The Budget Savvy Bride » $10k wedding helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Fri, 23 Jan 2015 18:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sweet Southern Wedding Wed, 24 Dec 2014 13:00:50 +0000

This sweet Southern wedding is sure to make you smile! Megan and Chase planned their big day on a budget of $10,000 — and with the help of some talented family and friends they were able to pull it together beautifully! I absolutely love all the DIY details and projects — and the barn makes a truly perfect backdrop for photos. I love Megan’s advice to keep it simple and not overwhelm yourself with too many projects. How sweet are the photos of Megan’s daddy seeing her in her wedding dress? Heart melting!! Love this wedding and I know you will, too! Congrats Megan + Chase!! xoxo, Jessica

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Megan + Chase

May 10th, 2014

Pendergrass, GA | Price Mountain Barn



What was your wedding budget?

We had a budget of $10,000 and we came in just under it!

  • $3000 for venue
  • $3000 photography
  • $1000 food
  • $425 DJ
  • $100 invites
  • $800 decorations/table cloths
  • $30 favors
  • $1100 dress and suit
  • $120 flowers
  • $400 rings
  • $8 alcohol
  • Free Cake – made by coworkers as a gift
  • Free coordinator – family friend
  • Tables & chairs – borrowed for free from church
  • Hair & Make Up – done by a friend



How many guests did you have?

We had 200 guests



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

I had a lot of DIY items. I made all my mason jar centerpieces and hand cut wood slabs. I made all my signage and refurbished old furniture found for free.



What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We were able to borrow all tables and chairs for free. My mom worked at a church preschool so we asked to borrow tables and the remainder of the chairs that we needed that the barn did not provide. The worst thing that they could have said was no and we would have continued to look. We asked and they said yes! Always ask and use the resources that you have first!

I am a cake decorator so the first question everyone asked was if I was going to make my own cake, No sadly I didn’t. With all the other things I had to do making my own wedding cake was not on the list. My co workers as a wedding present to Chase and I all pitched in and paid for our wedding cake and my Assistant Bakery Manager decorated and delivered the cake to the barn!

Hair and Makeup were done for me, my girls, my mom and mother-in-law as a gift to me by my very good friend who does hair and makeup for a living! She does a fabulous job and I couldn’t have been more happy with the way everything turned out!

My wedding coordinator was a friend of my moms who has had a lot of experiences with weddings and who had recently got married as well. She offered to help me in any way possible from decorating to making sure that everyone got down the aisle and making sure that our bags were loaded for the honeymoon! She was great!
Using my family and friends when needed saved us a lot of money. The main thing is don’t be afraid to ask people for help and the use of their services, you may not always get things for free, but for a discount is a blessing too! The worse thing that they can say is no, but at least you tried!


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

Simple is not always bad. When doing a DIY wedding it’s easy to want to do everything you see, but its not worth the stress. Stay organized and don’t put things off.



What was your biggest splurge?

Biggest splurge was our photographer. I saw her work online and knew we had to sit down with her. We were in love and knew that if we didn’t book her we would have regretted our decision.



What was your favorite detail?

My daddy’s old blue Chevrolet pick-up truck. It was used all throughout the day!



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Most memorable part of my day was when it was just my daddy and I in his truck driving up to the ceremony site. We were both so nervous! Then when he got me out and we headed down the aisle and I saw my groom all nerves disappeared!


Photographer:  Andie Freeman Photography  •  Venue: Price Mountain Barn  •  Coordinator: Samantha Depue  •  Floral: Publix Supermarket  •  Cake: Publix Supermarket  •  Hair/Makeup: Devan Hightower  •  Videography: Daniel Parris at Speak Up Productions  •  Caterer: Iron Pig  •  Dress: David’s Bridal  •  DJ: CG Sound and Lighting  •  Rentals: Hitched Wedding Rentals  •  Submitted via Two Bright Lights


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Glamorous Grey Wedding Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:00:57 +0000

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.




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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Florida wedding with pink details Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:00:25 +0000

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!



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  //  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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Southern lodge wedding Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:00:58 +0000 real budget wedding
I just love this lodge wedding! The bride gave a super thorough budget breakdown for you all to check out – I hope it inspires you! This wedding looks like so much fun, it makes me wish I’d been a guest! :) Hope you enjoy this lovely southern fall lodge wedding! xoxo Jessica
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 Amber + Erik

September 14, 2013

Barn at Valhallah in Chapel Hill

What was your wedding budget?

