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real budget wedding

The primary color wedding color scheme for this feature makes me so happy! The florals in this event are absolutely gorgeous and totally make an impact — I've shared my love for sunflowers over and over again. ūüôā You'll notice in this wedding, like many of our other features, the couple utilized the skills of family and friends to bring their day to life on budget. I love the community aspect- it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Hope you enjoy this wedding, the bride's advice, and the gorgeous photos! xoxo – Jessica primary color wedding_0003 primary color wedding_0007 primary color wedding_0017

Samantha + David

August 24, 2013

Staunton, VA  |  American Hotel



What was your wedding budget?

Reception Food/Plates, Napkins, Cups, etc.- $2,500

Reception Rental- $2,000

Photographer – $1,600

Flowers- $950

Reception Alcohol- $750

Photo Booth- $600

Dress & Accessories- $500

DJ & Cocktail Hour Musician- $450

Gifts for Bridal Party- $350

Invitations & Postage-$250

Church Rental- $200

Decorations- $100

Grooms Wear- $90

Favors (Candy Bar and Glasses)- $75


Cake: $450

Coffee Bar: $250

Videographer: $500

Transportation: $150

Linens: $400

Total: just over $12,000



How many guests did you have?




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

Each guest upon arrival chose a glass of their choice to enjoy their beverage for the night. The glasses were picked from local estate auctions and were the guest’s to take home and included wine glasses, pint glasses, mason jars, and other unique stemware. We also had photos of ourselves from various years on the tables as centerpieces and featured bottles of local wine also in the centerpieces, as well as the beautiful flowers. We featured local beer in the kegs and Virginia wine as an option from the bar.



What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We really tried to be efficient with our money. We used family and friends to help with details and did not purchase anything that we felt we didn‚Äôt need or we would only have to ‚Äúlook pretty‚ÄĚ. We had a friend make our wedding cake, a family friend arrange the flowers, friends serve as bartenders, family and friends provided set up and tear down labor, and many other details of the event. We were able to add in personalized details without using designer anything, and no one noticed the difference! We really played into more of the experience than the ‚Äúwow‚ÄĚ factor, because people are more likely to remember how they felt at your wedding than how good their steak was or how nice the decorations were.

I also purchased my wedding dress from a sample sale, and used coupons for my invitations, use nice plastic-wear instead of renting china, borrowed linens from a friend, and did not purchase something unless I knew it would add to the experience of the event.



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

Do not be afraid to ask for help. Family and friends love helping, and it is a lot of free labor! Have a plan and stick to it, but if you are on a budget, be flexible. Borrow things, really think about how much you are spending, and enjoy the process. Sadly, you will remember many more details of the planning process than the wedding itself, so enjoy!



What was your biggest splurge?

Looking back, I think the flowers were the biggest splurge. I knew my mother would never let me have satin flowers and I was not creative enough to come up with another option (paper, fabric, etc.). We did have a family friend arrange the flowers which saved at least $300 from the florist, but the flowers really added up. However, they were beautiful and worth it!



What was your favorite detail?

I really liked the ability to feature local products and showcase what the area had to offer.



What is the most memorable moment of your day?

We loved riding in the classic from the church to the reception. It was a great time for us to just relax and be together before the craziness of the reception began.



Photography: W.Wooten Photography  //  Photobooth: Photo Booth of Charlottesville  //  DJ: Prime Time Sound & DJ Services  //  Wedding Dress: Bridal Impressions  //  Grooms Attire: Classic Tuxedo  //    Cake & Cake Balls: Cake Ballin' by Gina Wood  //  Catering: Hank's Southern Cuisine & BBQ  //  Florist:  Honey Bee's Florist  //  Invitations: Invitations by Dawn  //  Rehearsal Dinner: Blue Mountain Brewery  //  Rings: Christopher William Jewelers  //  


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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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  • Monique

    I absolutely love your color scheme. Its so bright and cheery! And the décor was beautiful as well!

  • Jacqueline

    Like the emphasis on the experience instead of the Wow factor – will have to keep that in mind!

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