You are going to LOVE this wedding!! The couple managed to keep it under $8,000 total for 145 guests! They served some amazing looking food as heavy hors d'oeuvres with special little details. I love that they gave coffee beans as their wedding favors and what a savvy way to get them! Of course I love the mismatched bridesmaids dresses… you know me! My FAVORITE piece of advice from the bride: “Give yourself permission to not have a Pinterest perfect wedding. The pressure and expense can really add up.” AMEN sister! Let me know what your favorite part of this wedding is in the comments below! xoxo Jessica
Heather + Evan
June 15, 2013
Mentor, Ohio | Private Residence
What was your wedding budget?
$5000 from parents plus whatever extra income I personally had. So about $5000-7500 altogether.
$2600 for photography was non-negotiable for me. And everything else was to be covered by whatever was left.
The dress wound up costing $275 from a warehouse and a friend did my alterations.
Location was free.
Port-a-potties were $275
Flowers were $800
Catering was allotted $1100
Musicians were $350
Cake was $150 (just the ingredients)
How many guests did you have?
We invited around 175, but around 145 ended up coming
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Everything was personal. Our friend did the catering. His friends did flowers. The location was a family friend’s home. We’re both musicians so the musicians were friends. The bridesmaids did hair and make-up. We got to know each other while working at Starbucks so we had coffee beans as favors. We did mad lib RSVP cards and had those and kazoos on the table. A friend of mine painted the “guest book” thumbprint tree. Another dear friend of mine made our cake – and it was incredible. Also several of our friends are home brewers so we enlisted them to each brew a beer for the wedding. They came up with some amazing results!
What was the biggest thing you did to save money on your wedding?
Basically we pooled resources from all of our insanely talented and generous friends. We saved on the location by having it outside at a friend’s house. The gown was from a warehouse and altered by an old college friend of mine. We were given a jewelry gift certificate and used that for Evan’s wedding band. The catering was done by a friend and we did small bites instead of full meals for everyone, but there was plenty of food for all our guests. And the favors were basically free. I ordered burlap bags from a warehouse supply place (Uline) so they were more rustic, but SO much cheaper and we each get coffee for free from Starbucks so we stored that up for months and then portioned it out for the favors.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Give yourself permission to not have a Pinterest perfect wedding. The pressure and expense can really add up. But do have the kind of day you want to have and will be happy about. But you’re going to have to cut some corners financially if you are on a budget. Choose yours battles, but stick to your guns on the things that are really important to you.
What was your biggest splurge?
The photographer was definitely the biggest splurge, but worth every penny. And it took some convincing of many of my family members, but I am SO glad we had the Van Elks. And now that the pictures have come in, everyone else sees why I was so insistent … and they agree with me.
What was your favorite detail?
I have to pick just one? Probably my grandmother’s necklace that I wore. Or my bridesmaids dresses because there was such an ordeal getting those.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Instead of a unity candle (or alternative) ceremony or a first communion, which I’ve never particularly cared for in the first place, Evan and I had a foot washing ceremony to demonstrate our commitment to emulate Jesus and His relationship with His church as a relationship of service to each other over ourselves. It was a poignant moment, but it was also funny because we each had trouble getting the socks and shoes back on the other person. But even that was a great demonstration that even washing each other’s feet at our own wedding can be difficult, but with laughter and help and each other we will make it out the other side.
Photography: Jennifer Van Elk // Flowers: K.E.W. // Cake: Gloria Kenyon // Port-a-Potties: Aris Rentals // Chairs: CCM Rental // Dress: David’s Bridal // Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Target, Macy’s, Dillards
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.