*$3,000 – venue for all day Friday-Sunday at 2 pm. More than we wanted to spend, but we needed the space, wanted outdoors, and needed a place that would allow us to bring in our own alcohol.


  • chairs/tables for 130, but they made our 160 work.
  • upstairs area for getting ready with 4 showers, 4 bathroom stalls, and 4 sinks
  • upstairs area for 16 people to sleep – bunk beds/pull out couches for others and then 1 king bed in a private room for the bride/groom

*$2,200 – catererd bbq buffet for 160 people (including tip for servers)


  • 9 hours of service from 3 people
  • 2 meats, 3 sides, hush puppies, tea, lemonade, plates and napkins — it was absolutely delicious.
  • Servers set up, bartended for us, served the buffet, cleaned up, cut the cake, helped take down tables, etc — anything we wanted for that 9 hours
  • vegetarian lasagna

*$600 – my dress including alterations (only needed a bustle), but my mom paid 1/2, so I spent $300.

*$150 for my hair and makeup

*$20 for my veil

*$6 for my headband

*$30 for my shoes, that I’ll wear all the time again :)

*$800 – his suit, including tailoring, tie and new white shirt (he can wear forever)

*$120 – tablecloths to fit the venues tables (have since sold for $80)

*$80 – cake and cake stands/pretty things for the table (a friend made our “actual wedding cake” and then we bought 2 sheet cakes…another friend made turnovers and another friend made the cookies)

*~300 (maybe 350?) on all decorations. But LOOOOTS of time


  • spray paint for the bottles
  • flowers in the bottles and bouquets (bought on super clearance)
  • picture frames I bought, stained, and made into chalkboard signs
  • the chalkboard paint
  • the plywood for the signs I made
  • yarn and glue for the yarn lanterns
  • paper/sticks/glue/etc for the pinwheels
  • cake topper clothespin that was then painted by a friend
  • card boxes

*$300 – our DJ…the brother of a friend

*400 – our pint glass favors, with the family crest etched in them

*$1,300 for our photographers.


  • 10 hours with 2 photogs
  • 300 edited photos
  • every other photo they took, too, on disk
  • rights to all photos

*$150 for my hair and makeup

*$520 – wine and liquor


  • 6 cases of wine (3 red, 3 white). Not all of which was drank so we have leftover to use in the coming months
  • booze to make a 5 gallon keg of Long Island Iced Tea

*???? — beer. We had 8 friends, the groom, and groom’s father all brew for the wedding. We had 95 gallons of homebrew that we didn’t really pay for – they were gifts to us.

*$150ish (we didn’t pay for this, it was a gift from his parents) Save the dates (magnets)/our awesome i’m totally in love with invitations /day of programs (heres the back of them - all from Vistaprint.

*$400 (again we didnt pay – was a gift) – shuttle to/from hotel for guests so nobody was drunk driving. Includes tip.

That’s all around $9k+, but less than 10k…WAY more than I had ever thought we’d spend but way less than I thought we’d get away with once we started getting into it and wanted that many people and a huge party. We had 160 guests and an absolute blast!


Photography: Hartman Outdoor Photography  //  Venue: Barn at Valhallah in Chapel Hill

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California Budget Wedding Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:00:08 +0000 real budget wedding

I’ve got such a fun and lovely wedding to share with you that’s just *so* pretty, you’ll hardly believe it was done on a budget! I love the classic styling, the incredible DIY bouquet, the adorable ring shots and the simply stunning photography by Peterson Design and Photography. Hope you enjoy this California budget wedding as much as I did!! xoxo Jessica


Ruth + Daniel

April 11, 2014.

Rancho Cucamonga, California, at the venue Hidden Oaks.

What was your wedding budget?

We had a very tight budget and knew we didn’t want to (couldn’t) spend more than $10,000.

First we booked the venue for $3,000. Then the florist for $800. We bought all of our favors for $150. We booked our wonderful photographers for $800 (this price includes what we paid for our engagement session). Next we booked our caterer for $2,000. Our cake was $500. We didn’t have a DJ for the reception, only the ceremony and that was $175. And we got linens, plates, silverware and glassware from a family friend, not our caterer for $250. My hair and makeup artists were referred to me by my florist so I got a discounted price of $140 for both services. We bought all the material to DIY our invitations, guest books, candy bags, and rice throwers but I can’t remember exact prices.

How many guests did you have?

We ended up having around 120 guests present.

