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real budget wedding

I’ve got such a fun and lovely wedding to share with you that’s just *so* pretty, you’ll hardly believe it was done on a budget! I love the classic styling, the incredible DIY bouquet, the adorable ring shots and the simply stunning photography by Peterson Design and Photography. Hope you enjoy this California budget wedding as much as I did!! xoxo Jessica

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Ruth + Daniel

April 11, 2014.

Rancho Cucamonga, California, at the venue Hidden Oaks.

What was your wedding budget?

We had a very tight budget and knew we didn’t want to (couldn’t) spend more than $10,000.

First we booked the venue for $3,000. Then the florist for $800. We bought all of our favors for $150. We booked our wonderful photographers for $800 (this price includes what we paid for our engagement session). Next we booked our caterer for $2,000. Our cake was $500. We didn’t have a DJ for the reception, only the ceremony and that was $175. And we got linens, plates, silverware and glassware from a family friend, not our caterer for $250. My hair and makeup artists were referred to me by my florist so I got a discounted price of $140 for both services. We bought all the material to DIY our invitations, guest books, candy bags, and rice throwers but I can’t remember exact prices.

How many guests did you have?

We ended up having around 120 guests present.

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

Our wedding day was full of details I had created and thought of either through online inspiration or my own imagination. My sister made my bouquet out of fabric from my mother’s wedding dress. An amazing keepsake and saved money on my bouquet. I printed little stickers with our names to go on the bottom of the Hershey’s Kisses candies. I made our guest books on my own. I had our caketopper custom made to fit our lovebirds theme. I also made our invitations, RSVP cards, and maps. My crafty sister calligraphed the invitations for me.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Saving money wherever we could took extra effort but worked. It just meant I had to be more creatively involved. I bought a lot of the details, accessories, and material needed directly from the LA fashion district. We made the conscious, and very personal decision, to not have dancing at the reception. For many reasons this made sense, among which: we don’t know how to dance, we didn’t want to pay for extra time just for dancing, and DJ’s are expensive. We just had huge speakers playing music from a playlist I had made with our favorite songs. I made as many of the details (invitations, guest books, stickers) as I could and my sister (maid of honor) helped sooo much). I didn’t buy anything from wedding websites or wedding stores unless I knew I wouldn’t find it anywhere else. This saved me sooo much money, especially on the favors (they were lovebird salt and pepper shakers, I paid $1.20 per set when online they were being sold for $3 a set).

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

Advice…decide from the beginning how much, if anything, you want to DIY. Know that your budget will vary accordingly and accept that. Also, do your research with vendors and don’t assume they will all quote you the same price. We interviewed 3 florists before we found someone that would work within our budget. And didn’t quote us for $3000 when we said we couldn’t spend more than $1000. We called, emailed, and interviewed many photographers before we found Peterson Design and Photography . They were within our budget, had an outstanding portfolio, and we got along perfectly. So never settle on a crummy vendor, you should love the people in whose hands you are placing your wedding day.

What was your biggest splurge?

Probably the moment of memory for my husband’s father who passed away last year. We bought 100 balloons and released them in his memory. That put us out a little bit of money and wasn’t a necessary expense but it was sooo worth it.

What was your favorite detail?

My favorite detail was my bouquet. So unique and will be with me forever.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

My most memorable moment is hard. And while I want to say “our vows”, I’m going to say the moment when my brother serenaded us on the saxophone right after our vows. It was so beautiful and perfect to be able to savor those moments right after we promised ourselves to each other with a beautiful melody playing, it felt like being in a movie.

VENDORS

Photographers: Peterson Design and Photography  //  Florist: Irises Designs  //  Caterer: Gwen Marlowe Catering  //  Makeup and Hair: Martha Castro  //  Ceremony DJ: Randy Sinner  //  Cake: Dolce Cafe and Bakery  //  Venue: Hidden Oaks  //  Linens, China, Silverware, etc: JJ Party Supplies

 

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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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  • Emma

    Wow!! All stunning everything! Amazing pictures!!

  • Jarmele Fairclaugh

    Your wedding was amazing. I love all of the personal touches. The two of you make a wonderful couple. Thank you for sharing your special day.