The Budget Savvy Bride » $11k wedding helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Fri, 22 May 2015 17:30:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Simply Savvy Pink Wedding Sun, 24 Nov 2013 19:30:53 +0000 simple weddings
Happy Sunday! I hope you enjoy this simply savvy pink wedding! The pale pink color scheme is perfect for the week of Valentine’s Day! The couple saved a bundle by choosing an off-peak wedding date and by keeping things simple, but the end result is still lovely. Hope you enjoy the bride’s helpful advice. xoxo Jessica
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Aaron + Taylor
February 9, 2013
Corinth, Texas  ||  Ashton Gardens Dallas

What was your budget? 

Food, bar, ceremony, and reception site with tax – $7500
Photographer – $600 (our family friend is a professional photographer and gave us a discount) 
Dress, shoes, veil, undergarments, and alterations – $1500 
Flowers – $300 (DIY)
Wedding stationery, Save the Dates, and postage – $400
Bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts – $150 (DIY)
Party favors – $300
Misc. Items – $150 
Brides hair – $100
Brides makeup – Free (DIY)
Officiant – Free (family friend)
DJ – Free (our venue had a state of the art sound system so we put together an oldies inspired playlist for our guests!)
Brides jewelry – Free (I wore a pair of pearl earrings and a pearl necklace that hubby gave me for my college graduation. I also wore a pearl bracelet as my “something borrowed” that belonged to my bridesmaids’ great-great grandmother.)
Grooms tux – Free with Men’s Warehouse coupons
Wedding cake – Free (a wedding gift from my brother and sister in law)
Decor – Free (included in the price of the venue)
Total = $11,000 

How many guests did you have?


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

Rather than sticking to the traditional ceremony a family friend officiated. It was funny, personal, and heartfelt.This was one of my favorite aspects of our wedding.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We got married in an off season month (February) which saved us over $13,000 on the the venue!

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

SLOW DOWN! Enjoy it! Do your research and take your time!

What was your biggest splurge?

Wedding stationery. I was so heart set on a particular invitation; I just couldn’t compromise! 

What was your favorite detail?

I loved that instead of traditional party favors, we donated to the ASPCA in honor of all of our guests. In return, the ASPCA sent nice folded place cards for the table to notify everyone of our gesture. 

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

There were many. But my favorite (I know I’m going to sound cliche) was the look on my husband’s face when they opened the chapel doors for me to walk down the aisle. 


 Photography: Julie Johnson Photo   //   Venue: Ashton Gardens   //   Flowers: Fifty Flowers   //   Invitations: Love VS Design   //   Other paper goods: BP Invites on Etsy and DigiBuddha Paperie on Etsy   //   Cake: Elegant Cakery   //   
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DIY Lodge Wedding Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 BSWOW

We’re back with another wedding of the week! This Montana wedding has lots of fun and creative details– the couple managed to host 280 guests for only $11,000! Very budget savvy! I love that they spent a significant portion of their budget on their photographer- and it definitely paid off! These photos from Patchwork Photography are simply gorgeous! xoxo-Jessica

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Maren + Aeric

August 18, 2012

Great Falls, MT

First Alliance Church (Ceremony)   |   The Elks Lodge (Reception)


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

Budget: $10,000 but we ended up spending more like $11,000

Photography: $3,000

Food: $3,000

Venue: $500

Alcohol: $600

DJ: $500

Bride’s Dress (shoes, veil etc): $800

Bride’s Maid Dresses (shoes): $300

Flower girl dresses (shoes, details): $150

Flowers: $500

Tuxes: $300

Décor/other details: $500+
How many guests did you have?



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

After looking at some different wedding blogs and photos, it didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to go for a vintage feel.  I’ve always loved vintage, simple things and thought it would be perfect for our wedding.  I had also developed a sort of odd infatuation with old doors and furniture which we incorporated into our décor.  Oh, can’t forget to mention our treat table!!  I love sweets so it only seemed appropriate that we have a treat table.  Aeric and I each chose two of our favorite treats to share with our guests.  It was a big hit and, I have to admit, I most definitely indulged in several lemon cookies throughout the evening.  So yummy!!
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

I don’t know that there was any one big thing we did to save money. It was more just little things here and there like finding reasonably priced bridesmaids dresses and having the guys wear jeans instead of renting the whole tux.  We also made our own boutonnières, had simple, inexpensive table decor and a friend who graciously volunteered to make our cake; all of which helped us keep costs down.


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

Oh gosh, the million dollar question. :) I would say make it the day you want it to be no matter what.  If you have a vision, or a dream, make it happen.  I really wanted a vintage, shabby chic type wedding.  Unfortunately, in an attempt to accommodate everyone and do what I thought would be the easiest, I compromised hugely on my reception venue.  I’m still bothered by it.   Also, I would reduce the number of guests by at least 100.  We had nearly 300 guests and it was overwhelming.

What was your biggest splurge?

While food and photography were by far our biggest expenses and accounted for more than half of our budget, I’d say my biggest splurge was on flowers.  I didn’t do a lot of flowers, but I that was one thing I knew I wanted to be sure I was happy with and I definitely was.  The flowers turned out beautifully!


What was your favorite detail?

Our treat table!  I’m a huge fan of sweets and treats so we had a table with two of Aeric’s favorite treats and two of my favorites.  It was fun and definitely my favorite detail.  :)
What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The ceremony for sure.  I feel like it had the personal touches that I really wanted from the songs (one of which I wrote), to the musicians, (all friends and family), to the message given by the pastor.




