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I have quite the treat for you today with this week's Wedding of the Week! I met the talented Aimee Siegel at one of her famous craft nights and just loved her creative spirit! Aimee shared this wedding with me that she helped to create lots of decor and other fun projects for, shot by the talented Amy Conner! I thought all of the crafts would make great inspiration for our readers and I'm trying to convince her to share some DIY tutorials with us soon as well! 🙂 I love all the different ways they used burlap, cloth, and paper to make decor– definitely budget savvy and it looks fab, too! Doing so many decorations with the help of friends helped keep costs down for their $7,000 wedding budget. Hope you love this wedding as much as I do! -xoxo, Jessica

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Crystal & Brian

September 22, 2012

Franklin, TN


What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.

Wedding Budget: $7,000

Rough Budget Breakdown:

Invitations/Supplies/Envelopes/Postage – $150.00

Wedding Dress/Alterations: $1130.00

Hair/Make-up/Mani-Pedi: $250.00

Grooms Tux Rental: $190.00

Engagement/Wedding Photography Package: $3000.00

Bridal Party Accessories, Boutonnieres, and Bouquets: $200.00

Chairs/Tables/Linen Rentals: $560.00

Décor & Favors: $1000.00

Flowers: $130.00

Cake/Cupcakes/Utensils/Cups/Plates etc: $240.00


How many guests attended your wedding?

We invited 176 and had around 115-120 guests in attendance.


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

After our engagement on March 15, 2012, Brian and I began dreaming up what we wanted our day to look like. At first we didn’t know what we wanted, there were so many options to choose from but within a few weeks of talking we learned about an opportunity to go to Italy for our honeymoon (something we never dreamed possible) and with that being an unbelievable reality, we knew exactly what we wanted our wedding to be – a simple, small intimate wedding, with a fun, chill atmosphere and family feel. We didn’t want our wedding day to be a “blur” as many others have described their big day. Brian and I made it uniquely us in every way and it was beautiful, simple and doable within the amount we had to work with. I couldn’t have asked for a better day and honestly wouldn’t change a thing! (well, maybe one thing…Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Grooms, don’t let pale brides go without it on your outdoor wedding day!)

Everything we did in preparing for the wedding was pretty much DIY. But one bride cannot plan a wedding alone and create everything by herself. I was so blessed to have so many creative friends and family members to help me along in this 6 month process. I bounced many ideas off of them and collaborated with a core group of women on everything from handmade invitations and programs (Thank you Kristina Martinez!!), Décor (Thank you Mom, Denise and all those who participated in our crafting day!), Favors (Thank you Mom and all the girls that helped cut, assemble, stamp, zot, etc…), Bride and Bridal party accessories, bouts and fabric flower bouquets (Thank you to my 3 beautiful bridesmaids, mother and Aimee Siegel Creates!!).

One thing that was completely unique to Brian and I was one of our favors. We LOVE cooking!! We LOVE basil and making pesto! So with that being said, we decided to craft a favor that our guests could plant and grow, as well as eat and enjoy together with their family and friends. The crafting required print outs of the “Pesto Stuffed Mushroom” recipe, brown rustic cardstock cut into squares, a polaroid picture of us with handwritten note saying, “from our family to yours”, Twine, burlap tags with brides and groom initials stamped on them, Little favor envelopes, basil seeds, stamps that looked like basil as well as vintage letters. We made 75 favors (one for each family) and attached them to a hand painted pallet with twine and lace covered clothespins.

We also LOVE games, so for the reception we had Lawn Games available for guests to play such as Corn Hole and Lasso Golf.

In addition to the reception games we also included a photobooth where our handmade ceremony backdrop was also used as our photobooth backdrop. It turned out amazing!! My mom made chocolate, white chocolate and peanut butter mustache suckers to double as a tasty treat and photobooth prop.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The BIGGEST blessing was the amazing people that gifted us with their time, talents and treasures…from creating invites and programs, to the making our cake and cupcakes. The use of a beautiful backyard location, live ceremony and reception music, amazing organizational and coordinating skills by our day of wedding/reception coordinator Ronda!! (Thank you for keeping me calm, sane and on track)! And not to mentioned our cute little getaway car that a stranger let us borrow! We were and are so overwhelmed with thankfulness!!

The next BIGGEST money savers:

–       Save the Dates: We created our Save the Date from a free template we found online and emailed all of our guests. The email announcement also had a link to our page on “”, a free website that allows you to create a personal wedding site featuring the couple’s story, registry info/links, wedding details, photos, wedding countdown, etc.

