We have a treat of a wedding to share with you today! I'm smitten with Abigail and Zachary's beautiful wedding with a lavender color scheme and rustic, elegant details. Abigail made her bouquet using artificial flowers and it is absolutely lovely! I love that they weren't afraid to serve pizza at their classy reception to keep within in their budget, and it is perfect! And how darling is their bundt wedding cake? Enjoy this sweet lavender wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Abigail + Zachary
July 16th, 2016
Seibels House & Garden | Columbia, SC
What was your budget?
This is a rough breakdown of our wedding budget, which, is roughly estimating the things that I bought over the 9 month period we were engaged to use as décor for our wedding.
The big things we spent money on:
Rentals (tables and Chairs): $1,000
I bought all of our wedding vases, and the picture frames, which I crafted into giant chalkboards for our ceremony and reception, at Goodwill and that totaled about $50.
Flowers were purchased, some from the help of a family friend who helped me get them wholesale, and some of them purchased from Trader Joe’s this totaled about $200.
I made my bouquet, the bridesmaid bouquets, and all the boutonniere with fake flowers mostly from Hobby Lobby that I bought 50% off, these all totaled around $250.
How many guests did you have?
We ended up having about 135 people attend our wedding.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Instead of doing a traditional wedding cake, because me and my husband don’t really care for cake anyways, we choose to save money and do cupcakes. This cut costs a significant amount. My sister ended up making our cutting cake, which was an adorable Bundt cake, and fit perfectly on the table with our cupcakes.
For our favors, my mom made soft cream cheese mints, in our wedding colors. She made them for all of my siblings graduations, and it made the perfect sweet treat for our guests to take home.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
I created all of our wedding signs. Mostly I made them out of cheap frames that I bought from goodwill. I used chalkboard spray paint on the glass, and then glued the glass into the frame. It was inexpensive, and then if I messed one up, it didn’t waste money.
I also made my own bouquet to save money. I used fake flowers so that saved me from having pay for a bouquet for bridal portraits and then pay for another bouquet for the wedding itself. I knew that real flowers would die soon after the reception anyways, so I decided that I would rather spend money on things that were going to be lasting from the day. This was one of the best money saving decisions that we made.
A big way that we saved money was by having me make our invitations and our wedding programs. I used some hand lettering fonts that I purchased, and I printed them myself at home. This saved a lot of money, and the looked exactly how I wanted them too.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
When choosing a venue, we only looked at places that would allow us to use our own caterer. We saw a ton of beautiful venues that we loved, but we knew that to save money we would need to be able to bring in a caterer of our choosing because some of the preferred caterers out there were way out of our price range. We originally chose a venue out of Columbia, but they ended up canceling and returning our deposit. While that was a major setback to our planning process, in hindsight I am so thankful that it happened. We ended up finding Seibels, which was beautiful and in the city, and it allowed us to have an outdoor wedding, but our reception was inside (key for a July wedding in Columbia). We ended up spending more on the venue than we intended, but it also allowed us to have pizza at our wedding because the Hungry Howies that we had cater was now close enough to cater for us (double win for pizza lovers).
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Sit down at the start of your planning process and decide what matters most. We made a list of the things that we cared about when it came to our wedding, and those were the things that we spent the big money on. The rest of the items, we made do. In the end, it’s only one day, so worry about what actually matters to you and your fiancé. Also, we constantly reminded ourselves (when things would go wrong or I wasn’t getting everything I wanted on our tight budget) that at the end of the day we were going to be married, and if everything wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t going to change that outcome. It really helped with perspective, and it prepared me to just enjoy the day, snags and all.
What was your biggest splurge?
The number one thing we both decided that we wanted to spend money on was photography. We, at one point, talked about the fact that we could get married in our back yard with Styrofoam plates, but if we had an amazing photographer she would make our wedding look amazing, and therefore preserve our memories of that day in such a special way (I’m sure Jessica is thankful that we didn’t do that). Jessica met with me about 2 weeks after I got engaged, and I knew at the end of our meeting that I was going to do everything humanly possible to get her to be our photographer. The investment was so worth it to us. She made everything easy, and went above and beyond day of to make sure that everything was going smoothly, and as a result we have the most amazing photographs that we will cherish forever.
What was your favorite detail?
I loved our table decorations. So many things about our wedding turned out beautifully, but when I looked at our reception space, the flowers are what stood out. I bought all the vases from goodwill, and my mom gave me giant mason jars that she used to use for canning. A good friend of my mom’s offered to have her husband cut every single wood slice that decorated our wedding, which ended up totaling about 40 wood slices, which was such a blessing, because I wanted to use wood slices, but had no way of cutting them, and buying them would have been too expensive. I also made every single flower arrangement, which made it special to me.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
We decided that we wanted to do a first look at our wedding. We wanted to be able to take almost all of our bridal party photos, and family photos before the wedding, so we could have more time to spend at the reception. Another big reason was that we both thought we would be nervous, and we wanted the chance to talk to each other and for me to hear Zach’s reaction to seeing me for the first time in my wedding dress. I am so glad we did this. It was such a personal and special moment. We read notes to each other that we had written, and this was the only time all day that either of us really cried. It allowed us to be in the moment by ourselves and to really feel the weight and importance of the day and what we were about to do.
Photography: Jessica Roberts Photography • Venue: Seibels House and Gardens • Flowers: Family friend • Catering: Hungry Howie’s • Bakery: Cupcake Down South • Rentals: Party Reflections • Bride and Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal • Veil: David’s Bridal • Groom and Groomsmen Suit: Jos A Bank • Ties: The Tie Bar
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.