The Budget Savvy Bride » $4k wedding helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank Fri, 29 May 2015 18:13:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pink & Turquoise Southern Wedding Wed, 27 May 2015 12:00:36 +0000

Today’s wedding comes from the state of Georgia and it is filled with loads of southern charm! Turquoise and pink are subtle accent colors that bring spring to this lovely event. Brett and Whitnei’s outdoor ceremony venue is unique and beautiful with the church pews, antique doors, and naturally wooded background.  The reception has such a sweet and relaxed feel with the vintage linens, mismatched dishes, and handmade signs. Happy Wednesday and enjoy this lovely southern wedding! xoxo, Jessica

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Whitnei + Brett

April 18, 2015

The McBrayer Ranch  | Powder Springs, GA



What was your budget?

We didn’t have a particular budget. We just knew it had to be low. We approximately spent $3,700 altogether.

We spent $600 on our venue, $300 for our photographer, $1400 on my dress, $210 on my veil, $100 for my boots, $200 on my bouquet, boutonnières and corsages, $260 for our cake, $110 for my makeup, and about $400-$500 on miscellaneous items.



How many guests did you have?

We had 70 guests.



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

I wanted to do something different for the unity ceremony, so we made our mason jars ourselves and filled the main jar with white and brown rice. We had a memorial table for our grandparents who have passed made of pictures, wooden signs and white votives in crystal cross holders. For our party favors, I made “grown-up hot chocolate” with mason jars filled half with hot chocolate mix then topped with mini marshmallows then on the side I tied Bailey’s nips on the side with twine.



What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

I did a lot of DIY projects to save money such as the wooden signs, the flower girl basket, the party favors and the unity jars.



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

I would have slowed down and enjoyed it all more instead of acting like a crazy woman, LOL!



What was your biggest splurge?

Definitely my dress! I had no idea I would spend that much plus alterations!



What was your favorite detail?

For my wedding walk, the kids had time to walk down to our song and the we had a DJ scratch and then it started playing the beginning of Bad To The Bone. Then, after I stood under the arbor for about a minute it scratched back to our song. It definitely threw people for a loop!



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Marrying the love of my life!




Photographer: Marcus and Aisha Imagery • Makeup: Makeup By Jessica • Venue: The McBrayer Ranch (including set up and take down) • Wedding dressDavid’s Bridal

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Backyard Wedding in Sun City Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:00:00 +0000

What a beautiful backyard wedding we’re featuring today to help ring in spring! Although Kyrsten and Jacob were married in December in the sunny Southwest, their beautiful backyard wedding and reception is especially inspiring for our readers who live in the colder states and are beginning to see the first signs of spring right now. Like many of our budget-savvy weddings, Krysten and Jacob show how using what you’ve got can save you $$$. They were able to use the grounds of a golf course for their ceremony for free and a they had their reception at the home of a friend. I love how the rustic details like the fireplace mantle and the flowers give the wedding intimate, comfortable yet chic atmosphere. xoxo, Jessica

bride button-up borrowed wedding dress white boutonnières outdoor bridal photos mother of the bride pink bridesmaid dresses pink and white flowers outdoor bridal photos gray suit groomsmen photo groomsmen photo pink and white flowers pink and gray bridal party rustic floral decor golf course ceremony golf course ceremony outdoor ceremony altar outdoor wedding photos outdoor wedding photos bridal boots outdoor wedding photos wedding fireplace bride and groom entrance wedding reception wedding cupcakes hydrangea centerpieces rustic wedding cake instagram wedding sign wedding photo booth pink and white rustic bouquet wedding reception dancing wedding reception dancing bride and groom first dancebride and groom first dance

Kyrsten + Jacob


Sun City, Az | Desert Sring Golf Course


What was your budget?

We had a lot of connections that saved our wallet! We were able to do the ceremony outside at a golf course for free. We did the reception at a friend’s house that was absolutely beautiful. I am a Pinterest freak and have had my wedding planned since I was 16. I wanted my wedding to have a rustic/indie feel to it. I did simple centerpieces of wood slab that I cut myself, doilies I found on and lanterns with flicker lights I got from Hobby Lobby when they were on sale for 50 % off. The burlap runners were also from Hobby lobby.

We saved a lot by using our resources and connections, doing my own decorations, and looking at thrift stores and garage sales for the little stuff.

