What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
The wood canopy structure was a creative look that we designed based on a wood canopy that I saw on Pinterest. We built something similar and customized it to fit our reception area. We also got creative with our first dance and surprised all our guests.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
Yes, we tried to do as much DIY as possible to save money. The wood canopy structure over the reception area was made by the groom! I really wanted to rent a sailcloth tent or a wood canopy structure, but they were way out of our price range! Jake is very handy and decided to take on the project and it turned out more beautiful than I could have ever imagined! All the guests were raving about it and it made our wedding unique and memorable. Jake also built the two wood arches that were used in our wedding ceremony.
We bought the flowers in bulk from Costco and DIY-ed the table centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, and the floral on the arch. The bride’s cousin, Stefani, was in a floral design class in High School and with the help of my bridesmaids we did all the floral arrangements.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
The biggest thing we did to save money was do lots of research and price shopping. I researched the best prices, possible alternatives, compared the prices to buy something versus rent it. It gave me piece of mind knowing that I did my research and got the best price possible.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Our biggest splurge was the wood canopy structure. I was adamant on having a tent or canopy at the reception. Although Jake saved us a lot of money by building the wood canopy himself, it was still our biggest splurge. We don’t regret a thing, it was gorgeous and worth every penny!
What was your favorite detail?
We had our groomsmen and all our wedding guests wear their service uniforms. The reception was a sea of military and firemen uniform. It was a special touch to honor the men of service.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Our favorite part of the day was our first dance since we had a surprise in store for everyone. Our first dance consisted of a mashup of three songs- a slow song (All of Me by John Legend), an electronic song (Ride It by Regard) which we shuffled to (the bride had to learn how to shuffle) and a merengue song (Suavemente by Elvis Crespo). Everyone really loved it!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Join the Budget Savvy Bride Community! I got so many ideas and tips from the ladies on there and it was so helpful to talk to other ladies who were going through the same thing I was. Also check the prices of buying versus renting. I sometimes found that it was cheaper to buy the items instead of renting them.
And the most important advice- Enjoy your day! It’s so easy to get stressed out or disappointed that things don’t go as planned but this is your special day and it goes by super-fast! Enjoy it! The guests don’t even know that things are going wrong anyway. So look around, soak it all in and just enjoy every facet of the day.