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Intimate Lavender Wedding

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Today’s featured wedding comes to us from Virginia. Cory and Mae kept their wedding costs to just more than $4,000 by using the same venue for the ceremony and reception and accepting the help of generous family and friends.  I love the creativity and industriousness they demonstrated by using Spotify for their music, purchasing their own alcohol and choosing to alter a used wedding dress versus buying new. This gray and lavender wedding shows ways you can trim your budget without compromising the spirit of the event. xoxo, Jessica

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Cory + Mae

November 9, 2014

Waynesboro, Virginia | Fairfax Hall

What was your wedding budget?

Our target budget was $3900.

Venue: $1000

Cake: $335

Total Flowers: $339 (this was the cost of the flowers/bouquets alone—a good friend did all of the flower arrangements for decorating, all the corsages and boutonnieres, and my bouquet was a fabric bouquet from Etsy custom-made in Israel—it cost less than many real flower bouquets, was gorgeous, and I get to keep it forever).

Photographer: $300 (for a second shooter)—my main photography was FREE! (a special wedding gift from my sister/matron of honor, as she is a professional photographer)

Music: $10 (my fiancé and I signed up for music for one month on Spotify and downloaded all the songs we wanted onto a playlist)

DJ: FREE (another special gift from my brother-in-law)

Food: $300 (a friend catered it for free, and only charged for the cost of the barbeque food)

Caterer: $200 (a gift to my friend for catering)

Dress: $350 (found used dress in the wrong size that I loved, had it tailored to fit)

Hair: $170 (for myself and three bridesmaids)

Alcohol: $300 (bought nice boxed wine and good glass bottled beer)

Table linens: $235

Seat covers for ceremony: $100

Invitations: $50

Decorations: $300

Wedding wands: $134


Total spent: $4123 (Cory and I contributed the additional money above my parents’ budget).



How many guests did you have?

94 guests (including the wedding party)



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

I did all the decorations myself. Our “guestbook” was a large picture frame with a border about 1 foot thick all the way around. I painted it our wedding colors and put an engagement picture in the middle. People signed with white paint pen and now we have it hanging in our bedroom.


I also included a board with pictures from our childhoods covering it, another board with pictures of us while dating, and another board with interesting wedding facts written on scrolls.


One very personal and special aspect was that I walked down the aisle to “Wonderwall” by Oasis, which was the first song that my husband played for me before we even started dating, to tell me how he felt about me. Walking down the aisle to that song was so meaningful and Cory had no idea ahead of time, so he was floored.


My dad not only gave me away but he also officiated the ceremony, which was super special for me. My brother was the one who asked, “Who gives my sister to marry this man?” (which is something I have wanted my whole life). My little 1 year old niece was my flower girl, and she toddled down the aisle and tried to pick up some rose petals to put in her little lace-lined pail. It was adorable. My sister Maria was my matron of honor and my photographer (I’m still not quite sure how she managed to pull that one off!), my other sister, Megan, was one of my bridesmaids and her and her boyfriend played music during the reception and during our cake cutting. My sister-in-law, Kelsey, was my third bridesmaid. Nathan, my brother-in-law, coordinated all of our music for us, and it went off without a hitch. Cory’s groomsmen consisted of my brother and his closest friends and his brother. Our ring bearer was one of Cory’s nephews, who was absolutely adorable. Overall, having my family so involved in our wedding and close during the process was hands down one of my favorite aspects of our wedding.




What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

I did/made my own decorations and had friends do the flowers and catering, and my family helped so much. I could not have had this nice of a wedding on our budget without friends and family pitching in to help. Honestly, it was well worth it because each detail was so much more meaningful because it was personalized and I spent time and effort on each piece.



What was the biggest sacrifice you made to stay on budget?

Although it turned out not to be much of a sacrifice, we decided not to include wedding favors for our guests. We felt that the options we could afford would be items that our guests wouldn’t use anyway. We decided that the alcohol and food counted as a wedding favor!



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

Remind yourself why you are even having a wedding in the first place. Whenever I was tempted to stress out, I reminded myself that at the end of the day, surrounded by people that we love, Cory and I would be married. I stayed focused on that aspect, and tried not to worry too much about how every little detail would fit together and be perfect. Even when my flowers arrived in the wrong color (hot pink instead of lavender) I allowed myself a “mini-cry” in the car, and then decided quickly to move on and embrace it as a funny story for later. Also, I know everyone tells you to do exactly what you want and how you want it because this is “your day” to be selfish. However, I decided not to go this route. I asked for input from family and friends and considered others’ wishes. I was much happier this way and would not have done it differently at all. Plus my friends and family were all very supportive and no one made any crazy demands.



What was your biggest splurge?

The venue. It was beautiful and convenient that the ceremony and reception could all be held at the same place. This also saved money because I only had to decorate one place.



What was your favorite detail?

I could not possibly pick a favorite detail. I did love my mason jars with flowers on lace and gray burlap as centerpieces, and I loved my fabric (not silk!) bouquet. “Our Vows,” framed with a frame that I hand-painted and glued fabric flowers to the corner, written with white pen on a black “chalkboard background” was one of my favorites as well. I also loved the little tin pail that I bought for $2 and decorated with lace and a lavender fabric flower for my tiny flower girl. I loved having little unique details like these.



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

There are so many….the funniest one was when we did the exchanging of rings. We each had one line to say, unprompted, and Cory’s was first. He began placing the ring on my hand and I realized he had forgotten that he needed to say something. So I quietly whispered, “with this ring…” (which was NOT how it was supposed to go!—I had forgotten how it began). So Cory starts, “With this ring….” Then he realized that that wasn’t right, and had to turn to my dad to ask what he was supposed to say. This resulted in a room filled with chuckles. Cory said, “I give you this ring as a symbol of our covenant.” Now it was my turn. As I placed the ring on his finger, I completely blanked (even though he had JUST said it) and I started laughing and had to ask my dad what to say. At this point the room erupted in laughter. It was great. Cory and I were both giggling. We’ll never forget it.




Photography: Maria Grace Photography  •  Hair: Kristin at the Hair Cuttery  •  Cake: Buttercream Dreams  •  Venue: Fairfax Dining Hall


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