Photography (including free engagement session): $1450

Rented chairs and tables (from a school): $50

Linens: $255

Ceremony and reception venues: $0

Food and cake: $700 (Paid for by parents)

Flowers: 291.72 (used a wholesale florist)

Decor: $250

DJ: $0, done by a friend (Since it was a small reception area we just used the speakers we had installed at the house).

Photo booth: $400

Dress: $0 (Borrowed from my maid of honor who let me tailor it to my style)

At the end of all these we didn’t have money for favors , which really didn’t matter cause most weddings you go to they end up throwing half of them away at the reception and the other half get thrown out with they get home. In total we probably spent around $3500!


How many guests did you have?




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

I got all my girls in the bridal party white collared shirts with our date and initials on them for getting ready the morning of the wedding.

I lost my little brother to suicide 6 months before the wedding. He was supposed to walk me down the aisle. I walked alone because no one could come close to filling his shoes. For the “Father/Daughter Dance,” I  danced with all the men in my life who had made an impact on me. Most of them were close friends of Chris and I. A signature look for my little brother was how he tied his tied. He was a pro at the Eldredge Knot, so all the groomsmen and groom wore that knot. I did a special dance with my mom to our song.



What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We used what we had. We had a friend with a huge gorgeous house, so we used that. We had a friend that had a connection with a manager of a golf course, so we used that. We recycled decorations from our engagement party and used things we found at garage sales and thrift stores.



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

Make a list of things that are most important to you. And when you get down the list and you don’t have money for the least important things then you don’t have the money and you skip it, it’s not the end of the world. It is one day and you don’t want to start your marriage off in debt.



What was your biggest splurge?

The photographer. She is absolutely amazing! I don’t regret a single penny!



What was your favorite detail?

My dress. I got to wear a dress I looked great in, I made it my own and saved a lot of money!



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The moment before I walked down the aisle, I was my changing room alone. I had a picture of my little brother with me and I thought about what his reaction would be of my dress and how handsome he would look walking me down the aisle, if he would cry or not, dancing crazy with him at the reception, and just having him there. Yes, it made me sad but it was my special moment with him to make me feel like he was there and a part of that big day.




Photographer:  Melissa Wright Photography  • Ceremony Venue: Desert Golf Spring Course • Photobooth: Hollywood and Mayhem Events • Catering: Oregano’s • Cupcakes: Sweet Daddy Cupcakes • Groom’s attire: Men’s Apparel Club

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Colorful Spring Wedding Wed, 14 May 2014 13:51:20 +0000 real budget wedding

SO excited about this adorable colorful spring wedding I have to share with you today! I’m absolutely in love with the multicolored bridesmaids dresses, the amazing ribbon altar backdrop, and all the other adorable details. The couple was able to pull the wedding together for an amazing price as well! I know you will love this wedding as much as I do! xoxo – Jessica

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Nick + Kelsey

March 23, 2014

Historic Ramsay Building in Joplin, MO


What was your wedding budget?

We spent roughly $3,500.
Food- $1,000
Dessert Bar- $400
DJ- $450
Dress & alterations- $500
DIY Decorations- $300
Venue- $250
Cash Bar- $250
Misc- $350

I’m a hair stylist so my friends at the salon did hair and makeup as a gift. I have two talented friends who did photography as a wedding gift for me. My brother works for my uncle’s graphic design company and they did all my wedding stationery as a gift as well. That helped keep things cheaper!

How many guests did you have?



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

I wanted my wedding to be bright and fun. A lot of people acted surprised I had more than two colors but I knew it would look beautiful in the venue.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

I had my wedding on a Sunday. The venue was cheaper & a lot of vendors didn’t charge as much because their time wasn’t as demanded compared to a Saturday. We also had the wedding & reception at the same place.


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

Don’t let other people tell you what you should do. It’s your day, no one else’s.


What was your biggest splurge?

We contemplated doing the food ourselves so we could save money. After doing the math & realizing how large the guest list was going to be we realized catering would be the best bet. We had a local restaurant cater and I’m so glad we did!


What was your favorite detail?

I loved my fabric back drop & that my bridesmaids all wore different colors.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Our first look! I am so impatient and waiting 8 months for Nick to see my dress killed me.



