What was your total wedding budget?
We planned a Sunday brunch wedding on a budget of around $7k in the end. Here’s a breakdown of how we spent the wedding budget:
- Venue: $800
- Photographer: $1500 (included engagement photos)
- Food/booze: $1200
- Paper needs: $200 (save the dates, invites, programs)
- Dress: $300
- Flowers and decorations: $200
- Henna: $300
- Hair and Makeup: $400 ($100 per person)
- After party: $1200
Our goal was under $5,000 and we ended up at $7,000 (including random things and taxes)
Total: $7,000 wedding budget
How many guests attended your Sunday brunch wedding?
We invited 80 people in total (including the wedding party) and served 72.
How did you meet?
My husband and I have “known” each other since middle school though he was a grade ahead of me. In high school, he dated a good friend of mine and I thought he was the weirdest guy on the planet. I told her all the time to break up with him. My standards for boys back then was limited to car type, social standing and maybe job type. After college and different social media apps, we reconnected and kept in touch with an occasional liked picture or comment.
One day I got a Snapchat from him about his lunch and we started messaging more regularly. This snap led to us meeting for dinner and we’ve been together ever since. Our first Christmas he went back to the same restaurant, ordered the same meal, took a Snapchat, printed it out and framed it for me as a keepsake to the “best decision he ever made.” Totes adorbs!
What is your proposal story?
Our first year together he took me to a local outdoor garden that does it big with Christmas lights. I loved it so much as I had never been growing up and it became a yearly tradition for us. The year he proposed we had picked a day that ended up being the COLDEST day that year. I was complaining about going but bundled up to be a good sport. Due to the cold, I was basically running through the garden barely stopping to look at certain displays.
He kept delaying at one spot asking if I thought the lights were orange or red. I was so annoyed and started to just walk away and when I noticed he wasn’t behind me I walked back and he had gotten down on one knee. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, he was stalling because people were around. I had always said a proposal should be private and he knew I wouldn’t want to do anything in front of strangers. Of course, I said yes and he whisked me off to a very nice dinner at a local place. He obviously knew the plans so he was dressed nicely for this place while I looked like a hobo with 72 layers. It was the most “us” night ever and I wouldn’t change a thing!
Tell us a bit about your wedding vision.
Honestly, we didn’t really want a wedding, we wanted to get married just us at the courthouse. His parents put a big ol’ foot down on that idea. They started planning a huge 200+ affair and we both said NO! A compromise for both sides was a small Sunday brunch wedding, or essentially a budget-friendly gathering on a Sunday morning. We wanted something casual and intimate to celebrate with the people there. I know where my abilities lie so I enlisted trusted friends and businesses to make my vision a reality.
My words to everyone were “classy yet casual Sunday brunch.” I also made sure to pick a venue that would not hold more than 80 people so our guest list would be restricted. The photographer was amazing in capturing “us” pictures and not weird staged overly dramatic poses. Faye Street Studies was the design queen as her original designs were the jumping off point for everyone else.
Read this: Plan a Brunch Wedding to Save Money
Tell us about your attire choices.
We planned a Sunday morning ceremony and breakfast reception with an after party at my brother and sister-in-law’s house to include beer and a taco truck. Therefore, I wanted a dress that would look nice for the ceremony but I would potentially be comfortable staying in all day. I ended up changing into something much more casual at the after party but I loved my dress. I still love that wedding dress! For the attendants, I wanted something that was budget friendly for them and could be useful for other events or easily resellable. I think I hit it right on the head as both my bridesmaids and his groom’s ladies have worn their dresses multiple times! He was in charge of picking out the attire for himself and his best man. I think he did a great job!
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Photographer, food, and booze were the most important things to us. I wanted a quality photographer that would get us and our vision and create lasting memories for us, first and foremost. Amazing food and enough booze for a Sunday brunch style party came next because everyone likes breakfast food and champagne is always a good choice in my book. We had absolutely no leftovers on food which tells me we did well on that front. Things that weren’t that important to us were on site decorations. In my experience, no one ever actually talks about the centerpieces or can remember if the linens matched so those were things we gave little to no thought to.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
The whole morning of our wedding was amazing. The hair and makeup people came to my apartment where my girls and I had stayed and we drank coffee, chatted and watched Real Housewives. It was the most relaxed morning I could ever have planned. Being as the wedding itself wasn’t something I was particularly interested in, I don’t remember much from that but the after party was so much fun. People came and went all day/night and hung out and chatted. Our families from all over got to kick back, enjoy some cold local beer and the best food truck in our town. I couldn’t have asked for a better day!
Get Inspired: See More Brunch Wedding Inspiration
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
My aunt created the bouquets from maybe two pictures I had sent her that I kind of liked. When we saw them for the first time that morning I was blown away because they were better than I had even thought. She went above and beyond with color choice and types of flowers.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Aw, maybe this is my favorite part of our wedding. There is a local grocery store chain in Richmond that has hands down the best cake in the entire world. It is a 7 layer pound cake with this rich chocolate icing between each layer and frosted with. My husband and I buy one of these cakes easily every other month to enjoy. When it came time to pick a wedding cake we both insisted on that little $10 cake. We ordered 12 cakes and the venue arranged them to look like an actual wedding cake! Most of our guests are local to Richmond so when they walked in and saw these bar cakes EVERYONE was so excited. It also was great that we didn’t have to freeze the top layer; we can go get our wedding cake any time we want!
What did you do for favors?
We chose not to have favors, opting for the after-party instead.
Please describe any handmade, personal, or DIY items.
My aunt created all of the centerpieces and the small number of decorations we did have at our Sunday brunch wedidng. I rented some things which would prevent having a bunch of stuff to try and sell after the wedding day. I would say that our details weren’t exactly special or noteworthy just that the overall picture was nice.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
My husband’s father is from Libya and I had my attendants and I get henna designs on our hands as a traditional nod to my FIL’s heritage. It was a surprise for him on our wedding day. I also asked that he give a traditional Arabic prayer over us at the reception.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Think long and hard about what is important to you both. DO NOT make this about anyone other than the two of you. If you want to wear a red dress then girl, wear that red dress and rock it! If you both want to do it up traditional style then do it. When you get caught up and make the day about everyone else you will not enjoy what a very special day it is.
Photography: Aurelia Studios • Ceremony & Reception Venue: Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center • Stationery: Faye Street Studios • Hair: Pearls and Perfection • Makeup: Pearls and Perfection • Catering: Mosaic Catering + Events • Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal • Bride’s Shoes: David’s Bridal • Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal • Veil: David’s Bridal • Submitted via: Matchology