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
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.
Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google