Today’s couple chose their venue not because it was flashy destination or a hot venue, but because it was close to those they loved! Sarah and Ryan married in Illinois to be closer to family members who would have had trouble traveling. What a sweet consideration! I love Sarah’s wedding “look” with her classic, elegant style. Enjoy this spring wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Sarah + Ryan
April 30, 2016
Darien, IL | Carriage Greens Country Club
What was your budget?
Venue ceremony fee: $250
Wedding Dress: $207
Wedding Invitation: $131
Save the Dates: $31
Hair and Make-up: $170
Rental Car: $230
Hotel accommodations for a week: $580
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Gifts: $439
Airfare for wedding: $11 (We used Southwest airlines points, only had to pay the taxes)
Bridal Bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages: $326
How many guests did you have?
We had about 100 people total.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We inserted fun elements that showed our personality into parts of the wedding.
For example, we created a silly wedding program to showcase our humor.
We also purchased a hand-made, personalized guest signature board and asked the guests to sign with metallic markers.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
We created the wedding program, the candy bar sign, the wedding signature sign that invited the guests to sing our board, and the centerpieces.
Unexpectedly, we had to DIY the bouquets and wrap them in white ribbon; I misread the Sam’s Club description and thought they came pre-wrapped.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We researched the cost of EVERYTHING. We did not purchase anything unless we researched the prices and made sure we were getting the best bang for our buck.
We also kept the theme very clean, simple, and elegant. Since the theme wasn’t super complicated, it was easy to purchase items from whichever retailer was the cheapest. We kept the theme to colors – white, black and light blue.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Decide what’s important to you prior to planning. If you concentrate on EVERY little detail, you will spend too much of your time and money and drive yourself crazy.
What was your biggest splurge?
The cost of travel/hotels. We planned a wedding long-distance to be closer to several elderly relatives so this was unavoidable.
What was your favorite detail?
My dress! The moment I saw it, I knew it was meant to be. Many of the guests commented on how the dress was perfect for me.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Walking into the reception with my new husband. I really, truly felt the love from our family and friends.
Photography: Richard Newman Photography • Venue + Catering: Carriage Greens • Flowers: Sam’s Club • Bakery: Oak Mill Bakery • DJ: Touch of Love • Hair Stylist + Makeup Artist: Celeste Salon (Lombard IL) • Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal • Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal • Veil: Wish • Shoes: Payless • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
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.