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helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Today I have a lovely wedding to share with you today from the talented John Defiora. The images from this wedding really spoke to me for some reason- it feels like John and his additional shooters captured this day in a natural way and I really love that. I truly feel like every bride is most beautiful on her wedding day because the happiness in her eyes just radiates out, and this bride is exceptionally beautiful! This couple spent a little more than our typical BSB features but I thought that Lindsey had some great words of wisdom to share when it comes to saving money- including recruiting talented friends to keep costs down. And I always think it's interesting to see all white wedding parties! Hope you enjoy this edition of the BSWOW! xoxo-Jessica
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Lindsey + Shaun
September 30, 2012
Spring Lake, NJ at The Breakers
What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.
About $20,000
Allaire Chapel in allaire state park $600
Venue 13,000
Music (two bands and a dj @ venue plus guitarist at ceremony) $1600
Flowers $1100
Photographer $400
Grooms suit jcrew $500
Limos $1000
Dress $1000
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
I used a lot of old frames jars and bottles for centerpieces and decorations
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We had our wedding on a Sunday which saved 15% at the venue, we hired local musicians that we know and love so we didn't get charged “wedding band” prices, I had all my own vases for the florist (mason jars and medicine bottles), and it doesn't hurt to know people … The photographer is a childhood friend of the groom!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Don't obsess over the small stuff!
What was your biggest splurge?
There really wasn't any one big splurge, I guess it would have been my dress but my mom purchased that for me.
What was your favorite detail?
I loved the chapel, it is from the 1800's and it was just perfect in the middle of a park on a fall day.
What is the most memorable moment of your day? When I was about to get out of the limo, I could see everyone but no one could see me it was a surreal moment
Entertainment: String Bean and the Stalkers + Dub Assassins  |  Florist: Wildflowers Florist  |   DJ: Elite Entertainment   |   Photographer: John Defiora,
second shooter: Nino Gallego, third shooter: Liz Cassano
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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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  • Soon TO Be

    No way this photog was $400. I believe all of these prices are cut into a quarter of the cost.

    • Occasionally brides in our features have family members or friends who are photographers and so they are able to get a special rate or discount. This might be the case for this particular wedding!

  • John DeFiora

    I am the photographer and my gift to them was my services –
    They paid for the second shooter . The groom is my best friend’s little brother – so the prices are accurate

    • LeahO

      If you don’t mind me asking, what are your regular prices?

  • Autumn

    Catering…? for 130 after food bar rentals and service charge at $150 would be 20000… why is this not on the list?

  • AmandaJ

    Thats great that the couple looks so happy in all of these pictures, but I clicked on this to see what was created within this budget, not the couple. the only “details” I saw were the candy jars. I want to see the flowers and other decor that made this wedding look beautiful, not just the couple.

    • Noted! We will try to feature more details in the future! Thanks for the feedback!

  • Lindsey Thomson

    Hello! I am the bride from this wedding just wanted to clear up the misunderstanding anout the budget… The venue price of $13,000 included food, service and open bar, there was a discount for having the wedding on a Sunday. Also I would be happy to share more photos of the details, those were the things I worked so hard on 🙂 I made table numbers that were really cool out of frames from the dollar store, escort cards, vases ect….

    • We would love to share more details if you have photos! Feel free to send them to me at jessica(at)

    • Kirsten

      I would love to hear more about your wedding! My brother and his fiance are interested in having their wedding at the Breakers on a Sunday, or possibly Friday. We live in the area so it would be great if you could share some of the details and local venders you used. Thanks!

  • Michelle Delossantos

    Hello! I actually know one bridesmaid. Her bridesmaid said it was the most beautiful day ever. I definitely love the mason jar look. How much discount was it to have a Sunday wedding?

  • Heidi

    Beautiful couple!! But I think it’s more helpful to have pics posted of what the WEDDING reception and ceremony looked like. This site is intended to inspire couples on how far their dollars can go and what kind of set up they can have.

  • Joesph

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  • Mikayla

    Hi friends, nice piece of writing and nice arguments commented here, I am genuinely enjoying by these.

  • Kathleen

    Love the pictures! how many people did you fit in the chapel?

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