The Budget Savvy Bride » $16k wedding helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:31:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Classic Glam Purple Wedding Wed, 18 Feb 2015 13:00:23 +0000

I absolutely LOVE this classic glam wedding I’ve got to share with you today! The rich purple hues mixed with the warm fall colors in the bridesmaids bouquets just make my heart sing! This couple saved a bundle by getting a venue that included many things, as well as by doing a bit of DIY! You’re going to love the colors and the warm sunshine light in the photos from the outdoor ceremony! Oh, and they included their dog which is the CUTEST! Enjoy this lovely wedding! xoxo Jessica

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Michelle + Jonathan

October 4, 2014

Mount Pleasant, NC | The Saratoga Springs



What was your wedding budget?

Budget: $16,500

Venue (included decorations and DJ): $6,500

Catering: $3,500

Photography: $3,000

Minister: $100

Dress, Shoes, Veil: $1,600

Wedding Party Gifts: $150

Favors: $125

Alcohol: $425

Wedding Cake: $325

Bride’s Makeup & Hair: $140

Misc. DIY Décor: $100

Invitations & Programs (DIY): $100

Save the Date: $125

Flowers: Done as a gift by a family member

How many guests did you have?




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

One of our dogs was our “ring bearer” – he didn’t carry the ring but walked down the aisle with my MOH and stayed on the gazebo steps throughout the entire ceremony.


Rose Ceremony to honor our mothers – My mother couldn’t physically make the walk down the aisle so mothers were seated before the ceremony. My husband and I wanted to be sure to honor the women who raised us with a special tribute to them.My husband’s father was his best man.




What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Flowers (free) – husband’s Aunt handmade all bouquets & boutonnieres for us.

Invitations & Programs – Purchased Supplies (about $100) and handmade every invitation and program (it was a lot of fun too!)



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

ENJOY IT! Sometimes its SUPER fun and sometimes it’s really stressful and you can’t wait for the planning part to be over.   I would tell future brides to enjoy planning the biggest celebration of their life.



What was your biggest splurge?

PHOTOGRAPHY! We could have gone with much cheaper photographers but I HAD to have The Burks. They were the photographers for my best friend’s wedding so I knew they were well worth the money. Cost also included Engagement and Bridal Session.



What was your favorite detail?

Bridesmaid Dresses. I wanted a very specific color of purple and surprisingly it was hard to find.   I originally LOVED the color but wasn’t sure about the chain detail around the neck. I took pictures of my MOH in it at the store and couldn’t stop thinking and looking at the pictures. So I knew this was the dress. All of my bridesmaids looked gorgeous in them and I LOVE how all of our colors fit my vision perfectly!



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Our final dance, I supplied bubbles for the exit but the DJ/Wedding Director suggested also giving everyone bubbles to blow while we took our final dance. It was so special to be surrounded by our loved ones and dancing through bubbles was really FUN! I will always remember looking at my MOH and she mouthed “remember this” – she too knew how special the moment was! Our dance ended in a dip and a kiss from my husband – Best Dance of my life!




Venue: The Saratoga Springs  •  Catering: Bistro Catering & Events  •  Photography: The Burks  •  Makeup: True Beauty Zone   •   Hair: Hailey Plott Flynn  •  Cake: The Sweet Life  •  DJ: BK Entertainment  •   Officiant: Derrick Ross


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Virginia Wedding with Personal Details Wed, 10 Jul 2013 14:49:48 +0000 BSWOW
Another gorgeous wedding for you this week! I love how the couple really incorporated things that were important to them- making their day a reflection of who they are as a couple! And I seriously just can’t resist a sunflower wedding. LOVE :) The bride has lots of great advice so be sure to check it out!  xoxo-Jessica
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Sam + Chelsea
August 13, 2011 
Fredericksburg, VA, Temple Baptist Church
What was your budget? 
I think we ended up right around $16,500

Wedding Budget

Church Reservation                                                                                         150

Reception Venue                                                                                             2,500

Food/Beverage                                                                                                8,200

Photos (Bridal Portraits/Wedding/Engagement)                                     3,200

Musicians                                                                                                         400

DJ/Audio Equipment Rental                                                                        200

