Our backyard, Allison Park (Pittsburgh), PA
What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.
Jewelry & Shoes $50
Tables|Chairs-Borrowed from local church
Hair & Makeup $100
How many guests did you have?
We had about 70 guests. It was close family for the ceremony (14 guests), and then we had an adult only reception to follow.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We had a sign our quilt guest book that my grandmother-in-law is stitching together for us as a wedding keepsake. We had several different edible favors, such as caramel apples with custom hand crafted tags, A for Abbott on the one side, and the other side said, “Sticky & Sweet, Loves a Treat.” Cut from fleece, with edges stitched by Darrell’s grandmother we offered blankets to help keep our guests warm. The blankets were rolled and then held together using twine and displayed in wooden crates. The blankets were orange, brown, and white to match our color theme. The tags for the blankets had an A on one side and on the reverse side it said “Warmest Wishes From the New Mr. & Mrs.” We used picture frames that I painted white with chalkboard paper to label things like the catering stations, signature drinks at the bar, etc.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We used our backyard as our venue. We also did a lot of things ourselves. My dress was a gift, and we borrowed things when we could. Most of our tables and all of our chairs were borrowed from a local church, we borrowed heat lamps from a friend, and my veil and bracelet were my “something borrowed”. Darrell wore a suit he already owned. Our centerpieces were milk glass and mason jars that were also borrowed. To cut costs we ordered all of our flowers from Sam’s Club made all of the arrangements ourselves. Our DJ and officiate were family friends and charged us a very fair price.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
The best advice I could give and have given is to try and be as carefree about your wedding day as possible. Your day will be perfect no matter what; hot or cold, rain or shine. In our case it was cold and rain, but hey, it was still perfect. Any imperfections in the day that you notice will not be noticed by anyone else. As long as you have each other and an officiate, you have yourself a wedding; nothing else matters and everything falls into place. Take a deep breath and enjoy planning because it all happens so fast.
What was your biggest splurge?
Catering was our biggest splurge, but it was well worth it. Everyone couldn’t get over how good the food was.
What was your favorite detail?
I loved our flowers. They looked beautiful with all of the fall colors. I loved the orange roses on our cake; the orange and white contrast was beautiful. I think my bouquet against my white dress and the fall leaves made our pictures some of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. I also loved our invitations. The burlap and lace was so pretty and set the tone for our outdoor wedding.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Our portrait shots at Hartwood Acres were a lot of fun. Not only are the pictures beautiful, but it was also fun to have our pictures taken with such beautiful scenery as our backdrop. Our portrait shots were so enjoyable because it was the only part of the day where it was just my hubby and I (and the photographers of course!). We were able to enjoy our newlywed bliss, take it all in and were lucky enough to have it all captured so beautifully.
Flowers: Sam’s Club | Photographer: Simply Couture Wedding Photography LLC. | Invitations: Etsy | Sweets: Tin Man Sweets | Shoes: My Glass Slipper | Fabric for blankets, wedding odds-n-ends: JoAnn Fabrics | Catering: L’eglise Fine Catering
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.