The Budget Savvy Bride » Real Weddings http://thebudgetsavvybride.com helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:00:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pink + Mint Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/pink-mint-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/pink-mint-wedding/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:00:05 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=35799 Such a fun and lovely wedding to share with you today! This pink and mint wedding features some truly gorgeous details — from the altar space to the stunning chandelier and dangling crystals in the reception space. So fab, right? And of course you know I can’t resist a wedding with minty shades for bridesmaids […]

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Such a fun and lovely wedding to share with you today! This pink and mint wedding features some truly gorgeous details — from the altar space to the stunning chandelier and dangling crystals in the reception space. So fab, right? And of course you know I can’t resist a wedding with minty shades for bridesmaids dresses. :) And can we talk about those beautiful mountains in the background?? When you choose a naturally beautiful wedding venue you can let Mother Nature do all the work and save money on decorations! Hope you love this sweet North Carolina wedding – thanks Lyndsey + Bradley for sharing it with us!! xoxo, Jessica

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Lyndsey + Bradley

June 7, 2014

Banner Elk, North Carolina

VENDORS:
Photographer: Meet The Burks  •  Venue: Banner Elk Winery and Villa  •  Coordinator: Elle Painter  •  Caterer: Banner Elk Winery and Villa  •  Cake: Banner Elk Winery and Villa  •  Hair/Makeup: Friend  •  DJ: iPod  •  Florist: Banner Elk Winery and Villa 
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Glittery NYC Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/glittery-nyc-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/glittery-nyc-wedding/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:00:26 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=37473 YOU GUYS. I’ve got an NYC Wedding for you today! This couple got married on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (swanky, right? Gossip Girl, anyone?) and in NYC it is no small feat to plan a wedding. The average wedding budget in NYC is around $75,000, so the fact that this couple was able to pull it […]

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YOU GUYS. I’ve got an NYC Wedding for you today! This couple got married on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (swanky, right? Gossip Girl, anyone?) and in NYC it is no small feat to plan a wedding. The average wedding budget in NYC is around $75,000, so the fact that this couple was able to pull it off for a third of that is amazingly budget savvy to me. Even though their total spend is high in terms of what we typically feature here on BSB, I think the lessons and advice that Kate has to share are so important and I hope you find them helpful. Plus, you get to enjoy this glittery glamorous goodness!! Congrats Kate + Douglas!! xoxo, Jessica

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Kate + Douglas

May 24, 2014

New York, New York

Upper East Side of Manhattan

 

What was your wedding budget?

About $24k, excluding gifts to our families and gratuities. Our goal was to make the most of our budget in New York City, arguably the most expensive city in the country!

  • Gown: $618 (preowned)
  • Veil: $130
  • Bridal Accessories: $250
  • Groom’s Attire: $558 (vintage tuxedo, alterations, accessories)
  • Ceremony Venue & Officiant: $2100
  • Catering: $2800
  • Reception Venue, Rentals, Bar: $6995
  • Bar upgrades & champagne: $450
  • Cake Toppers: $50
  • Chiavari Chairs: $860
  • Florist/Day of Coordinator: $1380
  • Additional Orchids: $410
  • Reception Décor: $600
  • Stationery: $1000
  • Favors: $125
  • Marriage License: $35
  • Musicians: $2600
  • Photography: $1600
  • Wedding bands: $1175

 

 

How many guests did you have?

106 of our closest loved ones.

 

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

Before and during the ceremony, incredible Juilliard students played a mix of traditional wedding music, gorgeous opera arias, and selections from the Beatles’ catalogue. My aunt, Megon McDonough is a popular folk singer, and she performed Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” during our ceremony. There was nary a dry eye in the house! My mom surprised everyone with a traditional Irish bagpipe player to celebrate our union after we walked down the aisle as husband and wife. Our reception featured beloved Chicago band, Blah Blah Blah, dear friends of my husband! The band played their own music, as well as The Beach Boy’s “Forever” for the first dance, Stevie Wonder’s “You are the Sunshine of my Life” for the Father and Daughter dance, and Van Morrison’s “Moondance” for the Mother and Groom dance. The beautiful evening ended in a rousing dance party! Our dear friend Larissa is a noted Brooklyn mixologist, and we were lucky enough to have personally designed signature bride and groom cocktails. Guests took home Black and White cookies from famed Glaser’s Bake Shop. The groom wore black and white mother of pearl cuff links as a nod to the local treat.

Our families have been a huge influence on our lives and our wedding, so we wanted to include as many personal family touches as possible. I wore my grandmother’s aquamarine ring, and my engagement ring is made of stones from both sides of our family. We used the champagne flutes from my parent’s NYC wedding, 30 years to the weekend before our wedding! We made a toast to them on their 30th anniversary, and we look forward to sharing the anniversary for many years to come. My best friend of twenty years, who also happens to be the sister of the groom, read from her elementary school diary, where we had described our perfect mate. She set the tone for a hilarious reception.

To us, the best part of our wedding was sharing our home in the neighborhood we love with our family. Each event surrounding the wedding took place within fifteen blocks of our home! We hope that our wedding can give some inspiration to other DIY brides on a budget, who love a good time!

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The number one thing we did to save money was to do pretty much everything ourselves. My husband and I share an interest in design, so we decided to create all of the stationery around the wedding ourselves. This meant that we were able to get exactly what we wanted, for a price that made us comfortable. From the Save the Dates to the invitations, to the programs, to the menus, we were constantly inspired by vibrant New York City, and used the skyline as the basis for the stationery design. We put together some of the florals ourselves, and built a glittering photo backdrop out of metallic floral sheeting. Our reception venue was very affordable, and included many of the rentals and bar, and we upgraded some of the offerings ourselves. Our caterer was delicious, but isn’t big on the wedding radar, so their prices were a lot more affordable than most of the other NYC catering companies. I rented my Kate Spade bag and some of my jewelry. We negotiated a more basic photography package, and cut out videography.