Videographer                                                                                                  100

Flowers                                                                                                            150

Limo                                                                                                                 180

Dress                                                                                                                500

Hair                                                                                                                   85

Invitations                                                                                                        100

Programs                                                                                                           50

Save the Dates                                                                                                  110

Decorations (Arch/Greenery/Lights/Table Frames, etc.)                         575


How many guests did you have? 
Approximately 210
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding? 
I think the best (and most oft heard) compliment about our wedding was that it was “so Sam and Chelsea.” I was so glad to hear that because I wanted so much for it to feel like “us.” 
Sam and I met in an English class in college and, both having been English majors, we knew that we wanted to incorporate books into our wedding. We also spent a great deal of time in coffee shops throughout our relationship, so we kind of focused the “theme” of our reception around books and coffee; both were everywhere! Instead of alcoholic drinks, we had a coffee bar cocktail hour. There were many varieties of coffee syrups, creamers, and hot tea, plus scones, mini muffins, and other food items typically found in a coffee shop. 
Being bibliophiles, we were able to supply inexpensive table settings using our personal book collection! On each of the tables was a stack of four or five of our books, a frame painted with black chalkboard paint and a table number, a mason jar with sunflowers, and favors which were coffee beans wrapped with tulle and tied with ribbon and a “thank you” note. 
I also created a library card catalog seating chart. I found a metal tin with sliding drawers and labeled each with the first letters of all of the guests last names. Inside each drawer were old library check-out cards where Sam and Chelsea Krieg were the author, the borrower’s name was the guest, and the title was the table number. Also, instead of a guestbook, we found a copy of the Oxford Book of American Poetry and had each guest sign a page.
We also really wanted to celebrate our parents’ marriages during our wedding day, so we placed their wedding photos on the guestbook table and we used the ring bearer pillow my mom made for her wedding during the ceremony.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
I tried to cut cost everywhere I could. I made the boutonnieres, favors, table setting cards, and several other decorations. I constructed the invitations from a pack of DIY invitations I bought at Michael’s and made the programs and had them printed at Kinko’s. The biggest thing that I did, however, was solicit the help of friends and family. We were so blessed to have so many people pitch in to make the day special. A few family friends made our bouquets and flower arrangements, my mom made our stunning wedding cake, a friend agreed to be our iPod DJ (he manned a playlist we created and emceed), my cousin was our videographer, a friend officiated the ceremony, etc. We had so many people jump in and do things that we were able to save so much!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side? 
Well, first of all, remember to breathe! Otherwise, make sure to make your wedding personal; do things to make it memorable and specific to you as a couple. Remember the reason why you are getting married. It isn’t about the venue or the cake or the dress; it’s about celebrating your love – that’s it. Do what makes you happy.
What was your biggest splurge?
Well, we spent the most on the venue and caterer and it wasn’t necessarily by choice. Fredericksburg is a historic area with many restrictions on building size. There are many beautiful venues, but not many large enough to hold 210 people. It basically came down to a bingo hall or our venue. Now, please don’t misunderstand. We LOVED the Fredericksburg Expo Center. The staff was amazing and the ballroom was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t have been happier with how kind everyone was and how smoothly everything went. So, splurging was definitely worth it.
We also splurged a bit on our photographer, Sarah Danaher at Ampersand Photography, and I have not regretted it for a second. The wedding day was such a whirlwind and the photos are all I have to remember it. I have received countless compliments about Sarah’s work, even some claiming they have never seen more beautiful wedding photos. I tell everyone that if they are going to splurge anywhere, it should be on photos. I have heard far more complaints about having sub-par photos than about spending a few extra dollars on them. 
What was your favorite detail?
I absolutely loved my flowers. I sent photos of bouquets I had seen and liked to the family friend who agreed to make them and she absolutely made my vision come to life – sunflowers, a few calla lilies, grass, sticks, and baby’s breath. The sticks in my bouquet were arranged into the shape of a heart and there was a dove in the center. Sam had a matching dove in his boutonniere, which I loved. I also really loved my library card catalog table settings.
What is the most memorable moment of the day?
I imagine it is difficult for any bride to select the one moment of her wedding day to call the most memorable. But, I think for me, it was the moment the doors opened and I saw Sam, seeing me, for the first time. My man, who never cries, couldn’t stop crying. There could have been ten million people in the room or one and I don’t think I would have noticed; he was all I could see.

