to do other than show up.

I was very hurt. You always dream your only sister will be next to you on the most important day of your life. Now she wasn’t going to be. She’ll still be at the ceremony but it will never be the same.

I asked my friend Erika to fill in and she immediately said yes and bought her dress and shoes within the week. Crisis averted but feelings definitely hurt.

I’m hoping nothing else big comes up that throws a wrench in our plans, but no matter what. I just have to roll with it and deal. It life. Nothing goes exactly to plan.

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‘Maid To Order http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/maid-to-order/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/maid-to-order/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=16649 We all want our bridesmaids to look wonderful on our big day (just not more beautiful than us) as a compliment to our beauty. I have been a bridesmaid and maid of honor six times now. For awhile my closet event looked like 27 Dresses because I had the same issues of holding on to […]

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We all want our bridesmaids to look wonderful on our big day (just not more beautiful than us) as a compliment to our beauty. I have been a bridesmaid and maid of honor six times now. For awhile my closet event looked like 27 Dresses because I had the same issues of holding on to the dresses because I held on to the memories/friendships I had with the women for dresses. I bought in to the “you can shorten it and wear it again”, even though some where already short. Only that never happened of course. They just sat around collecting dust and taking over my closet.

While I thought about pulling a Jane and having all my maids wear the dress I had to wear to theirs, I felt that might be a little cruel. But still funny.

Here is a preview of me through the years (sixth wedding photos still pending):

      

 

Needless to say, I think I am an expert on being a bridesmaid.  I know the cost, the sacrifice, the melt-downs and drama (and yes there has been many) and making sure the bride gets down the aisle. Sometimes its super fun, other times all you can do is roll your eyes and go with it.

When it came to my bridesmaids, I wanted them to be there for me but I also wanted them to enjoy the day as much as possible. So that brought me to bridesmaid dresses. Like many of you, I have women in my wedding party that range in size from about a 4 to a 2x. I wanted them to all look unified but still comfortable and pretty in whatever they were wearing.

I found an Etsy shop called NataJane that specialized in convertible dresses that was perfect!  The dress could be wore at least 12 different ways so no matter what they could all look amazing in their own style but unified with the same dress.

The dress comes in a short or long version and in 45 different colors and a shiny or matte finish! Seriously, I was so sold.

I gave my bridesmaids the option of choosing the short or long dress after reminding them that it is October and it can be hot or cold at that time of year. They chose the longer version for more of a maxi dress feel. I loved it since I wear a ton of maxi dresses and they would sort of match my dress (previous post here).

To match my colors, I chose the Plum color in the matte finish. The cost to the girls was $210 plus shipping. Not horrible for a bridesmaids dress.

Green measures taken:

1. Bought from independent, small business, supports economy.

 

* 27 Dresses photos from AllMoviePhoto and FanPop, dress photos from NataJane

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Digital Save The Da(y)tes http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/digital-save-the-daytes/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/digital-save-the-daytes/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2012 13:00:55 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=16415 Another one of those traditions we knew we’d have to modify for our short engagement, the Save The Date, or STD for all you wedding blog followers (not to be confused with the other STD). The recommended time frame to send out STD cards is nine months before the event date. So I racked my […]

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Another one of those traditions we knew we’d have to modify for our short engagement, the Save The Date, or STD for all you wedding blog followers (not to be confused with the other STD). The recommended time frame to send out STD cards is nine months before the event date. So I racked my brain on how I could get the word out after already losing two months. I didn’t know much of the event would actually look like yet so I wanted to keep it kind of generic and keep everyone informed.

Then I thought, “I’ve seen super awesome YouTube videos, could I do something like that?” The only problem, I have little video experience and normal cost for something like that can be huge. So how could I do it and still stay on budget?

Then I found WeVideo. It’s an online video editor that uses cloud technology to bring in video from many different sources and users to create a film. It even works with Google to store all your videos (can you say future home movies???) for editing.

For my current usage, I signed up for a free account.

Then I needed content.

I love my terrier mix dog, Turk . He’s adorably cute and very handsome. Can you seriously resist that face?

I really wanted to incorporate him into our special day. The obvious normal answer would to have him be the ring bearer. Now believe me I thought this over long and hard. Although Turk is a (mostly) perfect gentleman around Max, myself and our closest friends and family, he isn’t always to strangers. He barks and gets quite defensive of the people he loves. Not something you want when you have 100 extra strangers he’s never met hanging around.