We benefited from the incredible talents of our friends and families, who graciously gifted us their amazing skills. DIY gifts included: our gorgeous cake, which was expertly home made by my husband’s aunt, Shirley; the stylish signature cocktails from our dear friend Larissa, who also served as the emcee; my amazing aunt Megon gifted her musical talent for the ceremony. My mom gifted the make-up artistry, and we did our own hair.

 

 

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

Figuring out what are the three most important wedding elements to you and your partner can really help focus your day. It’s easy to get wrapped up in every detail, but setting realistic goals helps ensure that the engagement period and wedding planning can actually be fun. We knew we wanted a touching ceremony, fun dance party, and cohesive look. After we made that decision, I stopped worrying about what color the lobby floor was, and what shape the salt and pepper shakers would be, (and a dozen other pretty unimportant details) and it was a huge weight off my shoulders!

It’s easier for your guests to enjoy themselves when the Bride & Groom are having fun, so lead the party with your own attitude. This may not be the only best day of your life, but it’s definitely worth it to enjoy as much as possible. A few things may go wrong, so roll with it. Try the drinks that you so carefully picked out, but try not to get too tipsy!

 

What was your biggest splurge?

Having a separate ceremony venue! It was important to me to have a church wedding, and a substantial portion of our budget went to making that possible. I have no regrets, and we think that our ceremony was one of the most beautiful and personal parts of our wedding. However if we were trying to save more money, we would have had the ceremony in the park or at our reception venue. Also, upgraded chairs were a bit of a splurge since the venue already had nice chairs. I had always dreamed of Chiavari chairs, even if no one else noticed.

 

What was your favorite detail?

I absolutely loved all of the sparkle at our wedding. I’m so glad we went for gold sequined linens for the cake and sweetheart tables, and did the glittering photo backdrop. We had tons of votive candles out as well, which really looked romantic.

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

At the end of the ceremony, as we had just been pronounced husband and wife, with my new husband and my new sister by my side and our families cheering for our union, I felt like the luckiest person alive. It was a once in a lifetime moment.

 

VENDORS

Ceremony: Unitarian Church of All Souls  •   Reception: 202 East  •   Wedding Dress: La Sposa Disco  •  Groom’s Tuxedo: Vintage Lord & Taylor  •  Maid of Honor Gown: Saks Fifth Avenue  •  Make Up Artist: Kerry-Lou Brehm  •  Photographer: Samantha Lauren Photographie  •  Day of Coordinator & Floral Design: Alexandra Townsend  •  DIY Flowers: Fifty Flowers  •  Ceremony Musicians: Khari Joyner from The Juilliard School; Megon McDonough  •   Reception Band: Blah Blah Blah  •  Mixologist: Larissa Wocher  •  Stationery: DIY by Bride and Groom  •  Favors: Glaser’s Bake Shop

 

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Magical DIY Winter Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/magical-diy-winter-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/magical-diy-winter-wedding/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 13:00:23 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=31546 Today’s wedding is nothing short of a Winter Wonderland Fairtytale Wedding! This Magical DIY Winter Wedding will knock your socks off — the talented and creative bride made pretty much every detail herself and brought her vision to life with the help of her friends and family. The result is a lovely transformation into the […]

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Today’s wedding is nothing short of a Winter Wonderland Fairtytale Wedding! This Magical DIY Winter Wedding will knock your socks off — the talented and creative bride made pretty much every detail herself and brought her vision to life with the help of her friends and family. The result is a lovely transformation into the world of Frozen! I just know you’ll love the lovely wintry details of this gorgeous wedding. xoxo, Jessica

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Justine + Josh

January 1st, 2014

Schofield, Wisconsin

What was your wedding budget?

Our budget goal was to spend between $5,000-$10,000. Our total ended up being about $9,000!

Here’s some more info about how we spent our budget:
  • I used one location for the ceremony and reception which is a municipality building, The Rothschild Pavillion. That was around $700 to rent because it was a weekday (New Years Day).
  • The photography was my splurge because I am a photographer and I truly value good photographs. I can’t say enough about the quaity and professionalism of James Stokes Photography. I would recommend brides to splurge on their photography to get the best memories from their day.
  • Our videographer was just starting out with his buisness and he gave us a very reasonable price. It helps to use up and comers if you’re confident in their work / style.
  • The food was also very reasonable as far as wedding food. We did soup, salad, and breadsticks and a potato bar for “cocktail hour.” Rockmans also provided the table cloths. The potato bar was less than $5 a person and the entree was around $10 per person. So $15pp total = $3500ish
  • The caterer also provided coffee and lemonade. I set up a cocoa bar with mix in ingredients. My husband and I do not drink, so we had no alcohol. Not much spent on drinks- it definitely saved us alot!
  • I loved my dress and was happy to pay around $1000 when it was all said and done. I decorated shoes from a thrift store to create a custom look. The shoes were $3 and I spent $10 for supplies.
  • I made the bouquet from old brooches. One is from my grandmother who passed away only a few weeks before my wedding. My mom is an artist and antique dealer and I got the supplies generously donated from her. I also made the bridesmaid’s bouquets out of pinecones. I only had to buy a few big ones to complete it.
  • Our cake baker was just getting started with her business and we got our cake and cupcakes for a very reasonable price.
  • The makeup artist is my cousin and she just worked for tips!
The decorations I made or bought at an auction or rummage sales. I made the tree aisle liners from trees in my parents woods and paid minimal cost for supplies for the bases.  The tablescapes had fairytale books I bought at thrift stores and vases were bought for a steal at a rummage sale. I am allergic to many flowers so we used pine cones and branches instead of hiring a florist.  I am a perfectionist and had a certain vision for the decor so I was very happy with paying around $1000 for all the decor and making the rest.  I will say the set-up took around 8 hours though… so DIY weddings aren’t for the faint of heart!
We spent $500 on a DJ and I would say it’s my one wedding regret. I wish I would have just played songs off of an IPod because our families are not much for dancing and I was not happy with the DJ’s service.
Overall to keep a tight budget I would recommend DIY and searching out people just getting started with their business like I did for the videography and cupcakes.