Photographer:  Ampersand Photography  //  Hair Stylist: Carter Hair Design  //  Dress Store: David’s Bridal  //  Transportation: Fredericksburg Limo  //  Ceremony Location: Temple Baptist Church  //  Reception Venue: Fredericksburg Expo Center  //  Rentals: Party Elegance

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Fun Texas Country Wedding Wed, 03 Jul 2013 13:00:16 +0000 BSWOW

I hope you all love this week’s wedding as much as I do! It seems so sunny, laid back and FUN! How awesome that the couple chose to splurge on what was most important to them– the entertainment! They spent the largest portion of their budget on an amazing band (and even talked them down on the price) and were able to fill in the rest of their funds around that big ticket item. A great strategy for all of you dealing with budget priorities. Just take a look for yourself at the fabulous photos by Photography by Vanessa. -xoxo, Jessica

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Shannon + Mark

April 14, 2013

Austin, Texas  |  CTC Gardens


What was your budget?

Our initial budget was $15k but we ended up going over a bit.

$8000 band (Rebirth originally wanted $15k and I talked them down to almost half)

$2000 food

$200 flowers/plants

$2000 rentals (plates, utensils, tables/chairs)

$1000 booze

$1500 photography and another $1000 in trade :) (our photographer is our neighbor so she agreed to trade services for part of this)


How many guests did you have?

almost 200


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

In order to save money, we had the help and generosity of many friends so this made our wedding inherently personal. The venue itself is so beautiful and unique– it used to be a prominent landscape design firm with plant nursery. The venue is also a non-profit (they have development programs and build schools in Kenya) so we felt good about using it as a venue knowing our money was going to a positive cause.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Help from friends! It was a communal effort.


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

Right away we made a list of what we cared about spending money on and thankfully, we both felt the same way. We also thought about what makes a good party in general and allocated our money there.


What was your biggest splurge?

Our dream was to have the Rebirth Brass Band play our wedding so we budgeted the whole thing around them. Rebirth originally wanted 15k and I talked them down to almost half.


What was your favorite detail?

The dessert table. We did a potluck-style dessert table and my friend made personalized labels for each dessert and decorated the whole thing.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

When the groom stepped out to walk down the aisle, everyone in attendance erupted in applause. We’d never heard of that happening or been to a wedding where that happened. It was just a beautiful day and a wonderful ceremony. So happy that Vanessa, our photographer, captured the spirit of it all.



Venue: CTC Garden  //   Band: Rebirth Brass Band  //  Food: Habanero Mexican Cafe  //  Tables/Chairs: Aztec  //  Photography: Photography by Vanessa  //   Plants: East Austin Succulents  //  Flowers: Whole Foods  //  Booze: Spec’s 

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Brandon + Jessica : Charlotte Wedding by Kimberly Joyce Photography Wed, 01 Feb 2012 14:00:40 +0000 wedding_details

Brandon & Jessica

August 20th, 2011
Charlotte, NC

-Church:  The Plaza Presbyterian Church
-Reception:  The Marriott at Southpark

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

-We spent about $16,000
Venue:  10,000, Dress:  1,000, Cake:  500, Photographer:  1,200 (included engagement and bridal shoot),  Band: 200, Flowers:  300,  Rings:  2,000, Misc, invitations, party favors:  1,000

How many guests did you have?

-130 guests

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

-My fiancee and I both have fathers that are pastors.  So after my dad walked me down the aisle he turned and joined my new hubby’s dad and they both married us.  It was a very special memory from my wedding.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

-I have two things:

1.  We bought our flowers from the farmer’s market.  They not only will arrange the flowers if you bring vases, which make great centerpieces, but they will make your bouquets for you as well.  We spent about $300 for 8 bouquets and 11 beautiful and fresh centerpieces.  Some friends delivered them to the venue.

2.  We found our cake baker in a flower shop who make cakes as a hobby.  It was a great way to save money because they don’t have a clientele yet, but are trying to build one.  So after we interviewed him and saw some of his work, he made us a $1000 cake for $500 (including delivery).  He worked with our budget and gave us a beautiful and tasty cake.

