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So excited to share this Wedding of the Week! This insanely detailed Texas wedding has punches of color, peacock elements, and penguins! Like my alliteration there? I seriously am blown away by all that Michelle was able to pull off for her $10k budget! The peacock themed wedding details are amazing, the food looks delicious, and the venue– to die for! Hope you love this wedding as much as I do- and be sure to read all of Michelle's very thorough questionnaire- she has lots of great ideas and tips to share! I especially love her sentiment about doing a first- look, which if you know me, I highly recommend! Until next time, xoxo- Jessica

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Russel + Michelle

November 11, 2012
Buda, TX  at Le San Michele


What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.

We didn't actually set a budget, we just decided we wanted to keep it as low as possible. As we went along I calculated all of the big expenses to try to make sure we weren't going crazy, but I honestly just recently sat down and seriously budgeted out every part of the wedding (we wanted to know how much it all ended up being). Here is the break down:

  • Invitations and Thank You Cards: $294.45
  • Beauty and Attire: $3,085.38 (The bridesmaids bought their own dresses and shoes, a friend did all the hair for a discounted price, and the groomsmen paid their own rentals)
  • Venue: $2,105. 00 
  • Music: $43.16 (We bought our music on iTunes and a friend DJ'ed for free & gifted us the cost of sound equipment rentals)
  • Flowers: $343.16 (This is just cost of supplies as my mom made the arrangements)
  • Catering and Wine: $1,641.94
  • Cakes: $293.00
  • Bridal Party Gifts and Party Favors: $803.89
  • Photography (Bridals & Wedding) and Videography: $1,187.99 (We used for video; we rented 5 cameras and they host the footage online for a year. I will be personally editing the wedding video)
  • Misc Items and Decor: $531.92
The total cost of our wedding was $10,329. We spent $7,074.42 total on a 2-week Honeymoon. 


How many guests did you have?

We had roughly 80-90 guests in attendance.


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

We wanted a small wedding with only people we actually knew there. So, we only invited family and very close friends; I think there was a grand total of 5 guests/people there we didn't know (that's including the catering staff). There were still about 90 guests there (since I have a large(ish) family), but I feel that doing it this way made the entire event very intimate and meaningful. There was absolutely nothing in the wedding that didn't have some meaning for the both of us. We held a 2nd Reception party later so that we could celebrate with our larger group of friends. The ceremony itself was short and semi-traditional; meaning we used some of the standard vows but said our own vows as well. My brother-in-law, Kyle, performed the ceremony. We also had 2 Ring-bearers; my dearest friend, Holly (who couldn't be my MOH because she lives in another state) and her 5mo son, Preston.

We chose the theme for the wedding from my favorite bird, the Peacock, and our colors from both our favorites, Purple and Blue. Pretty much everything in the wedding was made by me with the help of my friends, bridesmaids, and Mother; so, basically everything there was both creative and personal.

My mom made all of the bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages using silk & plastic flowers bought at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and JoAnn's Fabrics. We bought all of the peacock feathers used for the wedding in bulk from

I designed, printed (with the help of a local print shop, Quik Print, that is both quick and cheap), and made/put together each of the Invitation packets and Programs.

Neither of us like the traditional “Bride or Groom's side of the room” thing; So to avoid that, I made a little decorative chalkboard (using a $5 mirror from target, chalkboard spray paint, and a purple ribbon) and had my mom, who has much nicer handwriting, write the message “As 2 families become 1, please pick a seat not a side” on it and we hung it on the walk-way to the ceremony (an idea we found on Pinterest).

Instead of the traditional Unity Candle or Sand pouring, we poured wax crystals from 2 smaller ‘pour' vases into a larger vase, creating our own “Unity Candle”. I glass etched our initials and put a pearl dot design adhesive onto each of the vases to personalize them so that I poured from a vase with an “M” on it, Russel from one with an “R”, and the larger vase, the Unity Candle, had a “W” on it for our last name.