How many guests did you have?

We had 230 guests

 

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

I am a creative perfectionist so if I could make something I did.  I made my bouquet and shoes. I made the wedding favors which were slices of branches custom stamped and glazed.  My dad helped me make the stands to hold up the decorative trees I cut and painted.  My dad also make the cake stand and “fairy house” card box.

My bridesmaids and I made stamped coffee cozies for the hot cocoa bar and we dipped plastic spoons in chocolate and sprinkled candy bits on them.  The programs were made to look like the literary works of Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author and poet, who served as inspiration for our fairy tale themed wedding. I made the programs myself by scanning a vintage fairy tale book we used in our engagement photos and creating a storybook program message on the inside.

I made the boutonnieres and corsages for the bridal party and family out of mini pinecones, and the bridesmaid bouquets out of large pinecones.  My husband and I cut branches and frosted decor for the tables as well.  The only elements I bought for decoration were the table vases, snowflakes, vintage fairytale books, and some of the birch candle holders which I purchased at flea markets, rummage sales, and auctions.  I also planned a DIY ceremony painting to tie in our marriage and faith! So in short, everything was creative or personal!

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing I did to save money was make the bouquets and not use flowers.

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

Delegate what you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Everything went very smoothly and the details came together like my vision thanks to all of the help from my husband, family and bridal party!

 

What was your biggest splurge?

My wedding splurge was the photographer and it was well worth it!

 

What was your favorite detail?

The potato bar!

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

My favorite moments were marrying my best friend, of course!

VENDORS

Venue: Rothschild Pavillion  •  Photography: James Stokes Photography  •  Video: Fancy Horse Films  •  Catering: Rockman’s Catering  •  Gown: Brandi’s Bridal Galleria  •  Bridesmaids Dresses + Tuxdeos: Thelma’s Bridal  •  Cake: Spoonful of Batter  •  Makeup: Cosmetic Coppadge

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Rustic Ranch Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/rustic-ranch-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/rustic-ranch-wedding/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 13:00:14 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=35907 This wedding probably ranks among my favorites we’ve ever featured. First of all, these photos, y’all. STUNNING. Lucas Mobley captured the energy and spirit of this day so flawlessly I almost feel like I was there! I love all the special colorful details and the intimate dinner party feel of their long reception tables. Amber definitely […]

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This wedding probably ranks among my favorites we’ve ever featured. First of all, these photos, y’all. STUNNING. Lucas Mobley captured the energy and spirit of this day so flawlessly I almost feel like I was there! I love all the special colorful details and the intimate dinner party feel of their long reception tables. Amber definitely took on some great DIY — spending a year crafting tons of yarn pom pom balls to decorate their space. I think they are so whimsical and fun! This group looks like they truly celebrated this union and it’s just so fun to see. Thanks John + Amber for sharing your special day with us — and congrats!!   xoxo, Jessica

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John + Amber

August 9, 2014

Camano Island, Washington

What was your wedding budget?

Venue (Including having the venue space Friday-Saturday-Sunday and renting 5 cabins and group camp site for Friday and Saturday): $1136
My attire (including shoes, undergarments and alterations): $1280
Other attire (including paying for my mom’s dress, John’s dad’s tux, paying my stepdad to make cufflinks, and the nail salon bridal party gift): $930
Food (including day-of catering, way too much alcohol, the cake, and food for the whole weekend): $3496
Photography: $3900
Flowers: $275
Misc Decor (yarn for pom poms, tulle, vases, etc): $410
Tree and pot for tree planting ceremony: $200
Paper (including Save the Dates, semi-DIY invitations, postage and thank you cards): $309
Generator and Sound System: $250
Rings (That we made ourselves!): $900
Total: $12,986 ($2,986 over budget, $1,500 of that is due to a last-minute photographer change)

How many guests did you have?

29 people including us

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

Every step of the way we thought about wedding planning for us. I looked at a lot of blogs and websites for inspiration, but it all came down to what made sense for us, and what we wanted to do with our day. I’m a creative person who likes planning, so I really thrived and got excited about the whole thing! The biggest endeavor were all those pom poms. I’m not sure I could calculate how many hours it took to make them all, but basically it was a couple of hours or more per week for almost the entire year of wedding planning!
I think the most personal aspect of our wedding was that we had our parents (my mom, his dad) co-officiate and my sister and his brother read poems during the ceremony. There is no one in the world I would have rather marry us than the people who brought us into this world and made us who we are! John was in seminary to be a catholic priest for 4 years. While he’s no longer catholic, he loves ceremonies and rituals and so our ceremony was incredible thoughtful and personal.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The small guest list! I know it’s not for everyone, but it was by far the number one best decision we made. I was able to have a conversation with everyone and I didn’t miss anyone (except 2 or 3 people that were invited but couldn’t make it). By having a small guest list, that made a lot of costs go down: venue, food, decor, and papers all could have been a lot more!
The other huge money-saver was the venue. $1136 for the venue for 3 days, 5 cabins and group camp site for 2 nights! And the location was absolutely beautiful.

What was your biggest splurge?

The photographer! We originally had another one that was $1500 cheaper, but she ended up getting pregnant and being due within a week of our wedding! We were in a pinch and had to increase our budget to find anyone. While we really liked our original gal, I’m so so happy that we ended up with who we did. He was an absolute highlight of the entire wedding process, and now we have the most incredible collection of photos from our wedding.

 

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

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower. Plan, think of the things that could go wrong and do your best to prepare for it, think about the logistics, make a master to-do list and a list of everyone’s phone numbers, and be prepared. But when the day comes, know that things will go wrong. Nothing will go exactly as you planned no matter how seamlessly you planned it. So be prepared to ride the wave of your wedding and enjoy it.

