helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

 

You and your hubby’s names, and your wedding date?

I’m Meg, and my husband Matt and I got hitched on August 20th, 2011 in Simi Valley, CA, just northwest of Los Angeles.

What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.

Our budget was $10,000, and it broke down like this:

Venue: $2,750  Food: $1,360  Beverages: $750  Cake & Grooms cake: $403  Bride and Groom attire: $1,749  Flowers: $260  Decorations: $420  Photographer: $900  Video equipment (rental): $150  Invitations: $400  Rings: $225  Gifts & Favors: $750  Day of Coordinator: $300

Linens & rentals: $150  Marriage License: $90

Total: $10,657

How many guests did you have?

100 guests

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

We wanted our wedding to be fun, casual and romantic so we had an outdoor celebration under market lights and lanterns with no formal dinner or DJ. We served made to order crepes with summer salads along with appetizers from our favorite local bakery, Portos. Matt is a mathematician so we used mathematically significant numbers and symbols for our table numbers. We also featured our cat and other fun images that reflect us on miniature flags for our guests to wave during the recessional.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We found a venue that we could use the whole weekend and gave us housing for the entire bridal party. The venue also included all our tables, chairs, and dining ware so we had to rent very little. We also saved a lot of money by using all of our talented friends and family members. Our good friend married us and also gifted us the audio equipment rental. Another friend made our custom photo booth as a gift to us and all my bridesmaids helped with making and setting up decorations. My maid of honor has amazing talent with florals so she purchased all our flowers wholesale and arranged them herself.  We also used succulents to keep floral and decoration costs down. My mother in law made our cake topper and our guestbook bench. My brother filmed parts of the evening using a rented camera and made a video for us at no cost. A groomsmen managed the music we selected from his iPod. We found a great deal on photography on craigslist and we generally just tried not to spend on unnecessary things.

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

Focus on whats really important to you and disregard the other stuff. Be sure to stay organized and if you are doing things yourself or with the help of friends write down detailed instructions on what needs to be done so everyone can be on the same page. Enjoy the process and be open minded, sometimes the best deals or ideas are not in your initial vision.

What was your biggest splurge?

We really got a great deal on everything but I’d say initially we spent a lot on booze, luckily we were able to return all the unopened bottles to Beverages and More, so in the end our beverage cost was pretty low. Also my dress was a splurge but I sold it to recoup some of that cost.

What was your favorite detail?

The photo booth wall was so amazing because it was custom made for us and everyone had a blast hamming it up with the props.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

When we were standing up at the ceremony and looking out at all our friends and family I was blown away by all the love I felt for us from everyone.

Please also include a list of all your vendors including any website links.

Venue: The Tuscan Villa

Catering and Cake: Crepes Bonaparte  and Porto’s Bakery and Cafe

Photography: Keith Nelson

Dress: Eugenia, from Mary Lynn’s Bridal

Suit: Indochino

Share this post:

About Meg

Connect with Meg
  • Jessica Auten

    Hi Meg,
    I had followed your posts and so enjoyed your journey to your beautiful wedding that we booked the Tuscan Villa for our venue! Thank you so much for bringing this gem to light, it is the perfect solution for us.

    I was hoping you could answer a couple questions based on your experience.

    1. Did you end up renting porta potties for the evening? If not did you feel the existing restroom was enough?

    2. Did you purchase an additional lighting package? Or did you feel the venue provided enough light on its own.

    Thanks so much! And I hope you are enjoying life as a newlywed!
    Jess

    • Meg

      Thanks Jess! That’s great, its a beautiful venue! As for your questions:

      – We did not rent porta-potties, the bathroom on the first floor was enough for us as I asked everyone in the wedding party and at the rehearsal dinner to please use the second floor bathroom the night of the wedding, so between the two restrooms it was enough for 100 people although both bathrooms were a mess afterwards! I’d recommend you use both and put someone in charge of restocking/cleaning each halfway through the night. If you are having more than 100 or so you may want to rent a porta potty.
      – We felt that the outdoor space had plenty of light between the market lights, string lights in the tree and outdoor lights on the house. We did hang two paper lantern type lights, more for decoration than the added light. Keep in mind our ceremony was right before sunset so we still had plenty of daylight. Then once the sun went down the lighting was dim and romantic but I felt it was plenty bright for dining and dancing.

      Hope this helps! If you have any other questions just let me know, good luck and congrats!

      • Jess

        Thanks so much! This was really helpful and great to hear since it sounds like we can avoid the additional cost.

        Thanks again and all the best!
        Jess

  • Melissa

    I love the rocks used as escort cards. Where did you or how did you get them? Did you find them yourself?

  • Samantha

    Meg your wedding was beautiful! How funny, I’ve booked the Tuscan Villa for my upcoming wedding in October and then I came across this blog post. I don’t know if you still check this post, but if you do could you help me with a couple of questions?

    Who did you use as your DOC? I’ve been searching around trying to figure out how to get a little help that day without spending 1,000+

    Would you recommend Crepes Bonaparte for the catering? It looks like such a fun meal!

    Thanks so much,

    Sam

  • Nicole

    I’d also like to know who you used for your day of coordinator. Sounds affordable. Thanks!