So I figured, why not put him in the STD video! What a great way to showcase his star potential!

Using the video capture function on my digital camera and a tripod for stability I filmed my little buddy during one of his nap times. He was quite cooperative.

After filming the segments, I uploaded them all onto WeVideo and used their relatively easy software to do edits and add music. When I had watched the video a ton of times and was 100% sure I was happy with the result, I wanted to export it to my YouTube channel. The cost of the export was just under $3. Money that was also coming out of my invitation and stationery budget. Not too bad for STDs!

I present to you The Hyphenated Name.


Sorry, I did not just tell all of people out in internet land to come to our wedding. Just a fun way to get the word out. I definitely might upgrade my WeVideo account when we have kids and for usage on my blog. So fun and easy to create videos!

Green measures taken:

1. All digital, no paper from trees
2. No delivery, no CO2 emissions

Current Budget Breakdown
Total Budget $10,000
Item Cost
Venue for Ceremony and Reception $1200
Photography – Complete $600
DJ & LED Lighting $500
Invites & Stationary – Website $135
Invites & Stationary – Save The Dates $3
Total Budget Left $7562

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Wedding Website Wows http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/wedding-website-wows/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/wedding-website-wows/#comments Tue, 03 Jul 2012 13:00:39 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=16169 When Max and I decided to have only a seven month engagement, we knew some of the traditional rules would have to be thrown out the window. Many traditions now days are much more relaxed when it comes to weddings but some keep people on track. Being a graphic designer, I am very picky about […]

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When Max and I decided to have only a seven month engagement, we knew some of the traditional rules would have to be thrown out the window. Many traditions now days are much more relaxed when it comes to weddings but some keep people on track.

Being a graphic designer, I am very picky about the print and web presence we were going to portray. After searching through many different free hosted wedding websites, I decided I was going to pay for what I wanted. There are two things that might give you the thought that this was a non-budget savvy move. I will tell you just the opposite.

When having a green wedding, you have to look at the biggest ways you can save trees with the crazy amounts of paper weddings tend to have just to be thrown away and never thought of again and also all the CO2 from the travel of the delivery trucks to both ship the invites to you and to your guests. This made me want to have a mostly digital affair. I figure cost of a really nice wedding website would save me the hassle of wondering my carbon offset just to make my invites ok. If you are curious what carbon offsetting is, it is basically how much it will actually cost in dollars to correct the amount of CO2 you personally will be omitting. My projected cost for my wedding since I’m having it in a centralized location of all my guests (and yes, that was on purpose) is 3.9 tons of CO2 gas at a cost of $54.97. If you have a lot of guests traveling from far away, that number will skyrocket. I challenge you to figure out what your wedding will cost the planet.

So back to websites.

I ended up choosing a newer company called Wedding JoJo. Their websites were fun and modern, totally customizable and the monthly fee was relatively low. I loved the way I can upload unlimited photo albums and can really let me guests know everything before they arrive. The online RSVP responses, were the biggest selling point though. That would also cut down on my CO2 emissions and headaches with return envelopes and stamps. With the website, you also get a custom domain name which I loved. Also, if I wasn’t sure how my wedding decor and feel was going to be, I could always go back and change it later.

Monthly cost $14.99 and having it for seven months would bring us to $135. All money that was coming out of my invite and stationary budget. I think, money well spent. They also have a free version of their websites but with many less options, if you are looking just for a basic wedding website though, they are perfect.

I really think ours turned out great! I could just be biased though.

Green Measures Taken:

1. Less delivery travel, lower CO2
2. No paper, saves trees

Current Budget Breakdown
Total Budget $10,000
Item Cost
Venue for Ceremony and Reception $1200
Photography – Complete $600
DJ & LED Lighting $500
Invites & Stationary – Website $135
Total Budget Left $7565

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Say Yes to the eBay Dress? http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/say-yes-to-the-ebay-dress/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/say-yes-to-the-ebay-dress/#comments Mon, 18 Jun 2012 13:00:52 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=15753 How many of you just freaked out when you read eBay and thought “Wedding dress from eBay… is she insane?!” Let’s start the story from the beginning… I always knew I was not a big poofy ballgown type of girl. The more I saw crinoline, the more I wanted to barf. It’s so not me. I […]

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How many of you just freaked out when you read eBay and thought “Wedding dress from eBay… is she insane?!”