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

-It’s never to early to start planning.  Don’t let anyone push their opinion of how your day should be on you.  This is your special day and you only get one so make it about you.  Lastly, take time to pause during your day to take it all in.  It goes by so fast and you will get so wrapped up in things that you forget to take a moment and soak it all in.

What was your biggest splurge?

-My venue and my dress.  I wanted give my guest an amazing experience and I wanted to feel gorgeous in my dress.  So I had to splurge on both.  By the end of the night, I didn’t want to take off my dress.

What was your favorite detail?

-The band for cocktail hour.  We had a patio attached to the venue, so we found an amazing band on craigslist that played the whole night for $200.   It was a nice touch that our guest really enjoyed.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

-My gift to my husband was my garter.  He is a huge steelers fan, so I surprised him by finding one online for under $30 (toss and keepsake).  His face was priceless and I can tell it meant so much to him.  Plus, there was a little blue ribbon sown into the inside of the garter for my something blue.


Photography: Kimberly Joyce Photography
Cake: Crumbs by Couture
Flowers:  Farmer’s Market Charlotte
Dresses: David’s Bridal
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
Venue:  Marriott
Garter:  Etsy

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Tennessee State park wedding Wed, 10 Mar 2010 13:00:57 +0000 real budget wedding

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

We went up and down on this, started at $10,000 then realized that was unrealistic for 300 people, then up to about $18,000 prior to the wedding. We had fewer guests than we budgeted for (thank goodness!) so we ended up spending about $16,000 including EVERYTHING except the honeymoon. Here’s the breakdown:

Ceremony (rental of venue, chair rentals, minimal decor, bells, pillows and accessories for flower girls/ ring bearers, gift for officiant): $712

Attire/Personal (my dress and alterations, shoes, undergarments, hair for me and my bridesmaids/mom, mani/pedi): $1100
I saved a lot here by buying my simple dress from and having some embellishments (the ruffle at the hem and bow on the back) sewn on by a local seamstress, but I splurged by paying for all my girls’ and mom’s hair to be done because we had the wiggle room at the end. My husband wore a suit he already owned so that was zero dollars.

Flowers (bridal party bouquets and boutonnieres, few flowers for reception, most flowers for reception were picked from my mother in law’s and her friends’ yards, and arranged by them): $643

Reception (venue, food, cupcakes, wine and beer that we brought ourselves, decorations, DJ, cocktail table, linen, dance floor and chair cover rentals): $7645
We saved a ton by using a non-traditional wedding venue, we only spent about $20/ per person for a full buffet and wait staff, for 190 people it was important to keep the food costs down. We also saved a ton by bringing in our own alcohol, and limiting it to wine and beer. The state park hosts a lot of conferences so they had great catering facilities and were amazing to work with. The downside was that we had to bring in the dancefloor and some other rentals to spruce up the boring room, but it still ended up being a cost-saver.

Photographer: $1542
We found a new-ish photographer that other brides were happy with from the knot, and got a great deal on a huge package. We were ecstatic about our engagement photos but our wedding photos were not as great as we had hoped. This was an area where I wish we had splurged more.

Invitations (save the dates, invitations, thank you notes and postage for all of those): $743
We used a designer I found on etsy who said she would design our invites for free to build her portfolio, but she ended up asking us to pay her, which we did. This ended up being a splurge when I hadn’t planned on spending this much, but I looooved our invites so it worked out.

Gifts (wedding party, shower hosts, helpers, welcome bags): $1310
We had so many family and friends who helped us pull this wedding off that we were pretty generous with nice gifts and welcome bags for everyone who traveled to the woods for our wedding weekend. No regrets here.

Hospitality (dinner for helpers on Thurs. night, snacks, drinks for hospitality suite, etc.): $310

Hotel Rooms at the park (hospitality suite which is where I stayed, cabin for the groom, each for four nights): $1428

Rings (wedding bands only): $1016
We had my engagement ring custom made by a local jeweler and he made my band to match, plus found us a great deal on Dave’s ring.

