What was your budget?
- $4,500 for venue
- $3,500 Photography
- $1,200 for DJ
- $1,100 for flowers
- $1,500 for food
- $1,000 for beer and wine
- $500 for decorations
- $650 Rehearsal Dinner
- $800 for Wedding Dress/Bride Attire
- $200 for Groom’s Attire
Total: roughly $15,000.
How many guests did you have?
We had 120.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
As a maker and designer, I challenged myself to create a space that was unique to our style and taste. I designed and created many decorations by hand, with help from my husband, parents, and a team of great friends. My mother and I thrifted endlessly to find the perfect vintage bottles and glass pieces for the tablescapes. I also designed my two-piece wedding dress and my wonderful sewing mentor and friend Robyne made it at no cost to me! This experience inspired me to start Spiritus Event Design, my own wedding design on a budget business.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
Yes, most of the décor was handmade by myself or friends. I created all the centerpieces using thrifted bottles and giant votives. We had some tables with buds and single flowers, while others were decorated with large under-water terrariums. My friend Courtney made some amazing DIY decorations such as a geometric installation and moss-covered hanging lamps. My favorite DIY project was a lit “McCausland” sign that my friend Alex Toro from “Twig & Ink Designs” did hand calligraphy for. My dad, husband, and I glued floorboards together, painted the letters, and drilled holes throughout for the white lights to pop through. We received many compliments and still have it hanging over our bed to this day. My friend Anna and I laser-cut table numbers, a “please sign” sign, as well as our cake topper from sparkly rose gold paper I bought from Hobby Lobby.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
I have an eye for design and love a thrifty challenge! I thrifted much of my décor and made practically everything else. The other huge factor was my dress; because my friend Robyne made my design with no labor cost to me it was a HUGE money saver.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Do your research, don’t just go with the first vendors you find! You will notice from vendor to vendor there are huge cost differences and many of the less expensive vendors are just as good as the costlier ones. Also, recruit help from creative friends for making your own décor. The supplies are cheap, it is the time that you need to consider.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our wedding photographer June is a very close and wonderful friend of ours and graciously did our wedding at a large discount. When all was said and done, photography was still one of our bigger expenses. Our photos were extremely important to us because we wanted to capture the day we put so much work into creating. June has a very journalistic eye and is a true artist. Post-production she does not over-saturate the photos or use filers that will date them (can’t say enough good things about her). We knew from the very beginning we wanted her to capture our day.
What was your favorite detail?
The magical lighting on the grounds and in the tent of my venue. My dad recruited family, friends and pretty much anyone standing around to help string white lights EVERYWHERE. When the sun went down it was truly spectacular. We didn’t buy the expensive bulb lights, instead, my dad scoured stores after Christmas and stocked up on boxes and boxes of plain white Christmas lights for the occasion. I am tearing up just thinking about all the work my dad put in to make it so magical.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Seeing all the decorations put up and finalized as I walked through the tent to enter the ceremony was so memorable. There were so many months of planning, tears, and favors from loved ones that made this day come together. It truly surpassed my dreams and expectations!
Photography and Videography: June Cochran • Venue: Stone Mountain Lodge • Flowers: Jennie Dreiling • Event Design / Styling: Spiritus Event Design (+ Instagram) • Calligraphy: Alex Toro • Catering: The Butcher and The Blonde • Bakery: The Market • DJ: Nate from Elite DJs • Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist: Angela Dixon from Indie Six • Wedding Gown Designer: Dana McCausland • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux