helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

Love this sunny, personal beach wedding! Can’t believe they pulled it off for $5,000! I thought the ‘shoecheck’ at the beach wedding ceremony was very clever and cute! This wedding looks cheerful and oh-so-fun as captured by Emma Poliquin! Thanks to Erin & Troy for sharing their special day with us!! :)

Erin and Troy McNutt

June 12, 2010

Clam Bay, Nova Scotia

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

Our budget was $5000, we had just recently purchased a house and are in the midst of renovation and we didn’t want to have to get a loan to get married.

Venue and Linen Rentals: $370

Food and Wine: $1100

Bride Attire: Wedding dress $500, alteration $90 and DIY Fascinator $8

Groom Attire: Rented vest $24, khakis, dress shirt and sandals from Old Navy $60 and tie $25

Photographer: $1700.

Officiant: $125 for ceremony and $25 for rehearsal

License: $120

Rings: $445

Flowers: 75 stems of spider mums at $1 each and 16 potted Gerber Daisies for $3 each = $125

Wedding Cake: $70

Favors: $60, $.75 per sapling wrapped in burlap with “from Mr.  & Mrs.” Ribbon

Decorations: $155, this was mostly paint for all the different DIY’s, lanterns,  burlap for tables, BBQ kit supplies, Frames for Thank you Poem, round place mats, cake toppers.

Invitations: $12 for postage, I designed invitations and save the dates

Vintage car rental: $35

How many guests did you have?

We were blessed with 56 of our closets family and friends.

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

We did our very best to make sure that the whole weekend a reflection of us as a couple. Our theme was planting our roots as a new family so there was a lot of focus on family. The ceremony was on the beach and we asked the guests to all go barefoot (including Troy and I) and bring blankets for sitting on the beach. So we had a shoe check on the beach. During the ceremony we had the members of our bridal party as well as our mothers read a line from a hand fasting ceremony. It was an amazing moment, having the most important people in our lives remind us why we are together.

At the reception our guest book was a fingerprint tree that a friend drew for us. It is our modern version of a family tree and a constant reminder of our family’s support. Our favors were saplings, I wrote a poem saying thank you to all our guests and asking them to plant this tree and watch it grow and thrive as we will. Our desert table was a selection of homemade desserts that family and friends offered to bring. The photo booth was the biggest hit; it was just a funky sheet that I picked up, a large frame I painted white and some fun props. Everyone got into it, even my ninety year old great aunt. After the reception we had a fire back at the cottage laughed and cried until the wee hours of the morning.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We did as much as we could ourselves. We put the biggest amount of money on the food and the photographer. All the other aspects we either reused things we already had or kept an eye out for sales and we were not afraid of asking people to donate or lend. All the invitations and save the dates were free, I designed them myself and a printing company that I use all the time through work printed them as a gift. The vases on the tables were all given to use and I spray painted them white. The table numbers were free from a wood pile and we painted the numbers on them. The seating chart was free, it was a window my mother had and we traced the names on with a white paint pen. All the signs; for the photo booth, shoe check etc were painted on the old wood from our cottage, the flags were scraps of fabric attached to fallen birch trees. The flowers were fairly cheap we ordered spider mums from Costco for a dollar a stem and then picked up potted Gerbera daisies for $3.00 each on sale at a local grocery store. The biggest cost saver was that we worked with the existing décor, the venue had blue tablecloths and white and blue dinnerware, it was cheaper to work with that then try to change it and have to rent linens and dinnerware. The list goes on and on, but we also didn’t want to go ever board with decorations we wanted people to enjoy their surroundings that helped keep costs down.

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

Please don’t be afraid to ask for help and stick to your plan. I realized very late in the planning game that I needed help, my DIY list was growing and my time line was shrinking. Once I asked for help people started showing up at the house to help, it made the planning more of a family affair. Once you and your husband decide how you want your day to be, don’t hum and ha too much, you will drive yourselves crazy and stress yourselves out. Take all the advice you can get but don’t be afraid to say no, this will be your day and you should be able to create it and remember it the way you both had dreamed.

What was your biggest splurge?

We put the biggest amount of money on the food and the photographer. Lets be honest food keeps everyone happy and the photos are your memories frozen in time.

What was your favorite detail?

I loved all the details. It was gratifying to my husband and I to look around and see our hands in everything around us as well as our guests enjoying it all. But our favorites were the fingerprint tree, the dessert table, the photo booth and the BBQ survival kits. We had traditional BBQ food, so ribs pulled pork and chicken, very messy. The kits had bibs, wet naps, mints and tooth picks.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

I have two favorites; the first was when Troy and I saw each other for the first time. We decided to do our photos before the ceremony. It would help with the nerves and it is also when you look your best. Troy was standing with his back to me and I walked up behind him, with a huge grin from ear to ear. Once he turned around the photographer just disappeared and it was just the two of us. The next 45 minutes was just us, we had time to talk, laugh and cry, and it was perfect. It was the only time that day that we were totally alone. The other one was after the ceremony, while we were waiting for the witnesses to sign the certificate I asked my new husband to walk with me for a minute and we walked down the beach away from everyone, stopped and turned to each other and just started to laugh. To this day we don’t know why we both laughed, that’s just us I guess.

VENDORS

Venue: Heritage Village Memory Lane
Photographer: Emma Poliquin
Bridesmaid Dresses: Sears
Favors: Seedlings from the trail shop

{all photos by Emma Poliquin}

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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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