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

Our wedding day was full of details I had created and thought of either through online inspiration or my own imagination. My sister made my bouquet out of fabric from my mother’s wedding dress. An amazing keepsake and saved money on my bouquet. I printed little stickers with our names to go on the bottom of the Hershey’s Kisses candies. I made our guest books on my own. I had our caketopper custom made to fit our lovebirds theme. I also made our invitations, RSVP cards, and maps. My crafty sister calligraphed the invitations for me.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Saving money wherever we could took extra effort but worked. It just meant I had to be more creatively involved. I bought a lot of the details, accessories, and material needed directly from the LA fashion district. We made the conscious, and very personal decision, to not have dancing at the reception. For many reasons this made sense, among which: we don’t know how to dance, we didn’t want to pay for extra time just for dancing, and DJ’s are expensive. We just had huge speakers playing music from a playlist I had made with our favorite songs. I made as many of the details (invitations, guest books, stickers) as I could and my sister (maid of honor) helped sooo much). I didn’t buy anything from wedding websites or wedding stores unless I knew I wouldn’t find it anywhere else. This saved me sooo much money, especially on the favors (they were lovebird salt and pepper shakers, I paid $1.20 per set when online they were being sold for $3 a set).

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

Advice…decide from the beginning how much, if anything, you want to DIY. Know that your budget will vary accordingly and accept that. Also, do your research with vendors and don’t assume they will all quote you the same price. We interviewed 3 florists before we found someone that would work within our budget. And didn’t quote us for $3000 when we said we couldn’t spend more than $1000. We called, emailed, and interviewed many photographers before we found Peterson Design and Photography . They were within our budget, had an outstanding portfolio, and we got along perfectly. So never settle on a crummy vendor, you should love the people in whose hands you are placing your wedding day.

What was your biggest splurge?

Probably the moment of memory for my husband’s father who passed away last year. We bought 100 balloons and released them in his memory. That put us out a little bit of money and wasn’t a necessary expense but it was sooo worth it.

What was your favorite detail?

My favorite detail was my bouquet. So unique and will be with me forever.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

My most memorable moment is hard. And while I want to say “our vows”, I’m going to say the moment when my brother serenaded us on the saxophone right after our vows. It was so beautiful and perfect to be able to savor those moments right after we promised ourselves to each other with a beautiful melody playing, it felt like being in a movie.


Photographers: Peterson Design and Photography  //  Florist: Irises Designs  //  Caterer: Gwen Marlowe Catering  //  Makeup and Hair: Martha Castro  //  Ceremony DJ: Randy Sinner  //  Cake: Dolce Cafe and Bakery  //  Venue: Hidden Oaks  //  Linens, China, Silverware, etc: JJ Party Supplies


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Rustic Chic DIY Wedding Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:00:10 +0000 real budget wedding

I just *know* y’all are gonna love this gorgeous rustic chic DIY wedding I’ve got for you today!! The details are stunning and the decor is to die for! Love that the couple served BBQ to keep costs down – plus, it’s delicious. Devour the loveliness below and tell me your favorite parts in the comments. xoxo – Jessica

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Brittney + Arron

June 8, 2013

Monroe, NC  |  Morning Glory Farm


What was your wedding budget?

We kept our budget right around $10,000.

Venue, food & drinks — $5,400

Photography, Videography, Photobooth — $2,200

Decorations, invitations, wedding favors, bridal party gifts, etc. — $1000

Flowers and Cake — $800

Wedding Rehearsal –$500

Horse drawn carriage — $250

Our families helped out with some of the bigger expenses.  Anything they didn’t help with, we made sure we could pay for in cash,  leaving no debt at the end of the day.



How many guests did you have?




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

One of our favorite memories from the ceremony was using the kneeling bench that Arron and our brother-in-law made from scrap wood that we found on the side of the road.   We had communion with each other, instead of lighting a candle or pouring sand.  Our faith is the biggest part of our relationship, and was a priority to incorporate it in.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We shopped around for sales, and or used coupons at all of the craft stores. We found free materials and crafted our own decorations instead of purchasing them.

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

Try and plan ahead to get as many things checked off the “to-do list” as early as you can.  A lot of the “little details” can add up quickly towards the end.

What was your biggest splurge?

The photobooth rental.  It was really fun, and worth having the hilarious photos of our guest.

What was your favorite detail?

The simplicity and tranquility that Morning Glory Farm offers.



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

We both agree, the moment when we saw each other for the first time, while walking down the aisle.




