Another gem of a wedding here for you today! This couple really took the ‘it takes a village’ approach to planning their day and managed to pull it all off for under $1,000. The couple focused on the joining of their two families above all else and included their 6 children in their day. The whole thing just feels so laid back, casual and fun- allowing everyone involved to focus on love and family and what matters most. Some of the biggest ways they saved was by choosing to do a potluck meal and finding a venue that was free. HUGE savings in both areas! Hope you enjoy this country wedding!! xoxo Jessica
Sara Lynn & Joshua Ray
October 12, 2013
Outdoors at Oak Park along the ledges, Grand Ledge, MI
What was your budget?
From start to finish our wedding was something borrowed, something made- with almost no real budget. In fact even our wedding venue outside was reserved with the local park service at no cost. From the guitarist friend of our son’s who played music to my father’s modern party barn for our reception- our family came together for us to make our day a reality. The minimal costs we did have were for my thrifty vintage style dress which only cost $25, the amazing Mike Angell cake for $50, and the DIY simple elegant decor, and small floral arrangements we purchased and broke apart into my DIY gold sprayed vases. With Pinterest help, I created the majority of our harvest theme nuptials. Because we took a potluck style approach to catering, that cut out a huge cost as well. In all, we spent well under $1,000.
We are so grateful to everyone who helped us plan and pay for our day. Before we were married we were single parents of three amazing kids each, Josh’s three boys and my two sons and daughter. Our priority was to bring us all together as an official family, without breaking the bank!
How many guests did you have?
We had under 100 close friends and family attend- and after the ceremony some of our friends became family! Our middle sons best friend of many years became his cousin when we exchanged vows.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
From the moment Josh and all the boys carried bales of hay to our ceremony site the day was filled with family and personality! My step father gave me away, and my ring was passed down to me from my mother, it had been her wedding ring with my father who passed away. We hand made all of the boys boutonnieres, I wrapped our daughters sunflower, and I even arranged my own bouquet.
For our reception everyone was included in a gourmet chili cook off -potluck! Every kind of chili, from traditional to white bean and spicy chicken- even a special batch of my grandmas vegetarian chili recipe made by our eldest son. Add toppings and salads you can imagine and we had a harvest feast. We dressed everything up on the buffet table harvest shabby chic with chalkboard tag accents and more of the floral and burlap charm as the individual tables.
Later my dear friend DJ’d a set list she planned just for a us, starting with my first dance with my husband, then my dad. Another of my favorite things is the large cheese tray hand made by my new husband- out of Maple burl. Our card table held a custom made tree trunk canvas painting by my new sister in law, which all of our guests personalized with stamps of their thumbprints and initials- our memory to keep of their part in our day. Josh’s sister, Anjeanette, was our photographer. While she photographs many families and weddings in TN, she did our wedding ceremony, portraits and reception photos as her gift to us. She included many photos of each of the kids, and them all together for us as well. From my favorite high heeled suede boots to the tiny pumpkin our youngest son carried the rings on, every detail of our intimate ceremony had a special personal touch.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Our DIY know how and asking the help of our families to participate saved us so much. Also, we had our priorities in the right place- our hearts. Celebrating this day was not just for us but for our children and their new sister and brothers! We were most focused on this new family, and not so much on the little unimportant things.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Get your whole family: children, parents, siblings and friends involved! Not to foot the bill but just having them there a part of the activity and building memories together. Getting married means starting a new life with your spouse, as well as their family!
What was your biggest splurge?
Definitely the wine and beer was the largest splurge at our reception! One of our close friends had a cake connection, and so that only cost $50 with delivery- and it was amazing! There were many seconds for the chocolate cake and cake pops.
What was your favorite detail?
The fall theme. We really focused on bringing it all together and it turned out wonderfully!