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Elegant Illinois Spring Wedding

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Today, we’re featuring a wedding that was pulled off on a buget of $15K for 300 guests! Vanessa and Jacob kept their wedding budget savvy by marrying on a Friday evening and relying on their family and friends for help. I especially love their dessert bar! Enjoy this elegant spring wedding! xoxo, Jessica

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Vanessa + Jacob 

March 24, 2017

Sterling, IL  |  Deer Valley Country Club Deer Grove, IL

What was your budget?

Our total budget was $15,000. Before I was even engaged, I knew that my future husband and I would be the ones solely responsible for the cost of our wedding and reception. With a high numbered guest list due to our large families, we needed to be strategic in order to keep the cost of the celebration manageable. We decided to get married on Friday evening at 7 pm, and doing this saved us money by skipping the dinner and going straight into the celebration!

Dress/Alterations/Accessories/Make-up/Hair: $2500

Suit/Accessories: $450

Venue/Ceremony: $2500

Dinner for wedding party, immediate family and special relatives: $1500

Photographer/Videographer: $2500

Rings: $800

Desserts/Popcorn: $1000

Invitations: $350

Parent/Wedding Party Gifts: $400

House bar tab (beer/wine): $1000

DJ: $600

Decorations: $500

Flowers: $900

How many guests did you have?

We invited 440 and 300 attended.

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

We felt like every detail of our wedding was unique and true to who we are as a couple.

My close friend’s daughter played her ukulele while singing to guests during cocktail hour and our DJ has been a friend/classmate of mine since grade school.

We had a close family friend mine and my family make a dessert buffet.  This included 8 different flavors of cupcakes, from raspberry to snickers. She also made 4 different kinds of tarts, chocolate covered strawberries, cheesecakes, and tiramisu.

Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?

My husband’s aunt came up with all of the wedding decorations. She put a lot of love and tireless effort into creating a romantic setting for us!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

When we could pay for something out of pocket instead of taking it out of the wedding fund, we did. For example, when we purchased our wedding bands, we made monthly payments from our checking accounts instead.  

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

I wouldn’t change a thing! I loved hearing advice from other brides and grooms, some we applied, and others we didn’t have to. However, the night went by too fast; I wish I had had more time to visit with our guests and DANCE!

What was your biggest splurge?

There were a few things that we spent an equal amount of money on. However, I would have to say that my bridal look, from my the dress to hair/make-up, was something I was not going to cut corners on.

What was your favorite detail?

My wedding bouquet and jewelry. It included broaches from my great aunt and grandmothers, lace from my mother’s dress and my pearl necklace, which was a wedding gift that my husband surprised me with on our wedding day.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Enjoying the day with our family and friends; getting ready, sharing stories, laughing, making memories. My favorite personal moment between my husband and I was our first look. At that moment, we were focusing on only each other, no one else existed (pictures later revealed dozens of family and friends spying on the moment in the background). It was the time where everything we had planned over the last 18 months became a reality and it hit us, we were finally getting married today!


Photography: Erica Pospeshil • Ceremony Venue: Deer Valley Country Club • Flowers: Selmi’s Flowers and Events • Stationery: Invitations designed by Holly Davis at SBM  • Videography: Kayla Tenboer Photo & Video  • Catering: Deer Valley Country Club • Bakery: Patti Boehle of PattyCakes in Ashton, Illinois (no website) • DJ: Friend • Transportation: Country Inn and Suites (provided a shuttle service for our guests before and after the ceremony/reception) • Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist: Sarah Reyes at Studio 404 Salon • Popcorn Bar: Donald’s Sweets and Treats  • Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal, special occasions section • Wedding Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero • Bridal Salon: Crystal Bride • Jewelry: Pearl Necklace from Kay Jewelers  • Groom and Groomsmen Suit: Robert Redding Menswear


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