Photographer: Patchwork Photography   |   Florist: My Viola Floral Studio   |   Caterer: Deb Hudson with Golden Corral   |   Cake: Kathy Vincent   |   Brides Dress: Designer Mori Lee, purchased from Marshell’s Bridal Aire &Tuxedo   |  Grooms shirt, vest and tie: Kauffman’s Menswear ~ Great Falls, MT

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Quirky blue and green wedding Wed, 26 May 2010 13:00:53 +0000
The Budget Savvy Wedding of the Week

Time for another installment of the Budget Savvy Wedding of the Week! This week’s wedding comes to us from Illinois, from a couple who made some compromises to keep their wedding true to themselves! They have some great advice for planning, so be sure to check it out! Thanks Theresa and Jacob for sharing your big day with us!

Theresa + Jacob

February 20, 2009

Elk Grove Village, Illinois


Where did you get married?

Technically we were married at our apartment in Arlington Heights, IL, but had a formal ceremony (led by my younger brother) and reception at Garden Terrace Banquets in Elk Grove Village, IL

What was your budget?

Our budget was about $10,000-11,000, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t exceed it. It was very important to us to keep outside costs down to be able to afford to have most of our friends and family come for the event.

Approx. $8,000 was spent on the banquet hall space/food/bar service/cake. The banquet package was pretty all-inclusive, and included the open bar, wedding cake, and most of the standard decorations. Part of why we chose the venue included their pricing for catering services-it was a great deal that we couldn’t pass up for a seated meal!

The shuttle service we hired was approx. $450 for the whole evening.

We had a couple of things that either our parents helped us out with, or I won in online giveaways:

My parents purchased my dress (which was about $240 at a Brides Against Breast Cancer event) and made the hot chocolate-tube favors/placecards. Jake’s parents covered the DJ’s costs. I actually won 250 long-stemmed roses from an internet giveaway from Dana of The Broke Ass Bride fame, so our flower budget (which was pretty non-existent) was complementary. In that same giveaway, I also won a ceremony set (flower girl basket, guest book, pen, etc) that I exchanged for a birdcage gift card holder and a scrapbook. Our guest book was free through an offer I found online from Snapfish; I was able to personalize a photo book to include love-related quotes and spaces for people to leave well-wishes.


How many guests did you have?

We both have very large families and some close-knit friends, so we ended up with 173 RSVP’d yeses, but only about 150 people showed up for the reception.


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

To reduce costs and to maximize the “Tree and Jake”-ness of our day, we DIT’d (Do-it-together) many of the decorations, from the mustaches-on-sticks (that Jake loved so much, it was the only thing he requested for the wedding!) for the photo backdrop, to the flower centerpieces, pinwheel bouquets, tissue poms, and favors. There were lots of pops of color everywhere, but the hall still had a very classy, intimate feeling to it.

Additionally, the best man (who is Jake’s cousin) wrote a song for us to have our first dance to. He sent it to me ahead of time, so that I could have a copy. He performed it at the reception on his keyboard, and it was such a special moment. Just…amazing.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Planning a wedding for February definitely has it’s benefits in the “cheaper by the season” section. We found that many vendors had great discounts for us just because they were slower pre-wedding season. It was around the half-year mark for our dating anniversary, so it makes keeping anniversaries/how long we’ve been together a little easier as well.

DIT projects, and just prioritizing what was important also saved us some cash. Neither of us has been married before, so it was a lot of brainstorming on what guests remember about a wedding reception (food/bar service and music!). And from there we cut things that did not matter to us. We didn’t care about a limo (it would have been awesome, but just wasn’t necessary), or a hand-plated meal. We also compromised where possible to see where we could find a good deal (our DJ had discounts for time of year of the wedding and for booking online, and it saved us $300).


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

In the end, only argue over the stuff that matters (with your fiancee, or with family/friends). But when it does matter, and it’ll matter in 5 days, 5 months, 5 years, put your foot down and keep it there. There’s nothing wrong with a little compromise, but walk the line between being a pushover and being a jerk. We had some difficulty working around more traditional parents who were upset that we were “missing” aspects of the wedding/reception that they thought were important (but weren’t for us), but overall were able to compromise to make sure that our ideas weren’t thrown out the window, and that traditions that were important to our parents weren’t completely ignored. I realize now that the marriage is what’s special and what counts to the bride and groom, but the wedding is about family and community.

I had envisioned walking myself down the aisle, and having my fiancé meet me halfway to finish the walk with me. My dad knew that that was my plan, and told me he didn’t mind. When he passed away 9 months before the wedding, my mother (who did not know of our plan) was extremely upset that I “had” to walk myself because my father couldn’t. She wanted to walk me, and the decision that I made to have her walk me was stressful, but I know that in 5 months/5 years, I’ll be glad that I didn’t fight for that one moment.


What was your biggest splurge?

Our biggest splurge was probably the open bar. We know our families love a good party, and we wanted to make sure that every person had a great time and enjoyed themselves at the reception. It is a party, after all!


What was your favorite detail?

The banquet hall is part of a local park district building that included a working carousel. The carousel room had already been booked for a children’s party for the day of our wedding, but we were able to sneak in afterward for about 15/20 minutes for photos. It was so much fun, and some of my favorite photos were from that small session. Also, it was a nice break to get out of the banquet hall and have a couple moments to re-group.


What was the most memorable moment of your day?

The most memorable moment would have to be our groomsman, Trent, marrying us at the apartment. He was so nervous, but wanted to pull through for us since our other plans had fallen through. There was a lot of nervous giggling, some jokes between the bridal party, and I just remember thinking, “Wow. This is it. After this, it’s allllllllll gravy.” :)


Venue: Garden Terrace Banquets

Caterer: Two Chefs Catering

Photographer: Jolie Images Photography

DJ: Non-Stop Entertainment

Transportation: First Student Buses and Charter

Brides Against Breast Cancer


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