Venue- The Ramsay  //  Hair & Makeup- Salon 529  //  Dress- & bow ties-  TJ Formal  //  Alterations: Adornables  //  Catering- Chicken Annie’s  //
Cake- Small Cakes   //  Photography: Anna Joy Reed & Kristen Hawkins Photography  //  Photobooth: Kristen Hawkins Photography  //  Wedding Stationary- Ryan Edwards at FMD Graphics   //  DJ- Chris Byler  //  Wedding Planner/organizer/dessert bar- Laura Holden

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Rustic Navy Wedding Wed, 05 Mar 2014 14:00:22 +0000 real budget weddingSuch a cute rustic navy wedding to share with you today! I love the country feel and the details! The couple saved in a big way by using the property of a close friend – therefore not having to pay for an expensive venue. I’d say this is one of the top ways to save money- finding a low or no-cost venue. Check out the lovely photos and the bride’s interview below! xoxo – Jessica

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JUNE 22, 2013




What was your budget?

Our budget was $4000. 00 Tina joiner photography was our biggest investment, and I say investment over expense because she made the day great and easy. She captured the mood and all of the key moments! I wouldn’t trust any other photographer for our big day. The wedding dress was only $500.00. Decorations were about 1000.00 and the rest was spent on the food etc.

How many guests did you have?

About 150 guest attended our ceremony, and around 210 were at our reception.



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

All decorations and were made myself with my own special touch of country. The bridesmaids wore cowboy boots and most decorations were made with burlap and lace, to match the rustic venue!



What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing I did to save money was getting married in my best friend‘s (Samantha McKnight) barn. It saved me from having to pay for an expensive venue. Another major money saver were the invitations. They were totally free from!



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

Don’t stress about all the little details. The more you stress the more things go wrong. At the end of the day the purpose of a wedding isn’t about the glitz and glam it is about marrying your soul mate.



What was your biggest splurge?

Our photographer, Tina Joiner Photography, but as I said before, well worth it!



What was your favorite detail?

My favorite decoration detail about the wedding was our alter. Sawyer’s grandpa handmade it with our initials and hearts carved in it.



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Saying I Do! Saying our vows was so magical!


Please also include a list of all your vendors including any website links.

Photography: Tina Joiner Photography   //  Dress: Lyn Den Rose

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Retro Vintage Wedding Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 real budget wedding

 I just know you’re going to love this retro vintage wedding as much as I do!! This couple was able to create a fun, unique day with the help of lots of family and friends. Wynelle has so much amazing wedding wisdom to share– including to be gracious and accept help whenever it is offered! By accepting the help of others she was able to pull together a beautiful wedding in just a few short months (the couple was engaged in July and wed in October) and on an incredible budget of less than $4,000! I absolutely love the vibe of this wedding and the atmosphere of the soda shop party room! I also love that this couple had perspective on what was most important about their big day– their marriage! Wynelle obviously has a wonderful example to look to in her parents with a mother who lovingly cares for her ill father. That is what true love and commitment in a marriage is all about. xoxo- Jessica

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Wynelle & Sean

October 26, 2013

Woodstock Georgia  |  Private residence


Where did you get married?

Woodstock, Georgia – at the home of a friend from church.  They have a beautiful backyard with a waterfall and woods encircling the property.  A gorgeous wrap around porch surrounds the exterior of their home which they call: “The House God Built.”  The home has a party room that is a combination of Coca-Cola museum/old general store/game room/and an old-time working soda fountain.  They’ve hosted many parties and rehearsal dinners at their home, but this was their first wedding.  The weather was a perfect fall day.  I had an unbelievably creative friend who took on my Pinterest vision and made it BEYOND our dreams.  The ceremony in front of the waterfall was intimate, God-honoring and worshipful.  The reception was music, games, food, laughter, dancing and fun.   It was a magical day!


What was your budget?  

Being in our 40’s and never-married, we wanted to pay for everything ourselves.   Sean was laid off for five months this year, so we knew our budget was going to be tight.  BUT, I knew I had a treasure trove of friends who were dying to dive in and help make our day special.  We’ve all pitched in to help each other over the years with weddings/babies/illness/etc…, so Sean & I were blessed to have people pitch in and help us with our wedding for free or for the cost of materials. 

Our budget was $4,000 and we came in at $3982.34.


My dress: *$ 179.99, lace for hair $15, shoes $28.95, strapless bra $55.65, bracelet $12, earrings (my grandmothers – my something old).   (*I’m donating my dress to – a non-profit organization that helps military brides.  Why not donate the dress instead of letting it hang in the closet when someone else could be blessed by it?  It’s considered a tax deductible donation, so my dress will wind up being free.)

Tuxes: $127.14 (Best man)

Clothes for maid of honor/bridesmaids/usher: $230.15 (Bridesmaids dresses/All their shoes. Maid of honor dress was one she owned.  Maid of honor – Shawl.  Bow tie rental.  Pants/vest – borrowed.  White shirt for usher.  Undergarments for all.)