Photography: Christopher Bell Photography  //  Venue: Morning Glory Farm  //   Flowers: The Petal Shoppe of Monroe  //  Videographer: Whitewash Films  //  Photobooth: InFocus Photo Booth   //  Catering: Jim & Nicks BBQ of Concord, NC   //  Cupcakes: Bethany Greer – Gift of Life Cupcakes

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Purple Glam Wedding in Las Vegas Thu, 08 May 2014 15:30:45 +0000 0701

April 15th, 2014


What was your budget?

$10,000 Half of our wedding budget was generously gifted from my Father and the other half Chuck & I matched.

How many guests did you have?



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

My Mother & Chuck made our guests custom Welcome Bags. These reversible handmade bags were filled to the brim with gifts for our friends and family as they arrived. The bag and a few items inside duplicated as thank you favors. My favorite item was the taffy treat bags with our picture on them. So cute! ♥ Also, at the ceremony I really loved the fabric covered love letters hung on one side of the arch; it made the perfect addition to our photos that day. The weather on the West coast in April is amazing by the way!


What were the biggest things you did to save money?

We choose to have a destination wedding in Las Vegas which offered many inexpensive all-inclusive packages because we knew transportation & accommodations for 7 people would consume our budget. Las Vegas luckily offers plenty of year-long opportunities to save on flights, hotels, and attractions.

My gown was purchased online and I spent a very modest $400 including all alterations and even a new strapless bra. I hesitated to buy the first, cheap gown I tried on and instead I looked at shapes and styles which complemented my style. That gave me the confidence to buy online sight unseen.

Our biggest savings by far was hotel & room comps. My Mother & Step Father gifted us their next year of vacations and we booked 3 large time share trade-ins. The Jockey Club is centrally located on the Las Vegas Strip overlooking the Bellagio’s fountains and conveniently connected to the glamorous Cosmopolitan. Lodging for a total of 11 people in 3 large condos for 8 nights/ 9 days cost us $550 total (or $6/ per person each day)! Chuck & I also played a Facebook game called myVegas and earned free room comps & rewards. In total, we enjoyed a fabulous honeymoon night at the Aria Sky Suites with amazing robes & slippers, two free tickets to the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, and two free lunches at the Bayside Buffet. These 3 rewards were a value of $300 free and clear.


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

If money is not a huge problem, hire a wedding planner for your destination wedding. The money I saved planning my own wedding was worth it for us, but a wedding planner would have allowed me to let loose more during our wedding week.


What was your biggest splurge?

$1,500 went toward unspeakable atrocities and debauchery, otherwise known as our spending money for alcohol, gambling, clubs, eating out & shows. This also included a few hundred dollars for a Bachelor night out, as well as, a Bachelorette party poolside. We wanted to entertain our guests and enjoy the setting around us, our play money was definitely a big splurge and totally worth every dollar. We also won $500 at the casinos which went back into more debauchery.


What was your favorite detail?

At the beginning of our reception my Mother & Father decided to have a small ceremony where they symbolically cut my cord. It was funny and unexpected, but one of my favorite details.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Walking down the isle was a remarkable moment that I will not forget anytime soon. I took my time smiling at guests while holding my Dad’s hand, and staring in the distance at my new husband. The ceremony from start to finish was the best part of the entire day, I only cried 3 times.

Please also include a list of all your vendors including any website links. Ceremony – The Flamingo Chapel Las Vegas, Nevada * Reception – Pampas Churrascaria * Photography & Videographer – Imagine Studios * Dress – *

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Romantic Pink Wedding on a Budget Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:00:26 +0000 real budget wedding

I thought this sweet, romantic pink wedding was perfect for the week of Valentine’s Day! I absolutely love that the couple chose a non-traditional venue! The  ampitheatre gives all of their guests a unique view of the ceremony- so fun! And how cute is their cupcake tower? So sweet! Hope you enjoy this lovely budget wedding, with gorgeous photos by Brittany Anderson Photography! xoxo – Jessica

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 Jeff + Ashley 

June 02, 2012

VA Ampitheatre  |  Clarksburg, WV



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



Venue – VA Ampitheatre $250

Flowers – Blooms Florist Bridgeport, WV $800

Decorations were done by the mother of the bride

Brittany Anderson Photography $3200



Clarksburg 4H Center – $600

DJ – Family Friend

Decorating – Michael Romeo $1000

Food – Jimmys Diner $2000

Cake- Gift

Shabby Chic – Desert Buffet


Dress $1700 Mori Lee (House of Fashion Bridgeport, WV)

Shoes $80 Aldo’s 

All in all, about $10,000 was spent!



