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Today's wedding is an absolute treat! I'm in love with all of the fun details that Sarah and Mike wove throughout their big day. From the DIY bouquets made of dried and paper flowers to the custom cocktails inspired by their pets, Sarah and Mike made their day personal and budget-savvy. I'm especially impressed with how Sarah decorated the chairs provided by the campground to make them fit with their style. Enjoy this beautiful and fun campground wedding! xoxo, Jessica

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Sarah + Mike

04/30/16

Quakertown, PA  |  Tohickon Family Campground

 

What was your budget?

We tried to keep our budget as low as possible, though we didn’t start with a hard number. We had a general goal of sticking to around $15,000, knowing this would give us some wiggle room. In the end, after odds and ends purchases, we spent just over $18,000

Venue: $1250

DJ:$700

Bartender:$550

Glassware/Bar:$450

Photography:$6850

Shuttle Bus:$330

Doughnuts:$180

Invitations:$275

Officiant:$225

Dried/paper flowers:$400

Catering:$2500

Rings:$380

Event Insurance:$150

Day-of Planner:$1000

Hair/Makeup:$1600

Dress:$850

Décor/favors: (roughly)$300

Gifts for bridal/groom parties:$300

 

How many guests did you have?

We had 100 guests.

 

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

I really feel like our wedding was one of a kind. I knew I wanted to have a hand in almost everything because I wanted our day to be personal. We had lots of little touches. I wanted to include my late uncle’s pickup truck as part of the décor. He passed away a few years ago, and he and I were very close. I felt like having his awesome blue pickup at the wedding was a way to have him there. I’m a big fan of dinosaurs and sparkly things, so I painted a bunch of toy plastic dinosaurs gold, and each guest got one with their seating placement. I also used them with the centerpieces.

Our drink menu was customized based around our cats. Because, cats. Mike had the task of meeting with the bartender and matching drinks to each cat’s personality. (Purrrsonality?) We had the Walter and the Perry to represent our two current cats, and the Weegee for the cat that helped bring us together. (Honestly, if Weegee hadn’t liked Mike when she met him, we’d never have gotten together.) Mike’s late, great dachshund, Flora, got a shout-out on the bar as well. A friend of ours also brewed custom beer, and he even made the bottlecaps match our wedding colors!

 

Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?

Oh man, we DIY’d almost everything for our wedding, down to the bar menu! I ordered a large variety of cheap glassware/décor from the Knot Shop and a bunch of paper and dried flowers from Etsy. A friend of my parents' sliced up a fallen tree so that we could use them as part of our centerpieces.

I drew our bar menu, and I made each table placement card by hand with nothing but some gold paint, plastic dinosaurs, and a metallic sharpie. I also made fleece blankets for our guests out of fabric in our wedding colors. We didn’t like the way the venue’s chairs looked, but chair covers were also not great and we didn’t want to spend money renting chairs. So, I wrapped the back of each chair with yarn, then decorated them with paper garlands. It took FOREVER, and cleaning it up was quite a pain. But it was a huge money saver, and ended up giving us an extra fun DIY touch.  I think the most fun DIY were the giant flowers for my bridesmaids. I bought big white fake flowers from Michaels, then dyed them with food coloring and wrapped the stems in twine.

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The two biggest places we saved money were our venue and catering. We also used Thumbtack to help us find vendors who either did work on the side or were just starting, which meant we were able to pay a little less (and help some new businesses!)

 

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

Find a place that looks good without a ton of decorations; you’ll save so much time, money, and energy. Also, finding a venue that doesn’t specialize in weddings but has hosted them in the past was HUGE for us. We saved thousands, and the staff were so great and understanding because they weren’t caught by surprise by having a hundred people all show up on the same day. Lastly, our ship would have sunk really quick if we hadn’t decided last minute to get a day-of planner. She was phenomenal, and she thought of about a million things we hadn’t even considered. I can’t believe I ever thought I could do this thing without a planner.

 

What was your biggest splurge?

Our photography, and it was WORTH IT! Seriously, this is the one thing you really get to take away from the day. I knew from day 1 that I was willing to spend money on great photography. Definitely worth the price.

 

What was your favorite detail?

I really liked the way our centerpieces turned out. (I mean, I only spent about 12 hours on them, haha). I’m glad that we decided to use dried and paper flowers instead of going through a florist. We encouraged people to take things at the end of the night, and the paper flowers and pinwheels were the first things to go.

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

It’s hard to pick one moment – I had a blast on our day. But being lifted in our chairs during the Hora was pretty fun. I didn’t get a Bat Mitzvah, so I’ve always been waiting for my next opportunity to do that.

 

VENDORS

Photography: Cassi Claire • Venue: Tohickon Family Campground • Bouquet, boutonnieres, dried lavender: Paula Jeans Garden • Paper flowers: Paper Heart Blooms • Dried flowers: The Blaithin Blair Shop •  Wedding Planner + Day of Coordinator: Rachael Lassoff – Dream Day Events • Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas • Favors: The Knot Shop • Catering: Kung Fu Hoagies • Bakery: Yum Yum Bake Shop of Quakertown • DJ: Stewart Balshem • Transportation: Levy School Bus Company • Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Jay, Sami and Jess at Blush Freelance • Bartender + Mixologist: Peter Duda • Officiant: Kimberly’s Blessings • Alcohol: Juice Box, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn (no website) • Wedding Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero • Bridal Shop: Coronet Bridal Shop (no longer in business) • Veil: Coronet Bridal Shop (no longer in business) • Shoes: DSW • Groom’s Suit: Indochino 

 

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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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