–       Crafting Parties! Denise, our décor coordinator, and I scheduled a fun day of getting as many bridesmaids, friends and family together to have a wedding crafting party!! We prepped and made burlap table runners with lace and flower rosette details, cut lace and covered clothespins, cut and assembled flag favors and recipe favors, painted photo booth props, pallets, frames, window panes, yard signs, corn hole set, cut wire for hanging mason jars for our floating flowers, as well as many other DIY décor details. We got so much done in the few hours we worked on these things and it was so much fun having all the girls together! Of course Brian and I had our own projects as well, he was my woodcraftsman. He cut wood for aisle décor, centerpieces, cake stands and cupcake stands, and sucker stands. We made the cutest ring bearer box from a thick tree branch! It had a top and bottom that we clasped together and rings fit in the slots that Brian hollowed out. For one of our flower girls I made a “Here comes the Bride” sign with wood, different fabrics and paint with handles on the back. For the other flower girl I found an inexpensive basket made out of twigs and filled it will heart shaped cut outs that I cut from Anthropology magazines. I also made our “Just Married” banner out of burlap, felt, material and twine.

–       Bridesmaid bouquet making day!!… Another wonderful and talented friend of mine, Aimee Siegel, does amazing works of art and artsyness! From framed artwork to handmade cards, hair flowers and headbands, as well as wedding and event styling! I was so honored to have her create hair flowers for my 3 bridesmaids and two flower girls, as well as my lace flower barrettes for my hair and beautiful fabric flowers for my sash belt. She also did an amazing job creating the fabric flower bouquets and coordinating boutonnieres for the guys! We were able to work with her on pricing and came up with a deal where my bridesmaids and I worked with Aimee to assemble our fabric flower bouquets. This allowed us to keep the cost down and free up Aimee’s time to work on the other pieces for our Bridal party that I previously mentioned.

–       Reassess your Rentals! Let’s face it – tables, and table linen rentals are expensive!! Brian and I did a cupcake reception with games, dancing and a photo booth. Not everyone needed a spot at a table as some would need to have for a sit down dinner reception. At first we rented 14 tables but a few weeks before the wedding we decided to take that down to 8 – 8 person tables. It was perfect for the simple, fun reception that we had on our day. This helped us save money on something that we didn’t need and put to use in other areas such as flowers, etc.


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

–       Don’t get lost in the plethora of choices- it can overwhelm you.

–       Don’t plan or do it alone.

–       Keep it simple. Find key things and ideas that you LOVE, something that is unique to your style as a couple and add to it as you go. It’s amazing how you have an “idea” of what the end result will look like as you piece things together, but it’s even more AMAZING when you see it all flow and work together. All the time you put into everything from thinking, planning, talking, dreaming, and creating. The end result is so rewarding. I believe that one of the main reasons our wedding flowed so well was having a team of people in our lives that heard us, knew what we wanted and could help walk through the process of everything weddingness with us. Whether it be a listening ear, getting input, shopping with you, etc. Who are those in your life that can be on your team?


What was your biggest splurge?

Capturing our day through the art of Photography!!! Being a photographer myself, this aspect was very important to me. I LOVE capturing life, love, and laughter in every photo that I take and I wanted to have someone capture our Wedding Day in a creative way that captured “us”!


What was your favorite detail?

We used some key pieces of furniture in our décor. I loved our teal sidebar that we put the cake/cupcake stands and beautiful cake and cupcakes on (made by my sis-in-law!!). I also LOVED all of the accessory pieces that Aimee made for the Bridal Party and me. Honestly I loved how ALL of the details came together to create a beautiful big picture.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Brian and I determined that we wanted to see each other before the wedding. We also knew that we were going to be doing all of the Bridal Party and Family photos before the ceremony. Amy, our lovely photographer, found an adorable location for our photos and coordinated Brian and I’s “First Look” time together before the rest of our wedding party arrived for group photos. Brian arrived with the assistant photographer at the location first in the cute yellow VW convertible bug we borrowed for our getaway car. When I arrived at the location with Amy, The getaway car was parked down a dirt road with a field of yellow wild flowers and barn in the distance. Brian’s back was to me and as I walked down the path to meet him, he turned around and we saw each other for the first time. All nerves of the day faded away and it was such a sweet moment. This was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with from this day forward! Seeing him, and having that moment of aloneness with him, was exactly what we needed. I also surprised him during this time by singing to him.



For our uniquely beautiful Bridal Party Accessories (Bouquets, boutonnieres, sash flowers and hair flowers) we worked with the lovely – Aimee Siegel 

For décor dreaming, shopping and crafting we worked with the fabulous – Denise Barnum

Photographer extraordinaire: Amy Conner

For our tables, linens and chairs we called Art Pancake


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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

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