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

One of the most personal aspects was asking the judge I worked for in my first job after law school to officiate for us– it was a treat to have someone we both admire and who knows us well perform our ceremony. We also personalized a traditional ceremony script, adding a group blessing, warming of the rings, and a lot of music by our talented friends.

We had a lot of touches that weren’t necessarily “personal” but just made the wedding weekend feel like “us”– we had a relaxing welcome supper to which we invited all of our guests, instead of a rehearsal dinner, the whole weekend was very laid back and encouraged our favorite people to get to know one another and enjoy the beauty of our home state. We planned times we could spend time with guests, and down time so people could do things on their own and we got to relax.

As for DIY, I did as much as I’ve been able to, since we were on a tight budget, and also since our colors (hot pink and navy) were not easy to find on pre-made things. I’ve made floral headpieces for the flower girls, sewed pillows for the ring bearers, printed, cut, and assembled our wedding invites, made cupcake stands and guest book surveys, all the signage for the reception, and a million other little projects! In addition, we had so many family members and friends pitching in on the wedding weekend, we could not have done it without them! Our friends and family were the ceremony musicians, tended bar at the reception, picked up cupcakes on the morning of the wedding, helped us decorate and arrange flowers for the festivities, baked a small wedding cake for us to cut… I could go on and on!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

By far our biggest budget saver was booking the state park. Because it’s not really a wedding venue, they’re not charging wedding prices. Since we could bring our own liquor, I bought our wine from a neighborhood store and got a great bulk discount, plus I like supporting a neighborhood business. We saved a ton on flowers (which were the main decor) because my fantastic mother in law and her friends brought them from their gardens and arranged them. We also borrowed decor items like votives from a friend who recently got married.

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

If you’ve spent your whole time planning scrimping and saving, let yourself splurge a little at the end, especially on things that otherwise stress you out. I researched and compared prices exhaustively all along, but when it came time to buy the alcohol, I just went to two stores, because I was exhausted. I don’t know if we got the best deal, I know it fit the budget and it got done. I had asked my bridesmaids to pay to have their hair done, but we had wiggle room at the end, and when it came down to it I was happy to write that check so they didn’t have to worry about it.

Actually I have two tips– the second one is that you have to decide to enjoy your day, and to let all the stresses and things that go wrong (and they will) fade away. I am so type A and had planned this wedding weekend down to a T, but rain all weekend threw all our plans out the window. I had decided not to let anything bother me and enjoy the day, so I kept a smile on my face, and it really didn’t bother me. REALLY. I had to try hard to do this, but it worked. I focused on being in the moment and enjoying all my friends and family, and tuning out any negativity. I literally walked away from people a few times because they were bringing me down. And I had an awesome day with my new husband.

What was your biggest splurge?

Chair covers, which we spent almost $700 on. Dave really really wanted them (and he only cared about three or four things during the whole planning process), and I thought it was a waste of money. He found the money to pay for them, and he was totally right. When we set up the reception room, it made SUCH a difference. The room was pretty drab, and the existing chairs were ugly, but the chaircovers really did turn it into a more formal, beautiful space.

What was your favorite detail?

My dress/ shoes. I was comfortable and felt so beautiful all day, and like myself. I worked really hard on the dress but I got what I wanted, it reflected my personality and style. Loved it.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Really it was lots of moments all day long. We had monsoon rains all weekend, and I had to decide on the morning of our wedding whether to move the ceremony inside to the reception venue. We so wanted to be married beside the beautiful lake, but the whole area was a muddy mess, so I made the decision to move it inside (Dave was golfing in the rain when it was time to make this call but he later agreed). Once the decision to move it inside was made, all my weather worries faded away because it was out of my hands, I loosened up and just enjoyed the day! ( We did get to take some photos by the lake during a break in the rain, so I can pretend we got married there.) All day long, we were moving things around and making changes from our well-laid plans, which could have been REALLY stressful, but it wasn’t. I ended up spending a lot more time with Dave and a few key helpers (my stepmom was a hero) than I expected, and they just lifted us up. These are the moments I remember– it really felt like a team effort, and we pulled it off. I felt married that morning even before the ceremony, when Dave was helping me move things around and we just had to figure out how to make it work, together. I was never more certain that he was the right one.

Venue: Fall Creek Falls State Park
Hair: Steven’s Salon
Cupcakes and petit fours: Publix
Rentals: RSVP Rentals, Linens and chair covers
Alterations: AAA Alterations
Photos: Misti Abner Photography

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Emily + Andrew Wed, 03 Feb 2010 15:26:23 +0000 BSWOW

There’s just something about fall weddings… the rich colors just get me! The whimsical details from this wedding make me swoon- the pumpkins, the perfect plum pumps, the topsy turvy cake, and the curly monkey tails in the bouquets- all gorgeous- and captured perfectly by the ever-so-talented Kelli Nicole. I hope you all love these images from Emily and Andrew’s magical fall wedding as much as I do. You can find Emily’s full recaps from her wedding and other interesting tidbits at her blog, Sassy Smolak!

Where did you get married?
We got married in Mechanicsville, VA (just outside of the city of Richmond) at a lovely place called The Manor House.

What was your budget?
My budget was $20,000 but that was to include our honeymoon which ended up taking up $4,000 so we really did our wedding on $16,000. I am not totally sure of the breakdown but I feel I did well with the money I had.

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
I love to craft and enjoy doing things for myself so Andrew and I got really into it. We made all the programs and any signage that was around. We even made huge signs by the road to direct to the venue that we painted added touches to. I also cut all the paper for the “wishing well” which was our guest book. It was really fun to see my work at the venue, made it more personal for us.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Biggest thing we did to save money was research. We looked and looked for things before deciding on it. I bought a lot of things on sale and we made things for ourselves which helped too, truthfully it was just waiting to find the right price and not just buying it because it fit our needs.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Best advice for planning a wedding now that I am on the other side is to breathe! I know everyone always says this but it will work out and it does!!! I mean it rained on my wedding day and I still have wonderful photos and had a fabulous ceremony. I forgot my jewelry for have my photos but who cares because you aren’t there for all the “stuff” you are there to celebrate the union of you with the one you love and of course to party?.

What was your biggest splurge?
I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but my biggest splurge was my dress. I always said I could never imagine spending thousands of dollars on a dress you wear once, but I suppose when you find what makes you feel beautiful you can’t put a price tag on it. I spent 2 grand on my dress only after talking to my mother. She told me that I had done a fabulous job with the budget and that I had the money to splurge on the dress if that was what I wanted to do and I did so there you have it I wore 2000$ for just about 6 hours but it was totally worth it ?

What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail for sure was the bottom of my shoes. I only bought them because they were the purple I wanted and were 4 inches high (since my husband is 6’9″ I needed some height. Well when they arrived I noticed that they had hearts in red on the bottom soles….I mean how perfect is that! I loved that for sure, but if I had to pick a second favorite detail it would be the guys screen printed ties. I found them on ETSY and have been in love with them ever since.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Most memorable moment would be our first look, we did the first look because we knew it was going to rain and I knew we didn’t have a lot of time. So as I was coming down the stairs out of the house to meet Andrew, my knees were shaking I was so excited and nervous. When I tapped on his shoulder and he turned around he started to tear up and so did I. It was just such a lovely moment for both of us. I doubt I will ever forget it.


Venue — The Manor House
Photographer — Kelli Nicole Photography
Flowers — Strawberry Fields Florist
Catering — Sam Edwards Catering
Cake — A cake to remember
Makeup — Lou Stevens
Dress — Jingles
Jewelry — Lili Swan
Hair accessories — Dandy Apple
Guys TiesToy Breaker
Music — Choice Entertainment

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Damask + apple green wedding Wed, 16 Sep 2009 13:00:35 +0000 BSWOWI totally swooned when these photos arrived in my inbox, so I just know you’re going to love this wedding as much as I do! The details are stunning, and so is the bride! All the handmade decorative touches and the bold green in the color scheme really makes these photos pop! Katy did lots of DIY to help keep costs low while adding personal touches to the wedding. Hope you enjoy this eye candy! :)

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Bryan + Katy

July 25, 2009

Denver, Colorado

Where did you get married?

We got married in Denver, Colorado—which is where we both grew up. Our ceremony was at the Hudson Gardens in Littleton and our reception was at the Space Gallery in downtown Denver.

