Nici & Steven were married on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at Publick House in Sturbridge, Massachusetts! You can save alot of money by getting married on any day other than Saturday since those are the most in-demand. And this couple saved even more by choosing a Sunday in the off season for weddings! They received discounts from their venue and photographer for choosing a date in March. I love the succulents Nici used in place of escort cards and the rustic looking centerpieces! They had their wedding for 72 guests for under $6500! Definitely budget savvy! Hope you enjoy this edition of the BSWOW! Thanks and Steve for sharing your special day with us!!
What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.
Our budget started at $10,000.00 but I knew we didn’t want to come anywhere close to that number, we wanted a very intimate wedding with our closest friends and family (I know, a lot of people say this…but we accomplished it!) Out budget ended up being $6,400.00– broken down:
Venue: $3,400.00-Included: Ceremony, cocktail hour and reception locations, cocktail hour hordourves, dinner, champagne toast, day-of-coordinator, cake, chocolate covered strawberries and overnight accommodations for the bride and groom with breakfast for bride and groom in the morning and linens.
DJ: $250.00 (friend of the groom)
Photography: $1512.00 (K-C Photography, Kim Calakoutis at
Bride & Groom attire: $800.00 -Dress: $399.00 (shopped on sale!) -Accessories: shoes (2 pairs), jewelry, veil, headpiece (splurge! $99.00!), etc.: $201.00 -Tux & Accessories: $200.00
Decor: $440.00 -Mason Jars, candles, sand, fowers, centerpiece boxes, favors (doubled at place cards were succulent plants)
How many guests did you have?
72 guests- including dj, photographer as well as Steven and I.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Being a Graphic Designer and an aspiring photographer, I knew I wanted a creative wedding overfilled with personal touches. That is exactly what we had! My uncle who is a botanist and designer and his partner along with a friend of the family designed all our wedding day flowers- centerpieces, boutonnieres, bridal bouquet and maid of honor bouquet, as well as taking exactly what I had envisioned and making it come to life! My dad selected a section of a tree, cut it down and carved a heart into it and finished it by carving and burning Steven and my initials into the log then drilled a hole into the top of the log and made and created an arrow to guide our guests to the wedding! I designed all the paper products-Save the dates, invitations, “share your photo cards,” In memorial candle, etc. Steven’s uncle married us, as we stood up there with our immediate family as our attendants- My sister was my maid of honor, my two brothers were my bridal attendants, Steven’s cousin was his best man and his two nephews were his groomsmen. Our Male-to-female ratio was a little uneven, but was perfect!
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
On top of wanting a personal, creative and intimate wedding we wanted to be as budget savvy as possible. We saved the most money by getting married on a Sunday in the off season. The pricing played a huge role into the selection of our date. Once we selected the date I was surprised at the discounts we received from additional vendors. Our wedding photographer, Kim Calakoutis, offered a 20% discount because it was “off season” for her business too. DIY was the biggest budget friendly thing we did! Designing and printing all the paper goods, rummaging in a family members basement for FREE mason jars- so worth it, spray painting yard sale picture frames of all different sizes and styles one single color allowed us to display family wedding and family photos during our ceremony and reception for only a few dollars!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
While planning, enjoy the good times and learn from the not-so-good times.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest splurge would be photography. I would not put a price on photography, I kept telling my parents and Steven to trust me! When we got the proofs back from Kim, my family said they were perfect…so I must have done something right!
What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail from our wedding was the dancing. There hasn’t been a wedding in either of our families in quite a few years and we were the first of our closest friends to get married! Everyone was dancing, we were all singing at the top of our lungs….just an overall grand time! I wish we could have danced for another 10 hours!!
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
My most memorable moment of the day was the few seconds it took for my grandfather to pass me over to my mom for her to walk me down the aisle. It was symbolic of the time in my life when my grandfather was my rock, and when he was the only one who supported me when I moved away. My aunt, who adopted me at a crucial point in my life, has become my mom-figure over the years. She walked me down the aisle and handed me over to my now husband! It was just a grand representation of where my life started to where it is today, and it makes me cry thinking of the emotions of that exact moment.
Venue: Publick House, Sturbridge, Ma
Photog: K-C Photography, Kim Calakoutis
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, 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! Learn more here.