Everyone says “It goes by so quickly!” and I wasn’t prepared for that. It goes by in a heart beat. Live it up, smile until your face hurts and hold your new husband close all day long while surrounded by all of your favorite people. It’ll be beautiful no matter what.

What was your favorite detail?

The intimacy was beautiful. We had our guests participate in the ceremony, we had an open floor for toasts, we gave everyone hugs and conversations organically and without a receiving line. Everyone was raving about how intimate it felt, and several people have said that they feel closer to us afterwards, after realizing that they were ones of very few that we wanted to share our day with.

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day?

There are so many! My maid of honor’s speech made everyone cry. The dancing. The sunset. The dinner. The root beer floats. The spontaneous conga line to the piñata. The bon fire. But the one thing that I’ve been telling everyone when they ask how our wedding was, is: eagles came! We had 3 eagles flying low and calling to us throughout the ceremony and dinner. I don’t know if it was the salmon on the grill or the giant white dress or the big crowd of people, but the eagles were very interested in us, and it was one of those beautiful things that you could never plan but make the day feel so much more special.
VENDORS:
Photographer: Lucas Mobley   •  Caterer: Cama Beach Cafe  •  Cake: Hillcrest Bakery   •  Flowers: Seattle Wholesale Growers Market  •  Invitations: Minted.com

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Navy + Red Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/navy-red-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/navy-red-wedding/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:00:20 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=35427 Such a treat for you today – this navy and red wedding is so preppy and southern! This couple got married in Kentucky and really played up the southern charm with their extra large bridal party and cute details! I love the subtle 4th of July feel to the day and I think that Zach […]

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Such a treat for you today – this navy and red wedding is so preppy and southern! This couple got married in Kentucky and really played up the southern charm with their extra large bridal party and cute details! I love the subtle 4th of July feel to the day and I think that Zach and Valerie did some really fun things to tie in their personalities and personal tastes into the day. I especially love the musical selections for their ceremony, so don’t miss those tidbits in her interview below! Thanks Zach and Valerie for sharing your big day with us!! xoxo, Jessica

 

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Zach + Valerie

July 12th, 2014

Blessed Sacrament Church | Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky

Ft. Thomas Mess Hall | Ft. Thomas. Kentucky

 

What was your wedding budget?

$15,000

  • Reception Venue & rentals: 1,900
  • Cups & Paper products: 300
  • Catering: 4,500
  • Cake: 350
  • Alcohol (beer, wine, and signature drink): 1,200
  • Gown Alterations and Accessories: 1,200
  • Bride’s Hair & Makeup: 200
  • Groom’s suit: 160
  • Ceremony Fee: 225
  • Flowers: 725
  • Other Decorations: 400
  • Reception DJ: 1,000
  • Invitations, Save the Dates, Programs: 250
  • Parent and Bridal Party Gifts: 800
  • Photographer & Videographer: 1,800

 

How many guests did you have?

Our guest list was about 320.  We ended up with about 260 in attendance.

 

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

Zach and I tried to add many personal touches throughout our wedding day to make it our own.  We made many of the items ourselves and enjoyed doing this together.  This was a great way to save money and also add personal touches. From our centerpieces and programs to our cake topper and sparkler wedding favors we made everything on our own.  Our colors were Red and Navy and we wanted to have a casual 4th of July Picnic vibe throughout the day.  We are also big College basketball fans.  Zach loves Indiana University and I love the University of Kentucky.  We tried to subtly tie this in throughout the day in different ways.  My most favorite being our IU/UK Mason jar glasses.

For our ceremony we added personal touches through our musical selection.  We had a traditional Catholic wedding so we selected our favorite traditional church music for the mass portion.  We were able to be a bit more contemporary on our song selections before and after the mass by using instrumental versions of some of our favorite songs.  Our Moms walked down the aisle to the Brave Heart theme song and our wedding party walked down to “That’s What Friends are for”.  My Dad walked me down the aisle to Guns and Rose “Sweet Child of Mine” played on the harp.  Finally our recessional was “The Final Countdown” played on the organ!

For our reception, we really wanted it to be a fun party to celebrate with all of our friends and family. Zach and I love music and to dance!  Our relationship actually started on a dance floor of a local 70/80’s themed dance club (Boogie Nights!) and our engagement took place on that same dance floor.  We wanted to incorporate that into our reception in some way.  We had the DJ from Boogie Nights as our wedding DJ.  He not only played all of our favorite 70’s and 80’s music but he also wore his regular Boogie Nights attire which includes a Red, White and Blue Harlem Globe Trotters uniform (which nicely matched our color scheme) and a red afro wig.  In addition to that we had a large 12×20 big screen that played all of the music videos that went with each of the songs just like they do at Boogie Nights.  We really think this made our reception and had all of our guests dancing the night away.  Boogie nights even let us use their Boogie Party Bus for the wedding party!

 

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We were on a very strict budget.  We received a set amount of money from my parents and we promised ourselves we would not go over it.  We are working very hard to save for our dream house and did not want to have to tap into our savings or go into debt in order to have our dream wedding. So we worked on being very creative and frugal!  This was challenging because we both come from large families and we did not want to compromise on our over 300 person guest list.

Our biggest money saver was using a reception venue that allowed us to do everything ourselves.  It was a lot of work but worth it.  Most venues, we would have spent our entire budget on the rental fee, food, and drinks.  The venue we used allowed us to bring in all of our own catering as well as alcohol.  This saved us a ton and also gave us the flexibility to get creative!  We had a build your own Gourmet Hotdog and Hamburger bar that went right along with the theme of our day.  The venue was also a blank slate to decorate how we wanted and create the perfect atmosphere for our reception.

