I just know you're going to love this retro vintage wedding as much as I do!! This couple was able to create a fun, unique day with the help of lots of family and friends. Wynelle has so much amazing wedding wisdom to share– including to be gracious and accept help whenever it is offered! By accepting the help of others she was able to pull together a beautiful wedding in just a few short months (the couple was engaged in July and wed in October) and on an incredible budget of less than $4,000! I absolutely love the vibe of this wedding and the atmosphere of the soda shop party room! I also love that this couple had perspective on what was most important about their big day– their marriage! Wynelle obviously has a wonderful example to look to in her parents with a mother who lovingly cares for her ill father. That is what true love and commitment in a marriage is all about. xoxo- Jessica
Wynelle & Sean
October 26, 2013
Woodstock Georgia | Private residence
Where did you get married?
Woodstock, Georgia – at the home of a friend from church. They have a beautiful backyard with a waterfall and woods encircling the property. A gorgeous wrap around porch surrounds the exterior of their home which they call: “The House God Built.” The home has a party room that is a combination of Coca-Cola museum/old general store/game room/and an old-time working soda fountain. They’ve hosted many parties and rehearsal dinners at their home, but this was their first wedding. The weather was a perfect fall day. I had an unbelievably creative friend who took on my Pinterest vision and made it BEYOND our dreams. The ceremony in front of the waterfall was intimate, God-honoring and worshipful. The reception was music, games, food, laughter, dancing and fun. It was a magical day!
What was your budget?
Being in our 40’s and never-married, we wanted to pay for everything ourselves. Sean was laid off for five months this year, so we knew our budget was going to be tight. BUT, I knew I had a treasure trove of friends who were dying to dive in and help make our day special. We’ve all pitched in to help each other over the years with weddings/babies/illness/etc…, so Sean & I were blessed to have people pitch in and help us with our wedding for free or for the cost of materials.
Our budget was $4,000 and we came in at $3982.34.
My dress: *$ 179.99, lace for hair $15, shoes $28.95, strapless bra $55.65, bracelet $12, earrings (my grandmothers – my something old). (*I’m donating my dress to BridesAcrossAmerica.com – a non-profit organization that helps military brides. Why not donate the dress instead of letting it hang in the closet when someone else could be blessed by it? It’s considered a tax deductible donation, so my dress will wind up being free.)
Tuxes: $127.14 (Best man)
Clothes for maid of honor/bridesmaids/usher: $230.15 (Bridesmaids dresses/All their shoes. Maid of honor dress was one she owned. Maid of honor – Shawl. Bow tie rental. Pants/vest – borrowed. White shirt for usher. Undergarments for all.)
My Dad’s tie: Marshalls $10.05. (My Mom’s dress/shawl: (Was gifted to her: $125).)
Sean’s wedding band: Tungsten band $30.79. Because the band he chose was ordered in 2012 before the international patent with Tungsten was settled, it was placed in Dorton’s their clearance/surplus section. So we got the exact same band that cost $350 at Shane & Co. and Zales for $30.79 at Dorton & Company, a local jeweler.
Invitations/rsvp’s kit; programs; postage; thank you notes; five photo album books (Groupon); wedding welcome bags to out of town guests, including food for bags: $248.10. (Saw the idea on Budget Savvy Bride and loved the notion of using photo books as guest books/blessing books at the wedding. Gave the remaining photo books as gifts to our parents/grandmother.)
Paper Products for reception: $70.10 (Hobby Lobby and Webstaurant.com for coffee cups/lids/sleeves for coffee bar.) Used a lot of 40% coupons at Hobby Lobby for the wedding.
Rehearsal dinner: Friends cooked. Food costs: $150.00 for 30 people.
Reception food: Friends cooked. Food costs: $120.00.
Coffee bar: $47.62
Wedding cake: $40 – for ingredients.
VENUE: $400 for soda fountain/ice cream bar supplies. Homeowner filled his 1940’s era Coke machine with mini-bottles of Coke and provided dimes for everyone to use the machine. (Was a surprise to us!) No other cost to use their home.
DECORATIONS: $120 for arch supplies. $200 for all other supplies.
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: $250 (for me/bridesmaids/my mom/maid of honor). Make-up was free – maid of honor was Mary Kay consultant years ago.
PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING: $190.00 through our church counseling ministry.
MUSIC: Free – friends are professional musicians from Nashville. My brother also sang.
OFFICIANT: Pastor from our church who did wedding for free.
MARRIAGE LICENSE: $36.00.
CHAIR RENTALS: free from church.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: My amazing photographers were Lace Lane Weddings. One of my closest friends is a partner/photographer at Lace Lane and gave us an amazing deal for our engagement/wedding pics as her gift to us: $1000.00. The pictures leave me breathless!
THANK YOU GIFTS: $388.60 (For all those who were in bridal party, our family, those who gave selflessly to help make our day special. We also re-gifted $180 worth of gift cards as thank you’s to people, too. Sharing the blessings we were blessed with.)
How many guests did you have?
