I’ve got an extra special treat for y’all today, loves! It’s not often that we receive submissions containing wedding videos, so when I receive one (especially one as gorgeous as this one) I absolutely jumped at the chance to share it.
I sometimes feel like a broken record when I say… being budget savvy is not about much money you spend, it’s how you spend it! Every couple has a different set of circumstances, a different financial situation and different priorities. What makes someone budget savvy is by putting what matters most to them first, and finding ways to make the rest work on their given budget.
This couple is a perfect example of what it means to be budget savvy. Katy and David’s Oklahoma Wedding is a perfect fit for a feature here on BSB. They set clear priorities and used those to determine where to invest their approximately $15,000 budget. As you can see in their budget breakdown, Katy and David chose to put a considerable chunk of their budget towards their videography, as that was something they really thought was a worthy investment and something they will treasure forever. And from watching this gorgeous wedding film by PenWeddings, I’d say this video is absolutely priceless to the happy couple. (Cue the waterworks!)
I hope you enjoy this video and feature, and glean some lessons from this couple’s outlook and prioritization. xoxo, Jessica
David + Katy
March 14, 2015 (Pi day!)
The Campbell Hotel’s Renaissance Event Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma
What was your wedding budget?
Like many couples we’ve talked to, our budget evolved. We set a very conservative budget initially, and then adjusted it as new decisions were made. We wanted our wedding to feel authentic and genuinely reflect who we are as people. Having said that, we chose to buy wholesale and create as many items as we could. For instance, David’s aunt used to be a florist. We didn’t plan on asking her for help, but after purchasing boxes of flowers and seeded eucalyptus from Whole Foods, we were struggling with the bouquets and boutonnieres. She saved us and crafted four bouquets and 6 boutonnieres in about an hour. We chose to make our own garland rather than purchase one already made. This made the day before our wedding a little hurried, but it allowed us to allocate that money towards our videographer and photographer.
Wedding Gown: $2,500 (My mother lovingly purchased this for me!)
Eco-Friendly disposable dinnerware: $100
How many guests did you have?
225 invited 125 in attendance
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
(Katy) Other than getting married, our biggest goal was to make our guests feel loved and to show gratitude for their support. We worked for months to create lists of characteristics for each guest. When our guests arrived, they used their escort cards to find their seat at their table. Each guest’s seat was marked with a name card along with a few words describing their positive and distinctive attributes. (David) We both like to build things, and we created a cedar escort cardholder along with cedar place card holders. The place card holders were around $2 each in stores, so we created our own by cutting a 1 x 2” cedar strip halfway down the middle at about a 45-degree angle. It held the place cards up perfectly and cost us a total of $8 for over 200 cardholders.
(Katy) I am really into presentation. We saved a lot of money on the invitation suite by creating our own map, information card, and seals. I got a free 30-day trial of Adobe Illustrator and taught myself how to create the vector files. I even sent them to a local Quikprints to get printed just like our professionally created invitations. We ordered blank envelopes and materials from PaperPresentation.com and did the time-consuming work of putting them together ourselves. We still spent a lot of money on the invitations, but they were beautiful and helped set the tone for our wedding. Looking back, I would have created the entire suite myself and we could have saved half of what we spent.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
(Katy) We saved a lot of money on our venue. We chose a venue that would allow us to host the ceremony and the reception in one space. Though this wasn’t my ideal vision, it worked out beautifully. We had the room set up for the reception and created an isle with a homemade seeded eucalyptus garland. Other things we did to save money were small, but had a huge impact in the long run. We found shepherd hook stands at joannfabrics.com and used coupons to get the price down. David’s mom cut the wine bottles with a $20 glass cutter we found on Amazon. We went with burning candles rather than battery-operated ones and bought them when they were significantly on sale. We used watercolor paper that I already had for the place cards, and we printed them ourselves.
What was the biggest sacrifice you made to stay on budget?
Originally, we wanted to have a small, private ceremony the night before the reception. We wanted it to be recorded and played during the reception. After asking for quotes, we realized that this wouldn’t be feasible. We also sacrificed on our venue. We would have loved a distinctive ceremony site separate from the reception. We just couldn’t afford it. The hotel offered another space for this very thing. They also offered a crew to flip the room for us during a “cocktail hour”. Each option was at an additional cost. It was hard letting go of the vision we had for our wedding, but we had to own up to our budget.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
(David) If you have that inclination to make it unique and your own, go for it. We kept hearing that it wasn’t worth the time we were investing in all of the preparation and that we wouldn’t remember it anyway. Someone even told Katy that all our guests would end up throwing their name cards away after the wedding. We found this to be completely untrue. Some guests still have their place cards on their refrigerators! All of the creative work Katy put in and all of the special, unique touches she fought for were all worth it. Totally worth it.
What was your biggest splurge?
(Katy) Our videographer. We wanted our wedding to be as small as possible with the greatest quality possible. We wanted that quality, all of that creative effort and gathering of family, to be captured. We were told many, many times to not waste a dime on professional photography, and DEFINITELY not on professional videography. We knew the photography bit was a lie, but maybe people were right about the videography…? After seeing some of the videos that PenWeddings had done, I couldn’t get the idea of having our own out of my head. David was less inclined to spend the money, but has watched ours numerous times all on his own. Our wedding video makes us cry. It was the most expensive luxury, and yet a wise allocation of funds. We’d give up our ‘dream wedding’ to have our ‘creatively budgeted and still wonderful wedding’ any day- if it meant having PenWeddings capture it. What’s a dream wedding if you don’t remember any of it, anyway?
What was your favorite detail?
(Katy) Easily, the simplest detail and the thing that I ended up loving the most was my flower headband. I asked my sister-in-law to make one for her daughter, our flower girl. It turned out so beautiful that I asked her to make one for me, too. She used leftover greenery and flowers from the bouquets and they looked like we had hired a florist!
(David) I found old ammo boxes at an Army surplus store and used those to hold my groomsmen gifts. I made them magnetic bottle openers to put on their refrigerators and bought them ties for the day. Also, we wanted people to be comfortable so Katy and I told our wedding party to wear whatever they wanted, so long as it was formal. I liked that everyone was comfortable and just enjoyed the day.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
(Katy) Our day was full of memorable moments! Having said that, one in particular sticks out. David and I wrote letters to one another to read the day of the wedding. We have a distinctive story and we often reset and reflect on that story. Reading David’s words about how he viewed our relationship really set the mood for the big commitment we were making. It put things in perspective in the middle of a very busy time. I think of all the decisions we made, writing letters to one another was one of the smartest and most memorable. I plan to frame them!
Videographer: PenWeddings // Photographer: Audra’Esque // Venue and Alcohol: The Campbell Hotel // Band: Charlie Redd and The Full Flava Kings // Cake: Ludger’s Bavarian Cakery // Catering: BurnCo BBQ // Linens: Party Perfect // Wedding Gown: Bridal Elegance //
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, 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! Learn more here.