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Mark + Lindsey's Eclectic Big Day

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 I’m so excited to share this creative and colorful wedding from  Meghan Christine Photography! I was so thrilled to hear that the bride found Meghan right here on the Budget Savvy Bride after viewing a previous BSWOW! It’s only fitting that Mark & Lindsey’s wedding be featured as well- as they pulled off a unique and fun wedding by employing lots of budget-savvy ideas into their big day. Lindsey enlisted the help of family and friends in order to create their beautiful, hand-crafted wedding! And of course Meghan captured every lovely detail here for your viewing pleasure! Hope you enjoy this edition of the BSWOW! 

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Mark & Lindsey

July 2nd 2011
Rensselaer, Indiana

Where did you get married?

We got married at St. Joeseph’s College Chapel in Rensselaer, Indiana.

What was your budget? Give a rough breakdown of what you spent if possible.

China, silver, other thrift store items $1,495
Ceremony expense (church rental, pastor, favors, etc.) $1,109
Reception expense (facility, chairs, dance floor,linens, decorations, etc.) $4,202
Food $3,475
Bar $1,033
Photography $2,550
Flowers $834
Bridal gown and accessories $1,258
Invitations, Save the Dates, postage $457
Coordinator fee $1,050
Cakes $447
TOTAL: $16,910

How many guests did you have?

We had about 175 guests. I have a very large family and we knew it would be a big wedding from the start. Having so many guests adds a lot of expense, but we didn’t want to exclude anyone.

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

We wanted the wedding to have a sort of vintage/eclectic feel, but at the same time feel very relaxed and down to earth. Both Mark and I are very outdoorsy and we wanted our wedding to have a relaxed, laid-back summer feel. My mom was a huge help to me, as was my wedding coordinator. I love DIY projects and wanted the day to really reflect us, so I had a blast making a ton of different things! I made the pinwheel favors and ribbon wands after finding a DIY tutorial online. They were time-consuming, but so worth it! I found the inspiration for my brooch bouquet online and collected and assembled the brooches myself and with help from friends and the bouquet included brooches from my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and the mother of the groom. The hankie favors were DIY, cut out of a thrifted sheet and embroidered on my sister’s fancy sewing machine. The boutonniers were the only DIY project I came up with entirely on my own, without online inspiration or tutorial – I made mini versions of the larger pinwheels and hot-glued them, along with lace, ribbon and twine, to craft pin-backs. The place cards I stamped and embellished myself, and I also printed and assembled the ceremony programs. Most of the reception decorations were either thrifted or borrowed – we only rented a few things like the tablecloths, table runners and chairs.

The rest of the DIY projects were all family efforts. I’m very blessed to have an incredibly talented and creative (and HUGE!) family – I know I couldn’t have done it without them. My mom and I searched for months through the dishware sections of every goodwill and thriftstore in our area, picking out eclectic and vintage-looking chinaware. After we carted home enough dinner plates, salad plates, teacups, and silverware to feed 200 people, my mom ran it all through the dishwasher and I paired up dinner and salad plates that looked good together.

The pennant banners that decorated the reception area were one of my favorite projects. Mark and I thrifted a bunch of bedsheets from goodwill and then I cut them into pennant shapes with pinking shears, pinned them to twine, then my cousin and I sewed them together. It was so much fun to find all the different fabrics. My mom and a family friend made the Ball jar lanterns that hung from the reception ceiling with the banners.

My aunt did all my flowers – she’s a florist in Texas, so for my Indiana wedding she and her sisters and my great-aunt all piled into their suburban and drove to my house, then set up a florist shop in my basement. They did everything – the chapel decorations, the bridesmaid’s bouquets, the reception flowers – and they did it all in two days. They’re amazing!

My cousins and I made all the wedding cakes. I chose three flavors – chocolate, white almond and carrot cake – and we baked for two days, under the supervision of my teenaged cousin Leah who wants to go to culinary school and open a bakery someday. I ordered the cake toppers from a shop on etsy. The cakes were one of the best parts of the reception – I have gotten so many compliments on them and lots of people asking for the recipes. It was so much cheaper to make our own cakes than to get them from a bakery, and they turned out wonderfully.

My wedding dress was my mom’s but since she and my dad got married in the 80s, it needed some significant changes – the giant puffed sleeves were out, for one. My amazing tailor Tricia took the dress and completely made it over – I got my mom’s dress with an updated look.

My flowergirl Dani was the daughter of my cousin Hannah, and Hannah made Dani’s dress herself, as well as letting me borrow a lot of craft supplies and decorations and providing the recipes for the wedding cakes.

I found most of my DIY projects in various places around the web and relied on advice from my bridesmaids and cousins. This was definitely a family affair! I love having a big extended family, and I treasure all the time I got to spend with my cousins, aunts and friends. Since Mark’s family lives in Pennsylvania, only a few of his close family and friends could make the trip to Indiana, but they were so helpful in setting up and tearing down the ceremony and reception spaces. We had a great time at our wedding – it was wonderful to finally get to enjoy the fruits of so many months of planning and to celebrate our new marriage! If I could go back, there’s nothing I would change.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

With such a large family it was a necessity to save money where we could! My cousins and I made and decorated all the wedding cakes ourselves from scratch. My aunts did all my floral arrangements and bouquets – since one of my aunts is a florsit she was able to buy flowers wholesale with a florist discount. My mom and I scoured thrift shops and seconhand stores looking for decorations – we got all our mismatched china and all the silverware from goodwill and all the brooches for my brooch bouquet were either thrifted or given to me. The thing that most helped us save money was utilizing and relying on the resources of our families. Having such a large family made the wedding more expensive, but it also gave us a lot of resources and help!

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

If you’re really serious about saving money, keep the guest list small! But if you have a lot of people you just have to invite, ask them for help! It will give your wedding a personal touch and you’ll always remember the help they gave you.

What was your biggest splurge?

Our biggest splurge was on the food. I think that most people really remember the food at weddings, so we wanted to be able to offer really good food with a homecooked feel.

What was your favorite detail?

It’s hard to choose just one! I loved my brooch bouquet, with brooches from my grandmother, greatgrandmother, mom and mother-in law, but one of my favorite memories is of the two days my two cousins and I spent making all our cakes! It was such a wonderful time and the cakes have gotten the most compliments of any aspect of the wedding!

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

It really does go by in a blur, but the one moment that stands out to me is when I was walking down the aisle. I was overwhelmed and so happy and then I looked up and saw Mark for the first time. That memory is very special to me.


My wonderful photographer was Meghan Lubeck of Meghan Christine Photography. She did a wonderful job and I love the photos!
My aunts did all the floral arrangements.
Tricia Gastineau of Alamode Kabash Sewing altered my wedding dress.
The reception was at the Jasper County Fairgrounds.
The ceremony was at the St. Joseph’s Colleg Chapel.


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