Kentucky Mountain Wedding

You guys. This wedding is FANTASTIC. Not only because it is beautiful, but because it encompasses everything that we at The Budget Savvy Bride stand for. The words from the bride with her submission say it all: 

Not many people get married on a cliff… it creates a whole new meaning to the term “Taking the plunge”! I wanted to share our intimate, romantic, and budget friendly wedding with you as I used your web site as a nearly exclusive source of inspiration for our 34 guest destination wedding in the red River Gorge of Kentucky. We rented a rustic lodge complete with a cliff side ceremony spot for a weekend getaway that celebrated our family, heritage, and love, and we did it for less than $3500. We are so glad your web site inspired us to stay true to ourselves, our pocketbook,  and enjoy a fantastic weekend with the people we love most.

YES, YES, a million times YES. They pulled off a personal, meaningful AND beautiful wedding day while remaining focused on WHAT MATTERS. Love this times infinity. I'm sure you will, too! xoxo – Jessica

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Larry and Donna

April 12, 2014

Pine Crest Camp Lodge | Red River Gorge in Kentucky

What was your wedding budget?

  • Dress and alterations:  $360 (bought the dress off the Budget rack at David's Bridal)
  • Groom's suit  $115 (On sale at Kohl's)
  • Bride accessories  $85
  • Officiant, Bride and Groom Flowers, Cake, Cupcakes, photography package through a FANTASTIC couple who run a wedding service called My Tiny Wedding $930
  • Family and ceremony flowers: $72 from local couple who run a small shop
  • Decorating rentals (lanterns, table runners, wooden slabs, candles) $122
  • Venue: Pine Crest Camp Lodge  We rented the entire 10 acre property all weekend for $950. After guests paid for their rooms, our cost was only $650. This included 2 nights' accommodations, reception, hay bales, 2 kitchens, campfire, and an atmosphere that is unrivaled!
  • Catering: $600 included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, baked beans, slaw, rolls, biscuits, tea and lemonade. Provided by a local couple referred to us by the lodge owners.
  • Beer/ Wine, $100
  • Invitations $15
  • Programs, postcards: made ourselves at home
  • Favors : we purchased personalized honey pots and decks of cards using a coupon from David's bridal we received after purchasing the wedding gown. $75
  • Decorations: $100  most of our decorations were items we already  had at home such a family pictures, we even took our favorite picture off the wall to include! Friends and family donated burlap, quilts, baskets, etc.  We waited for items at Hobby Lobby to go on sale at half price and them purchased them.
  • DJ- Free (DIY)
  • Videography: Free- done by a friend
  • Cake topper: my daughter made them from pinecones we collected on a hike!
  • Hair and makeup: Free- done by a friend.

Total: $ 3225

How many guests did you have?

We kept things intimate and had 34 guests attend the wedding.

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

The biggest personal detail was including our 4 children in the wedding. All of them served as ” attendants” and my oldest son walked me down the wooded path to the ceremony site. We asked family members to bring heirloom quilts and draped hay bales for ceremony seating at the cliff site. Instead of a guest book, we took pictures of the surrounding area on previous trips, printed them on cardstock, and cut them out like postcards. We then asked guest to write us a note filled with advice or well wishes and had guests place the “postcards” in an old donated mailbox. Larry (my fiancé) cut two saplings from the property and placed them in old moonshine jugs, once they were standing upright, we strung twine between the two tress and clipped old family wedding pictures to the “clothesline” with clothespins. Floral decorations consisted of spring flowers purchased at Sam's club and placed in empty wine bottle and Ale bottles collected on our various trips. Our cake topper was fashioned from pinecones we collected on previous hikes. Our wedding ceremony included ancient Celtic vows, a ring warming, and a hand fasting. My father gave a prayer of blessing while our parents, children, and ourselves held hands in a circle of love. Instead of buying a lot of decorations, we rented them from a local wedding planner…it was a win for everyone!  A friend of ours donated 2 gallons of homemade strawberry wine. We placed it in a big mason jar decanter and labeled it “smooch hooch” guests were encourage to have a sip before or after the ceremony. Anyone lucky enough to get a kiss from someone could ring the bell located at the “smooch hooch” table in celebration! Our exit song was ” “I'm gonna be (500miles) by the Proclaimers….so when the music started, the kids, Larry and I just began to dance in celebration! Soon, everyone joined in the dancing and celebrating…right there on the cliff!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Bringing already found items from home… for example, our champagne glasses were souvenirs we brought back from a wine tasting prior to our engagement… not everything has to be brand new and bringing in familiar family items and heirlooms brings a touch of intimacy and familiarity. We also weren't afraid to let our family and friends help!

Freebies for your wedding

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

As long as you, your partner, the officiant, witnesses, and marriage license show up: everything else is fluff! Make the day your own! Be quirky! Have fun!

What was your biggest splurge?

Catering. We wanted to enjoy the day without worrying about dishes, cooking or clean up. Very Well worth it!

What was your favorite detail?

There were SO MANY…but honoring our family heritage with old wedding photos was a highlight. I also loved the Mason jars hanging in the trees…we simply stocked them with a little bit of water and pretty flowers purchased from Sam's, but they added a whimsical touch of spring.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Walking down that wooded path and seeing my husband to be, standing at the cliff.. smiling. It melted me.


Rentals: Simple to Elegant  //  Photography, Officiant, Flowers, Cake: My Tiny Wedding  //  Venue: Pine Crest Camp Lodge  //  Invitations: Sam's Club  // Beer & Wine: Sam's Club  //   

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

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