Our second biggest money savor was having a close friend (my boss!) do our flowers.  She loves doing flowers on the side as a hobby.  This allowed us to purchase our flowers at cost.  We were able to create the beautiful look of flowers without the high price tag of a traditional florist.  In addition to that we did anything and everything we could on our own or pulled in friends to help out.  I designed our save the dates and programs and another family friend designed our invites.

 

 

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

I have LOTS of advice but I’ll stick to the top three:

  1. Try not to sweat the small stuff.  It can become really easy to get caught up in the little details that no one will even notice.  Try not to worry about them or bypass them all together if you can! For example, I realized at the last minute I forgot to buy a garter so we just didn’t do a garter toss or a bouquet toss.  It ended up giving us more time to dance!
  2. If you are going to invest your time in personalized details like we did, make sure you tell your photographer exactly what they are and what you want pictures of because they cannot read your mind.  We had so many little personalized touches that we ended up not having photos of.  I would have loved a picture of our hamburger/hotdog bar signs or personalized restroom signs that we made but in the madness it didn’t happen.
  3. Negotiate!!! If you are on a tight budget like we were try to work with your vendors to find a solution in your price range.  Name your price and ask what you can get with it.  They will almost always find something that works for both of you even if it’s not on their website.

 

What was your biggest splurge?

Our DJ was by far our biggest splurge.  We know music can make or break any party and we wanted it to be perfect (and it was!).  Oh and my dress of course.  Once I put it on I couldn’t say no :)

 

 

What was your favorite detail?

Our centerpieces. This was really a team effort by Zach and I.  Most grooms do not care at all about centerpieces and I’m so glad Zach was willing to help me out!  We shopped around and tried so many different things until we landed on the paper lantern idea.  I loved them because they were so unique and turned out just beautiful with the flowers.

 

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Saying our vowels to one another on the altar.  There is something really powerful about standing in front of everyone you know and love and staring into each other’s eyes and promising yourselves to one another.  It was even more special because our 9 year old son (my son from a previous relationship) was standing up there with us as our ring bearer.  I am so thankful we have those words on video to cherish forever.  That reminds me!  Find room in your budget for a videographer.  You can’t hear your vows through a photo :)

 

 

VENDORS

Photography: Lowry Photo  •  Reception Venue: Ft. Thomas Mess Hall  •  Catering: Vertigo Catering  •  Wedding Gown and Bridesmaid’s dresses: Fabulous Bridal  •  Suits: JCPenney  •  Cake: Affordable Wedding Creations  •  Makeup: Makeup by Kyra Keefer  •  DJ and party bus: DJ Travis BellBoogie Nights Hollywood Casino

 

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Glamorous Grey Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/glamorous-grey-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/glamorous-grey-wedding/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:00:57 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=36791 Oh my gosh, you guys — today’s featured wedding will take your breath away!! I just love the glamour that this wedding exudes — from the deep grey suits on the groomsmen to the stunning bridesmaids dresses to the gorgeous lighting over the reception! And the best part is the couple was able to create […]

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Oh my gosh, you guys — today’s featured wedding will take your breath away!! I just love the glamour that this wedding exudes — from the deep grey suits on the groomsmen to the stunning bridesmaids dresses to the gorgeous lighting over the reception! And the best part is the couple was able to create this gorgeous day on a budget that was right for them. You’ll love this bride’s advice and attitude towards saving money — she’s definitely a budget savvy bride!! So thrilled to feature your day, Lauren + John! xoxo, Jessica

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Lauren + John

May 3, 2014

Phoenix, Arizona | The Felch House

 

 

What was your budget?

When we started planning our wedding I said that I wanted to spend under $10,000, because I knew I could have everything I wanted for under 10k, even though many doubted me!

The venue was $4500. The DJ was $500 & our photographer was $500. Our caterer was about $2500 & the florist was $350. The table/chairs/linen rental was roughly $200. Our cake was about $200 (we had cupcakes). We spent about $500 for all the alcohol. I used a vintage rental company for some décor and that was about $200. All the other décor was around $200… keeping it under our $10,000!

 

How many guests did you have?

We invited 125 guests but we had 92 guests attend.

 

 

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

I did the majority of the personal/creative aspects of our wedding. For starters, I made all of our wedding invitations. Pearls & lace were a recurring theme of the wedding and the invitations included those things. I had lace that I received from my grandmother that I used on the invitations and then carried that into décor at the wedding as well. I bought classy pearl & silver cardstock at Michael’s and then I created the template of the invitations on my computer & then had them printed at a local Fed-Ex store, only because I didn’t want to use my own ink on my printer at home.

My parents remodeled the house I grew up in & saved their old baseboards for us from the house. We then cut them, painted them & created frames out of those. We then added a backboard to the frame & used pearls to create a number in the frame. Those were our table numbers. We also had a double sided picture frames that had a picture of me & a picture of John at the same age as the table number. So, table five had a picture of John & I when we were five. Also, in the courtyard area of the reception there was a large tree that had little white lights. I collected many pictures of John & and I with our families, friends, and each other over the years. I used clothespins & strung them on some twine and strung those through the tree. It looked really pretty when they lights came on!

We got married on the same date as our first date. So, we created fans that were also programs that had the story of it being three years to the exact date of our first date & a brief background & history on the wedding venue, as it is an old house in a historical district of Phoenix. We also included the names of our wedding party on the other side of the fan. It was the first 100 degree day of the year in Phoenix so the fans were quite handy during the ceremony. During the ceremony I had each bridesmaid give John a hand written note from me when they walked down the aisle. Those made our guests giggle & kept everyone wondering what was on those notes! We had John’s brother in law officiate our wedding. Rather than paying a stranger to officiate our wedding we had his brother in law become ordained & together the three of us created a really personal, sweet ceremony. Also, John’s sister gave a reading during the ceremony. My grandmothers were the flower girls, as well. ‘Family’ was a really big, personal theme of our wedding.