How many guests did you have?     





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

Jeff and I are both in ministry so we incorporated that into the ceremony with singing, scripture reading, and my pastor gave a brief devotion before we said I do. Also instead of doing candle lighting, we took dirt from our parents properties and our property where were building our home and mixed it together, symbolizing a good foundation.



What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Used what resources we had: family and friends!



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

Don’t stress over what other people want for you. It’s your day and all about you as a couple. So let it be just that!



What was your biggest splurge?

The photography. You only do this once. Memories are priceless.



What was your favorite detail?

The wedding ceremony itself was lovely. I loved the music, flowers, country decorating, scripture reading, dirt ceremony, and poem written by my previous pastor who was there when I was born.  Every aspect was so personal.



What is the most memorable moment of your day 

When my pastor said you may now kiss your bride. I was finally a Mrs!




Photographer:  Brittany Anderson Photography  //  Event Venue:Harrison County 4H center  //  Venue: VA Ampitheatre Clarksburg, WV  //  Florist: Blooms Florist  //  Photography: Brittany Anderson Photography   //  Catering: Jimmys Diner, Shinnston WV  //  Shabby Chic, Shinnston WV  //  Dress: House of Fashion, Bridgeport, WV  //  Submitted via Two Bright Lights





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Purple wedding with photography and book details Wed, 01 Jan 2014 13:00:15 +0000 real budget wedding

I think you’ll really like this purple wedding! Super sweet details that are personal to the couple who are into reading and photography– love how they incorporated their interests into the decor on their wedding day! I’m always a huge fan of outdoor weddings – natural light is the best for photographs and Kbattle photography did a lovely job capturing this couple’s day!  Be sure to read the bride’s advice and wisdom for how they were able to pull of this lovely wedding for $10k! xoxo – Jessica

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Angie + Quinn 

June 2, 2013

Minneapolis, MN  |  Lyndale Park Peace Garden and Columbia Manor



What was your budget? 


Our budget was $10,000. And we did a pretty good job staying within that budget and paid it off as we went! No wedding debt after the wedding!

 Rough estimates:


Dress, with alterations – $600

Ceremony site – $200

Chair rental for ceremony – $400

Reception site – about $1,000

Catering, servers and bar – $3,500

DJ/Photobooth – $2,000

Photographer – $1,300

Flowers – $200

Cake – $500

Centerpieces and decorations – $50


How many guests did you have?     




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

 I’m a photographer and my husband is an avid bookworm, so we incorporated those personal touches into our decorations. I combined my vintage camera collection with books gathered from thrift stores to create centerpieces. It was very inexpensive, had a lot of character and looked great! We carried the photo and book theme throughout the reception site with book picture frames and film canister-filled candleholders.



What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Saving money was always at the forefront of our decisions. We made things ourselves, and set our priorities right away about what we would splurge on and what we would cut. I also saved a ton of money on my dress by finding a cheap dress and having it altered to be the dress of my dreams!

The biggest thing that saved us the most money was negotiating! If a vendor comes at you with a quote that’s out of your budget, tell them what your budget is for that service and ask if there’s anything that can be done to bring their quote down. I had really good luck with this and some vendors were really willing to come up with creative solutions to help fit our budget and still meet our needs.


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

Don’t overwhelm yourself with DIY projects. It’s great to get inspiration from blogs and Pinterest, but be realistic about what you can take on. There were a few projects that I drove myself crazy failing to complete. In the end, nobody but myself knew what didn’t get done and everything looked beautiful regardless!



What was your biggest splurge?

We splurged on the cake and the photographer, but we had agreed on that from the start. They were worth every penny…. And more!



What was your favorite detail?

Our wedding favors were so great! Quinn made homemade honey mead, which is an Irish wedding tradition, and we bottled it, made labels and gave them to our guests as favors.  A lot of the wedding projects we divided and conquered on, but the favors were something we did together, which made it really special. Our guests loved it!



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The most memorable part of the day for me was the ceremony. Quinn’s brother officiated and it was so special and personal. There were a lot of happy tears. Quinn’s favorite part was the first dance. Our song, “When I’m With You,” by Best Coast is a fast song. Quinn’s best man is a musician who came up with a slower version of it and performed it for our first dance.



