An evening wedding is classic and elegant, and Sheba and Josh created the quintessential evening wedding. I love their beautiful venue and how they used the space for both the ceremony and the reception. Sheba is self-admittedly not a DIYer, but she still found great ways to trim her budget while creating a classy event. Enjoy this fun and elegant evening! xoxo, Jessica
Sheba + Josh
October 11, 2013
Gallaway, TN | Carahills II
What was your wedding budget?
We were aiming for $10K but ended up slightly under $11K
Venue: $4767 (which included the site for 6 hours and including rehearsal, décor, tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, lighting, and a planner/coordinator; we added upgraded linens, chair sashes, a cobblestone for the grounds, wine glass rental, and bar fee)
Food and drink: $2803 (including cocktail hour, buffet style meal, 2 cakes, alcohol, 3 attendants, and bartender)
Dress and shoes: $1000
Bridal party and parent gifts: $452
Stationery: $335 (including invitations, reply cards, envelopes, stamps, programs, photo frame, and markers)
My “look”: – $41 for OTC makeup and nails painted in the mall
How many guests did you have?
We had 69 guests. We expected 95! Unfortunately not all who planned to attend were able for a myriad of reasons.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We wanted to have a wedding that reflected our life stage and interests. My husband had completed basic training a few months before the wedding. I wanted him to know how proud I was of him by reflecting it in the wedding. I asked my cousin to design our stationery and had it printed locally. The center element of the stationery was an anchor. I thought it was a nice representation of his career but also a symbol of us being “anchored” to one another. Our colors were inspired by his career, too. He also wore his uniform.
My dad’s crafty wife got lanterns for the bridesmaids to carry and put them together. She had all their and my jewelry made. She made a flower for my hair, too. In addition to a regular guest book we had guests sign a photo frame. My uncle was our officiant for our ceremony which was such a treat. My mother was my matron of honor because I wanted to honor her for bringing me up to be the woman I am today. My father and stepfather both walked me down the aisle. It was important to us to express our belief that God brought us together, so we had a cord braiding ceremony (Cord of Three Strands/God’s Knot). We love the character Bender from the show Futurama, so I had a Bender cake made for Josh as his groom’s cake. Josh loves The Beatles, so our first dance was to, “In My Life.” I am completely obsessed with line dancing and pretty much mandated my bridesmaids learn dances to do at the reception. (They might say that was my one Bridezilla area.) Josh’s cousin played Irish jigs at the reception because we planned to go to Ireland for our honeymoon.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Many of the people we invited to the wedding enjoy alcohol, and Josh is a beer connoisseur. I don’t drink much, but I did not want to devalue the tastes of our wedding guests or Josh. Josh found out about a local place and got some beer selections from there the day before the wedding. We also had red and white wine with a photo of us on the bottle on all the tables, and those doubled as favors. (Those were courtesy of his wonderful parents.)
What was the biggest sacrifice you made to stay on budget?
What helped us most was not having a lot of the things that you “have to have” to get married. After all, the only necessities are a partner, a license, witnesses, and a licensed officiant. That’s why BSBs featured on this site get married for WELL UNDER “the cost of a wedding” and have a beautiful day! We chose a venue where we could have the ceremony and reception. Through the venue were able to find vendors that had reasonable rates for services we wanted. Not having flowers saved us tons of money. I didn’t get my dress altered or buy any special undergarments. One of my aunts did my hair. One of my bridesmaids did my makeup. They all did their own makeup, and only my mom had her hair professionally done.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Recognize what you can bring to the table and know what you would like others to contribute. You’ve got to know what you can do and what you need to pay to have done or ask others to do. I personally do not have knack for DIY, nor do I enjoy it. I explained my vision and others helped me to make it a reality. I am SO THANKFUL for that. If you have a passion for DIY, I know you will have a larger role in the crafting/creating of all the things that make your day than I did. Still, I strongly encourage delegating tasks and getting help as needed so you don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest splurge was hands down the venue. As I said, I am not a DIY woman. Plus, we and most of our guests traveled from all over the country to get to our venue. I didn’t want anyone to do have to do anything in the days before our wedding besides arrive and celebrate our nuptials with us. It was also quite important to us to get married in a space that was charming, fun, and inside. Our choice of venue, while much more expensive than I thought I would be open to, was worth every dollar because I saved so much anxiety over how the space would look on our wedding day and how others would enjoy themselves.
What was your favorite detail?
From the bride: Do I have to choose only one? 🙂 We had a first look, and that went such a long way in helping me to relax before the ceremony. I loved having some intimate time with Josh before everyone else got involve in the day. I really enjoyed the music we chose for the ceremony. It was a fun soundtrack for the festivities, and I enjoyed it more than “traditional” ceremony music. I was so pleased we had a chance to include the cord braiding ceremony. I was also really happy with Josh’s Bender cake even though I’m not a chocolate fan.
From the groom: I had a really fun time learning to do the Electric Slide. I’m not much of a dancer, but I know how much Sheba loves it. I had never done that dance before but wanted to participate in some of the line dancing for her. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, honestly.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
From the bride: The line dancing was definitely one of the highlights for me as a dancer. Aside from that though, the moment that stands out most was saying our vows. We had opted to say some vows we found online that were meaningful to us because we did not want to overwhelm ourselves trying to write personalized vows with everything else that was happening in our lives. I had written the vows on index cards for us and given them to someone in the party. In the midst of all the activity of getting ready for the ceremony they were misplaced, so we had to say our vows off the cuff. It was hilarious but also still very heartfelt. We ended up writing the vows we were going to say on a photo frame and putting the frame around a wedding photo collage, so we worked them in after all!
From the groom: The most memorable moment for me was when Sheba walked down the stairs to meet me at the altar. She was beautiful. Everything felt right when I saw her.
Photography + Videography: Five-9 Creations • Venue: Carahills II • Catering: Pink Flamingo Catering • Dress: Mori Lee • DJ: DJ Twinkie • Bridesmaids: Alfred Angelo • Groomsmen: Jos. A. Bank • Shoes: Dyeable Shoes
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 resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.