What was your budget?
We spent around $12,000.
- Photography: $1,200
- Dress: $800
- Catering: $1,600
- Cake: $650
- Venue: $4,000
- Flowers: $100
- Groom’s attire: $200
- Music: $1,000
- Rentals: $2,000
- Invitations: $350
How many guests did you have?
We invited 200-210 but had about 170 actually attend.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We wanted our wedding day to represent the things we love most, family, friends, the water, and classic southern traditions. My dad made the cross we used as an altar. It was very special to stand at the cross made with love by my dad, vowing before God and our friends to love and commit to one another. Now we have the cross in our yard!
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
I made the bridesmaids’ bouquets and groomsmen’s boutonnieres. I knew I wanted simple, classic white flowers. It was really quite easy; I just watched a couple of YouTube videos and practiced. I also made the programs for the ceremony. Our invitations were my favorite thing to pick…I love quality printing! So I used the same pineapple theme from the invitations, designed the programs on my computer, and printed them at Staples. The folks at Staples were very helpful in getting everything centered and helping me choose the same quality paper.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Ask for help and favors! When someone says “let me know if I can do anything,” don’t be afraid to take them up on the offer. I would always tell people “don’t be surprised when I do!” My aunts and bridesmaids helped me with the bouquets and boutonnieres. My bridesmaids let me borrow décor from their weddings, and a family friend did all the centerpieces. She used clippings from magnolias because that’s all I really wanted. The venue was right on the river with beautiful trees, Spanish moss, and a perfect sunset. We really didn’t need a whole lot of other decorations.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Don’t get bogged down by the small things — you don’t have to do everything the wedding industry or Pinterest tells you. We enjoyed planning our wedding because we weren’t stressed out about small details, and we loved every minute of our wedding day because we were together with our families and friends celebrating. We knew what our budget was and didn’t want to spend time and money on things that weren’t essential. Wedding favors are great, but honestly, what do most guests do with those favors?
What was your biggest splurge?
The venue! We wanted a traditional southern venue, and what gets more southern than a historic estate with beautiful white columns and Spanish moss! Our venue came with chairs, tables, and linens.
What was your favorite detail?
The band! We danced all night long, and the reception would not have been nearly as much fun without the live music.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
At the end of our ceremony, we said the Lord’s Prayer and invited our guests to participate with us. It was so special to have everyone join in with us as our first moment as husband and wife.
Photography: Red Boat Photography • Venue: The Whitford Estate (no longer open for events) • Flowers: DIY • Stationery: Blush Paperie • Videography: Anchored in Love • Catering: Moore’s Olde Tyme BBQ • Bakery: Ali Smith’s Cake (no website) • Rentals: Island Essential Tent & Event Rentals • Band: Crystal Coast Band • Transportation: Trolley from New Bern Tours • Ceremony Musicians: Family friend • Hair Stylist: Tangles & Knots • Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Sung • Wedding Gown Designer: DaVinci • Bridal Shop: Carolina Bridal World • Veil: Custom Sews in Garner, NC (no website) • Shoes: Jack Rogers • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Banks