91 (including wedding party). We wanted to keep the wedding relatively small with just family and people who knew both Sean and me. My father has dementia and he can no longer deal with large crowds. We had to pick somewhere close to our home so Dad would feel secure and could go back to our house if he was having a bad day. (My parents live in Kentucky. ) Our church’s enormous 2500 seat chapel was too massive for us to have a small wedding in and it was way out of our price range. Some people got their feelings hurt that they weren’t invited to the wedding, but knowing Dad’s declining health most were extremely gracious and understood it wasn’t personal.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We really tried to make our wedding something that was truly a reflection of God’s love and represented Sean and myself. Everywhere you looked there was something that had significance like the love quotes on signs at the altar, the scripture verse on a sign carried in the wedding and the same verse on our “Mr. and Mrs.” coffee mugs I found at a local Christian bookstore or the musical paper used to decorate the aisles that reflected my background in music. My brother-in-law made the arch from a picture we saw on Pinterest. My friends who made the wedding cake created a flavor just for Sean. He loves caramel and coffee. It was OUTRAGEOUSLY good! And they made white chocolate raspberry mousse cake for me. We had no cake leftover because everyone had to try both flavors. Our first date ended at a coffee house, so we wanted a coffee bar with flavored syrups and the works at the wedding. The homeowner surprised us and let us drive away in their 1965 red convertible Camaro. My friend who decorated surprised us with takeaway gifts of our favorite cookies. But my favorite thing was the “Taylor’s Diner” menu she created and placed on all the Coca-Cola tables/booths. She took the details of how we met, our lives, how he proposed, favorite things,… and created a “menu” – it was amazing!! (For example: Instead of a typical “food warning” in fine print at the bottom of a menu, she had: “Warning: Spending time with the happy couple may cause thanksgiving and gratitude for the abundant grace of God to overflow in your life!”)
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Let friends help. If someone volunteered to help with something, we took them up on it. (Get over any pride. It’s a gift…receive it with gratitude.) I did a lot of things myself, like the printing the programs, invitations, shopping for things with coupons or gift return credits on things we didn’t need, etc… I gave the decorating/wedding coordinating tasks over to a friend of mine who was crazy creative. She was an absolute gift of God to us and took a lot of pressure off me. The flowers were all silk and were leftover from my friend’s daughter’s wedding (except for the fresh babies breath). That saved us tons. We borrowed chairs from our church. Friends cooked for us and only charged us the cost of the food or ingredients. My friends gifting us a fantastic deal on photography. (My sweet photographer friend designed the photo books for us that we got for great deals using a Groupon coupon, and she designed the programs for us from something I saw on Pinterest.) I’ve got incredibly sweet friends! They have been my “family” for almost twenty years, since all my relatives live out of state. I am very blessed!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding since you’re on the other side?
I read several brides say on this very blog: Don’t sweat the small stuff because at the end of the day you are going to be married to your best friend. You will probably encounter someone who has their own opinions and isn’t kind about sharing them. It’s YOUR day. Do what pleases your sweetheart and yourself. I would add: Savor every moment. You’re only doing this once. Above all, be intentional to make time during the planning to date each other. The wedding is great, but it’s only a few hours long. Your marriage is a LIFETIME. (And let your honey open cards or gifts, too. He gets left out a lot.)
What was your biggest splurge?
The amazing woman who does my hair agreed to come out and do all our hair for the wedding. Jennifer is so gifted! My wonderful mother is a full-time caregiver for my dad and doesn’t have the time, energy or money to splurge on herself. I wanted my wedding day to be a day where she felt beautiful, lavished on, and loved. My best friend/maid of honor did our makeup. Mom looked so lovely. It was worth every cent. We all felt so beautiful thanks to Jennifer and Wendy!
What was your favorite detail?
Everything that was done to make it so personal and so “us” – it’s impossible to pick one favorite.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
It would have to be every aspect of our ceremony. We wanted it to be a worship service. The music was glorious. My brother walked me down the aisle to where my Dad was seated. Dad was able to stand and answer, “Her Mother and I” when our pastor asked who gives this woman in marriage. Daddy was so nervous and was so proud he got it out. Seeing Sean’s face the first time he saw me. Our vows, which I completely cried through, and having him wipe away my tears. Communion – just Sean and me. Our first kiss as husband and wife. The whole day was more than I ever dreamt possible.
Photography: (Coleen Verner and Andrea Wood) Lace Lane Weddings // Wedding dress: www.cheap_wedding_gowns.com* // Paper products, thank you notes, programs: Hobby Lobby // Bridesmaids Dresses + Dad's Tie: Marshalls // Wedding Rings: Dorton & Co, Marietta, GA // Bridal party shoes: Rack Room Shoes // Hair: Bob Steele Salon, stylist Jennifer Warrington // Tux: King Tux Rentals, Kennesaw, GA // Invitations/rsvps: Amazon.com // Photobooks: Groupon, Vistaprint //
- About my dress: This site allowed me to order a customized dress that was simply stunning. This website was referred to me from someone who works with professional wedding planners. Designer dresses without the designer labels/prices. Gotta give up the control issue and believe it will turn out wonderfully – and have someone who is a REAL seamstress measure you for the dress for a custom dress – it was GORGEOUS and looked far more expensive than some gowns I saw at name-brand stores for thousands of dollars.