My Dad’s tie: Marshalls $10.05.  (My Mom’s dress/shawl: (Was gifted to her: $125).)

Sean’s wedding band:  Tungsten band $30.79.  Because the band he chose was ordered in 2012 before the international patent with Tungsten was settled, it was placed in Dorton’s their clearance/surplus section.  So we got the exact same band that cost $350 at Shane & Co. and Zales for $30.79 at Dorton & Company, a local jeweler. 

Invitations/rsvp’s kit; programs; postage; thank you notes; five photo album books (Groupon); wedding welcome bags to out of town guests, including food for bags:  $248.10.  (Saw the idea on Budget Savvy Bride and loved the notion of using photo books as guest books/blessing books at the wedding.   Gave the remaining photo books as gifts to our parents/grandmother.)

Paper Products for reception:  $70.10 (Hobby Lobby and for coffee cups/lids/sleeves for coffee bar.)  Used a lot of 40% coupons at Hobby Lobby for the wedding.


Rehearsal dinner:  Friends cooked.  Food costs: $150.00 for 30 people.

Reception food:  Friends cooked.  Food costs: $120.00.

Coffee bar: $47.62

Wedding cake: $40 – for ingredients. 

VENUE:  $400 for soda fountain/ice cream bar supplies.  Homeowner filled his 1940’s era Coke machine with mini-bottles of Coke and provided dimes for everyone to use the machine.  (Was a surprise to us!)  No other cost to use their home. 

DECORATIONS:  $120 for arch supplies.  $200 for all other supplies. 

HAIR AND MAKE-UP: $250 (for me/bridesmaids/my mom/maid of honor).  Make-up was free – maid of honor was Mary Kay consultant years ago.

PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING: $190.00 through our church counseling ministry.

MUSIC:  Free – friends are professional musicians from Nashville.  My brother also sang.

OFFICIANT: Pastor from our church who did wedding for free.


CHAIR RENTALS: free from church.

PHOTOGRAPHERS:   My amazing photographers were Lace Lane Weddings.  One of my closest friends is a partner/photographer at Lace Lane and gave us an amazing deal for our engagement/wedding pics as her gift to us:  $1000.00.  The pictures leave me breathless!

THANK YOU GIFTS:  $388.60 (For all those who were in bridal party, our family, those who gave selflessly to help make our day special.  We also re-gifted $180 worth of gift cards as thank you’s to people, too.  Sharing the blessings we were blessed with.)


How many guests did you have?

91 (including wedding party).  We wanted to keep the wedding relatively small with just family and people who knew both Sean and me.  My father has dementia and he can no longer deal with large crowds.  We had to pick somewhere close to our home so Dad would feel secure and could go back to our house if he was having a bad day.  (My parents live in Kentucky. ) Our church’s enormous 2500 seat chapel was too massive for us to have a small wedding in and it was way out of our price range.  Some people got their feelings hurt that they weren’t invited to the wedding, but knowing Dad’s declining health most were extremely gracious and understood it wasn’t personal.


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

We really tried to make our wedding something that was truly a reflection of God’s love and represented Sean and myself.  Everywhere you looked there was something that had significance like the love quotes on signs at the altar, the scripture verse on a sign carried in the wedding and the same verse on our “Mr. and Mrs.” coffee mugs I found at a local Christian bookstore or the musical paper used to decorate the aisles that reflected my background in music.  My brother-in-law made the arch from a picture we saw on Pinterest.  My friends who made the wedding cake created a flavor just for Sean.  He loves caramel and coffee.  It was OUTRAGEOUSLY good!  And they made white chocolate raspberry mousse cake for me.  We had no cake leftover because everyone had to try both flavors.  Our first date ended at a coffee house, so we wanted a coffee bar with flavored syrups and the works at the wedding.  The homeowner surprised us and let us drive away in their 1965 red convertible Camaro.  My friend who decorated surprised us with takeaway gifts of our favorite cookies.  But my favorite thing was the “Taylor’s Diner” menu she created and placed on all the Coca-Cola tables/booths.  She took the details of how we met, our lives, how he proposed, favorite things,… and created a “menu” – it was amazing!!   (For example:  Instead of a typical “food warning” in fine print at the bottom of a menu, she had: “Warning: Spending time with the happy couple may cause thanksgiving and gratitude for the abundant grace of God to overflow in your life!”)


