helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

I am in love with this wedding- from the first time I saw it I fell for all the details. The vintage ephemera, the billy balls in the bouquets, the newsboy caps on the groomsmen, the darling bridesmaids, the sunny yellow color scheme… it’s all so sweet! You can tell that this wedding really reflects the couple and what was important to them. The best part is alot of the decor can be pulled off on a small budget- if you give yourself time you can scour thrift stores and garage sales for vintage books, teacups and accessories and save yourself tons of money. I just love the whole vibe- hope you all enjoy this BSWOW as much as I do!

What was your budget?

Our budget was about $12K… I have a hard time breaking it down because it was a very scattered process. We did a lot of thrift shop and garage sale shopping for plates and gadgets. Our food was vegetarian. It was local and organic, as were our flowers, so that was the priciest bit. My dress was my mom’s, so I had it reworked to fit me and my style for less than $500 We had planned to have the wedding at a library or an old house, but we got the lodge for $200 and that was good enough for us. Our photographer (Type A Images) was about $1250 and captured the whole vibe perfectly… my husband and I are wedding photographers (Soda Fountain Photography) as well, and I would recommend her to the world. Our ceremony music was a guitar and cello duo who played Zeppelin and Beatles and Dean Martin. We saved on a bartender by having a wonderful friend of ours make drinks and he was a charmer!

How many guests did you have?

Around 130

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

My mom and I spent many many nights watching Gilmore Girls and making recycled tissue paper pomanders for the aisle. I walked down the aisle to “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime”. My bridesmaids were 10 year olds… my sister and her best friends. My maid of honor wore the same newsboy outfit as the groomsmen (they were hot.) Our wedding bands are made from silver spoons that were in Craig’s mother’s Hope Chest (an old-fashioned tradition where a little girl puts special things in a box in hopes of a “good husband” some day)… She passed away a few years ago, so we added lots of little things in memory of her. Our ceremony was created by us and included Star Trek references as well as a ring warming ceremony where everyone passed them around and blessed or wished on them (to some Beatles tunes). We decorated the reception area with a whiskey drinkin’ grandmother in mind… We had vintage style buttons made by ButtonEmpire on etsy and they were scattered all over the tables with some skeleton keys and favor chocolates re-wrapped in old book pages and teacups full of flowers that sat on vintage books.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Making anything by hand saves money. It just takes up a lot of time. We made so many things, it was a full-time job. We bought little chocolate bars in 3-packs from Trader Joe’s, which saved us hundreds of dollars we would have spent on chocolates elsewhere. But re-wrapping them in perfectly cut book pages was a feat. But it was definitely appreciated by our guests. We also bought “3 Buck Chuck” from Trader Joe’s for our wine… it is pretty damn good wine for the price. :) Also, the mismatched dessert plates and coffee cups were thrift shop scores and my sister-in-law made our cake!
What's the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you're on the other side?
You’re going to forget things. But if you spend your wedding day worrying about those things, that ruins the magic. Also… if your song as a couple is not at all romantic for a first dance, DO IT. It’s yours. People will probably appreciate that, if they know you, and it will be memorable.

What was your biggest splurge?

We splurged $1500 on an amazing DJ…she kept everyone dancing all night, no chicken dance or electric slide, and then camped with us afterward!) Also, I’m not sure how much my mom spent on a horse and carriage for the girls and me. That was neat. She decided to get us a late-in-the-planning wedding planner, who was very helpful during my “I’ve Lost My Vision” moments.

What was your favorite detail?

It’s really, really hard to choose. Can I pick 5? My cupcake stacked book “tower”, my handmade newspaper style programs, my bridesmaids, my mom’s original cathedral length veil and the vintage teacups my mom planted.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Since I’m cheating at this favorites game, here are three: 1)The ceremony: Craig handed me the incorrect hand for me to put the ring on… so I spent two minutes forcing it onto the wrong finger. Then he forgot a line of his vows, so I whispered it to him. It was a very funny and adorable thing. 2) Our first dance was a prancing, crazy, whirling one. It was “No Children” by the Mountain Goats. Totally inappropriate, but completely magical. 3) I went outside to wave air up my dress and I saw a shooting star.

Vendors:

Our invitations (printed on handkerchiefs!) were by HeatherJeany
My dress was revamped by Dame Couture in Chicago… I love love her.
Our ceremony music was husband and wife duo Moeller Music. They know tons of rock music!
Our DJ was Kristin of Toast & Jam DJs
Our WONDERFUL officiant was Rev. Cecilia Pohs, a non-denomianational minister. She’s in Madison,

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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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  • lindsey

    i just had a complete emotional breakdown tonight, and finding this post brought me back to earth. thanks for this. love it so much.