📋 Get the Wedding Quick Start Guide!

Musical Virginia Wedding with DIY Details

When you shop via links on our site, we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Learn more.

Ashley + Mike

Fredericksburg, Virginia
07/16/2022 · 80 guests
Total wedding budget $25,000

Budget Breakdown

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

  • Flowers
  • Miscellaneous
  • Partner 2 Attire
  • Stationery
  • Cake/Dessert
  • Planner
  • Decor
  • Alcohol/Bar
  • Partner 1 Attire
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Music/Entertainment
  • Photography
  • Catering
  • Venue
  • Total wedding budget

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

Music is a very important part of our lives. I am a music teacher, and Mike is an avid music listener and live concert-goer. We really leaned into the music theme. Our save the dates were magnets made to look like concert tickets! I DIY’ed our invitations to look like CD albums. The invitations were cut out like records. On the front of the album was our engagement photo, where we had dressed up to look like a fake edgy rock band. (I held a ukulele, and Mike held a keyboard.)

Instead of doing regular table numbers, we named each table after a song that was significant to the guests sitting at each table. I DIY’ed our seating chart by putting records on a trellis and printing the guests’ names onto the middle of each record.

I also used records for the table names. Each centerpiece included CD cases that we owned. For our ceremony music, we had a string trio perform. Two of the musicians were my teacher friends, and the other musician was a high school student whom I’ve taught privately for the last 7 years.

For our cocktail hour music, my friend performed with his brass quintet. I definitely wanted to include a photo booth for our entertainment.

Mike and I don’t eat a lot of cake, so I knew I wanted to go with something less traditional for dessert. Mike loves chocolate chip cookies, so we ordered cookies from Crumbl. Since we had a summer wedding, I definitely wanted to include ice cream. Jeni’s sells ice cream that is individually packaged, ships quickly, AND comes with spoons, which was so convenient since we didn’t have to worry about providing toppings or additional cutlery.

For our guest book, we had people leave photo strips and messages for us. I also wanted a temporary tattoo station. I ordered customized tattoos that had our faces and our dog on them! I also bought some tattoos that leaned into the rock/music theme.

I love color and wanted to do something slightly different than pastels, which seems very trendy in the wedding world. So for our color scheme, we went with dark and moody rainbow jewel tones. Each bridesmaid wore a different color dress.

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

All of the decor was DIY’ed by me! I love thrifting, and so I thrifted almost all of the decor. Our color scheme was rainbow jewel tones. I found a lot of vases and glassware to go along with that. I did get some of the items from Amazon, like the geometric centerpieces and fairy lights. I made our ceremony arch by using copper pipes from Lowe’s. I added faux greenery from Amazon, Michael’s, and Walmart, then accentuated them with wooden sola flowers that I hand-dyed. I DIY’ed our invitations and seating chart to go with our music theme. My younger sister loves to draw, so she surprised me with a dessert centerpiece – it was a drawn version of me and Mike!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Our biggest steal were definitely our flowers! I had intended on DIY’ing all of my own flowers by using sola wood flowers. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to complete the project. We ended up going to the Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market the same morning as the wedding. We bought my bouquet, 5 bridesmaid bouquets, and 4 additional centerpiece bouquets for $104! The flowers went perfectly with the rainbow jewel tone colors of the wedding.

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

It definitely helps to sit down with your partner and prioritize what is the most important for each of you. Know what your must-haves are so you can allocate your budget accordingly and narrow down your options.

Try not go get bogged down by all the small details! I say that as someone who is very detail-oriented and spent hours cutting each invitation and addressing each envelope by hand!

Everything you DIY will ALWAYS take longer than you think, so plan ahead and try to get those projects started months before you want to finish them. The last 2 weeks before the wedding were so stressful for me because I had so many last-minute DIY projects that I had to finish.

What was your biggest splurge?

We spent the majority of our money on our venue and catering. Our venue came with a caterer, so we didn’t have to worry about hiring out. Many budget-saving blogs will advise you to find your caterer separately to save money. We had almost booked a venue that was cheaper – it was just to rent the space. But then upon reaching out to potential caterers, they explained that we would have to pay extra to rent linens, plates, and cutlery, and we would have to go through other rental companies to do so. Rather than having to coordinate with multiple vendors, we ended up booking one vendor that took care of the space, catering, and alcohol. For us, it was worth the money to only have to deal with one vendor.

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

We wanted our children to play a very special role in our wedding, so we had our wedding rings set up on a table with a sign for our guests to say a blessing or prayer over them on their way to their seats.

Vendor Credits