What was your budget?

Our budget was $16,500.00.

Here is the basic breakdown of it all:
Ceremony Site: 450.00
Reception Site: 1550.00
Catering: 4300.00
Rentals: 1200.00
Cake: 450.00
Dessert Bar: 300.00
Drinks: 500.00
Flowers: 1000.00
Reception Décor: 300.00
Reception Lighting: 1100.00
Ceremony Décor: 300.00
Stationery: 700.00
Harpist: 300.00
DJ: 700.00
Day-of Coordinator: 595.00
Photography: 1900.00
Videographer: 450.00
Bridesmaids Shoes: 160.00
Groomsmen’s Ties: 75.00

We went a little over our budget because we originally budgeted for 100 people to attend and ended up having 127. That increased our catering bill by $800, but other than that, everything else went according to plan!

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

We included many personal aspects in our wedding. Bryan and I met each other in youth group at our church so our youth minister who watched it all happen was the person who married us. Our dads read a poem that I found online called “The Key to Love.” It is the sweetest poem about marriage—we love it! We also did a rose ceremony in place of a unity candle, which is what my parents did at their wedding.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Well, first of all, my mom and I made almost every wedding detail. I designed and assembled all the programs, labels for the drink stand, candy bar, fans, guest book, and “reserved” cards. I also painted giant chalkboards for the reception entrance, photo booth, and menu. My mom is amazing with flowers so she made the altar arrangements for the ceremony. We also made all the table runners, out of town guest baskets, and vendor survival kits ourselves.

I also researched vendors like crazy! On several occasions, I found another vendor who offered the exact same thing at half the price of the first few vendors I had talked with. It was very stressful and tedious at times, but it ended up being completely worth it and all of our vendors were amazing. I had a certain vision in my head (complete with a full dinner, lighting, flowers, drinks, and dancing) and I was determined to achieve it—so I kept digging until I found someone who could provide everything for the price I needed.

I also have to mention the wonderful website Etsy. I am kind of addicted to it at the moment—and it made all the little details so much more affordable! I bought my hairpiece from Feathers and Frills, groomsmen’s ties from Buttered Toast, makeup bags for my bridesmaids from Sweet Sugar Beet, favors stickers from Graceful Notes, flower girl dress from Sweet Plume, and all of our amazing stationery from Pink Lily Press.

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

First, make sure to research your vendors! It will make everything so much more affordable in the end!

Second, when you are making your guest list, be sure to give a limit to yourselves, your parents, and your fiancé’s parents and DON’T go over it! We didn’t do this at all…which is why our guest list got too big and we ended up having a lot more people attend than we budgeted for.

Try to get all of your DIY stuff done 1-2 weeks before the big day. I did this and afterwards I just got to relax and focus on spending time with my family!

I know this is an overused piece of advice, but everyone needs to hear it—expect things to go wrong on your wedding day. I prayed and prayed for a sunny wedding day, but when it started to rain during our outdoor ceremony, I didn’t freak out because I had prepared myself with the fact that something would go wrong. Just remember to look at the bright side of things and don’t obsess over the little details. If you do this, you will have the perfect day!

What was your biggest splurge?

Well, catering took up the biggest chunk of the budget…but food is kind of necessary at a wedding so I don’t count that as a splurge. I would have to say that the biggest “want” that I just had to have was the lighting—I loved it…it was so worth it!

What was your favorite detail?

Hmmm…this is a tough one. I obviously loved all of our DIY details or I wouldn’t have spent so much time on them. I also loved the converses that our groomsmen wore, the drinks and fans at the ceremony, the lighting, our adorable menu, my bouquet, the photo booth…ok that’s a lot. If I had to pick one it would be that I walked down the aisle to “Main Title”, which is the theme song from the movie The Notebook. Our harpist played it…and everyone got a little teary-eyed!

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

That’s another tough one. I definitely loved our “first look” and the few minutes we got to spend alone right after the ceremony. The toasts from our brother and sisters were hilarious, so that is one of my favorites. Also, my dad led the “YMCA” and that was also completely hilarious so that’s another favorite. I really loved every moment, so it’s hard to pick!

Photographer: Real Photography

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