I made each of my Bridesmaids and Honorary Bridesmaids Peacock Feather hair clips to wear. One of my Bridesmaids, Jocelynn, makes jewelry as a hobby, so she made all of the Bridesmaids matching necklaces and earring sets as her wedding gift to me.

I made each of the 12 reception table centerpieces using 10″ round floating candle bowls, multi-colored glass marbles, Peacock feathers, and tea light candles. I lines the inside of the bowls with peacock feathers, filled them with the marbles, and in the middle I placed tea light candles (inside of little tea light holders to keep from being messy).

With the help of a couple friends, I made 2 different party favors for the guests… 1) We made little 2oz candles and put them into ivory organza bags with a little Thank You card explaining the candle's scent and meaning, and 2) In smaller organza bags, we put 3-5 Dark Chocolate Hershey's Kisses with a smaller Thank You for  card. I also made ribbon sticks for the guests to wave at us as we left the reception. When we left the reception and got to the car, we surprised all of our guests by spraying them with silly string 🙂


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Having a completely DIY wedding and the fact that so many of our friends and family gifted us their talents (cupcakes, jewelry, flowers, DJing, etc…) is what saved us so much money in the end; these things also came together to make our wedding the most personal, amazing, and unforgettable wedding a girl can have!


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

Plan the wedding that YOU want; not what your parents, family, or friends expect. Make your wedding a reflection of who the two of you are! Don't be afraid to use any help that is offered or even to ask for help; if I hadn't had so much help from my friends putting everything together, I would have never gotten them done and I would have been completely stressed out the entire time. You WILL get stressed out; you're planning a wedding, there is no avoiding it. But when you start getting really stressed, take a break; go do something fun with your fiancé, or even just take time to pamper yourself (I enjoyed lunch dates with just myself and a book). Make sure you take care of yourself and don't forget about your Fiancé (make sure to cuddle a lot!) and most of all: just HAVE FUN!!!


What was your biggest splurge?

The biggest splurge was my wedding dress. I originally wanted to keep it under $400, but when I tried on my dress… There was no other dress that would be as perfect as it was. My incredibly understanding Fiancé told me that he didn't care how much it cost; this was My day and he wanted me to be happy. My dress, an Oleg Cassini, retailed $1100 at David's Bridal, but we got it on sale for $920 (including tax).


What was your favorite detail?

I don't think I have a particularly favorite detail; I really just LOVED every aspect of our wedding. I think one of the things I really enjoyed was how everyone (whether they were a part of the wedding party, guests, and even the catering staff & venue owner) came together to help to put everything together and just have fun. The wedding ran SO perfectly; the time schedule was right on, we weren't rushed for anything, and there was something happening at all times so that no one was left bored and waiting on anything. I've been told from brides that their days were rushed and stressful and that they barely remember anything other than walking down the isle… We still remember Every Single Aspect of the day! And I really hate to sound like I'm bragging, but makes me incredibly happy to hear from so many of our guests how much they enjoyed the wedding and how ours is one of the best (if not the Best) weddings they've ever attended; it makes me feel like I did something right!


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The most memorable moment of my wedding day was our First Look. Initially, we weren't going to have one; Russel was dead set on seeing me in my dress for the first time walking down the aisle. But, since the wedding was in the evening, the light would be fading pretty quick after the ceremony and we wouldn't have a lot of time for pictures. Alexandra actually helped me talk Russel into having a First Look so that we could take our wedding portraits Before the ceremony. And it was absolutely Perfect! I got to sneak up on Russel and surprise him with his wedding gift (mine was so large, he had already given it to me). We laughed and cried and got all of the wedding jitters out of our system; and it didn't make his experience of watching me walk towards him down the aisle any less special.



Photographer:  |  Cake Designer: Kayla Knight Cakes  |  Caterer: Me So Hungry  |  Dress Designer: Oleg Cassini  |  Venue: Le San Michelle  |  Cupcakes: Natalie Walker, friend of the bride
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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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