Today’s wedding is a treat if you love the shabby chic style and enjoy weddings with a casual flair. Kristina and Mark pulled together a beautiful wedding and reception for $8K through tons of creative DIY. I especially love the groom and groomsmen’s boutonnieres made of wheat! And how perfect is their naked wedding cake? Enjoy today’s North Carolina wedding with rustic charm! xoxo, Jessica
Kristina + Mark
November 8, 2015
Elizabethtown, North Carolina | Lu Mil Vineyard
What was your wedding budget?
We didn’t really have a budget but I tried to do what we could to keep the cost as low as possible. We ended up right around $8,500.
Cowboy Boots: $150
Hair and makeup for bride and bridal party: $400
Invitations and postage: $200
Snacks and sweets Table: $400
How many guests did you have?
I invited about 150, and about 90 attended
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
I personally designed and made invitations, bouquets (all wedding decor), boutonnieres, corsages, cake toppers, etc., by hand (with the help of family and friends). My grandmother makes jewelry, so I asked her to make me and my bridesmaids real pearl bracelets and earrings to keep and wear in the wedding.
I set up a memory table of immediate family that were with us in spirit on our big day using framed photos, a memory poem and a lit candle in remembrance of them. Our toasting glasses and our sand ceremony set were etched with “Mr. and Mrs. Mabe” and our wedding date.
My bridesmaids and I wore monogram shirts and earring with my wedding colors (Navy and Gold) that I had made for them to wear while we got ready.
I had a fun popcorn bar for social hour while we took pictures. The bar consisted of my favorites: chocolate and peanut butter chips, candy corn, peanuts, and different popcorn seasonings like caramel, garlic, parmesan, and cheddar. I also had a sweets table! I personally made theme appropriate sweets such as white chocolate haystacks, assorted chocolate covered pretzels, assorted chocolate covered marshmallows, and Hershey kisses.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
I helped design my invitations at the UPS store. I wanted something simple, easy to put together and get sent out. I also did postcards as RSVP cards to save on postage. All of my handmade pieces came from nearby craft stores when they went on sale. Doing everything by hand saved a lot of money and made it more personal.
We were lucky enough to have a connection with a nearby restaurant and got a great deal for catering and delivery to the venue. We were also lucky enough to have a church friend that was willing to be our DJ as our wedding gift. Instead of doing a large expensive wedding cake, I did cupcakes that matched the theme of the wedding and had just a small wedding cake for us to cut.
What was the biggest sacrifice you made to stay on budget?
We narrowed down the guest list. We originally started with about 175-200 people, but I cut the list to no more than 125.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Take control of your own wedding. Don’t let others opinions or commands get in the way of what you want and your budget.
What was your biggest splurge?
I have to say my dress. I tried on so many expensive dresses but I only fell in love with one! Everything about it was perfect, but I especially loved the lace on the back and illusion neckline!
What was your favorite detail?
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
The moment I walked down the aisle, not a soul was in the room in my mind! My eyes were glued to my groom the whole time my dad was walking me down the aisle, so many emotions came across me during that one moment.
Photography: Cherry Bloom Photography • Cake: Lauren’s Cup of Cake • Catering: Bruce and Mickey’s (local caterer) • Venue: Lu Mil Vineyard • Dresses: David’s Bridal • Hair and Makeup: Frederick’s Hair Salon (local salon)
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.