Let’s start the story from the beginning… I always knew I was not a big poofy ballgown type of girl. The more I saw crinoline, the more I wanted to barf. It’s so not me. I also knew, I’m enough of a traditionalist that I still wanted a white or off-white dress. That being said, I started looking.

I was drawn to more ready-made styles and then found the J.Crew wedding collection and fell in love. Most of the styles were very simple but stylish and had a hint of classic beauty that would never go out of style. Just what I was looking for.

After quite the debate between a few gowns, I decided on their Whitney gown. An ivory, strapless A-line gown with a slight sweetheart neckline. It is made of silk with a chiffon overlay. There is a sash that is attached to the bust that free flows away from the body. A small ruffle goes around the natural waist to give definition.

From J.Crew, the Whitney gown was $425. They recently dropped the price to $249 (and as I’m writing this its now $199). So it was a deal to begin with. I had a feeling since it was a ready-made style, I could find an even better deal if I just shopped around.

I first used J.Crew’s online consultant to figure out my size. The sales person said all their wedding styles are the same as their normal clothes. No “wedding” sizes here! That being said, I headed to my local store with my mom and tried on a few strapless styles to get the right fit.

Then I checked all the reused bridal websites I could find (recycledbride.com, oncewed.com, preownedweddingdresses.com and a few others). No luck.

Then I just wondered… what about eBay?! They are always selling new or slightly used items. Perfect for my budget and my green wedding! I found one eBay store The Peppermint Palm that carried a ton of J.Crew wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses. I found my Whitney gown new with tags and they were asking $169.99 with a “Make An Offer” option. Don’t mind if I do! I put in an offer of $120. It was a long shot but hey I still could buy it outright if they do not accept it. They did! With taxes and shipping the total cost of the dress was $127.64!

The gown showed up in a couple of days and it looked so gorgeous on! I started crying. I won’t even have to have it altered because its the perfect length. I will have to have it pressed before the big day since it got a little wrinkled in the shipping process. Overall, I couldn’t be happier!

Green measures taken:

1. Bought overstock, will not go in landfill.

Current Budget Breakdown
Total Budget $10,000
Item Cost
Venue for Ceremony and Reception $1200
Photography – Complete $600
DJ & LED Lighting $500
Bridal Gown & Accessories $128
Total Budget Left $7572

*photos courtesy of J.Crew.com

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Calling All Photographers! http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/calling-all-photographers/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/calling-all-photographers/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=15627 I know for a fact after your venue and caterer (if you go that route), photography is the next biggest expense for a wedding. And booking a good one can be tricky. Luckily, most photographers can travel much easier than most caterers can. So how do you get super awesome photography and still stay well […]

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I know for a fact after your venue and caterer (if you go that route), photography is the next biggest expense for a wedding. And booking a good one can be tricky. Luckily, most photographers can travel much easier than most caterers can. So how do you get super awesome photography and still stay well within you budget? Have the photographers work for you!

A couple of days after our engagement, we had already found our venue so that was set, but were getting married about two hours away from where we live. Certain things would be tricky. Should we book a local photographer and have them travel to our site or look elsewhere? One thing I did know, I wanted a blend of photo journalistic styling and posing for our special day. But fun modern posing. So I placed a couple of advertisements on Craigslist in three local areas of our venue looking for creative photographers for wedding photos also saying that students looking to build portfolios were welcome. Just submit a few samples and I would contact who I was interested in. And the submit did they ever! After only a couple of days I had to pull the ads down so my inbox wouldn’t get too congested.

I ended up deciding on a wonderful young photographer by the name of Brittni Weston. She actually even started her email to me with cost of her services $600. Quite a deal from the $2000+ I was hoping to avoid if at all possible. Her photos were exactly what I was looking for and she was super psyched that I wanted to do creative shots. What I was even more blown away with was her business, All Business Photography & DJ, is shared by a DJ service with her friend Adam Ludwig. If I purchased both services it was going to cost me $1100 for both. She was going to throw in a free engagement session and DJ Adam had LED uplighting (that I soooooo wanted but didn’t think I could afford) that was also included. They also included all their travel costs and housing for the event. I was so sold!

Recently, Max and I went to our wedding site with the two of them to go over some set up stuff and to take our engagement photos. They were really impressed with the barn space and Adam was excited about the uplighting. I think they liked our crazy personalities a little bit too.  :-)

For the photos, we went to nearby Waupaca, WI where we got engaged. We loosely recreated our engagement day. We even drove back to the cabin (where he popped the question) and did some photos there.

