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Navy and Gold Spring Wedding on a $19K Budget

Jessie + Jon

04/27/2019
Southgate , Kentucky
Total wedding budget $19,000

What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.

  • Table settings and decor: 950
  • Venue: 1400
  • Food and Service: 3000
  • Beverage and Bartenders: 4500
  • Plates, cups, silverware: 300
  • Photographer: 2100
  • Bouquets and Boutonnieres: 500
  • Cake and Candy: 430
  • Dress: 280
  • Shoes and undergarments: 150
  • Groom Suit: 1000
  • Groom Accessories: 200
  • Reception Dress : 50
  • Ceremony Musicians: 200
  • Invitations and Reply Cards: 550
  • Thank you cards: 100
  • Favors: 200,
  • Gifts for wedding party and family: 1100
  • Limo: 1000
  • Hair and makeup: 25 (hair was gifted from a friend, bride did her own makeup, 25 covered lashes and a few extra makeup purchases)
  • Groom Ring: 300
  • Bride Ring: 200
  • Wedding jewelry: 150
  • Chair rentals: 400

Total Budget: $19,080

How many guests did you have?

180

How did you meet?

We met through mutual friends. We were out with some friends one night and were introduced and talked, but we were both coming out of relationships and weren't looking to date. A few months later, on my birthday, our friends invited Jon to meet us at a bar. He was so kind and drove all of my friends home and took us through the Sonic drive thru, so obviously I was in love.

What is your proposal story?

Jon proposed at my parent's house with a large group of family and friends during the holidays. He set up a white elephant gift exchange, so I thought everyone was just there for a Christmas party. He rigged the game so that I was the last person to go and the last gift was my engagement ring.

Tell us about your wedding vision.

Our main priority was having a fun, relaxed wedding. We wanted everyone to feel like they were at a big spring party, dancing with a beer in hand.

We were planning our Kentucky wedding while living in NYC, so it was so tough to look at venues and meet with vendors. My sister had been married in the same venue a few years before, so we knew they were inexpensive and easy to work with, and that it was a beautiful venue. We loved outdoor weddings but didn't want to risk rain in the spring, so this was a perfect choice because of the large windows and access to outdoor space. It DID rain, so I'm glad we chose an indoor venue but still had lots of beautiful natural light.

For the ceremony, we agreed that we wanted it to be super short and simple. Jon's brother got ordained in order to officiate and made sure the ceremony was sweet, lighthearted, and funny (which was also important to us). We're not super mushy, sentimental people, so having some jokes and fun during the ceremony was nice and felt very true to us.

For colors, we went with navy with gold accents and some soft pink in the flowers. Neither of us were too concerned about a color scheme, we just wanted something classic that wouldn't look super dated in a few years. It was also important to us that our groomsmen and bridesmaids get to pick out their own attire. We told the bridesmaids to wear a short navy dress of their choice and instructed the groomsmen to wear a grey suit and white shirt. It was very important to us that our wedding party be able to pick something in a price range they were comfortable with. We didn't want anyone feeling pressured to spend a ton of money on our wedding.

Another priority for us was good food. We were expecting around 200 guests so we didn't want to break the bank on catering, but we wanted something tasty and filling. Also I don't eat much meat and many of my friends are vegetarian, so we wanted to accommodate different preferences. We decided pasta would be a good option because it's typically less expensive, has meat and non-meat options, and pretty much everyone likes pasta. After considering a few options, we found Piada which was SO delicious and inexpensive. They also had incredible service and were so kind and helpful throughout the process.

Having lots of dancing and good music was also a priority. We really enjoyed curating our own playlist and knowing exactly which songs were going to play, so hired a friend to set up speakers and a sound system and play our playlist throughout the night, rather than hiring a DJ. She also played piano and sang during the processional, which was so beautiful. Using the playlist instead of a DJ turned out so well and, bonus, at the end of the night when everyone had had a bit too much to drink, we could add in whatever songs we wanted!

Tell us about your attire choices.

My dress journey was a bit stressful! I ordered a dress online soon after we got engaged. I wanted something lightweight and simple that I would be comfortable in, and something with a form fitting shape. When the dress came in it was just a bit too small, so I convinced I could lose weight and fit into it in time for the wedding. Obviously that was a bad idea and I would advise against it for any other brides. Two months before the wedding it still didn't fit so Jon finally convinced me to go shopping. I had already purchased my Kendra Scott earrings and I absolutely loved them, so I wanted to make sure I purchased something that would work with my earrings.

I went to the BHLDN showroom in NYC and tried on several dresses I had picked out online. While I was trying them on, the stylist brought in my dress and I HATED it. I never imagined myself in a high-low hem and I really wasn't a fan of the mermaid style either. However, I didn't want to hurt her feelings so I tried it on. As soon as I looked in the mirror I didn't want to take it off. I ordered my dress and another so I could try them on at home in my true size. When I finally got the dress in my size, it fit perfectly and I knew that was it.

Since my dress ended up being very budget-friendly, we decided to splurge a bit on Jon's suit. We figured that, unlike a dress, a suit was a great investment because he can wear it for years to come. He'd never had a custom suit before, so a coworker guided him to Kashiyama.

What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?

For us the most important thing was having everyone we loved there. It was hard to imagine planning a budget friendly wedding because we both have large families and lots of friends, so we wondered if we would have to limit the group. However we decided that including the people we loved was our top priority, so we focused on finding affordable catering and alcohol options. We wanted an open bar, but chose beer and wine only to save some money.

For hair and makeup, I felt very comfortable doing my own makeup so I just purchased some lashes and new lip color and did it myself. One of my closest friends is a hairstylist and has been doing my hair for years, so she did my hair for free as a gift. I gave the bridesmaids the option of scheduling a hair appointment at a salon or doing it themselves. I didn't ask them to get updos, so most just curled and styled their own hair.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

Our first look was really special. It was one of the only times during the day that we were (somewhat) alone together and got to just let our guard down and relax.

It was also very special for me to see my grandmother. She had just been moved to a nursing home a few months before and we weren't sure if she would make it. She was determined to attend though and we had fun laughing and dancing together. She passed away shortly after and it was the last time I was with her.

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

Flowers weren't a top priority. I actually let my sister pick out the bouquets and boutonnieres. We ordered those from the Kroger floral department. For the table centerpieces, we reused silk flowers and vases from my sister's wedding.

Tell us about your wedding cake.

We had cupcakes from Kelsey's on Main that were incredible. Kelsey's was my favorite lunch spot in my hometown and I always took a piece of Italian cream cake when she had it. It was so nice to have something familiar to eat and enjoy at my reception. We also had a candy bar, which we wanted to have a Honeydukes feel. We ordered bulk candy online and displayed it in large clear containers to add some color to the space.

Describe the personal details you included.

We had some fun Harry Potter touches in our decor and favors. We added little gold wings to Ferrera Rocher candies to look like golden snitches. We created a candy bar with bulk candy and clear display containers. Our table numbers (ordered from Etsy) were painted onto pages from the Harry Potter series. We framed copies of our engagement photos for the gift table and guests signed a large Marauder's Map instead of a guest book.

ATTIRE CREDITS

Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Bride's Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson | Jewelry: Kendra Scott | Groom's Attire: Kashiyama | Ties: The Tie Bar

Submitted via: Matchology