Photography: Kbattle Photography  // Dress: Amelishan Bridal  //  Alterations: A Stitch Above the Rest  //  Guys suits: Mens Wearhouse  //  Cake: Buttercream  //  Food: Cossetta Eventi  //  Alcohol: Prom Catering  //  Venues: Lyndale Park Peace Garden and Columbia Manor   //  Catering staff and set up: Big Ten Catering  //  DJ/Photobooth: Complete   //  Flowers: Minneapolis Farmers Market 


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Oregon City Brunch Wedding Tue, 31 Dec 2013 16:30:37 +0000  

I’m back! I have to say the month leading up to (and after) your wedding goes very quickly. But I happened to luck out in several ways with our celebration. One by having absolutely beautiful, although crisp and chilly, weather for our outdoor ceremony. And second by staying under our $10,000 budget.

































Ashley + Tom
October 5, 2013
Oregon City, OR  |  Abernethy Center

What was your budget?

We set our budget at $10,000 knowing that with help from our family this was a budget we could realistically afford. From there we used general rough estimates on specific categories like food, dress, venue, etc. Here’s how it played out: 

  • Wedding rings – $815
  • Bride’s outfit – $1,190
  • Groom’s outfit – $185
  • Venue – $1,000
  • Catering – $3,100
  • Alcohol – $600
  • Cake – $160
  • DJ – $500
  • Flowers – $300
  • Centerpieces – $75
  • Paper goods – $400* (rough estimate)
  • Photography – $1,000
  • Guestbook – $30
  • Hair and Makeup – $60
  • Salon appointments for bridesmaids – $180

Our budget came to about $9,600 total. Our parents covered catering, alcohol and venue costs and other friends and family pitched in on several small items, either by offering assistance making them, or by helping to pay for them.



How many guests did you have?



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

It was very important for us to have a wedding that felt personal and intimate, even though we would have around 100 guests. We had a morning wedding and featured a brunch menu complete with a waffle bar, fresh fruit, croissants and scones. Tom and I love breakfast food so this choice was very appropriate!

Our cake toppers were action figurines from our favorite video game, Halo. Which is also the first game we played together as a couple. Nothing helps you bond more than a mutual love of killing cartoon aliens!

It was also important for our guests to have something fun to do. On each table we placed scrabble pieces along with a clue card. Once unscrambled, the word would spell out a favorite TV show, movie or video game of ours. Since we were going to Ireland for our honeymoon, we hung a large map of the country on one of the walls in our reception space and had guests mark with gold stars the places they thought we should visit on our trip.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We cut out what I consider unnecessary frills. This means no programs or favors. We also had minimal décor since our venue had plenty of ambiance on its own. I had been collecting unique bottles for the past year and used these as our centerpieces. I estimate with the money I spent on ribbon accents and the money I spent on some of the bottles (others were donated to my cause) each centerpiece was roughly $4.

Another big factor that saved us money was picking a date in the “off-season” and choosing a morning over afternoon or evening. This fact alone saved us thousands of dollars. No joke!

We also chose three single layer cakes, rather than a tiered cake, which helped cut costs.


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

Time is your friend. If you plan a wedding on a crunch your options are fewer and you will likely spend more. Use your friends, but don’t abuse them. Our DJ, florist and photographer were friends of ours or friends of a friend. I didn’t presume what we should pay them or assume we should pay them pennies just because we knew them. We told them our rough budget for these categories and let them decide what seemed fair.


What was your biggest splurge?

My dress was at the very top of my budget (about $900 + tailoring). We splurged a bit on food, opting for a hosted waffle bar rather than pre-made food. Unknown to us at the time, our fathers chipped in to offer a hosted drink for our guests, mimosas.


What was your favorite detail?

My former coworker and friend did our flower arrangements and they were one of my favorite things from the day. I still keep some parts of my bouquet (that happened to dry well) on my desk at work. The flowers were stunning, and were found at a local grocer’s market and flower farm.

Tom’s aunt paid for and designed our save-the-dates and invitations. I used left over card stock from those projects to make our table cards.

My stepfather married us which was incredibly personal and touching. We wrote and recited our own vows to each other, and he read a favorite bible passage and favorite poem of ours.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

I had my “florist” friend and her cohorts tie small baggies full of flower petals to the back of each chair in the ceremony area. After Tom and I said “I do”, kissed, and headed back down the aisle, our guests threw flower petals at us to wish us well!



Venue and Catering: Abernethy Center  //  Photography: BMW Photography  //  Cake: Le Cookie Monkey  //  Flowers: Penny Beckwith  //  DJ: Jon Del Secco  //  Dress: Sweetheart Gowns  //  Rings: Sherrie’s Jewelry Box



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