What was your budget?
Our budget was $15,000.
- Photography: $2300
- Dress: $950
- Catering: $3000
- Venue: $3600 = $3000 (reception) $600 (ceremony)
- Flowers: $400
- Decor: $82
- Groom’s attire: $300
- Music: $775
- Bartenders: $400
- Videography: $500
- Makeup $140
- Coordinator: $500
- We felt it was an honor for us to have our bridal party in our wedding so we purchased the bridesmaid’s dresses: $200
How many guests did you have?
We had 200 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Community is more important to us than stuff so we wanted to incorporate others into our wedding in any way possible. On our website we had a section available of ways to get involved in lieu of a gift. Some of these areas included bringing a pie, being an Uber for guests flying in from out of town, hosting out of town guests, being part of the cleanup crew, helping with appetizers, helping serve pies, etc.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
My cousin, Amber Kessler Freer, was in charge of the décor. She found lace table cloths from thrift stores that we sewed into table runners, we found vases at garage sales and throughout my family to use as well. We painted my grandmothers old sewing spools wedding colors for decoration on the table.
My sister hand designed the boards welcoming people to the reception. I handpicked the lavender we dried (on a fabulously relaxing day) and made into bouquets. They were accented with other dried flowers and with fresh greenery donated from a family member’s yard
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We saved a lot by enlisting the generous help of family and friends who were willing to contribute their time and talents to our wedding instead of a cookie sheet we may or may not use. Additionally, we found a reception venue that was in our price range and allowed us to pick our other vendors instead of having to choose from an approved list of often costly retailers.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Hire an amazing coordinator. My coordinator, Catherine Whittier, went above and beyond for our wedding. We had spreadsheets on spreadsheets that were initially overwhelming, but helped us nail down every detail. I anticipated the week of the wedding to be stressful, but because we did so much leg work early on, it was stress free. I didn’t have to answer a single question the day of my wedding and truly got to enjoy each moment.
What was your biggest splurge?
Photography! You’ll have your photos forever; they should look good. It was important to me to hire someone to capture our wedding in a style that fit us.
What was your favorite detail?
My father passed away from a long battle with cancer when I was 7. Since then, I have had many men step into the role of father figure, and help shape me into who I am. These men lined the aisle as I walked down the center, escorted by my uncle. My husband cried. I cried. Everyone cried.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Walking down the aisle will forever be ingrained in my mind. I am not an overly emotional person and did not anticipate becoming tearful. It’s an indescribable experience to look out and be surrounded by every person who loves and supports you whole heartedly and then see your best friend at the end of the aisle waiting to start the rest of their life with you.
Photography: Kaitlyn Huff • Ceremony Venue: Hazlewood Christian Church • Reception Venue: The Barn of Coatesville • Flowers: DIY by my cousin, Amber Kessler Freer • Wedding Planner: Catherine Whittier • Stationery: DIY • Videography: Kinsey Lengerich • Catering: Jugs Catering • DJ: Jason Best • Ceremony Musicians: Joey Gearries + Britanny Daughtery • Hair Stylist: Allison Lemasters • Makeup Artist: Hannah Smythe • Bridesmaids Dresses: Sears.com • Wedding Gown Designer: Mary’s Bridal • Bridal Shop: Prestigious Affairs • Shoes: Amazon • Groom’s Suit/Tux: JC Penney • Ties: Amazon