What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Catering: $2400
- Alcohol/Bar: $3300
- Cake: $160
- Flowers: $1200
- Rentals + Decor: $600
- Music/Entertainment: $950
- Photography: $2300
- Partner 1 Attire: $700
- Partner 2 Attire: $4000
- Stationery: $165
- Hair & Makeup: $1500
- Ceremony Venue: $700
- Reception Venue: $5000
- Miscellaneous: $1000
Total Budget: $24,000
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
My husband and I are both in the military and had already had a private ceremony with our immediate families. This was our chance to celebrate with our friends and extended families. We included photos from our first wedding at our welcome table.
Another one of our personal aspects of the wedding was having a wood-fire pizza company come to make pizza for a late-night snack. Pizza is one of our favorite foods so we knew it was something we had to incorporate into our special day! Our cakes were also another personal aspect.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
Almost all of our decor was DIY. My grandfather made yard games like cornhole and big jenga for the reception. One of my sisters is an artist and did a wonderful job writing out everything for our decor. She also created the watercolor place settings for the tables.
My favorite kind of cake is Funfetti (yup, Pillsbury right out of the box) so my other sister made our wedding cake. The groom’s cake and an assortment of cupcakes were from a local bakery, but we supplemented our dessert options with homemade brownies, Rice Krispie treats, and pound cake. My family made all of our cocktail hour food as well.
My aunts, cousins, and grandmother created all of the flower arrangements, bouquets, boutonnieres, and the ceremony arch. Working with Bloom Culture made the flower process so much easier than I could have imagined. Alison was incredible and she made me feel so empowered to take on such a daunting task as DIY flowers on your wedding day. Honestly, we wouldn’t have been able to pull off such a perfect day if it wasn’t for our families. They made the day so special.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
The biggest thing we did to save money was the amount of DIY projects we took on. With everything we wanted or envisioned for the day, we would have quickly exceeded our budget. The DIY projects allowed us to bring our day to life.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Our biggest splurges were my dress, the open bar, and photography. I’d had my eye on that dress and I was so fortunate to be able to wear the dress of my dreams. We knew we wanted an open bar at our wedding so we made sure our budget could accommodate that expense. Your wedding day go goes by so fast, so it was important to us to have beautiful photos to look back on someday. Angela was such a joy to work with and we were so lucky to have her capture our wedding.
What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail was the flowers, specifically the ceremony arch.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
There were two things that stood out to me on our wedding day. The first was during the ceremony. We wrote our own vows and even though we were already married, it was special to renew our vows in front of everyone we love. Renewing the promises we were already living out in some ways will always stand out to me from that day.
The second moment that stood out was looking out during the reception and seeing all of your friends and family who have supported you and your relationship is so special. Many of our guests had traveled from all over the country to be there with us and it meant so much to us that they were there. It was so special to spend time with people who we hadn’t seen in so long and to make new memories with them.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Enjoy being engaged! You don’t have to rush right into the wedding planning process. Enjoy this special time with your partner.
The large checklist items are fun and fairly easy to accomplish. I had a harder time with the small details. I knew how I wanted our wedding to feel and I had to stay true to that as I chose the items that would reflect our personalities. When we got overwhelmed, my husband and I would reach out to family and close friends for their opinions. This helped us refocus and to stay on track.
Not everything will go perfectly on your wedding day, but it won’t matter. It was easily the best day of my life and it went by way too fast. Don’t let the little things take away your happiness.
Photography: Harlow Bliss Photography | Catering: Dinosaur BBQ | Venue: Best View Barn | Cupcakes: Lizzy’s Cupcakery | Flowers: Bloom Culture | Entertainment: Performance DJs | Groom’s Attire: Incognito Menswear & Tux Shop | Bride’s Attire Blush by Hayley Paige | Stationery: Simply to Impress | Hair and Makeup: Elite Beauty Studios | Venue: Best View Barn | Pizza: Toss and Fire Pizza