What was the biggest thing you did to save money? 

Let friends help.  If someone volunteered to help with something, we took them up on it.  (Get over any pride.  It’s a gift…receive it with gratitude.)  I did a lot of things myself, like the printing the programs, invitations, shopping for things with coupons or gift return credits on things we didn’t need, etc…  I gave the decorating/wedding coordinating tasks over to a friend of mine who was crazy creative.  She was an absolute gift of God to us and took a lot of pressure off me.  The flowers were all silk and were leftover from my friend’s daughter’s wedding (except for the fresh babies breath).  That saved us tons.  We borrowed chairs from our church.  Friends cooked for us and only charged us the cost of the food or ingredients.  My friends gifting us a fantastic deal on photography.  (My sweet photographer friend designed the photo books for us that we got for great deals using a Groupon coupon, and she designed the programs for us from something I saw on Pinterest.)  I’ve got incredibly sweet friends!  They have been my “family” for almost twenty years, since all my relatives live out of state.  I am very blessed!


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

I read several brides say on this very blog:  Don’t sweat the small stuff because at the end of the day you are going to be married to your best friend.  You will probably encounter someone who has their own opinions and isn’t kind about sharing them.  It’s YOUR day.  Do what pleases your sweetheart and yourself.   I would add:  Savor every moment.  You’re only doing this once.  Above all, be intentional to make time during the planning to date each other.  The wedding is great, but it’s only a few hours long.  Your marriage is a LIFETIME.  (And let your honey open cards or gifts, too.  He gets left out a lot.)


What was your biggest splurge?

The amazing woman who does my hair agreed to come out and do all our hair for the wedding.  Jennifer is so gifted!  My wonderful mother is a full-time caregiver for my dad and doesn’t have the time, energy or money to splurge on herself.  I wanted my wedding day to be a day where she felt beautiful, lavished on, and loved.  My best friend/maid of honor did our makeup.  Mom looked so lovely.  It was worth every cent.  We all felt so beautiful thanks to Jennifer and Wendy!


What was your favorite detail?

Everything that was done to make it so personal and so “us” – it’s impossible to pick one favorite.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

It would have to be every aspect of our ceremony.  We wanted it to be a worship service.  The music was glorious.  My brother walked me down the aisle to where my Dad was seated.  Dad was able to stand and answer, “Her Mother and I” when our pastor asked who gives this woman in marriage.  Daddy was so nervous and was so proud he got it out.  Seeing Sean’s face the first time he saw me.  Our vows, which I completely cried through, and having him wipe away my tears.  Communion – just Sean and me.  Our first kiss as husband and wife.  The whole day was more than I ever dreamt possible.



Photography:  (Coleen Verner and Andrea Wood) Lace Lane Weddings  //  Wedding dress:*  //  Paper products, thank you notes, programs: Hobby Lobby  //  Bridesmaids Dresses + Dad’s Tie: Marshalls  // Wedding Rings: Dorton & Co, Marietta, GA  //  Bridal party shoes: Rack Room Shoes  // Hair: Bob Steele Salon, stylist Jennifer Warrington  //  Tux: King Tux Rentals, Kennesaw, GA  //  Invitations/rsvps:  //  Photobooks: Groupon, Vistaprint  // 

  • About my dress: This site allowed me to order a customized dress that was simply stunning.  This website was referred to me from someone who works with professional wedding planners.  Designer dresses without the designer labels/prices.  Gotta give up the control issue and believe it will turn out wonderfully –  and have someone who is a REAL seamstress measure you for the dress for a custom dress – it was GORGEOUS and looked far more expensive than some gowns I saw at name-brand stores for thousands of dollars. 



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Lovely garden wedding with tea party reception Wed, 26 Jun 2013 13:00:08 +0000 BSWOW

 I’m pretty sure the only word perfect enough to describe this wedding is lovely. Even though the couple was fighting the rain most of the day the photographer was able to get some of the most gorgeous images. This couple knew they didn’t want to spend a fortune on their wedding, and they even planned their day in a mere 3 months, but they were able to pull it all off for less than $4,000 (including donations from friends and family). They decided to have a tea party reception- which is just too adorable, right? And the backdrop for the ceremony had so much lush greenery so they didn’t need alot of decorations. A truly beautiful, budget savvy day! Hope you love it as much as I do! xoxo- Jessicalovely-garden-wedding_0001 lovely-garden-wedding_0002 lovely-garden-wedding_0003 lovely-garden-wedding_0004 lovely-garden-wedding_0005 lovely-garden-wedding_0006 lovely-garden-wedding_0007 lovely-garden-wedding_0008 lovely-garden-wedding_0009 lovely-garden-wedding_0010 lovely-garden-wedding_0011 lovely-garden-wedding_0012 lovely-garden-wedding_0013 lovely-garden-wedding_0014 lovely-garden-wedding_0015

Bill + Kirsten

May 11, 2013

Tarbin Gardens, Franklin, NH


What was your budget? 

