Welcome to our first Friday edition real wedding! So excited to share more budget wedding goodness with y'all. With all the wedding trends and fads, it's easy to forget the beauty and simplicity of a church wedding and reception. And Kara and Andrew's wedding encapsulates all that's wonderful about a church wedding. From the lovely ceremony to the darling reception details, Kara and Andrew did a masterful job creating a beautiful and memorable day on a budget of $5,000! They really got their hands dirty with alot of DIY, but the results are budget savvy beautiful. Hope you enjoy this wedding and have a Happy Friday! xoxo, Jessica
Kara + Andrew
May 23, 2015
Johnstown, OH | Johnstown Independent Baptist Church
What was your wedding budget?
My budget was $5,000
Save the Dates – $15 (designed myself and printed through my university print services—basically paid for stamps!)
Church – $200 (ceremony and reception)
Dress – $170
Actual dress – $40
Alterations – $90
Lace/beading – $20
Shoes – $20
Invitations – $62
PDF – $18
Cardstock – $6
Stamps – $30
Jute – $5
Adhesive – $3
Music – family friends (reception music was Spotify premium through portable speakers)
Food – $207
Candy – $27
Drinks – $20
Tablecloths and sashes – $218
Centerpieces – $50 (wood was free)
Other decorations – $150
Favors – $20 (custom made stamp from Etsy and magnets—free wood!)
Photographer – $2,039
Hair & Makeup – $125
Flowers – $230 (an additional $600 towards the flowers was paid for by the groom’s mom!)
Bridesmaids Gifts – $40 ($5 each- bracelets and earrings on clearance)
Officiant – family friend and pastor
Marriage License – $40
How many guests did you have?
99 including immediate family and the bridal party
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
I made all of the centerpieces myself (minus the flowers), using hot glue to apply burlap, twine, and lace to the jars in different arrangements. All of the jars were antiques, so they were all unique!
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Restyle a dress for my wedding dress. I found a strapless dress at Macy’s for $40 then got it altered and added the beading. It definitely saved a lot of money compared to buying one and getting it altered (even used ones were way more before alterations)! We also did a lot of things ourselves instead of buying or renting! For décor, my dad cut up the wood for our centerpieces and favors and made the cupcake stand. I bought chalkboard paint and chalk pens for our guestbook sign and other accents. I also saved a lot of money by getting things at Jo-Ann Fabrics and using coupons (the tulle for the pew bows was $7 and we had leftovers)! We even did all of the food ourselves. Instead of having a formal meal, we had fruits and veggies, cheese and crackers, and a few sandwich-type items. My mom made all the desserts and cupcakes, and she did the cake too!
What was the biggest sacrifice you made to stay on budget?
Definitely food. There were plenty of leftover cupcakes and we had enough food for everyone, but it was not a typical wedding meal. The reception was at 3, so it worked out perfectly! Catering would have been anywhere from $15-25 per head, but by doing the food ourselves it was a couple dollars per person.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Make a spreadsheet! I started with a pre-made Excel “wedding budget planner” sheet and added more tabs—guest list, addresses, a list of items with costs, and other details. It makes it easy to see how much you a have spent and how many people have RSVP’d since it automatically adds up the numbers. Additionally, I made an itinerary on Word and sent it to everyone involved in the wedding—it included phone numbers, times and where to be, job descriptions, and directions. If you are super organized before the wedding, the day will run smoothly and you won’t have anything to worry about on the big day!
What was your biggest splurge?
The photography. I think you would agree we had an amazing photographer and it was definitely worth it!
What was your favorite detail?
My bouquet! I loved it and towed it around on our honeymoon until it dried up.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Andrew and I did not see each other after the rehearsal dinner until I came down the aisle, so after the ceremony we slipped outside to be alone and cry and hug and kiss. There were so many fun times that day, but that first-moment being husband and wife was amazing!