We also made welcome bags for our guests that came out of town. This was a huge success, as almost every single guest thanked us for this & loved that they received the bag when they checked into the hotel. We made chocolate chip cookies and included two of those, we made homemade salsa and I bought the 8oz mason jars for really cheap, I bought a huge bag of tortilla chips from Costco & distributed those into little bags for each bag, we included a mini water bottle that we bought in bulk from Costco & created a label from our computer & printer for the bottles, and then we included a travel size sunscreen. Each bag was really inexpensive, most of it was homemade but a huge hit with guests.

 

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing is that John & I did the majority of the work. I wanted to have the personal touches & I wanted to be what I had envisioned, and the way to do that, for me at least, was for me to create these visions myself. Some of it was using stuff I already had, such as the baseboard frames & pictures, those were free; except for the $3 I spent on paint for the frames. I spent a lot of time going back and forth to Hobby Lobby but pretty much waited until the things I wanted were 50% off or I used 40% coupons on anything that was not. I dragged John along many times so we could each use coupons! Also, I chose a venue that I had the freedom to use any vendor I wanted & could decorate anyway I wanted. However, I ended up using a large majority of the preferred vendors from our venue. By doing that I was able to get discounts on pretty much every vendor I used that she had recommended. Some of those discounts were percentages off or delivery fees waived, etc.

Another huge saving was I chose a photographer that had amazing work, believed strongly in not going into debt for a wedding & had the exact style I had envisioned but just had not done a ton of weddings. I booked her about a year before my wedding and at the time she had only done a few weddings but I liked the work I saw regarding other types of shoots she had done. Over the year she shot more weddings, gained more experience. I booked her for $500; she now charges $1500! I also saved a ton of money by using a wholesale florist. It was very personal working with her & she knew I absolutely did not want to spend a ton on flowers. So, she kept my budget in mind, not letting it go a penny over $350 & my flowers were amazing! I received so many compliments on my bouquet yet I saved so much on it!

But really, our strict belief in not spending a fortune on our wedding & being willing to do things myself to create the perfect day is really what kept us saving money!

 

 

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

I’d say that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a perfect, gorgeous day. Also, know that with a little research & effort, you can find deals & things that are less expensive and by doing that you can justify splurging on things you didn’t HAVE to have. I’d also say, try to stay organized. I was a little over the top on my organizing but it helped to decrease my stress, a little. Speaking of stress, one piece of advice I should have taken: let people help. I knew how I wanted things so I chose to do things myself but that just stressed me out. I should have given people projects and allowed for some help!

 

 

What was your biggest splurge?

I used a vintage rental company for some really cool vintage furniture places. It wasn’t a must have but it gave the wedding those added touches that I just loved! I rented really cool chairs & a vintage sweetheart table so our sweetheart table was unique and added some shabby chic/rustic/ vintage décor the reception. I also used some other vintage tables around the venue for different things. We also rented a really cool stand up cupcake stand for our cupcakes. A lot of these items were things I reserved pretty close to the actual wedding date, since I knew I had the money in the budget by then to snag them! We also splurged a little bit on our catering. We upgraded on some aspects such as having a beef option, having our salads plated versus buffet, but we saved using a caterer our vendor had recommended!

 

 

What was your favorite detail?

I have so many favorites! But I think that the entire wedding was exactly what I had envisioned. It was so extremely personal and I could see touches of John & I and our families throughout the entire thing.   The entire wedding was my favorite. It was definitely my best day ever.

 

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

I’d probably have to say turning the corner with my dad and seeing John. Our ceremony was short but very sweet. John isn’t a huge mushy guy, so hearing him read his vows that he wrote was very special and something I will remember forever. Writing our own vows was very sweet & special and vows that I think we’ll actually be able to remember.

 

 

VENDORS

Photographer:  Jillian Ryan Photography  •  Venue: Felch House  •  Caterer: AZ Inspirations Catering  •  Florals: Jennifer Knoles  •  DJ: Push Play Entertainment  •  Cake: Lovely Little Cake Shop  •  Rentals: Royalty Rentals  •  Vintage Rentals: Prim Rentals

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Rustic Yellow Navy and Mint Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/rustic-yellow-navy-and-mint-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/rustic-yellow-navy-and-mint-wedding/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:00:44 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=36789 I have such a gorgeous wedding to share with y’all today! Kristi and Ryan put together a beautiful wedding by doing many things themselves! I love that Kristi made it a priority to find wedding decor that could be re-used in their home — I just love when couples do that! Not only was this […]

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I have such a gorgeous wedding to share with y’all today! Kristi and Ryan put together a beautiful wedding by doing many things themselves! I love that Kristi made it a priority to find wedding decor that could be re-used in their home — I just love when couples do that! Not only was this couple savvy, but their wedding has some serious style. I know you’re going to love the details just as much as I did! xoxo, Jessica

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Kristi + Ryan

October 4th, 2014

Williamson, Georgia | Sunny D Farms

 

 

What was your budget? Please give us a breakdown of how you spent your budget– rough estimates are fine!

Our personal budget was to stay under $10,000

We ended up spending $8,932 – and my parents paid for the cost of food & my dress. I’ve included all the totals below!

Venue – $2500

Photography – $2150

Flowers – $757 – included bridal bouquet, 3 bridesmaid, 1 boutonniere, and 2 small bouquets for the moms. Used – Carnations, Craspedia for the centerpieces

Vintage Rentals – $775 – church pews, couch, wine barrel tables

Event Insurance / Cleaning Fee – $375

DJ – $500

Cost to have Servers – $885

Wedding Cake & Cookie Cakes – $190

Rehearsal – $400

Décor – $400 – glass vases, lanterns, twig balls, our fireplace, etc.

 

Portion my parents paid – $3202

Catering $1822

Dress $980

Wooden chairs $400

 

Total wedding $12,134

 

 

How many guests did you have?

135

 

 

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

Everything. Our wedding was a complete reflection of Ryan and I. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t put my creative touch on. Honestly, even on the cookie cakes I had Great American cookie copy the font I had used on all of our wedding signage!