  • Dress: $300
  • Flowers: $500 (donated by a friend)
  • Ceremony and Reception Location: $300
  • Reception Tea Party: $300
  • Bride’s Hair: free (My maid of honor works for a salon and styled my hair for me, but was a $150 value)
  • Makeup: I did my makeup myself.
  • Decorations: $150
  • Grooms Tux: Purchased for $200
  • Limo: $200 (gift from a friend)
  • Photography: $2,100 (gifted by my now sister-in-law.)



How many guests did you have? 31


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

We really wanted a romantic, but simple wedding and reception. The gardens were a perfect location for our tea party. Our hope was that guests would take time after tea to walk the gardens and enjoy the nature around them. We served gluten free scones as most of our guests had food allergies. Each place setting included a mason jar for homemade lemonade. All of our guests left with handmade soap that I made. 


What was the biggest thing you did to save money? 

We continually reminded ourselves that our wedding day was all about getting married. We didn’t want to focus too much on flowers or decorations. Our desire was to keep things small and simple.


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

Originally, we really wanted to elope. However, by keeping our wedding small and reigning in our expectations, we were able to celebrate with our friends and family. Don’t give up on having a wedding if you don’t have much of a budget or time to plan. Remember, you are marrying your best friend and if you have to walk through rain and mud it’s worth it on the other side.


What was your biggest splurge? 

Our rings 


What was your favorite detail? 

The rose garden terrace and the beautiful tea cups we drank out of. 


What is the most memorable moment of your day? 

The most memorable part of the day was looking around at all our guests during the reception. They were all enjoying their tea, engaged in conversation and smiling. Everyone was full of love. 



 Photography: Shine with Jennifer Leigh, LLC  //  Dress: Modern Bride and Formal Shop  //  Flowers and Floral Arrangements: PJ’s Flowers & Antiques  //  Food: Tarbin Gardens  //  Hair: Olivia Young  //  Tuxes: Banana Republic

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Red and damask themed wedding Sun, 23 Jun 2013 18:00:45 +0000 simplysavvysunday

It’s been a while since we’ve shared a simply savvy wedding here on Sundays, but this one is worth the wait! Marelin & Bryan were able to pull off their wedding for only $4,000! Read her advice below! – xoxo, Jessica

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Marelin & Bryan

August 25th, 2012

Santiago Oaks Regional Park  |  Orange, CA


What was your budget? 

Our budget was no more than $4,000 and we did a great job on staying within it. It includes the following:

venue – $800 ($300 refundable deposit)

food, dinnerware and silverware – $1,200

tables and chair rentals – $200

decorations, table linens and centerpieces – $350

cake – $350

rings – $295 (Zales)

dress – $700 (David’s Bridal)

grooms tux rental – $70


How many guests did you have?



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

We wrote our own vows. We also incorporated my husbands favorite color into our color schemes.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We cut down our guest list and we also didn’t splurge on decorations; we relied on the natural beauty of the venue.


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

Keep your budget close to you! There is so many ways to make all your ideas come to life if you can know how to spend your money wisely. Also, don’t stress out, in the end everything will turn out great!


What was your biggest splurge?

Even though the food was the most expensive thing, I think I splurged on my dress.


What was your favorite detail?

The accents of red flowers in my black in white theme.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Definitely our wedding vows.



ono ono hawaiian bbq


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Destination Budget Wedding by Lone Pine Photography Wed, 15 May 2013 14:18:19 +0000 BSWOW

Love that this couple was able to have their wedding for just $4,000 – and it was a destination wedding! They kept things intimate which REALLY helped saved them money! Check out the bride’s advice and experiences below! xoxo-Jessicalow-budget-wedding_0001 low-budget-wedding_0002 low-budget-wedding_0003 low-budget-wedding_0004 low-budget-wedding_0005 low-budget-wedding_0006 low-budget-wedding_0007 low-budget-wedding_0008 low-budget-wedding_0009 low-budget-wedding_0010 low-budget-wedding_0011 low-budget-wedding_0012 low-budget-wedding_0013 low-budget-wedding_0014 low-budget-wedding_0015

Anthony + Jessica

August 10, 2012

Neptune Park – St. Simons Island, GA


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

Expenses: Park Rental: $80

Flowers: $350

Cake: $300

Cake Topper: $65

Stationery: $100

St. Simons Elopements (Ceremony, 50 chairs, guitarist): $1,400

Dress with veil: $500 (Mori Lee)

Dinner Reception: $1,800 (our families covered this expense)

Decor and other expenses: $200

Photography: $850

Total Expense for wedding: Less than $4,000


How many guests did you have?     

