Desktop and Tablet header image Mobile header image

helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank


Brandon & Jessica

August 20th, 2011
Charlotte, NC

-Church:  The Plaza Presbyterian Church
-Reception:  The Marriott at Southpark

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

-We spent about $16,000
Venue:  10,000, Dress:  1,000, Cake:  500, Photographer:  1,200 (included engagement and bridal shoot),  Band: 200, Flowers:  300,  Rings:  2,000, Misc, invitations, party favors:  1,000

How many guests did you have?

-130 guests

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

-My fiancee and I both have fathers that are pastors.  So after my dad walked me down the aisle he turned and joined my new hubby’s dad and they both married us.  It was a very special memory from my wedding.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

-I have two things:

1.  We bought our flowers from the farmer’s market.  They not only will arrange the flowers if you bring vases, which make great centerpieces, but they will make your bouquets for you as well.  We spent about $300 for 8 bouquets and 11 beautiful and fresh centerpieces.  Some friends delivered them to the venue.

2.  We found our cake baker in a flower shop who make cakes as a hobby.  It was a great way to save money because they don’t have a clientele yet, but are trying to build one.  So after we interviewed him and saw some of his work, he made us a $1000 cake for $500 (including delivery).  He worked with our budget and gave us a beautiful and tasty cake.

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

-It’s never to early to start planning.  Don’t let anyone push their opinion of how your day should be on you.  This is your special day and you only get one so make it about you.  Lastly, take time to pause during your day to take it all in.  It goes by so fast and you will get so wrapped up in things that you forget to take a moment and soak it all in.

What was your biggest splurge?

-My venue and my dress.  I wanted give my guest an amazing experience and I wanted to feel gorgeous in my dress.  So I had to splurge on both.  By the end of the night, I didn’t want to take off my dress.

What was your favorite detail?

-The band for cocktail hour.  We had a patio attached to the venue, so we found an amazing band on craigslist that played the whole night for $200.   It was a nice touch that our guest really enjoyed.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

-My gift to my husband was my garter.  He is a huge steelers fan, so I surprised him by finding one online for under $30 (toss and keepsake).  His face was priceless and I can tell it meant so much to him.  Plus, there was a little blue ribbon sown into the inside of the garter for my something blue.


Photography: Kimberly Joyce Photography
Cake: Crumbs by Couture
Flowers:  Farmer’s Market Charlotte
Dresses: David’s Bridal
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
Venue:  Marriott
Garter:  Etsy

Share this post:

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

Connect with Jessica