I am so excited to feature this fun autumn themed southern wedding today!! Amanda and Jonathon were married over Thanksgiving weekend 2009- what a great way to bring families together to celebrate! I just love their fall color scheme and the flowers are so gorgeous! Amanda had to think outside the box with her wedding planning since she lived out of town and she chose an uncommon venue to save money. Hope you enjoy this installment of the Budget Savvy Wedding of the Week!
What was your budget?
Our original budget was $7,500, but we did go over by $1500 due to food costs. We based our food numbers for the reception by the number of RSVP cards we received back. Since we were married on a Holiday weekend we had a good number of people RSVP for the wedding and then were unable to come. We upped our food numbers to make sure we did not run out, but we had more than enough!
BUDGET BREAKDOWN- (Approximate)
Wedding Dress & Veil – $800
Venue – $200
DeeJay – $570
Linens & Chairs – $1300
Flowers – $750
Cakes – $575
Videography & Photography – $1550
Wedding Invites, programs, Save-The Dates – $700
Food for Reception – $2600
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Because our wedding weekend was on a holiday and we had a lot of out-of-town guests attend our wedding I paid extra close attention to the activities we had available. To show our appreciation we had baskets with local favorites in them along with an itinerary guide. For the kids, we rented out the local theater and showed a kids movie one morning to help keep them entertained. It was a big hit for both parents and kids. My bridesmaids and I painted Christmas ornaments at a local pottery studio. They turned out better than I could have expected and I cannot wait to put them on my tree this Christmas. We reserved the gym at the church for the groomsman to play basketball after the rehearsal dinner. The best part of it all is that we enjoyed time with each other.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Thinking outside the box. I used friends and family I knew I could trust to help with planning, decorating and the ceremony. Due to our jobs, Thanksgiving weekend was the only weekend Jonathon and I could get married. When you live in a really small town venues are booked fast and none of the traditional venues were available. So, we thought outside the box and rented the building at the fairgrounds. NO ONE has ever hosted a reception at the fairgrounds in my hometown and I know many thought I was crazy. The rental price was much cheaper compared to the other venues. I enlisted the help of a dear family friend who decorated the wedding and the reception. We gave her a stack of magazine clippings of receptions I liked and let her do the rest. I honestly was in awe when Jonathon and I walked in fairgrounds building at how beautiful it was. In fact, I think everyone was in shock at what we had turned that place into.
What is the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you're on the other side?
Make a list of the top three things that are non-negotiable to you. Focus on those three things and let the rest fall into place. I was planning a wedding in Tennessee, but living and working in North Carolina. We did not have control over most of our wedding. I had to learn to just let things go and fall into place. For example, I knew I wanted fall flowers, but I did not really care what flowers made up my bouquet. I gave our florist a budget and let her do the rest. The flowers where gorgeous and I didn't stress over them one bit.
What was your biggest splurge?
Photographer and Videographer together was our biggest splurge and I would not have had it any other way. I knew I would want to remember this day for the rest of my life. I decided early on I did not want to spend all my money on my dress and I am so glad I didn't.
What was your favorite detail?
My biggest wish was that our wedding was personal. We had so many people traveling from out of town that I wanted them to be glad they came and feel like they were a part of our family. Our reception was so full of so many little details about our life growing up. I loved walking around the room seeing pictures of Jonathon and I growing up. We had quilts made by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers laying around for guests if they got cold. I loved how my favorite details were not those that we “bought”.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
I don't know that I could pick just one. I loved seeing all of our family in one place. Jonathon and I live 5 to 8 hours from our families and it gets lonely. Seeing everyone together in one place at one time was a huge gift to me. I will never forget the way Jonathon looked at me that day and how much fun we had. It was truly the happiest day of our life.
Photographer: Elizabeth Wiggs Photography • Florist: Jack Jones Florist – Paris Tennessee (Vicky Hunt) • Venue(s): Wedding Ceremony – First Baptist Church – Paris, TN • Reception: Henry County Fairgrounds Enoch Building – Paris, TN • Music: Sound Services Entertainment – Murray KY (Anthony Lawrence- DJ) • Officiant: Bro. Greg Lindsey – Middle Valley Baptist Church – Hixson TN • Planner: Mrs. Ann Oliver – Paris TN (close family friend) • Catering: Show Thyme Catering – Paris TN (Nancy Bane) • Rentals: Eric's Rentals – Milan TN • Videographer: McKeel Video Services – Murray KY (Jeremy McKeel) • Wedding Dress & Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridal Warehouse – Goodlettsville, TN • Tuxes: The Toggery – Paris TN • Wedding & Grooms Cakes: Jerry Joyner – Paris TN • Invitations and Programs: Jessica Bishop Paperie
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 resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.