      

Name this movie…

“The Lucky One” (i.e. ME!)

Pretty adorable huh? To see all of our photos check out their Facebook page.

Green measures taken:

1. Local vendor for less travel.
2. Photographed same time as venue visit, lower CO2
3. All digital photography

Current Budget Breakdown
Total Budget $10,000
Item Cost
Venue for Ceremony and Reception $1200
Photography – Complete $600
DJ & LED Lighting $500
Total Budget Left $7700

*All photography courtesy of Brittni Weston of All Business Photography

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Plum, Navy + “Green” http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/maureen-plum-navy-green/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/maureen-plum-navy-green/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=15584 Since I was a little girl, I have always been trying to save the planet. So I guess I’ve lived most of my life thus far as “green”, or at least, within reason. So I hate to burst everyone’s wedding bubble but the overall “wedding industry” is horrible on the environment. So I read this […]

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Since I was a little girl, I have always been trying to save the planet. So I guess I’ve lived most of my life thus far as “green”, or at least, within reason. So I hate to burst everyone’s wedding bubble but the overall “wedding industry” is horrible on the environment. So I read this book The Green Bride Guide, and it totally changed my vision of my special day.

Why go green in the first place?*

Going green on your wedding day has environmental, social, and economic benefits.

  1. The environmental benefits: Each one of the 2.5 million weddings this year in the United States will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs of garbage. That’s a lot of waste! Consider all of the stuff that goes into conventional weddings: single-use bleached white dresses, chemically treated imported flowers, toxic makeup and skin care products, mined gem-based jewelry, and individual packets of rice, to name a few. It adds up quickly! Picture this: if every wedding this year used a disposable aisle runner and they were laid end to end, they would circle the globe twice. Similarly, the amount of paper used for invitations could cover the entire island of Manhattan. If every engaged couple made just one small green choice, that would be 2.5 million greener choices a year, and that is an amazing impact.
  2. The social benefits: The average wedding costs almost $40,000 and weddings are a $60+ billion industry. Having a green wedding is an opportunity to make a difference by supporting companies that actively incorporate social and environmental responsibility into the way they do business. When you start talking to vendors about green choices, and explain your choices to your guests, you support the green economy and change the way people in your community think. You can showcase how easy it is to be eco-chic and share your favorite eco-friendly products with your guests.
  3. The economic benefits: Being green usually saves you money, and in today’s economy this is probably reason enough to do it! By making simple substitutions and eco-conscious decisions, like choosing a location central to the majority of your guests, you can easily decrease your impact on the planet and the cost of your event simultaneously.

The main reason I loved the book so much it gave concrete ways not only to have a greener wedding, but they broke each of the ways to help in to three different budgets for all types of brides from the most budget conscious (i.e. us) or the bride who can afford anything her heart desires but is still environmentally-friendly.

So of course, I had to have a green wedding after reading this, not only for the budget saving but most of the ideas and tips the author, Kate Harrison, gave were just good sense. Many would save me time, energy and would make my special day more sentimental and full of meaning.

Translating that to my day, will I be married in a burlap sack? No. Will I try to save carbon dioxide by having things locally sourced and centrally located? Yes. Even the small things can make a difference.

From now, when I do a budget breakdown, I will also be adding what green steps I have taken.

That also brings me to the overall feel and colors of our special day. You already know our venue is a 100 year old barn on a (fingers crossed) gorgeous fall day, but I decided I did not want typical fall colors. As a designer, I obsess over color and pattern details and knew this was one area of the day I just had to make perfect. I found this color scheme from The Perfect Palette and fell in love! The rich colors hint to fall but don’t scream it. It is elegant, yet casual, like our day.

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With the entire inside of the barn as the chocolate brown color, I decided to just do the plum, navy, latte and ivory. Should be quite easy to incorporate into the decor and attire.

The overall theme of the day is supposed to be “Rustic Modern”. So that translates into modern decor choices with touches of rustic flair. We are getting married in the Northwoods after all. So I’m thinking of mixing chevron patterns with wood accents…bold move?

What steps are you taking to have a greener day? What are the theme and colors of your wedding?

*information taken from Green Bride Guide website, images from Green Bride Guide and The Perfect Palette

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