 

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing we did was we didn’t buy anything for the wedding that in return we couldn’t put in our house. We picked a venue that allowed us to bring in our own vendors, did most of the work ourselves – setup tables, did my own centerpieces, used flowers in season.

 

 

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

I should have allowed more people to help, but I am OCD!! Don’t stress the small details if they don’t get done it will be okay, you’re still married at the end of the day!

 

 

What was your biggest splurge?

Minus the venue, Photography. I told Ryan, if we didn’t have anything else I was going to have an amazing photographer and I did!!! Tate Cathcart with Taken By Tate, I don’t know what words to use to describe our wedding pictures – they are gorgeous, amazing, perfect… more than I could’ve ever imagined!

 

 

What was your favorite detail?

I have so many! I am a detail oriented person, I feel bad for my husband! My bouquet would be in the top five. I only had 3 real flowers in the whole thing. I bought sola flowers from Save-On-Crafts and twig balls from Hobby Lobby. Mrs. Cyndi with Twigs, Leaves and Flowers created my bouquet and she took my vision and turned it into reality!! I cried when I saw it for the first time!

 

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The moment that sticks out the most is, I had asked Coleton (our minister and one of Ryan’s good friends from high school) if he would go to Ryan and I individually before the ceremony started and ask each of us “Why do you want to marry him / her?” And incorporate it into the ceremony. As soon as he walked into the room, I was already tearing up. I knew what he was about to ask and when he did, I lost it! It’s one of those questions that you can’t put the answer into words. Especially because Ryan is my everything, he makes me the center of his world, you can tell just by the way he looks at me just how much he loves me!

 

 

VENDORS

Venue: Sunny D Farms  //  Photography: Taken By Tate  //  Vintage Rentals: Affairs to Remember  //  DJ: Steve Mayo  // Florist: Twigs, Leaves & Flowers  //   Cookie Cakes: Great American Cookie  //  Wedding Cake: Keisha Robertson  //  Caterer: The Farm House

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Mint Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/mint-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/mint-wedding/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 17:00:22 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=36979 I am so excited to share this lovely mint wedding with you today!! Y’all already know, I love all things turquoise, mint and teal, so when I saw this wedding in my inbox I nearly squealed. And the fact that they pulled it off on a killer budget makes it even better!! Did I mention […]

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I am so excited to share this lovely mint wedding with you today!! Y’all already know, I love all things turquoise, mint and teal, so when I saw this wedding in my inbox I nearly squealed. And the fact that they pulled it off on a killer budget makes it even better!! Did I mention that the couple served Mexican food at their wedding? Umm, hello – why wasn’t I invited? ;) I love that this couple made choices based on what mattered most to them – the joy on their faces really shows that it paid off! Hope you love this sweet wedding as much as I do!! xoxo,  Jessica

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Rachel + Jared

August 16, 2013

Mt. Pulaski, IL | Mt. Pulaski Christian Church | The Rail Golf Course

 

 

What was your wedding budget?

Here’s our budget breakdown:

$1800 ceremony and reception venues

$1300 photographer

$1400 caterer

$700 dress

$400 musician/officiant/bridal party gifts

$200 DJ

$200 decor

$2000 other / misc

$8000 total budget

 

 

How many guests did you have?

250

 

 

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

Some things that made our wedding unique and personal were: tying an actual knot in our ceremony, using our deceased grandparents’ favorite hymns as music during the ceremony, pots of flowers as table decorations on top of cheese boxes with lace at the reception, vintage strawberry box containers holding our favorite treats as party favorites, homemade cheesecakes for dessert, Jenga pieces as the “guest book”, and Wedding MadLibs for the guests at their tables.

 

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

DIY Projects – almost every decoration was handmade by family.

 

 

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

Let friends and family help! We found that we had many connections to experienced and talented people who could help make decorations, put together flower arrangements, alter a wedding dress, video-record the ceremony, and more, for a small price or as their gift to us! Also, try out local restaurants rather than catering businesses, they’re more authentic and affordable.

 

 

What was your biggest splurge?

The Rail Golf Course reception venue.

 

 

What was your favorite detail?

The decorations at the reception were definitely a favorite detail. The flower pots with lace and candles were beautiful with chains of paper roses as embellishment on the tables and pastel colored lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

 

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The “first look” – such a special moment!

 

 

VENDORS

Photographer:  Karen Feder Photography  //  Dress Store: Adore Bridal and Speciality  //  Hair Stylist: BJ Hair Salon  //  DJ: Demario Williams  //  Makeup Artist: Jamie McFadden  //  Caterer: La Fiesta  //  Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Warehouse  //  Reception Venue: The Rail Gold Course  //

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Long Island Wedding http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/long-island-wedding/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/long-island-wedding/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:00:08 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=35912 I love this sweet wedding from New York photographers Paper Hearts Photography. This particular wedding is on the higher end of the budget scale for events that we share, but I think it’s important to share all sorts of perspectives on being budget savvy. I hope you enjoy this lovely Long Island wedding! xoxo Jessica   […]

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real budget wedding

I love this sweet wedding from New York photographers Paper Hearts Photography. This particular wedding is on the higher end of the budget scale for events that we share, but I think it’s important to share all sorts of perspectives on being budget savvy. I hope you enjoy this lovely Long Island wedding! xoxo Jessica

 

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Hannah + Cory

October 5, 2013

Manhasset, NY

Veatch Mansion at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Shelter Rock

What was your budget?

In all we spent about $25,000. Here’s a breakdown:

  • catering $12000
  • venue $750
  • flowers $500
  • photography $2500
  • dj $2000
  • cake $800
  • dress and accessories $1000
  • suit $1000
  • coordinator $2000
  • photobooth $750
  • transportation $500
  • makeup free!
  • hair $200
  • invitations $150
  • tips, minister $250
  • wine and drinks $500

 

 

How many guests did you have?

