helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

Let me spell it out for you… I LOVE this wedding. Simple, joyous, budget-savvy. Megan and Andy spent $4k by having the wedding at a family home, keeping the guest list intimate, and generally prioritizing well. Brides never cease to amaze me with their savviness. Hope you enjoy this edition of the BSWOW by Lora Rodgers Photography!

Megan & Andy

October 9, 2010
Orlando, Florida

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

Our budget was around $4,000 and we were able to come in under that:

– Venue- free (groom’s family home)

– Officiant- free (groom’s uncle)

– Cupcakes- free (made by my sister-in-law)

– Hair & make-up- free (done by friends)

– Bride attire (dress, veil, brooch)- $300

– Groom attire (vest, wore suit he already owned)- $20

– Photography- $550

– Musician for ceremony & reception- $700

– BBQ catering- $800

– Rentals (tables, chairs, linens)- $500

– Vintage dishes/mason jar glasses/silverware- $300

– Flowers- $300

– Decorations (hanging jars, candles)- $200

– Rings- $200

– Save-the-dates and Invitations (made online)- $60

– Guestbook- $6

How many guests did you have?

We had about 55 guests.

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

We wanted our wedding to be a personal, family-centered affair. We each walked down with both of our parents to the ceremony. I wore a necklace from Andy’s family with a ruby brooch from my family. Instead of corsages, I bought vintage brooches for our mothers and grandmothers. We wrote our own ceremony and vows. At the reception, we had a table with old wedding pictures from our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. We played our parents’ wedding songs at the reception. We wanted our wedding to reflect our view that a wedding isn’t just about the love between two people, but the love between family and friends.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing we did to save money was accepting help from our family and friends! We saved thousands in rental fees by having the wedding at my husband’s family home in Orlando, and it made it a more special having it in a place that had been in Andy’s family for four generations and where we had made a lot of special memories. Andy’s uncle got his notary license and officiated our wedding. My friends did my hair and make-up. My sister-in-law made adorable sunflower cupcakes. I got flowers from publix (a grocery store) and my aunt and grandmother made my bouquet while my college friends put together all the centerpieces and hanging jars of flowers that we used as decoration. Having help from our family and friends not only saved us a ton of money but also made our wedding a lot more personal and family-oriented.

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

Don’t feel like there are things you need to do or not do just because that’s how someone said weddings should be. We didn’t have a bridal party, we didn’t have a bouquet/garter toss. We didn’t have a florist or a wedding planner. Or hair/make-up people. We saw each other before the ceremony. We didn’t have favors, table numbers, escort cards, or assigned seating. We simply had the small home wedding that we wanted. We were relaxed, we hung out with friends and family, and laughed, and danced. We had bbq in the backyard for our reception- complete with lawn games. Not only did people not mind- we got a lot of compliments that the wedding was very “us” and that’s what made it special.

What was your biggest splurge?

Besides food, the thing we spent the most money on was music. We considered doing an ipod playlist, but I’m really glad we splurged and booked Charlie Roberts. He played Beatles’ music on an acoustic guitar for the ceremony and then played live music and DJ’d as well as emcee’d for the reception. It ended up making our reception a lot more organized having a professional and he even got our parents dancing!

What was your favorite detail?

We had a lot of DIY details- or rather DIT (do-it-together), because we had quite a bit of help! We had a bunch of big mason jars that we filled with flowers and lined the aisle for the ceremony and hung from all the big oak trees for the reception. Instead of regular plates and glasses, we bought mix-matched vintage plates from thrift stores and used mason jars as drinking glasses. My in-law’s also surprised us by spelling out our initials with flowers by the reception area. Our hanging frame “photo corner” was also pretty popular- we bought an oversized frame on clearance at Michaels‘ and hung it from a tree branch for people to take pictures behind- I think our friends and family got a big kick from it.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

For me, the most memorable moment was our ceremony. And at the very end of it, Andy surprised me by sweeping me around and dipping me for our first kiss. I felt like we were in an old movie J

VENDORS:

Photography- Lora Rodgers Photography
Music- Charlie Roberts
Catering- Harry & Larry’s BBQ
Rentals- Orlando Party Rentals
Flowers- Publix
Dress & Veil – David’s Bridal
Andy’s vest- Amazon.com
Rings- overstock.com
Invitations- 123prints.com

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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  • Laurie L. Shelton

    Wow! Just love it! A completely special event with not one single thing missing from it!

    Laurie L. Shelton
    Wilmington, NC

  • Marty

    It was beautiful, relaxed and fun to get ready for! Great way for families and friends from both sides to get to know one another.

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  • http://www.stingybride.com Tamar {StingyBride}

    Big trees + lots of hanging lights is always a good combination. I love that this couple kept a small budget while planning a completely personal wedding!

  • Aamir

    its my first vist but its great to see all this.