Around 30


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing I did to save money was having a dinner reception at a local restaurant. The restaurant owner was so nice to work with and we didn’t even have to pay to rent it. We had such a large party tht the restaurant was closed to the public at 8pm for our dinner. The wedding consisted of only close family members and our best friends, so they each opted to pay for their own meal so we could have an excellent dinner while mingling with out of state family.


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

Be sure to allow more than enough time for photos. Once the day is passed, you can never take another photo on your wedding day. Take your time and take plenty of photos! Also, if it is a destination wedding, be sure to give a few family members certain duties to do on your special day. Do not try to put out decorations yourself because you will not have time and you won’t want to have to worry about it on the day of. Some of my decor didn’t get placed out because I didn’t want to ask others to help me- in hindsight, I wish I would’ve asked for help!


What was your biggest splurge?

My biggest splurge was all of the small expenses that goes along with a destination wedding. Hotel rooms, food, traveling expenses or other items like that add up really fast!


What was your favorite detail?

My favorite detail of my wedding was my cake. It was not a traditional wedding cake. It was chocolate cake with all pink and orange butter cream icing. (Our favorite kind of cake!) The cake topper was what really made it special and even more unique. Anthony and I met in flight school and both have our pilot’s license so when we found an aviation related cake topper we knew we had to get it. It was an airplane with the groom in the front flying, the bride in the back and “Just Married” is written on the back of plane.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The most memorable moment of the day was saying our vows. My husband was so beautiful and I could see the excitement in his eyes. It was if no one else existed. I loved every second of it!

 Photographer:  Lone Pine Photography  //  Dress Store: Bride Beautiful  //  Hair Stylist:Hair Unlimited  //  Floral Designer:Lily of Angeles  //  Reception Venue: Ocean Lodge  //  Musicians: Terry Thrift  //  Event Planner: St. Simons Elopements//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights


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DIY Library Wedding in Maine Wed, 10 Apr 2013 12:00:33 +0000  BSWOW
I’ve got quite a treat for you all today! This lovely DIY library wedding has tons of book-themed details and was pulled off for a great price! The couple got married at a library, hosted around 30 guests and did it all for around $4,000! I love how they incorporated books into their decor in many creative ways- so simple and budget friendly! Hope you enjoy this savvy wedding as much as I did! xoxo-Jessica
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Vanessa + Brenden

