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Summer Arboretum Wedding

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green bridesmaid dresses

I love today’s wedding for its simplicity and beauty! Diana and John saved money by keeping their guest list small and DIYing their flowers. And make sure you check out Diana’s dress! It was a pre-loved dress she purchased from an organization which donates their proceeds to charity… what wonderful and budget-savvy option! xoxo, Jessica

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Diana + John

June 18, 2016

Asheville, NC  | The North Carolina Arboretum


What was your budget?

Photography: $1500

Dress: $300

Catering: $600

Cake: $300

Favors: $150

Venue: $5000 (+ $1300 extra for servers)

Flowers: $250

Groom’s attire: $200 

Music: $1500

Rentals: $800

DIY Invites: $100


How many guests did you have?

We had about 50 guests.


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

We wrote the wedding ceremony ourselves, as our friend was the officiant. We picked passages from two of our favorite authors, Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain, and added in some humor. We also had a bluegrass band, which was a bit of a splurge, but definitely set the tone. The setting itself was very personal.  During our first trip together was to Asheville, the first time we went to the Arboretum we knew that we wanted to get married there.


Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?

The biggest DIY project was the flowers. We picked up flowers from a local gardener and Trader Joes and arranged them with help from family and bridesmaids. I loved how they turned out! We also did the favors, program (we just did one program, on a chalkboard). All the bridesmaid did their own (or each other’s) hair and makeup.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Limit the guest list. We made sure to celebrate with friends and family that weren’t able to make it, but limiting the guest list meant less for flowers, cake, food, etc. We also saved by just having a day-of planning and doing some DIY projects. We also saved some on food/ cake by doing casual food and cupcakes. Our photographer was willing to cover a shorter period of time for a reduced rate, which helped us stay on budget, too.


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

Have fun and don’t sweat the small things. Ultimately no one (including you) will care what color the napkins are, etc. Also, try to stay on budget- a couple extra dollars here and there can add up to a large amount when all is said and done. Weddings are great, but starting out your marriage with huge amounts of debt just isn’t worth it.


What was your biggest splurge?

Probably the bluegrass band, but it was so much fun!


What was your favorite detail?

I loved the flowers. My mom, grandma and sister did most of the arrangements, and they were so pretty.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

At the last dance, all of our friends formed a circle and danced around us.



Photography: Red Boat Photography • Venue: NC Arboretum • Flowers: Your Vase or Mine and Trader Joe’s • Wedding Planner and Day of Coordinator: Eleanor Campbell of Events for You • Favors: Chocolate from Fresh Market and Costco • Catering: 12 Bones Barbeque • Bakery: Short Street Cakes • Rentals: Classic Event Rentals • Ceremony Musicians and Band: Bradley Carter • DJ: Sound Extreme • Bridesmaids Dresses: ModCloth • Wedding Gown Designer: Previously worn via Brides Project in Ann Arbor, MI • Shoes: ModCloth • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Wore suits they already owned • Ties: Tommy Hilfiger



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