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Cobalt + Aqua Wedding with Starfish Details

It's that time again – time for another budget savvy wedding! This couple hosted 250 guests for $13,000 and did it with lots of adorable details. I adore the cobalt and aqua wedding color scheme and the adorable starfish details! Hope you enjoy this feature!

xoxo, Jessica

Taylor + Ben

June 9, 2012

Wilmington, North Carolina

Port City Community Church (ceremony) Terraces on Sir Tyler (reception)

What was your budget?

When choosing a budget we had to keep in mind the following things:

  •  one- we were paying for the wedding (I had been working for one year and Ben was still in school in another city)
  • two- I have a huge family and we have many friends who have been waiting for this day as long as we have (we have been together for 9 years (high school sweethearts) )so we would be having a larger wedding.

We decided a reasonable amount would be $10,000 with a max $15,000. We spent about $13,000

  • Cake $250 (we had a local lady make this for us and it was one of the best cakes I have EVER eaten; I wanted two layers of cake cupcakes in-between (funfetti cake of course) she made my dream cake for me and at a steal!)
  • Venue $2,000 (this included the full third floor of the venue and one outside terrace, tables and chairs were also included (this is a HUGE cost saving tip find a venue that included tables and chairs)) (this venue was brand new we actually did a hard hat tour when we booked. I believe this is how we got such a good deal on it. many brides pasted it up because they could not picture what the final product would be or were worried about the completion date. I went with my gut and took this awesome deal because I new we would not be able to stay in our budget and find a place big enough for 250 guest anywhere else in our town)
  • Photography $1800 (we were lucky enough to have a family friend who did photography, she made us very comfortable and it showed in all the amazing moments she captured)
  • Catering $5000 (this was our biggest cost only because we had to feed 250 guest it was $11.99 a person plus $2.00 per person for a fruit and cheese platter during cocktail hour)
  • DJ $318 (we actually won him at a silent auction at a family non-profit event) the package was worth around $600
  • Stationery $106 (This included save the dates, invitations, thank you cards and all the stamps) I made the save the dates on Shutterfly I found birth announcements (it was over a .75 per invitation cheaper then the save the dates  and was easily customizable into a save the date; also I searched for promo codes on-line) we ended up getting  each save the date (including envelops) for less than .25 each and free shipping) We bought our invitations at Target and printed them ourselves (I know home made invitation do not sound very pretty but they came out perfect and looked way more expensive then that were) Each box included 50 cards $40 a box. I bought three boxes and was thrilled with my purchase after seeing the cost of invitations online…but it gets better……I was in Target a week or two later and noticed some stationary had been marked down 50% off (including the invitation I had just purchased) I had my receipt and the refunded me $60 ) Stamps I got for free ( this is one of the only things I asked for at Christmas (I got stocking and boxes and bags full from all my family members and Santa)
  • Dress $850 (alterations $100)
  • Shoes $30
  • Flowers $1500 Who know flowers were so expensive? This cost was including the fact that I got my bridal bouquet for free (I won it at a bridal expo) (flowers included 25 center pieces, 9 brides maid bouquets, 1 bridal bouquet, 7 buttoners, and  flowers, 4 grandmothers and 5 other flower pieces for other tables (cake, etc.)

How many guests did you have?


What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

I hand made all the decoration; corn hole boards with crackle paint starfish, fabric poms (out of fabric and paper lanterns) , ribbon streamers (out of ribbon and chopsticks). Also I used starfish subtly in all the decorations (we wanted a touch of beach without being too beachy)

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The reason we were able to have the wedding we wanted at the price we needed was because Ben and I put 100% of our time and effort into planning this wedding. This not only saved our wallet but also made the wedding more personable and perfect!

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

Have fun!!! This could have been one of the most stressful things but I enjoyed every last minute of it. You never get those moments back so stop and embrace them.

What was your biggest splurge?

Our ceremony location. Normally you have little or no charge to get married at your church however our church (which we have been going to together since we were in high school) did have a fee for wedding ceremonies. We paid $800 to get married in our church and it was worth EVERY penny. It has always been my dream to get married in a church and to be able to get married in our church (a place we call our home every Sunday) was priceless.

What was your favorite detail?

My ring bearer pillow; a few years ago my Grandma gave all the females in the family a pillow out of her wedding dress, they all included the silk, lace and buttons form her dress. This is what I used as my ring bearer's pillow and it was so special.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Our wedding parties entrance into the reception we pretty memorable. We told them that we were having a competition to see who had the “best” entrance into the reception. Each couple had came up with their own creative entrance which as very entertaining for all. Once they had all hit the dance floor and Ben and I were introduced we all ended up in a huge dance huddle on the floor. All of our guest thought the ending with the dance huddle in the middle of the dance floor was planned but it all just kinda happened and it was the perfect start to the perfect reception with all of our closest family and friends.


Photographer: Paula Andrea Photography  //  Florals and Coordinator: A Boxed Event  //  Church Ceremony: Port City Community Church  // Reception site: The Terrace at Sir Tyler  //   Submitted via Two Bright Lights


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