Ashley is back with her wedding recap today!! Check out her Brooklyn wedding from this summer below! xoxo- Jessica
Ashley + Matt
July 5, 2013
Brooklyn, NY | Brooklyn Navy Yard’s BLDG 92.
What was your budget?
Our budget was $20,000. While in most areas of the country this budget will go far and can even be a bit lavish, in New York City, $20k is practically peanuts. Nearly two-thirds of our budget went to our venue and food/bev. To keep things as easy as possible for our out of town guests, we wanted to have the ceremony and reception in one space, and that was very easy to do at Brooklyn Navy Yard’s BLDG 92. We wanted an atypical wedding venue that felt very old school New York, and it was the perfect fit. We were lucky to work with the awesome people at Parker Red / Ted & Honey, who work with the venue exclusively. Not only were we obsessed with their catering, but their events manager, Joanne, helped us create an amazing reception experience, too.
Partially because of my work-travel schedule, but primarily because I wanted to create a low-pressure wedding day for myself (and my family and wedding party), I decided to hire a wedding planner for the month of our wedding. Meena, owner of 5th Avenue Weddings, was immensely helpful and on July 5th I had no problem focusing on our day, and not our décor.
Our other significant expense was photography. To best represent our day – and our relationship – we wanted a lot of candid, silly photos with a photojournalistic feel, and my old friend Adena Stevens, owner of Studio A Images, was well worth the price.
Thanks to my fantastic brother, who gifted me my After Six wedding dress, I was able to wipeout a typically huge expense from the budget, and instead purchased the Wtoo bridesmaids’ dresses for the incredible women whom I asked to stand with me.
- Venue/catering (including service/staffing) – $14,000
- Venue décor – $1,800
- Wedding planner – $2,000
- Dress (gifted!) and alterations – $400
- Bridal party gifts –
- Bridesmaids dresses – $600
- Groomsmen Yankees jerseys – $300
- Photographer – $2,700
- Stationery – $700
- Wedding rings – $275
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
The most creative aspect of our wedding was our walks down the aisle – Matt and his groomsmen set the mood to the ceremony to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N Roses; the bridesmaids entered to Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls);” and then my father and I danced down the aisle to “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake. We wanted to make a memorable entrance, and really create a fun atmosphere for our guests.
Since we also aimed to make our day as personal as possible, we asked Matt’s uncle Phil to officiate our wedding. He became ordained online, registered with the city, and then wrote and performed a moving ceremony for us.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
As BSB readers know, Matt and I chose to DIY a few elements of our wedding, to both make our day a bit more personal and to stay budget savvy, including our cake and music. Minimizing these expenses easily saved us $1,500!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Planning and budgeting can be incredibly stressful, even if you’re organized and know exactly what you want. Don’t be afraid to take a break – two days or even two weeks without thinking too much about invitations or seating arrangements – and focus on the rest of your life. Weddings can feeling all consuming, but don’t let it. You (and your fiancé!) will thank you later.
What was your biggest splurge?
While we didn’t consider it a splurge – just good hosting! – the largest piece of our overall budget was food. It was important to us that we served a delicious, sit-down dinner of pasta (Matt is half-Italian, and really, who can resist ravioli?!) and our guests had grateful tummies! It was a very HOT day, so the ravioli wasn’t too heavy and certainly didn’t taste like “wedding food.”
What was your favorite detail?
About a month before the wedding I decided to add (non-alcoholic) milkshake shooters to the menu as a refresher before our dessert cupcakes. They were so tasty (I was kinda sad I only had one!) and served as another personal touch to the reception.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Matt comes from a musically talented family, so we asked his sister and youngest brother to perform at the party. His brother Christian performed a wonderful stripped-down version of the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong,” as our first dance. Then, Christian played guitar for my new sister-in-law, Melanie, to sing a slow “Across the Universe” version of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” by the Beatles. It meant so much to Matt and me.
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.