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Elisabeth's Wedding Recap

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Elisabeth Leach

The eagerly awaited wedding photos have arrived, so my wedding recap is finally here! Matt and I said our vows on September 20, 2014 with 48 of our closest family members and friends. After our ceremony, we had our reception in the church’s outdoor pavilion. We ate food, talked, and just had a lot of fun. Everything went smoothly and, overall, it was a perfect day!

Erin L. Taylor Photography
Erin L. Taylor Photography

The Breakdown

Venue: $700

Ceremony Music: $75

Officiant: $200

Catering: $552

Cake: $94

Decorations & Flowers: approx $200 (I lost some receipts in the mad rush before the big day)

Save the Dates/ Invitations: $133 (including postage)

Favors: $11

Marriage license: $30

Dress & Alterations: $1,110

Shoes: $46

Veil: $20 (DIY)

Groom’s attire: He wore the suit, shirt, and shoes he already owned. Tie was $20

Hair: Gift from my MOH

Makeup: $100 on products, but I did it myself

Photography: $1325

Day of Coordination: Gift from my MOH’s mother

His ring: $500 (Matt paid for my ring over two years ago, so we didn’t feel it needed to be part of the budget)

Including many miscellaneous expenses, we ended hitting  around the $5,000 mark which is right where we wanted to be. All of our friends and family were incredibly generous and went above and beyond what we asked for. My parents paid for the venue and the food along with my dress and shoes. Everything else was paid for by Matt or myself.

Erin L. Taylor Photography


Erin L. Taylor Photography
Erin L. Taylor Photography

Creative and Personal Aspects

As part of our decor, we put some of our engagement photos on the tables and then let guests take them home if they wanted to. In the church, we put my family’s Bible along with my grandmother’s rosary and part of her wedding dress on the altar. Since she’s no longer with us, I wanted to include in her our ceremony some way.

After we said our vows, we gave flowers to our family and thanked them for everything they’ve done for us. Then we all said a prayer together. That was a really personal moment for all of us, because it really brought everything over the last two years together.

How We Saved Money

We cut down our guest list to save on a venue and catering. Along with that, we had our ceremony and reception at the same location. Because we had an afternoon wedding, our reception was all heavy appetizers  It also saves on your paper goods because you don’t have to send as many invites. Even though we would have loved to invite everyone, having a small number of guests was essential to our budget. Plus, it made our wedding intimate and special.

What I Splurged On

My dress. It was $200 over budget, but I loved it! However, I also underestimated for alterations, which ended up costing $250. In the end, the dress was gorgeous and I was so happy with it, therefore, it was worth the extra expense.

We also put a large part of our budget towards photography and that has been worth every penny. Having all those special moments documented is important, because, I can tell you, the day goes by so fast and it’s impossible to remember it all. I hardly even got to try the food or check out all the decorations.


My Best Advice

My best advice would be: on the big day, let it all go. I know we’ve just spent months planning and going crazy. So don’t worry if the tables are set up correctly or if the groom remembered to bring the rings. Just breathe and enjoy every minute, because it goes by so fast and you’ll want to remember all the wonderful moments you got to spend with family and friends, not ones of stressing over the flower arrangements.


Favorite Moment

My favorite moment was probably walking down the aisle and seeing Matt’s face (he was crying like a baby). 😀 However, the most memorable moment of the day is probably when Matt smashed a piece of cake into my face and then I tried to chase him in my dress. But the whole day was full of goofy moments like that!

Erin L. Taylor Photography


We did a lot of things ourselves including our reception music (phone, Spotify playlist, and good computer speakers), set up and clean up. All of the decor was DIY, we used things that we already owned or borrowed from friends. Most importantly, we didn’t waste time and money thinking about all those silly wedding “musts” that have somehow pervaded society. However, without the help of our wonderful family and friends, we could never have pulled this off. Everyone went the extra mile and made the day come together perfectly. In the end, our wedding was exactly how we wanted it with many traditional and non-traditional aspects.

It has been incredibly fun to share this journey will the Budget Savvy Bride community! I hope you enjoyed our wedding recap and that we could share some useful tips for your budget savvy wedding! Good luck!

Elisabeth Leach

is a full-time student, part-time retail peon, Anglophile, and vintage enthusiast, currently residing along the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. She planned an intimate, rustic wedding and you can see her wedding planning posts here.