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helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

Hello all you lovely BSB readers!  My name’s Jenna and I’m absolutely delighted to be guest blogging here on Budget Savvy Bride.  I’m a 25-year-old administrative assistant (read: secretary) for a local government social services agency in Virginia. My fiancé David and I have been engaged for just over a year and have been together for almost two years.  David’s a power plant operator at a large power company and has what I like to call Gardening Ambitions.  We met through mutual friends and he swept me right off my feet.  After four months of dating we were practically living together and three months after that we officially were.  Three months after that, we came home after a night of board games and were talking about how much we loved each other (schmoopy, I know) and then he asked me how I’d feel about having a husband instead of a boyfriend!

Bride Blogger Jenna
engaged! it's also the only picture of the two of us, ever.

I was totally shocked – at the time he was in nursing school and while I had made it known that if he asked I would say yes, I had figured we’d be waiting at least three more years before marriage became a real possibility.  Now, a year later, here we are!  We’ve both got ambitions (David’s, as I said, are gardening related; mine are more of a decorative sort) and practical heads on our shoulders so we’re definitely going into this whole wedding-planning shindig with our eyes on the prize: getting married.  Even now, in the midst of what feels like a moral crisis about catering options and the size (oh the SIZE) of our guest list, I just keep repeating to myself “we’ll end the day married, everything else is just icing.”  It’s kind of helping.

Anyways, enough panicking, more introductions! I’m a total nerd and a crafty, bookworm, DIY kinda gal.  In fact, this weekend David and I just replaced a toilet (ew), changed our oven hood (and didn’t catch anything on fire) and built ourselves some nightstands (without anyone bleeding).  You might gather from this that I’m also a bit of a klutz … and you wouldn’t be wrong!  I also enjoy scrapbooking, cooking and reading blogs when I’m supposed to be working.  This last habit has been particularly useful in gathering information and pretty, pretty pictures for wedding planning purposes.

Our wedding is set for September 17th at a lake house about 40 minutes from where we live.  It’s a tiki house (which will be a decorating challenge), and since it’s a private residence we’re pretty much on our own for planning and supplying everything for our 200-ish guests!

Bride Blogger Jenna venue
our ‘tiki house' (


We’re lucky that we’ll have help (both monetary and otherwise) from our immediate families, but we’re still going to be super budget conscious because everything else will come out of our own pocket.  We definitely don’t want to have to give up any of our long term goals because we squandered money when it wasn’t necessary.  This isn’t to say we’re not excited about the planning, the crafting and the celebration, it’s just all about keeping things in perspective, which is what BSB is all about!  We don’t have a budget set in stone, but we’re hoping to come in under $14,000 for everything (including the rings, honeymoon, and the parts we’ll be getting help with).

I’m really looking forward to sharing all the ups, downs and fun times as we navigate the next four (oh my) months!

Bride Blogger Jenna

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  • Jan


    My daughter found your website with details of your wedding @ Lake Anna. We really enjoyed reading about your experience at the tiki house on lake anna. My son & his fiance are also planning a Lake Anna wedding next fall. We have a house @ the lake, but not large enough to handle their small (75-80) wedding. The tiki house sounds like a great option for them. The pics shown on your wedding website showed the diagrams you developed for ceremony/dance floor/etc. Do you have any pics of the final results? Where were your reception tables placed? Is the covered porch large enough to handle a wedding party table & 9-10 tables for guests? We plan to check out the facility this weekend or very soon. Thank kou for your info/advice.

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