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This wedding is just STUNNING, y’all. I literally *SQUEALED* with delight when I received the submission via Two Bright Lights. Lovely yellow color scheme, beautiful bride, adorable groom (I have a soft spot in my heart for grooms with glasses, OBVI!) Susan offers some great advice on keeping things in perspective- let the details be just that- details! Unimportant in the grand scheme of what the day is all about. I totally love the custom nesting dolls they had as their cake toppers- TOO adorable! Hope y’all enjoy this edition of the Budget Savvy Wedding of the Week! Thanks Kevin & Susan for sharing your special day with us! :)

Susan & Kevin

June 27th, 2010
Joliet, Illinois

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

I wanted to keep the budget under $7,000.00…My (Susan) wonderful parents paid for everything, despite our protests; which made it even more important to keep things simple and inexpensive. My dress was $400.00 (on sale) my aunt and mom made my birdcage blusher; our amazing wedding cake was $200.00 and was done by a friend of Kevin’s mom; our flowers for everyone (bridesmaids, groomsmen, grandparents, parents, flower girls, and “guests of honor”) were done by a friend of the family for $1,000.00–this is incredible because our wedding party consisted of 20 people!! She gave us a wonderful deal! My shoes were $90.00 and a surprise gift from my mom. Kevin’s vest and pants were $80.00 (on sale), his shoes were $45.00, and the shirt and skinny tie were about $20.00 together. We wanted to save our bridesmaids and groomsmen money as well, so I had the girls just wear any short yellow dress of their choosing; either one they already owned or an inexpensive new one. For the guys, Kevin had them get the same vest and pants he wore which were still on sale. We chose to have our reception at the Public Landing Restaurant in Lockport, IL. Their food is amazing and we did 6 hors douvres costing about $17.00 per person. To save money we had a cash bar instead of an open bar which only costed a flat fee of $150.00 instead of an extra $15.00 per person! My beautiful Aunt Cindy did our centerpieces for us as a gift–she bought the amazing roses from Costco for a great price and got the hurrican vases, candles, and mirrors at the dollar store! For the candles and misc. decorations, we rummaged around our house and found everything we could use instead of buying things we didn’t need. For the favors my mom searched websites for the best deal on seed packets of Black Eyed Susans. I believe she ordered 350 packets for under $100.00 and we just wrapped them in raffia and put them in an old basket for people to take.  My uncle is a DJ so as a gift he DJ’d our reception free of charge. And, finally, our wonderful photographer, Jennifer Eileen, took the most amazing pictures imaginable for us for $2,100.00. That fee included way more than it should have–she gave us a great deal. And after everything was done, we did stay under $7,000.00! We will never regret the sacrifices we made to keep things simple and inexpensive!

How many guests did you have?

We had approximately 200 wonderful guests.

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

Kevin and I both incorporated elements of our personal style into our wedding: Kevin loves Converse, all of the guys had black Chuck Taylors. I love yellow, all of the girls had cute yellow dresses. We both love the “shabby chic”, anthropologie-esque look which was also evident in many of the decorations–giving everything a more casual, simple look rather than extremely elegant (which also made things much less expensive! :-) ).

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest things we did to save money was listen to suggestions from other people…ACTUALLY listen to suggestions and incorporate them whenever we were able. We were so blessed to have so much help from our family and friends! Another that really helped save money was determine to be satisfied and not be set on having things so-so!! Also, we used things we already had for many of the decorations–which saved us a great deal! We did not rent a limo and at the reception we had a cash bar instead of an open bar.

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

Just love, love, LOVE the fact that you are entering into marriage with your favorite person in the world and joy in the beautiful gift of each other. Comprimise, let things go, don’t be set on having things so-so and perfect. Let the details be details! Let your heart be so thankful for the person you are going to marry and let everything else just “be OK!”. At the end of the day, regardless of how many things went wrong or you wish could have been different, you will be married. Let that fact matter the most. Don’t fight with friends or family. Treasure planning one of the most wonderful days of your lives!

What was your biggest splurge?

I think the flowers were our biggest “splurge”. Even though they were thousands less than they would have been had I gotten them through someone else, It was hard for me to spend $1,000 on flowers!! But they were absolutely beautiful and I do not regret the “splurge” at all!

What was your favorite detail?

Kevin’s favorite detail was the wedding cake toppers which were Russian nesting dolls that his brother painted to look just like us! The cake toppers AND the flowers were my favorite details.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Walking down the aisle with my daddy and when he gave me away. It was overwhelming to walk down the aisle with him, between dear family and friends, toward my favorite person in the world who was about to become my husband! It was beautiful to see so much love on Kevin’s face as I walked toward him. It was incredibly emotional, nearly everyone was crying by the time daddy and I reached the front of the church; and when he gave me away I’m convinced there was not a single dry eye! Through uncontrollable tears, my father hugged me, told me he loved me, hugged Kevin, told him he loved him, and gave me away. It was wonderful and unforgettable!

Please also include a list of all your vendors including any website links.

Hair: Tre Volte Salon

Venue: The Public Landing

Ceremony: First Presbyterian Church

Photography: Jennifer Eileen Photography

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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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  • Jennifer Eileen

    Kevin & Susan are incredible. They truly let the small stuff roll off their back! There was no stress just joy. And they basked in their love for one another as well as for their friends and family.

    Thank you for featuring their gorgeous wedding! It was an honor to be there, photograph their wedding day, and now be friends with this amazing couple. :)

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  • Talia N.

    wow what a beautiful wedding! gorgeous photos!

  • Margaret Ivory

    I love the breakdown of your budget. Very smart use of your money or your parents money. Just one thing, hopefully there was a photo taken of you and your bridesmaids smiling. The varying yellow dresses are too cute though.

  • http://www.10000dollarwedding.wordpress.com tenthoubride

    We're looking for affordable venues in Illinois and I've had Public Landing on the list for a while now! Good to see that you can get a TOTALLY beautiful wedding done for a good price there!! Good work, you savvy couple, you!

  • Susan Fiske

    This makes my smile wonderfully huge! I truly loved our wedding, loved our pictures–smiling AND attitude-y–and I love that it is on the budget savvy bride! One more thing that saved us a few hundred dollars(I forgot to add): wonderful Kevin (groom) made our invitations, and they were incredible. Looking back, the day could not have been better! TO TENTHOUBRIDE: the public landing was really great for a reception, and the people there were great to work with!
    Jennifer Eileen–you truly are gifted! Thank you, again. No one could have captured our day better! Seriously!

  • Lisa

    Hi, Susan – beautiful wedding and your dress is gorgeous! Where did you get it/who makes it for such a great price? Love, love, love everything!! Congrats to you guys.

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