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In honor of the holiday, I just had to share this subtly patriotic wedding- it just brings a huge smile to my face! The bride is a member of the National Guard Reserve, so the patriotic themed, holiday weekend wedding is just perfection! (It was actually a Memorial Day weekend wedding). They stuck to their American theme in a non-cheesy way with the help of the fabulous team at Cedarwood in Nashville. I've attended a couple of weddings at this location and it's fabulous! Their photographer, Shanell Bledsoe, captured every gorgeous detail that the Cedarwood team included in the big day. I'm especially in love with the flowers– *swoon*! Hope you all love this wedding as much as I do! 🙂

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Michael & Morgan

May 30, 2010
Nashville, TN

What was your budget? Give a rough breakdown of what you spent if possible.
Under $20k for all the necessities (though, thanks to some support from family members, we were able to have some extras like a limo ride at the end of the night and a beer/wine/spirits selection at the bar)

Wedding Package @ Cedarwood for 100 guests with a few upgrades added on : Approx. $15k (The package includes everything from invitations, to decor, food, cake, DJ, etc.) For perspective purposes, ours was the “Mid-Range” package. You could be at a lower package price point or higher one given your preferences (e.g. Whether or not you choose to include food for a cocktail hour, etc.)

Photography: Approx. $2k

Dress: $1k

How many guests did you have?

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We chose instrumental acoustic guitar versions of more contemporary songs for our ceremony music: (For instance, I walked down the aisle to “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles, and the Groom/Wedding Party entered to Bon Jovi's “Livin' On A Prayer”).

We put our bar menus in picture frames made by a family member.

Our wedding favors were chocolate sugar cookies made by Michael's mother. We attached a note to the favor boxes letting our guests know that (since we didn't spend lots of money on the favors) we made a donation to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to help with flood relief efforts. (Nashville and our home city of Clarksville, TN had major damage due to flooding earlier in the month.)

Because I am a member of the Maryland Air National Guard and because we got married on Memorial Day weekend, we included a “Thank You” to our military friends and family in attendance and listed them by name.

During our Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances we played picture slideshows of our childhood and teenage years. It was special for our parents and helped deflect some attention off of nervous dancers.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We chose Cedarwood!
We did some searching on wedding locations and weighed the pros and cons of a “DIY” wedding vs a “All Inclusive” location. Since we live in Maryland now and didn't have the time and resources to plan every detail of a wedding in Tennessee from states away, we chose to have our wedding at an all-inclusive location. After researching options, Cedarwood was our choice because of their ability to scale the package(s) and pricing up and down dependent upon our budget and preferences. (This is NOT the case with ALL All-Inclusive venues, so brides should be sure to ask lots of questions and request package details in writing to avoid confusion or tons of “add-on” costs at the end.)

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Prioritize your budget! There is absolutely no need to go into debt for your wedding, so communicate with all the parties involved in the financial aspects of your planning and be on the same page from the get-go.

Beware of the mark-up associated with all things “wedding”. You don't HAVE to buy your shoes and jewelry from the bridal boutique. (I found the EXACT earrings I tried on in a bridal store for half the price online!)

You most certainly cannot please everyone ALL the time, so take opinions and good advice when you come across them and leave everything else behind without guilt.

What was your biggest splurge?
We put a little extra money aside for more flowers. They were beautiful!

What was your favorite detail?
We loved ALL of the decor and ambiance at Cedarwood. The rose petal aisle way was super romantic.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?
The kiss! It was perfect.

Ceremony and Reception Location: Cedarwood , Nashville TN  |  Caterer: A Dream Come True Catering (Through Cedarwood)  |  Florist: Cedarwood Florist
Cake: PattyCakes (Through Cedarwood) |  Bridal Gown: Bridals By Elena (Severna Park, MD)  |  Bridesmaid Dresses: The Dessy Group  |  Photography: Bledsoe Photography – Shanell Bledsoe  |  Hairdresser and Make Up: Sara Andrick   |  Ceremony Music: Rob Higginbotham (Through Cedarwood)  |  Reception Music: Frank Flemming – DJ (Through Cedarwood)


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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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