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Elegant Illinois Spring Wedding

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Vanessa and Jacob kept their wedding budget savvy by marrying on a Friday evening and relying on their family and friends for help. We especially love their dessert bar! Enjoy this elegant spring wedding that was pulled off on a budget of $15K for 300 guests!
wedding party attire

Vanessa + Jacob

Sterling, Illinois
- 03/24/2017
Total wedding budget $15,000

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Bridal Attire
    17%
    $2500
  • Groom Attire
    3%
    $450
  • Venue
    17%
    $2500
  • Catering
    10%
    $1500
  • Photography
    17%
    $2500
  • Rings
    5%
    $800
  • Cake/Dessert
    7%
    $1000
  • Stationery
    2%
    $350
  • Gifts
    3%
    $400
  • Alcohol/Bar
    7%
    $1000
  • Music/Entertainment
    4%
    $600
  • Decor
    3%
    $500
  • Flowers
    6%
    $900
  • Total wedding budget
    $15000

What was your budget?

Our total budget was $15,000. Before I was even engaged, I knew that my future husband and I would be the ones solely responsible for the cost of our wedding and reception. With a high numbered guest list due to our large families, we needed to be strategic in order to keep the cost of the celebration manageable. We decided to get married on Friday evening at 7 pm, and doing this saved us money by skipping the dinner and going straight into the celebration!

wedding program
wedding rings
wedding rings
bridal look

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

We felt like every detail of our wedding was unique and true to who we are as a couple.

My close friend’s daughter played her ukulele while singing to guests during cocktail hour and our DJ has been a friend/classmate of mine since grade school.

We had a close family friend mine and my family make a dessert buffet.  This included 8 different flavors of cupcakes, from raspberry to snickers. She also made 4 different kinds of tarts, chocolate covered strawberries, cheesecakes, and tiramisu.

first look
first look
first look
bridal look
first look
groom details

Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?

My husband’s aunt came up with all of the wedding decorations. She put a lot of love and tireless effort into creating a romantic setting for us!

indoor wedding ceremony
indoor wedding ceremony
first kiss
first kiss

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

When we could pay for something out of pocket instead of taking it out of the wedding fund, we did. For example, when we purchased our wedding bands, we made monthly payments from our checking accounts instead.  

couple shots
couple shots

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

I wouldn’t change a thing! I loved hearing advice from other brides and grooms, some we applied, and others we didn’t have to. However, the night went by too fast; I wish I had had more time to visit with our guests and DANCE!

wedding party attire
wedding party attire
wedding party attire
wedding party attire
white wedding flowers
bridesmaid dresses

What was your biggest splurge?

There were a few things that we spent an equal amount of money on. However, I would have to say that my bridal look, from my the dress to hair/make-up, was something I was not going to cut corners on.

DIY wedding decor
candle wedding decor
candle wedding decor
DIY wedding decor

What was your favorite detail?

My wedding bouquet and jewelry. It included broaches from my great aunt and grandmothers, lace from my mother’s dress and my pearl necklace, which was a wedding gift that my husband surprised me with on our wedding day.

wedding cake
wedding cake
wedding cake
DIY wedding decor

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Enjoying the day with our family and friends; getting ready, sharing stories, laughing, making memories. My favorite personal moment between my husband and I was our first look. At that moment, we were focusing on only each other, no one else existed (pictures later revealed dozens of family and friends spying on the moment in the background). It was the time where everything we had planned over the last 18 months became a reality and it hit us, we were finally getting married today!

cake cutting
first dance
first dance