Liesl and Mark created a beautiful winter wedding, capitalizing on Christmas decor of the season and some gorgeous elegant details. I love the candy, cookie and cake bar they created for their reception! And how beautiful is Liesl’s cape? The perfect winter wedding accessory! Enjoy this winter wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Liesl + Mark
December 19, 2015
Morgantown, WV | St. John’s University Parish
What was your budget?
- Photography: $1,400
- Dress: $1,200
- Catering + Venue: $6,800
- Cupcake, Christmas cookie, and candy buffet: $500
- Calligraphy: $10 (for supplies)—I took an online video on how to do hand lettering and did it all myself!
- Flowers: $200! We went to Kroger a few days before the wedding, bought roses, baby’s breath, and fern. We sprayed the baby’s breath gold, and my mom and her friend created all the bouquets. For the ceremony, we bought lots of poinsettias to dress the altar.
- Decor: $600—since it was a Christmas wedding and we had a two-year engagement, we took FULL advantage of all the after Christmas sales, and Goodwill! We took flowers out of our budget to cut down and decided to use lots of candles, ornaments, holly bushes from my grandparents, and the venue’s holiday décor.
- Groom’s attire: $175
- Music: $1,600
- Rentals: $100
- Hair and make-up: $450
- Stationary: $150
How many guests did you have?
We had 100 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We used wedding decorations from my aunt’s wedding 10 years ago. My grandmother had saved them and so we used them to help fill in some décor aspects. My something blue was a pendant a co-worker gave me that had blue jewels and lace pulled from vintage wedding dresses from hundreds of years ago and placed together on a pendant.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
There were many DIY aspects in the décor. All of the centerpieces were DIY. We collected various heights of clear cylinder vases. The vases were split up into three groups, plain/clear, solid gold, and striped gold. The ones that were to be solid gold, were painted a metallic gold color. The ones to be striped gold, had rubber bands placed around them and spray painted, then the rubber bands were removed to allow the candle flicker to shine through the vase. I had also created much of the stationary for the wedding. I used my Photoshop skills to create custom programs as well as place cards that sat at each seat stating all the activities for the guests to partake in.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
First, we created our own floral arrangements. As a wedding planner, it pains me to say this because I absolutely LOVE flowers and think wedding flowers are so pretty and add so much to the room, but flowers just didn’t fit the look we were going for. We really wanted to have a really romantic ambiance in the room and we decided to use a lot of candles and reflective pieces to achieve that. We also knew that if we were going to use flowers, it would mean having to cut either the photographer or the entertainment budget, and those were the top two priorities.
Second, we cut the guest list! To me, the more guests we had, the higher the catering budget had to be, so if we cut the highest cost and really focused on who we really wanted to be there, we would be able to save there.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Create a REALISTIC budget at the very beginning (as a whole—don’t just look vendor by vendor) and stick to it! Look at the market you are in and budget accordingly. Also, don’t let other people’s opinions on what your wedding should look like a takeover.
What was your biggest splurge?
Entertainment—we wanted to have a DJ and an Emcee. It was important for us to have someone that would be on the dance floor getting everyone to get up and dance and having someone who would make the night flow easily while also having someone in charge of the tunes.
What was your favorite detail?
I loved our venue and decor. It was decked to the nines with holiday décor. As soon as we walked into the room, it felt like home on Christmas morning—only with all of our extended family and friends. The entire feel was just so homey to us.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
There are two that stick out to me the most. First, after we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, we had a 5 second period in the lobby of the church with just us, and Mark gave me the most embracing hug and had the biggest smile on his face—it was as though the world had stopped and we were basking in our wedded bliss. Second, when I first met Mark, I had asked him to ‘Teach me how to Dougie’. At the reception, the DJ played the Dougie and the entire dance floor went crazy, a circle formed, and Mark and I had a mini dance off. It brought me right back to the night we met.
Photography: Benjamin Amend Photography • Ceremony Venue: St. John’s University Parish • Reception Venue + Catering: Clarion Hotel Morgan • Flowers: Kroger • Wedding Planner + Event styling: Purple Dress Events Bakery: The Cupcakerie + The Cookie Momma • Linens: Elite Bridal and Events • DJ: Funomenon Entertainment • Ceremony Musicians: RJ Nestor • Hair Stylist + Makeup: M. Salon & Spa • Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal • Wedding Gown Designer: Sincerity • Bridal Shop: MB Bride • Jewelry: Macy’s • Veil: Full Circle Wedding Shop (no longer in business) • Shoes: Nina • Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Daniel’s Menswear
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.