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helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

I am so excited to feature this wedding of longtime reader Ashley. Not only was she a Nashville bride, but she also happened to win a free photography contest that she found out about from BSB! I had the pleasure of meeting her once over chai tea at Panera and she is super down to earth just a cool person to be around- you can really see her personality in the details of her wedding. Ashley and Brandon had such a unique, eclectic wedding that really reflected who they are as people. I know you are going to enjoy all the handmade details that she put into their uber-savvy eco-chic nuptials. Ashley is super creative and talented and you should follow her blog because she's super cool. 🙂 Thank you so much Ashley for allowing us to feature your wedding!!!  xoxo-Jessica

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Where did you get married?

Blakemore Church of the Nazarene in Nashville, TN


What was your budget?

$3,000… and we actually came in under. And they said it couldn't be done. Tisk tisk, wedding world.


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

Um….. it may be better to ask what wasn't creative or personal. The answer to that is the plates. I bought cheap ones. Ha.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Get ready. It's a long list. I created a pretty strict rule of thumb: If I can't use this fill-in-the-blank after the wedding, I have to figure out a way to make it dirt cheap, or find a new idea. (Case and point: our tablecloths and photobooth background tapestries are now our shower curtains and bedspread covers.) So when I couldn't reuse something or find it for the right price, I did almost everything myself that could be done myself: the actual planning, my dress, hairpiece and sash, invitations, flowers for all 8 bouquets, flowers for all arrangements and centerpieces, 17 fabric-flower corsages and 29 bouts, programs, choosing and sewing the mix-and-matched fabrics for tablecloths, collecting bottles from friends who would have thrown away to serve as vases, paper signage, burning and decorating cd soundtracks, stamping napkins, creating our guestbook, sewing birdseed pouches from mismatched fabric scraps uncovered in my apartment, making wreaths for front door decoration, the Tree of Life quilt with wilderness scene, and iPod playlist.

Oh, and there was free. I can thank Jessica of Budget Savvy Bride: We won our wedding photographer, after finding the contest on her site. Oddly enough, the photographer was even from Brandon's teensy hometown outside of Raleigh, NC. Thank the LORD for April Sirit of Evoke Photography. I can't thank her enough. Also, my best friend bought my make-up artist as a gift (it was out of my budget, but the only thing I worried about)…and a good friend ran sound as a wedding gift/ surprised us by showing up with an HD video camera and making us an AWESOME video, also free. Guess it pays to have friends with connections and talent.


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

Buying from “wedding” stores is the biggest gimmick you could ever fall for. Truthfully. Not only do those vendors feel like they can overprice their items, but you'll also be more likely to have repeated the exact move of many brides before you. Think outside the “wedding” box. This way you'll also be more likely to use it afterwards, too. Example: our 8 cake stands were purchased at TJ Maxx for $6 each. A few were gifts to women who helped throw the shindig together. Others are now used for jewelry organization, decorative floral get-ups, and, you guessed it, cake stands. ; )


What was your biggest splurge?

Technically, the largest expenditure for a single item was cake. Mid-afternoon wedding, so a full meal was unnecessary. I'm partial, but I've never had such good cake. We went with Publix, as in the high-end grocery store. 6 small cakes of varying, exquisite flavors plus 1 actual “wedding cake.” $415 after delivery. Oddly enough, this is also what we got the most male compliments about.


What was your favorite detail?

The birdseed pouches. Not because they were the best, or the most creative concept, for sure. More so because they were the first project I did that was out of the box. They don't match. They're loud colors and vintage fabrics. But it really started something, a freedom that said fun and maintaining our eclectic personalities was so much more important than a color scheme. After that, everything fell in line…and our color scheme became “color.” All of them. : )


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

How much stinkin' fun the whole day was. It's a toss up between the really personal moments. We served communion to the congregation ourselves, and it was such a great way to slow down and make eye contact (enough to melt your heart) with almost every guest. That was so special. However, I almost died laughing at the end of the ceremony::: After Brandon and I kissed, the entire congregation stood up and cheered us out! I'm talking throwing fists style. Bahahaha. That's not typical wedding behavior, and I like it.

Hair and makeup: Amy Lynn Larwig  //  Photographer: Evoke Photography (except for photobooth shots, taken by guest with Lomography cameras)  //  Cakes: Publix  //  Video: Josh Kelley Productions  //  Everything else, quite literally: Radiant Studios Eco-chic Weddings and Interiors

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About Jessica

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

Connect with Jessica

    Thank you so much for sharing a truly budget savvy wedding. I love the cake table. I did the same thing at my wedding, and it was so fun. Plus cake stands are fun decorations all on their own! Such a pretty wedding.

  • Every time I see this wedding, I get sucked in! LOVE every bit of it. It’s amazing how DIY can transform a wedding into something so personal… and not nearly as expensive!! Even though the price you paid for the cakes was a splurge, it was still a steal! And, I have to say that I *love* that ring. 🙂

  • That sash the bride is wearing?? **SWOON** So beautiful. The entire wedding is beautiful, but you had me at the sash 🙂

  • what an amazing wedding and all for $3k is GREAT! – and May 23rd is a great day 🙂 I too was married that day!

  • LibbyJames

    love all the details, so charming. I can’t believe you made all that happen for 3K…you go girl!

  • anotherfishinthesea

    This wedding is ridiculously gorgeous, I love everything about it. The birds nests!?! Perfection. I am in awe!

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  • That amazing they did it for only $3000! What a beautiful wedding!

  • That’s amazing they did it for only $3000! What a beautiful wedding!

  • Kerry McCullough

    I love the setting of this wedding- I think it looks so nice to be outside in front of a rustic looking barn than some expensive banquet room that looks more like a cafeteria. I can’t believe how much you were able to make yourself! I made a few things for my wedding- bouquets, centerpieces, favors- but I don’t think I could have done all that you did! Congrats on a beautiful event 🙂

  • Robin

    Wow… I love all the details! You did such an incredible job with everything. Beautiful and so personal!

  • Susan

    beautiful wedding! are there any photos of the “photo booth” mentioned in the post?

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  • Michelle A

    I love the fact that the bride used the decorations in her house. Im buying things that I will be able to use again. I am making napkins which I plan to turn into quilts for the homeless at the soup kitchen I volunteer at:)

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