Fall wedding with purple details | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

real budget wedding

Back with another gorgeous wedding of the week for you to view! This couple held their fall wedding for 275 guests for less than $14k! They did alot themselves and did their research to get the best deals possible. The bride even made all the flower arrangements with some help for the big day– aren’t they gorgeous?? The best part about using silk flowers is the possibility of selling them to another bride! The couple also chose to splurge on photography– a great decision– OMG Photography captured their day beautifully! Hope you enjoy this lovely budget savvy fall wedding! xoxo Jessica

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Samantha + Aaron

September 1, 2013

Sebewaing, MI  | Ubly Heights

 

 

What was your budget?

Our final budget came to $13,811.30  

I saved every single receipt that involved purchases for the wedding because I wanted to know exactly how much money I was spending and where it was going to. 

Budget (Actual numbers)

Dress

520

shoes, veil, jewelry

108.53

Alterations

170

Photography

2500

Engagement Pictures

100

Food (19 x 249, 9.50×26)

4,278

Alcohol

1,929

Rings

188

Cake

429

Flowers

820.36

Hall

500

Officiant

0

Gifts

583.9

Hair/Make-up

50

Favors

0

STDs/Invitations

200

   

Videographer

250

Hotel for night of and airport layover

140

DJ

0

Misc

481.52

Chair covers, sashes, table runners

562.99

TOTAL

13811.3

We hired a student videographer, which saved us a TON of money and we loved how it turned out.  We bought the chair covers, etc instead of renting them and it saved us about $400.  We spent 5 hours the day before the wedding ironing them and setting it but it was worth the money we saved.  Our favors were bags of homemade sticky popcorn.  Aaron’s grandma bought all of the supplies for us and a bunch of us got together on Friday and spent the day making and assembling the bags.  We didn’t stay in super nice hotels on our wedding night or during our overnight layover, so that saved us some change.   I bought my dress at a sample sale and got it hugely discounted (it was a $1400 dress). I’m a standard size 6, and the dress was a size 12 (it was huge on me!) but I knew someone who could knew the alterations for cheap and make it worth getting the dress in such a big size.  The large train ended up being more expensive than getting the bodice taken in 4 inches.  We splurged on our photographer because pictures are a really big deal for me.  We went with a package, however, without an engagement session and had my younger sister take some instead.  Our photographer is my second cousin and ended up gifting us a session anyway, so we only paid for the prints that we wanted. The $800 we spent on flowers covered: the head table, 29 centerpieces, 6 bouquets, 2 wrist corsages, and 9 boutonnieres.  A family friend and I made everything from silk flowers.

 

How many guests did you have?     

According to our bill for the food, 249 adults and 26 kids. Grand total: 275

 

 

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

As I mentioned, we made all of the flower centerpieces.  I made all of the table numbers, which are simply printed on nice cardstock and then Aaron helped me make the number holders out of thick wire.  We didn’t want a typical guestbook that will just sit in a box and gather dust.  Instead, I got big initial letters from Hobby Lobby and we had our guests sign them and they letters are now hanging above the floating mantle that we have in our home.  I made kid’s activity books to keep them occupied while there were long periods of sitting (ie. During the speeches).  We also provided mini wraps as a snack around 10pm for guests that were still there.  My mom was gracious enough to pay for those, which was a bonus!  We put together a seating chart and used a large multiple-picture frame so we could include some pictures as well.  Plus, it was a good way to break up the table to make it easier to read.

My grandpa, Aaron’s dad and brother, and several other men from my side of the family got together and sang a hymn “O Perfect Love” dedicated to Aaron and I at the reception before we said grace.  Aaron said grace before dinner and he used the prayer that his late grandpa always said, as a way to honor him.

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We had a lot of help from family and friends who owned businesses.  For example, our DJ was Aaron’s uncle and he did our wedding for free as a gift, which saved us close to $800.  Besides that, I didn’t bother with fancy invitations and save the dates because people just throw them away.  Why spend a lot of money on something people are going to toss?  I bought a Groupon for Vistaprint and managed to get 250 Save the Dates for $60 with the deal Vistaprint was running and my $70 for $17 coupon.  I did this with the invitations, thank you cards, and programs.  Saved a ton!

To save money on our flowers, all of the vases we used were bought as the dollar store, as were most of the silk flowers.  We found stems that we liked at Hobby Lobby when they were on sale, but when we did the math, it was still too expensive. So, instead we searched various Dollar Stores for stems that looked similar and it worked!  The twirly branches in the middle of them are literally from a tree in my friend’s backyard that we spray painted gold to give them a little shimmer.  The pea stone in the bottom of the vases is from a different friend’s pond. The gal who helped me with the centerpieces spend a long time rinsing the stone out in her shower (God bless her heart!)

 

 

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

In the long run, no one is going to notice the little things, so don’t stress over them!  I spent several hours creating and putting together a seating chart, making kids’ activity books, and timeline and contact list cards for the bridal party.  I forgot to hand out the cards for the bridal party, the kids’ books didn’t get taken into the hall until right before dinner, instead of being there when the kids got there. And I messed up the seating chart.  I had put it together at 2 in the morning and ended up overlooking people and not putting them on the chart.  It was a mess and not worth my stress.

Aaron said to find a way to have fun doing it because otherwise you’ll go crazy.

 

 

What was your biggest splurge?

Our photographer!  We spent $2,500 on the basic package, which included all day coverage, a USB drive of all of our images, printing rights, and an album.  There was a family friend who probably would have done a good job for a lot less money, but I wanted to make sure that I loved our pictures- and we do! 

 

 

What was your favorite detail?

I loved our table decorations.  It felt so awesome that we had made the centerpieces and the favors.  It all came together so perfectly when we added tealights.  It was romantic and classy- exactly as I had pictured and hoped things would look!

 

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

My favorite moment would have to be at the end of the ceremony when we signed the marriage license.  We wanted to sign it during the ceremony because then our friends and family could serve as witnesses.  I’m signing my name when Aaron and the pastor start saying, “Married name, married name, married name!” We have several pictures of my confused look as I tried to figure out what they were talking about.  I had signed the license with my maiden name.  The pastor never thought to explain which name I had to sign with because it’s usually done afterwards when no one is watching.  So now our marriage license reads my first name maiden name married name.

Aaron said his favorite was when we went to cut the cake.  We never thought to practice beforehand, so the photographer was trying to explain to us quickly what we were supposed to be doing.  It ended with me dumping the entire piece of cake on the table.

 

 

VENDORS

 

Photographer: OMG Photography, Kaity Fuja  //  Venue: Ubly Heights Golf & Country Club  //  Cake: Designs by Andra  //  Table Linens, Chair covers & Sashes: EfavorMart  //  Food:  Al’s Restaurant  //  DJ: CO2- Warren Kuhl

 

 

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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  1. Love the DIY flowers! They look beautiful, and I admire Samantha’s hard work. It is SO difficult to find affordable silk flowers. Also LOVE the initials that serve as the guestbook. So cute!

    • Sara
    • January 30th, 2014

    LOVE that vibrant purple!

    • Dixie Elrod
    • February 2nd, 2014

    I Love the purple bridesmaid dresses. The bride is gorgeous and the flowers are just so unique!

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