I love so many things about this sweet budget savvy cabin wedding. The bride found so many creative ways to save money – by utilizing family and friends’ talents and reusing items they already had. The bride even wore her mother’s wedding dress which is something you just don’t see very often so I thought that was really special. I love that they kept things low key and only focused on what was important to them as a couple. Be sure to read Lynae’s advice – she’s got some great tips. xoxo Jessica
Neal + Lynae
September 29, 2013
Blowing Rock, NC
What was your wedding budget?
We were trying to keep costs as low as possible. We kept it under $5,000 for sure. And that included the cost of accommodations for 10 of the Bride’s family members. So the wedding itself was definitely even lower.
Cabin Rental: $2000 (Rented a vacation home called Mountain Camp from Blue Ridge Mountain Rentals that allowed weddings. The price included accommodations for 10 of Brides family for all three nights, $500 of that cost was the extra we paid to have a wedding there one of those days.)
Drinks: $185 for keg of beer, wine was donated since it was leftover from my sister-in-laws wedding
Cake: $28 (was just a small cake for Bride and Groom to cut, guest were served banana pudding)
Invitations and Save-the-Dates Total: $65
Wedding Dress: $100 (I wore my mother’s wedding dress, a friend of my mom’s offered to redesign it. The only change I did was redesign the top of the dress into a lace one shoulder using the lace that was on the original dress. She did not want any money for her work, but we gave her $100 anyway, she deserved way more…)
Groom Attire: $100 (found pieces to his attire on sale at various department stores)
Guest Favors: $50 (DIY, made 65 favors)
Flowers: $200 (my mother-in-law went to several grocery stores to find a good collection in my color pallete, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law put together the bouquet and boutonniere)
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Neal and I are outdoor people. We wanted that incorporated into our wedding. We took the risk of an outdoor ceremony site and it worked out perfectly for us. The views at our ceremony were amazing. We also wanted to get some cool outdoor pictures of us hiking around in our wedding attire. So we added a “Photography Tour” into our day. Having the ceremony at 8am allowed us to do this. (We also only had immediate family members at our ceremony, which allowed for an 8am time). The Photography Tour gave us pictures of us hiking and even a few of us fishing! Our reception was a Pig Pick’n. We just wanted to celebrate this day with our close family and friends. The Pig Pick’n started at 1pm. Guests could play yard games or just hang out until the pig was served around 4pm. It was a perfect day for us!
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We had a lot of help from both of our immediate families. My sister-in-law got married about 6 months before us, so re-used a lot of things from her wedding. For instance, we saved the nice plastic plates used at her wedding, washed them by hand, then used them at our wedding. The wine that was left over from her wedding was donated to ours. Wine glasses and Mason Jars were found at garage sales for her wedding, we kept them for ours, then sold them again.
I think it helped that we didn’t go to a wedding specific venue. Find somewhere creative that could still work as space for a reception. We were able to bring all of our own stuff in which kept our alcohol and food bill down. We also did not use a caterer. Two of Neal’s buddies cooked the pig for us, and my mom and sister made the rest of the sides. I really liked only having family and friends at the reception and no strangers from the catering crew. Our photographer was even a friend of mine.
We also kept to a Pig Pick’n theme for the reception and did not have tables set up for everyone. We did not pay the rental fees for those or for a tent. Instead we had our local family and friends bring camping chairs and then used the rest of the chairs that came with the cabin rental to give guests a place to sit. There was one picnic table for guests that especially needed it.
I also did my own make-up and my sister did my hair. With the ceremony at 8am, I didn’t think it would be affordable to have someone be up with me by 5am to start on hair and make-up! I also borrowed jewelry and shoes from my mom as well!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Be creative! And keep it simple! It took me a while to come up with the idea to just use a vacation home as a spot for our wedding reception. The house we rented was gorgeous. It was already decked out like a lodge/cabin. I kept getting asked how I was going to decorate it and I said I was not, and stuck to it. The only thing we added were a few mason jars with flowers in them. I wanted it simple.
Don’t be afraid to do things yourself. I kept multiple lists and updated them constantly to keep me on track and make sure I didn’t miss anything. As long as you stay organized, it’s totally do-able.
What was your biggest splurge?
The photographer. I had never had professional pictures done, and I wanted a good photographer at our wedding. I finally remembered a co-worker/friend that did photography on the side. So she gave us the friend deal and was awesome. She was with us from me getting ready at 6am, ceremony at 8am, went on a 4 hour photography tour along the Blue Ridge Parkway with us, then stayed at our Pig Pick’n from 1pm until 6pm. Then drove 4 hours home because she had class the next day!
What was your favorite detail?
Wearing my mom’s wedding dress. I had never thought of doing this until after I was engaged when my mom brought up the idea. I was the same size then as she was when she got married, so I figured it would fit fairly closely, and it did. My mom said I was free to change it however I wanted, so I did. But it really didn’t need much. The bodice and length of the dress I didn’t touch at all. I only changed the lacy top part of the dress into a lace one shoulder using the original lace.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Walking down the aisle. We got married on the top of a mountain on private property behind my in-laws mountain house that we were given permission to use at no cost. We only had immediate family members here for the ceremony. When I arrived at the top of the mountain and walked down to my groom, the view was perfect. I had been to this spot several times before, and this particular morning was the clearest and prettiest view I had ever seen it. The weather worked out perfectly for us.