November 24, 2012
Bailey Island, Maine – Bailey Island Library Hall
What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.
We kind of built our budget around our needs, but we said no more than $5,000, and we came in around $4,000!
Venue- $1050 total (although $350 of that was a refundable deposit)
Attire- $800 for my dress and $400 for his suit
Photography- Was $460, but with a few of Walla Photography’s promos it ended up at around $360
Catering- We had a bit of a  gift with this one, as our caterer was a friend and former employer. This all ran about  $1000 (and the food was great!)
We decided to self-DJ our own wedding which turned out great (although I would DEFINITELY say to passowrd protect your computer haha!), so that didn’t cost anything.
Our decorations were mostly things we already had- old books (Brenden’s family and mine are readers), ball jars, buttons, etc… There was a little bit expended for extra decorations, but for everything we had to buy, decoration costs ran under $500 (not sure of an exact figure as Brenden’s parents got some stuff and made centerpieces to surprise us, but I have a basic idea of the pricing).
How many guests did you have? 
We invited 50 people and about 30 came to our wedding.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
  We included a lot of our personal aspects into our wedding! First off, we planned the whole thing around language in literature. We first met in a German class (complete happenstance, as neither of us needed the class for our major), and I sat in front of him. We only started talking because I needed to share books with him as I hadn’t gotten mine yet. Sharing that book allowed us to be partnered up, talk, and meet up to do homework in the library together. I didn’t buy the book for an extra month after that. Books, language, and literature have been a big theme for us, so we planned around that. It also made decorating SO budget savvy! The centerpieces were stacks of older books with table numbers on top, and our flowers were made from the pages of older books where the binding couldn’t be rescued. This was a great intersection of cost effectiveness and a meaningful style. and from there, it became even more personal. Friends, family, old bosses, and new faces really pulled together to help make our wedding personal and intimate. For example, our catering was done by one of Brenden’s former bosses and friends. So we got to be very intimately involved in its planning, and on the day of, we got to see familiar faces who beamed with happiness while we got food. All in all, our wedding was nothing but us, our marriage, and the people we love. It was great!
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
 Haha, sorry I kind of said this above, but I’ll be more specific:
1.) Paired down!- I mean everything, guest list, extra decorations, extra desserts, big venue, etc… It makes you really think about what you need. And all of the little stuff we chopped that I was apprehensive about- no one noticed it.
2.) Involved friends and family- As I mentioned, we happened to know our caterer, so that helped A TON!! My soon-to-be-new mum and dad helped us make decorations, and our parents and closest friends helped us set up.
3.) GO OFF THE BEATEN PATH!- I can’t stress this enough. Our caterer is someone who runs a tavern, but he also made us a great wedding day meal! He also knew the baker next door and got us a great deal on desserts. We got married in a Library Hall. It’s technically a historic building, and few weddings happen there, but it was affordable, and absolutely stunning (I mean, warm, walls lined with books, high ceilings, fireplace,etc…). We made our flowers out of paper. This can be tricky, but you’ll save on floral costs (8 bouquets and 8 boutonnieres cost me about $150 and about 15 hours of work total), and I’ve kept one of the bridesmaid’s bouquets on my dashboard for the last few months, and it makes me smile every time I see it :) Another thing that we did was look at our college announcements on my school e-mail account. That’s where I found the announcement for our photographer- who is incredibly talented and who, in launching a business, was a very price savvy option.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Don’t worry, be happy! :) And if you two are happy with something, don’t let anyone bully you into something else, even if they have the best intentions. Everyone wants to either sell you something or make your planning process easier by offering things, material or otherwise. If you two are happy, you’ll be happy when it’s over.
What was your biggest splurge?
Catering cost the most, but that aside, probably my dress.
What was your favorite detail?
I loved how warm and romantic everything felt. It was hectic, but great.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Meeting a lot of new family for the first time! They were so warm, welcoming and caring! Plus, all of my grandparents passed away either before I was born or when I was very young, so meeting my partner’s was extra lovely. They acted like I had been their granddaughter all along! In general, our friends and family were amazing. I wouldn’t change a thing!
Photography: Walla Photography  |    Officiant: Maria Northcott (amazing!)   |   Caterer: Jeff Hunt at The Narrows Tavern  |  Venue: Bailey Island Library Hall


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Georgia Backyard Wedding by Maddy Calsbeek: Beth + Joe Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:00:34 +0000

 This lovely backyard wedding was submitted to me by the mother of the bride (who just so happens to be a blogger, herself.) Here’s what MOB, Laurel, had to say about this special day: We planned and held my daughter’s wedding with 3 1/2 weeks notice for $4000.  LOTS of DIY was involved, but it was a wonderful event that everyone enjoyed!  And we got a lot of our ideas from blogs like yours!

Aw, shucks, thanks Laurel! I super loved everything about this laid-back, DIY affair, but my favorite detail by far was the fact that they included their furbabies in their wedding day. :) You can read more about the day on Laurel’s blog, SoPo Cottage. Thanks to both Laurel & Beth for sharing these details with BSB! xoxo-Jess












Beth & Joe 
September 29, 2012
Tucker, GA – The Tucker Farm, the family’s house

What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.
Rentals – $1500
Food – $800
Drink – $800
Decor – $300
Cake – $400
Photographer – $200



How many guests did you have?




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

Farm theme – Menu Board, Mason Jars, Southern Chic attire

‘Keys’ to a successful marriage

Our dogs were our wedding party!



What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Had the wedding at home; didn’t use a caterer – hired two serving people and ordered BBQ from a famous local place; bought hors’doeurves & alcohol from Sam’s



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

Let my mom and sister obsess about the details – they love that stuff!



What was your biggest splurge?

Tent, tables, and chairs



What was your favorite detail?

Loved the cake (which included a Gluten Free top layer) and keys



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Toasts – everyone was crying




The Vintage Chicks

Photographer, Maddy Calsbeek

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