I was so excited when Laura contacted me to showcase her wedding on BSB! Not only is she from Brentwood where I currently live but her wedding was shot by my friend Evin! Laura had so many great details from the pops of pink and blue in the programs, flowers, and decor to the candy buffet, to the cherry blossom lanterns and her incredibly gorgeous cake! I hope you enjoy hearing her responses and her lovely photos! Congrats Josh and Laura- and thanks for sharing your wedding with BSB!
What was your budget?
We received $10,000 from my parents and Josh & I spent about $3,000.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
To be honest, I’m not very creative. I can’t come up with an idea and then execute that idea, so I did a lot of research on the web and copied a lot of things. And probably did things that hard way, but it’s the only way I could figure out to do it!
I found a wedding invitation that I loved at theknot.com and basically copied the idea for my invitations and programs. But since I don’t know how to design on the computer, I went to Michael’s craft store and bought two stamps. And I used those two stamps to create the look I wanted.
At the reception, I wanted a somewhat Asian theme (since I’ve lived in Asia for three years), so I came up with the idea to string paper lanterns with cherry blossoms around the dance floor. I ordered the lanterns online and my mom made my idea a reality (she IS an engineer at heart). I also bought a cherry blossom craft paper punch online and punched out hundreds of cherry blossom confetti from scrapbook paper in order to decorate the tables. And then the cake had cherry blossoms all over it. So that was my (subtle) theme.
I wanted quotes, or fun words that meant something to Josh and me on each of the tables at the reception. So, we bought wooden stands at Hobby Lobby (for half price) and I created cute quote cards for each table. I also made reserved signs for the head table, the wedding party tables and the family tables.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We tried to do a lot of things to save money, including a ton of DIY projects: the invitations, the programs, confetti, decorating. Anything we could do ourselves, or use a coupon to buy, we did.
One of the biggest savings was when we found a caterer that worked with us at $10/person and we had TONS of food (heavy hors d’oeuvres, fruit, veggies). And then we bought all the alcohol and brought it to the reception ourselves. My mom bought bottled water and make fruit tea. And we borrowed the pitchers and bins to keep the drinks cool. There was PLENTY to eat and drink, and it was quite cheap.
Other than the flowers, which were done by the florist (and all were used at both the ceremony & reception), my mom and I did all the decorating ourselves. And we asked friends to help us and oversee the day-of festivities for us. Seriously, everyone in the bridal party had a job as well. My mom even made the wreaths on the doors of the church. We went to Michael’s craft store, found a wreath we liked, and then copied it.
Another huge savings were my invitations. I bought a wedding invitation kit at Michael’s craft store (my mom and I went every week and bought one at a time with the 50% off coupons in the paper) and I used the paper to make the invites I wanted. We only spent $120 on 300 invitations.
What's the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you're on the other side?
My biggest advice would be to enlist the help of your friends and family. We used a lot of friends and family to help with our wedding, and it saved us a ton of money, and a lot of my sanity as well. And I think everyone enjoyed being a part of putting on our wedding day.
Another thing would be to borrow, borrow, borrow. Ask all your friends who are married if you can borrow anything they used. We borrowed the ring-bearer pillow, the toasting glasses, the cake servers, everything on the candy bar was borrowed, the table decorations, and some table cloths. There is really no need to buy all new wedding accessories when people you know have basements/garages full of stuff.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our TWO biggest splurges were photography and the reception location.
I’ve had several friends and family members over the years ask a friend to take pictures as a favor, and so many times they didn’t turn out well. So, I knew before I ever got engaged that I would be willing to spend more money on pictures because they are so important to me. I’m so glad that Evin (of EvinPhotography.com) and her partner Sara were able to do my photography. I LOVE my wedding pictures. And honestly I didn’t spend a TON of money, but I knew I didn’t just want a friend doing me a favor. I wanted someone who had a lot of experience.
I spent a lot of time looking at reception sites, but I had to have a place indoors, that could hold 200+ people, and where I could serve alcohol. The Martin Center in Brentwood, Tennessee met all my needs, but it was a big splurge for my budget. I justified it because we only spent $250 on the chapel!
What was your favorite detail?
Wow, it’s so hard to pick one, because I loved my wedding day. It was all I ever dreamed of and more.
But I would say my favorite detail would be my dress from David’s Bridal. It was the third dress I tried on, the first time I went dress shopping. And I knew immediately that it was perfect. I loved that it was all lace (even though I never pictured myself in a lace wedding gown). I truly felt beautiful when I wore it.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
My most memorable moment was the moment before I walked down the aisle. Everyone kept asking me if I was nervous, but there wasn’t a nervous bone in my body. I was so ready and couldn’t wait to get to the end of the aisle and marry the man of my dreams. He’s my best friend and I’m extremely thankful that God brought us together.
My second favorite moment was at the reception when we were able to finally relax and enjoy the best day of our lives. It seemed to fly by so quickly, but I had a blast dancing and talking to everyone who showed up. It was a fun party!
Photography: Evin Photography
Flowers: A Wedding to Remember (Sue @ 615-790-3065)
Caterer: Your Place, Not Mine (Mike @ 615-871-9156)
Party Rental: Classic Party Rentals
Cake: Linda King (615-368-7534)