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$10K Fall Lodge Wedding

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I absolutely love this fall lodge wedding! Such amazing fall foliage created a stunning backdrop for this event – and the simple rustic details make it so very sweet. I love the bride’s bouquet- it’s full of amazing wildflower yummyness and the use of spools of thread on the tables for place cards is precious. The couple definitely had the right idea when planning this wedding and were able to cut costs by doing alot of things themselves. Beautifully captured by Megan Saul Photography, as well- love a fall wedding! Be sure to read Annie’s advice below! xoxo- Jessica

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Annie + Ian


 Hudson, IL  |  Davis Lodge at Lake Bloomington



What was your budget?

Overall wedding was about $10,000

  • Reception location- $250 (because owned by the city)
  • DJ- $300 (Ian had a colleague who worked with the company so we were only charged for the equipment and tip)
  • Wedding dress and accessories- $600
  • Florist- $800
  • Florist Decorating lodge- $125
  • Food and Drinks (beer and wine)- $6,000
  • Photography- $1,650
  • Church- $250

I was able to re-sell most of my décor so a good amount of that was paid back.

How many guests did you have?   



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

I made a lot of my décor. This consisted of: table runners, fabric around the mason jars, thank you/table number signs, “zinc” letters for the fireplace mantles, barn wood picture frame for table assignments, thread place cards, bunting draped on the walls, wood slices for cupcakes, polaroid camera to take pictures for the guest book, string lights on back patio, wedding cd mix with customized cover, and goodie bags for the children that attended.  We wanted our guests to feel a personalized touch.

Guests came up to use at our wedding and commented on the décor and how much they enjoyed the “little touches” that I had worked so hard on.  Some were in tears talking to me about it! Our guests also enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of the lodge, which matched our personalities and goal for our wedding.  It made me feel so good that my hard work paid off and everything came together so nicely!


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

DIY projects and shopping around when looking for vendors helped save a lot of money. Hobby Lobby was my second home for projects. We also found the biggest “bang for our buck” when it came to vendors. These vendors were very personable by constantly e-mailing us and keeping us informed on progress in planning the wedding. In addition, I have always loved J Crew wedding gowns and I had been dreaming of a capped sleeve gown. When I saw the dress online I knew it was it. My mom and I drove to Chicago, and I instantly smiled when I put it on! Just so happened that J Crew was running 20% off online and we were able to get that deducted from the dress too! It was like it was meant to be. On that trip to Chicago we were able to find my mom’s dress too!



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

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I didn’t want to bug people and I also wanted everyone to be surprised with the little details so I didn’t ask for a lot of help.  As the wedding got closer, it got a little stressful!  Now I tell all of my friends that are getting married that I will help them!


What was your biggest splurge?

The food; we had appetizers and for the main course a choice of chicken or prime rib. Everyone raved about the prime rib!

We also made sure we invested in a great photographer. Megan was still starting off with shooting weddings so we got excellent, high quality photos for a good price.

What was your favorite detail?

The 1973 Cadillac Eldorado that we took from the church. It was Ian’s dad’s vehicle many years ago. He sold it to a family friend who let us borrow it for our wedding day.  In fact, I hadn’t even seen a picture of it before our wedding day. Ian told me it would be perfect so I trusted him!

A close second was the cupcakes. We were able to pick 4 flavors to be at a table: smores, carrot cake, pumpkin spice, and red velvet. They were all very delicious and adorable!  Word spread before the wedding that there would be different choices of cupcakes and people were already planning which flavor they would eat.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Annie: The ceremony.  My great uncle officiated the wedding and we were able to make it fit our personalities. It was the perfect length of time, and surprisingly once we were up there, neither one of us was nervous!

In a close second, I really enjoyed the hour we spent after the ceremony taking pictures just the two of us. Ian didn’t want to see me before the wedding so it was great to have that time for many great shots in various locations. It was a beautiful, comfortable fall day, which made picture taking even better.

Ian: Seeing Annie walk down the aisle.



Photography- Megan Saul Photography  //  Wedding Dress- Mirabelle dress from J Crew   //  Hair- Elevation Salon– Bloomington, IL   //   Make Up- Sole Salon –Bloomington, IL   //   Church- St. Mary’s in El Paso, IL   //  Reception- Davis Lodge on Lake Bloomington- Hudson, IL   //   Florist- The Frilly Lily– Bloomington, IL   //  Catering- Nelson’s Catering  //  Drinks- Baxter’s Grill– Bloomington, IL  //  DJ- Absolute Light and Sound– Bloomington, IL   //   Cupcakes- Mad house cakes- Bloomington, IL










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