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Elegant church wedding on a budget

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This elegant church wedding on a budget looks like a million bucks, but the bride and groom managed to pull it off for $15k! I’d say that they were definitely budget savvy. This is one of the most *glam* events we’ve featured on BSB so it’s awesome to know that you can pull this type of wedding off for less! Hope it inspires you! – xoxo, Jessica



Montserrat + Rafael

May 26th, 2012
Ceremony: St. Joaquim Church, Costa Mesa C.A
Reception: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Santa Ana, C.A.



What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.



  •  CEREMONY FEE: $0.00 Sponsored by groom’s uncle
  • CEREMONY CHOIR: $250.00
  • RECEPTION VENUE: $9,415 (including tax and service fee) appetizers during cocktail hr, sit down dinner, soft drinks, alcohol & cake
  • LIGHTING: $0.00 GIFT!!
  • GOWN & ACCESSORIES: $1,500 (Includes alterations)
  • GROOM’S SUIT: $550
  • VIDEOGRAPHY: $450.00
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: $800.00
  • DJ/MC: $450.00
  • FLOWERS: $850.00
  • DIY FAVORS: $350.00

How many guests did you have?


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

I am all about details and personalizing! I like to add my touch to everything and of course my wedding was not going to be the exception!  Almost everything in the wedding had a reason and meaning behind it. Here are some DIY items I incorporated in the wedding: Vases for votive candles, candlelight table numbers, Manzanita trees for the entrance aisle at the reception, Wishing tree as the guestbook, photo booth wall (guests loved it). Brooch Toss bouquet, favors, Gift card box, Mexican candy station, table with photos of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents to show the generations of love and marriage!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

I love saving money without sacrificing style and taste..it took a lot of research and work from flowers, vendors and every little detail and it was all worth it!  Our biggest money saver was sticking to a venue that offered us the most for our money! There were tons of beautiful venues but costs kept on adding on, from room rental fees plus dinner, or renting tables, chairs etc! Most of the wedding budget goes to food! We didn’t want to pay a rental fee for the venue and on top worry about the cost of food, so we got a venue that gave us both! The cost of $54.00 per guest was extremely reasonable considering appetizers, first course, main entrée, three tiered cake and soft drinks were included.

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

Set a reasonable budget and stick to it! Yes you can have a beautiful wedding- no, you don’t need to spend a fortune! There are so many beautiful ways to upgrade your wedding without breaking the bank! We had guests wondering how much we spent on our wedding! Some family members thought we spent around $30 to $40k!! With that much money we would have had our wedding and enough leftover to put money down for a house and buy furniture!

My tips:

  1. Buy a glueglun!! DIY as much as possible! I also suggest you use friends and family members’ talents! My mom did the favors and they were so beautiful! Another friend of mine arranged the lighting!
  2. Do research on vendors! It takes time but it pays off! As far as flowers, I suggest you don’t take for granted “non-fancy looking” shops around fancy areas; you will be amazed on what you can find for the cost!
  3. Find a DJ that also Emcee’s! you won’t need a day of coordinator since the DJ will be announcing all events during the wedding and your wedding will be perfectly on time.

What was your biggest splurge?

We spent the most on food.

What was your favorite detail?

I loved the flower arrangements…when I walked in the ballroom and saw them and how every single arranged was spotted by light it made me want to cry!

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

I have so many! but walking down the aisle and seen my husband still gets me teary eyed.


Flowers: http://www.santosflowers.com  |  DJ: http://www.jdstarproductions.com  |  Photography: http://courtney-mcmanaway.com/  |  Videographer: http://www.sophotography.net/


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