85

 

 

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

I designed our invitations and all the paper parts. we wanted really great food and to dance the whole time- that was really it!

 

 

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We searched out all our own vendors, it was extra work but we were able to get great quality for less expensive than an all in one package.

 

 

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

Definitely hire a coordinator to handle the day of stress and hiccups!

 

 

What was your biggest splurge?

The food. We had to have delicious food.

 

 

What was your favorite detail?

We had a handmade llama cake topper. It is the cutest thing.

 

 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

We had the most amazing dance party. I will never forget how fun that was.

 

 

VENDORS:

Photography: Paper Hearts Photography  //  Catering: The Farm on Adderley  //  Venue: Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock  //  Flowers: Botanica  //   DJ & Photobooth: Tommy’s Tunes  //   Cake: Baked  //  Dress and accesories: Kimera  //  Suit: Suit Supply   //   Coordinator: Blush Events  //  Makeup: friend of the bride  //  Hair: Blow Me Away  //
Invitations: DIY by the bride

 

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Florida wedding with pink details http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/florida-wedding-with-pink-details/ http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/florida-wedding-with-pink-details/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:00:25 +0000 http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/?p=31032 This week's featured wedding was done on a $10,000 budget. The Florida wedding took place at a civic center with an outdoor ceremony.

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Thanks for reading Florida wedding with pink details from: The Budget Savvy Bride

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real budget wedding

We’ve got a great real wedding for you this week – this couple got really creative with their budget and found some great ways to save. I love the bride’s short wedding dress (such a hot trend right now!) and the punchy pink details. Hope you love this Florida wedding as much as I did! xoxo Jessica

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Kenneth and Kathrine

October 13, 2013

Winter Park, Florida

What was your wedding budget?

Venue $1278
Officiant $220
Ceremony items (Flower girl basket, Ring bearer pillow, guest book, garter) $110
DJ (ceremony and reception) $1450
Food $2500
Cake $350
Flowers $300
Dress $100 (no alterations)
Invitations, thank yous and postage $380
Welcome bags for out of town guests $50
Centerpieces/table decor $50 (votive candle holders and silk rose petals in coral from Amazon, linens and place settings included in catering contract)
Attendant gifts: free (redeemed credit card points for jewelry for each)
Hair and makeup $115
Butterfly release $200
Dance lessons $300
Photography including video $1600
Groom’s attire (Calvin Klein tuxedo, shirt, shoes, tie, pocket square, cufflinks.  Includes price of alterations) $525
Florida marriage license $93.50

TOTAL: $9621.50

How many guests did you have?

70 guests

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

We had a butterfly release, which was a unique and memorable touch.  We had dance lessons and had an expert-choreographed first dance which was had all the guests cheering!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We cut down on the cost of décor by selecting a naturally beautiful venue that didn’t need much dressing up.  The huge picture window and cathedral ceilings gave guests a lot to marvel at already.
We did not have separate ceremony and reception venues.  The hotel where guests stayed was across the street from the venue, so transportation was not necessary for us or our guests.
Our wedding was close to where we live, so we didn’t have to worry about transportation.
We chose a venue and caterer that would allow us to provide our own alcohol for the reception.  We may have looked like alcoholics buying cases and cases at the liquor store, but we saved SO much money by providing our own.
I would suggest checking out Groupon.  We got a Groupon for Delphine press, and our letterpress invitations—which would have normally been $800—only cost us the $299 we spent on the Groupon.  They regularly have deals for photography, photo booths, catering and DJs.  Recently, they have had jewelry and even wedding dresses available!
Book early—Vendors tend to raise their prices fairly regularly.  By booking early, we got a 2013 wedding for 2012 pricing.

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

There is a 2 step starting off process I suggest for all brides-to-be.  The first thing you should do is get yourself a binder with plastic inserts to keep all contracts and paperwork together.  Your “wedding book” will be an invaluable resource for keeping it all organized.
After you get your binder, head to a bridal show in the area near where you’d like to have your wedding, if possible.  You can get an idea of what vendors are available in the area as a jumping off point for research and many vendors will contact you with discounts and such after the bridal show!

What was your biggest splurge?

The DJ—They can make or break your event.  We really felt comfortable with this company, even though it was more than we initially had planned on spending.  I’ve never been involved in helping plan a wedding before my own and we couldn’t afford a coordinator.  They helped me consider all the details and put it all together on a timeline that worked for everyone.  We ran ahead of schedule due to how well-organized everything was and we got a little longer to party with our guests!

What was your favorite detail?

Everyone knows the dress is the most important thing!  J  My dress was short, which is a little untraditional, but many people have commented that my dress is so “me,” which is the best compliment I could have gotten.  An outside wedding in Florida in October is not hot, but not exactly cool yet, either (it was in the high 70s-low 80s that afternoon).  A shorter dress let me beat the heat a bit, saved me money on alterations (I’m very petite and would have had to have had any longer dress hemmed at the very least!), and also allowed me to move freely, not having to worry about my hem or train dragging on the ground outside.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Our first dance was wonderful and memorable.  The reactions of our guests were incredible!

 

VENDORS

Venue: Rachel D Murrah Civic Center  //  Officiant: Sensational Ceremonies  //  Ceremony items (Flower girl basket, Ring bearer pillow, guest book, garter) David’s Bridal  //  DJ (ceremony and reception) Orlando Wedding DJ  //  Food: Java Lava Coffee Shops  //  Cake: Sprinkles Cakes  //  Flowers: Jonathan’s Flowers  //  Dress: David’s Bridal  // Invitations, thank yous and postage: Delphine Press  //  Thank yous from Amazon.com  //  Centerpieces/table decor: Amazon  //  Hair and makeup: Weddings By Crystal  //  Butterfly release Company  //  Dance lessons: The Sovereign Dance Academy  //  Photography including video: Bella Pictures  //  Groom’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse
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