I’m tickled with the charm and sweetness of today’s wedding feature. Caroline and Jose masterfully crafted a classy, intimate wedding for 30 guests. They splurged on what was important to them: food and flowers. And you can tell! These two elements of the wedding pulled together the event beautifully. And how sweet is it that Caroline’s grandmother stood up as her maid of honor? Enjoy this darling, budget-savvy wedding. xoxo, Jessica
Caroline + Jose
September 26, 2015
Raleigh, NC | The Glass Box at The Stockroom at 230
What was your budget?
Our budget was $6,000.
We spent $350 on food and drinks, $250 on the cake, $150 on serving pieces, and $425 on two servers. We spent $550 on flowers. We spent $700 on clothing and makeup. The décor, favors, and gifts cost $650. The venue was $750. We spent $550 on pipe and drape. We spent $100 to get the rings resized and $200 on the minister. The invitations from Minted were $300 and stamps 50. The photographer was $500. The hotel cost $250. We spent $225 on tips.
How many guests did you have?
We had 30 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Our rings were the 25 year anniversary rings from my paternal grandmother and grandfather. We included our parents in readings and other parts of the ceremony. My maternal grandmother was the Maid of Honor, and my husband’s siblings were the Best Man and Flower Girl. We designed the menu, set up the buffet, and catered the food. My mother made the wedding gown. My maternal grandmother designed and created the favors, and my husband’s maternal grandmother did the hairstyling. We created the sendoff airplanes. I designed the decorations and created the reception playlist.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We did many things ourselves and enlisted the help of our families for everything from sewing to hairstyling. The biggest thing we did ourselves was catering the event. After learning that it would cost $2,200 for a catering service to do what we wanted, we decided to prepare the food ourselves and hire servers to help during the reception. We hired two servers from POUR Bar Service, and they did an excellent job! We bought a cake from lucettegrace and had it delivered.
We bought high quality cheese boards and drink dispensers, but we saved by purchasing an assortment of used plates, glasses, and silverware. I designed a French hors d’oeuvres buffet with Italian and Mediterranean influences. The menu included many types of cheeses, prochetta, pate, olives, tapenade, breads, locally baked crackers, spreads (spiced honey, rhubarb and muscadine chutney), fruits and vegetables (pears, pomegranates, arugula), nuts, nougat, chocolates from the local chocolatier (Matthew’s Chocolates in Hillsborough, NC), and more. I also designed the buffet table and created a handout instructing servers as to where everything was to go. In the end, we spent half as much as the caterers charged, and we got exactly what we wanted.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Splurge on what’s important to you and save on what’s not. Since we were very particular about the flowers and food, we spent a lot of time and money working to make sure these details were perfect. We saved by not serving alcohol at the main event and instead opting to invite everyone to an after-party at Capital Club 16. Doing things yourself is a great way to save money on the things you have experience with, but don’t be afraid to leave the important things to the pros.
What was your biggest splurge?
We considered the biggest splurge to be the pipe and drape because it was quite expensive and not necessary. However, we’re glad we decided to get it anyways because it really made the space come alive and ended up being a great backdrop for photos with our family.
What was your favorite detail?
The flowers! I consider them a detail because they were physically small. However, they had the biggest impact. Blossom Artistry did a great job creating small arrangements, from the boutonnieres and corsages to the Flower Girl’s crown to the small arrangements on the buffet table. The many little details pulled the space together. My bouquet was exactly what I’d always wanted, and it really made the day feel special for me.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Cutting the cake. It was one of the last things we did, and we were so relaxed because everything had gone so smoothly. The cake was exactly what we wanted. Daniel from lucettegrace did a wonderful job! Our cake received many compliments, and everyone loved it. When we fed each other the first pieces, cake got everywhere! It was a fun moment.
Photographer: Krista Lajara • Venue: The Glass Box at The Stockroom at 230 • Pipe and Drape Decor: Themeworks • Flowers: Blossom Artistry • Cake: lucettegrace • Servers: POUR Bar Service • Suits: Jos A Bank • Stationery: Minted • After party: Capital Club 16 • Hotel: Sheraton Raleigh • Wedding Gown: Made by mother of the bride
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.