What was your total budget? Please give us a breakdown of your budget.
My now husband and I are not big spenders and we had no intention of spending a lot of money on our wedding. Our goal was to spend less than $10,000.00. We didn’t keep that close of an eye on the smaller purchases (which I don’t recommend since these add up quickly) but these are the big purchases we had;
- 2 tier wedding cake: $75.00
- Venue: $3,500.00
- Rentals (grill/drink dispensers): $150.00
- Florist: $300.00
- DJ/sound system: $300.00
- Photographer: $1,600.00
- Servers: $250.00
- Church donation (pastor/musician): $200.00
- Wedding Programs: $30.00 (Etsy template + printing)
- Wedding gown + alterations: $1,200.00
- Shoes (bride and groom): $300.00
- Grooms suit + tie: $500.00
- Food: <$500.00 (We ordered all of our food from Gordon’s Food Service and then hired people to cook at the venue. We had a backyard BBQ theme.)
- Gifts (bridesmaids/groomsmen): $100.00
How many guests did you have?
In total, we had 100 guests.
How did you meet?
My husband and I met the first week of college at Indiana University. We were both runners in high school so we decided to go on a run and explore campus for our first date. It didn’t go as planned. We talked about our favorite Thanksgiving foods and discovered we didn’t agree on a single dish! We were almost back to campus when my now husband tripped and fell flat on his face because of the uneven sidewalks and I laughed so hard that I had an asthma attack. The run went so badly that I asked him to dinner afterward because I didn’t think he’d talk to me again if I didn’t.
What is your proposal story?
Before we officially started dating we went on a walk through a park near IU’s campus. We decided to climb a tree, but for one of us, we learned that going up was easier than coming back down. I got stuck trying to climb down. He “helpfully” watched and laughed as I struggled to get down. Fast-forward nearly 5 years later and he proposed under that same tree I got stuck in!
Tell us about your wedding vision.
We decided to get married in Bloomington, IN since that is where we met. We have always enjoyed the outdoors and wanted a backyard style venue. The Barn on Maryland Ridge was perfect for us. It was just outside of Bloomington off a country dirt road. It was a rustic barn venue with a loft and twinkling lights and a large open floor that allowed us to configure it however we wanted. Our colors were sunflower yellow and a dusty blue and white lace.
Tell us about your attire choices.
Bride: My dress was an A-line, off-white, full lace dress with a halter style and lace train. The dress had white beading and small silver sequins sewed throughout, and I had a custom belt. I had a fingertip length lace trimmed veil and white jeweled ballet flats.
Bridesmaid: The bridesmaid dresses were the easiest decision of the entire wedding. We saw the full length, one shoulder, dusty blue, lace top dress in the window when we walked into David’s Bridal to search for wedding gowns. My sister and maid of honor spoke on behalf of all the bridesmaids and picked the dress that day. All of the bridesmaids wore the same dress, but my maid of honor had a belt identical to mine added to her dress.
Groom: I wanted to buy a suit so that I could wear it again. I’ve always thought navy blue suits look good and it went with our color scheme so I went with a suit from Men’s Warehouse. I added a yellow-gold tie to stay consistent with our color scheme. The shoes were the hardest part to choose. I went with a caramel colored leather shoe that matched my belt and my watch band. The shirt was plain white.
Groomsmen: I also wanted to make sure that the things my groomsmen wore were things that they could wear again. I opted for staples like navy blue pants and a plain white dress shirt. I did embellish with dusty blue bowties that matched the bridesmaid dresses, brown suspenders, and fun patterned socks. They each wore their own pair of brown dress shoes.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
The two most important things to us were making sure that everyone we cared about was there and those memories were captured. We chose to spend a little less on food to make sure that we could invite more people. We spent more on the photographer because it was most important to us to capture the memories of the people we cared about most at our wedding sharing in our union. We enjoy looking at the photos from our special day!
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Our favorite part of our day was the ceremony. Ultimately, being joined before God and our friends and family was the reason for the day. It was special to have our college minister who watched our relationship grow to marry us. He was able to include special memories that made the ceremony feel very personal.
A little moment that was very special was when, at the end of the night, my husband and I went to the balcony of the barn and looked down at everyone who had shared in our wedding.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
Our flowers were easily the most expensive part of our wedding (minus the venue itself)–they even cost more than our food! I opted for sunflowers which unfortunately are not in season in the US at the end of May. We only purchased bouquets, boutonnieres, and a cake topper from the florist. These were mostly made up of sunflowers and then smaller white flowers and greenery that the florist suggested. She chose flowers that wouldn’t wilt in the sun. The rest of the flowers we purchased at a local greenhouse. We bought various sizes of pre-potted yellow flowers to match the sunflowers as well as large green ferns. These flowers lined the aisle and also helped us keep our burlap runner from blowing in the wind. We moved these flowers to the reception area so we didn’t need to purchase as many. We also used dehydrated rose petals for the aisle.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our wedding cake was a small 2-tier cream cheese-frosted carrot cake that only the bride and groom ate. We purchased the cake from a local bakery/coffee shop on Indiana University’s campus where we met. The cake wasn’t an important feature for us so we opted for a smaller “show” cake and then got 2 large sheet cakes for our guests (vanilla and chocolate). Our cake stand was a large wooden log slab with bark. We had a large sunflower topper with smaller sunflowers tucked between the layers. This actually worked really well since it allowed our servers to cut the cake ahead of time and pass it out to guests right after we cut our cake. We froze the top tier and ate it on our first anniversary.
What did you do for favors?
For wedding favors, we opted to do mason jars with chalkboard sticker name labels. These doubled as our guests’ glasses for the night. This allowed guests to easily their drinks again and also claim a seat since we had open seating. Also, we wanted to avoid washing dishes and having drink containers in pictures so this was the best of both worlds.
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
The bride’s older sister and maid of honor made all the decorations for the wedding by hand. Each centerpiece was a mason jar, with lace and ribbon tied around the neck, filled with silk sunflowers and greenery. These sat on doilies on the table. We also had strings of doilies that were white which we made by folding a white, lace, paper doily in half over barn twine. We strung these around the barn/reception area along with white twinkle lights. The bride’s father made a wedding arch out of branches from her parent’s home. The beautiful wedding arch also had silk flowers and greenery that was woven together by the bride’s mother. We also purchased wooden confetti from Etsy and sprinkled them on the table runners. Some were little hearts, others spelled “Love” in cursive.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
Yes, we did. The bride’s parents had their cake topper and the groom’s parents had their Champagne glasses. We had mini chalkboard stands next to each heirloom with our parent’s wedding date.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
The one thing we regret is not filming our wedding. A year later, we wish we could go back and relive the day. The day went so quickly that I feel like I missed the little moments.
We donated our extra food to a local shelter/food pantry. It was a great use of food that would have been thrown away otherwise.
Photography: Soul Creations Photography • Ceremony Venue: The Barn on Maryland Ridge • Reception Venue: The barn on maryland ridge • Floral: white orchid distinctive floral • Wedding Cake: sugar and spice • DJ: Khyle Porter • Wedding Ring: Jared • Earrings: Etsy • Rentals: The Barn on Maryland Ridge • Linens: The Barn on Maryland Ridge • Hair: SENOJ SALON • Makeup: SENOJ SALON • Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal • Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse • Bride’s Shoes: ModCloth • Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal • Decor Items: southside rentals • Headpiece: Etsy • Submitted via: Matchology