What was your budget? Please give us a breakdown of how you spent your budget.
- Venue- $5,450
- Catering- around $4,500
- Alcohol- (we provided this ourselves) around $1,700 (We also had a SnowBall truck during our cocktail hour that was making adult snowballs!)
- Photographer- $3,100
- DJ- $850
- Decorations- We DIYed everything, I would say we probably spent around $200
- Hair- My wonderful bridesmaid Lauren, who I work with (we are both hairstylists) did my hair, her own hair, my mother-in-law and my Maid of Honors hair free of charge. I did my mom and Aunts hair.
- Makeup- I treated all the women to this and paid $100 per person- $600
- Attire- I paid $94 for my dress (I got it off Amazon!) I got my shoes from Walmart.com for $35 and my earrings were Kate Spade that I think I paid $30 for them. My husband got his suit, tie, and shirt from Men’s Warehouse for around $350- bonus, he wears a suit every day so he gets to wear it all the time!
- Transportation- $400 (we rented a school bus)
- Cake- My mom and Aunt and a few other people helped to make cakes and pies for a dessert table.
- Favors- We gave out a few favors. We had to provide our own drinkware since we provided the alcohol, so I got Mason Jars from the Dollar Store, which were $1 a piece ($132), we had Koozies made because I love collecting them when we travel. My dad knew someone who made them for us, I think we paid around $200 for them. Lastly, my mom and Aunt made sugar cookies that were in the shape of frogs, squirrels, and hearts that we had in bags at each place setting.
- Invitations- I waited until Memorial Day weekend to buy my invitations because I knew there would be a sale. I bought invitations and RSVP cards that directed our guests to our website where they RSVPed because it saved us on postage and Reply Cards. $185
- Flowers- We used all fake flowers in our centerpieces and my bouquet. My bridesmaids had simple baby’s breath bouquets. My mother in law put the bouquets together. We probably spent $200 on everything.
We had a budget of around $20,000.
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We had little nods to frogs and squirrels because my husband always tells me he loves me more than all the frogs in all the ponds and I reply with I love you more than all the squirrels in all the trees. So our cookie favors were squirrels and frogs, his cufflinks and socks had squirrels on them and I had an Alex and Ani bracelet with a frog prince on it.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
We DIYed all our decorations. I love milk glass so I wanted my centerpieces to incorporate that. My mom, Aunt and I went to thrift stores and bought a bunch of vases and bottles and spray painted them to look like milk glass. We also collected cans for probably about a year and spray painted them in various shades of gold to incorporate on the tables. All of the signs I bought I made sure I would want to hang in my house afterward. I didn’t want anything that was wedding specific that I couldn’t use after the wedding was over. Our ceremony site was beautiful on its own but we did add a few embroidery hoops with pieces of lace inside and a few hanging candles. I used a template off of Etsy to make our seating chart on a pallet.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
I had to put the wedding into perspective. Yes, it was the best day of my life, but that’s because I got to marry my best friend with all of our closest friends and family. I kept telling myself it was just a party. We didn’t need extravagant things. Just good food, music, and booze! I knew it was only about 8 hours of my life and that most guests don’t care about your flowers or decorations. This really kept me on track and allowed to focus on the really important aspects. DIYing things helped keep our budget in check too! My mom and Aunt helped me so much with this, I don’t think I will ever be able to repay them for that!
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Start early! I did a lot of planning in the beginning and I think that really paid off. And let’s be real I had a Pinterest page months before we got engaged that had ideas. Also, have fun during the planning and the day of. I think some brides get so caught up in the little details and forget what a wedding is all about. When it gets stressful, it stops being enjoyable. My husband and I had the best time at our wedding and I think that makes your guests enjoy themselves!
What was your biggest splurge?
Our photographer: Meghan Elizabeth! I know it wasn’t the most expensive aspect of the wedding, but it was one of the MOST important parts to me. I knew that at the end of the day the pictures were the one thing I would have. She was worth EVERY single penny. We absolutely adore our pictures. She did such an amazing job capturing us and honestly half the time I didn’t even know she was even taking pictures. I started stalking her online before we got engaged. She had done weddings for a few of my Facebook friends and I knew she was who I wanted to do our photos. We could have found someone cheaper, but I am so glad we didn’t!
What was your favorite detail?
I loved the old red truck I came down to the ceremony in. My husband drives a red pick up truck and I knew that was how I had to make my entrance. The venue has all of these old vintage cars or a horse and carriage but I knew from the start I would be coming down in the truck. It was a really memorable entrance and I loved the pop of red with my teal accents. As soon as the truck parked and I was about to get out to walk down the aisle, I started crying. I had said all along that I wouldn’t cry, but I couldn’t help it, I was so happy!
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Two things! Our first look! I HIGHLY recommend doing this! It was so nice that we were able to have our own private moment together before the ceremony and get so many pictures out of the way so that we could be present at the wedding. And trust me, its still JUST as special when he sees you coming down the aisle.
Also our ceremony- one of our best friends was our officiant and he did the most incredible job! I had so many people telling me that it was not only the best wedding they had been to but the BEST ceremony. It was so personal and heartfelt. We also wrote our own vows.
Photography: Meghan Elizabeth Photography • Ceremony Venue: The Barn at Serra Valley • Reception Venue: The Barn at Serra Valley • Catering: CarterQue • Snow Ball Truck: Charm City Ice • DJ: DJ Lou D’Adamo • Transportation: Woodlawn Motor Coach • Hair Stylist: Lauren Reid @hairbylaurenried • Makeup Artist: Emily Wildt @emilywildtmakeup • Bridesmaids Dresses: shoprevelry • Wedding Gown Designer: Amazon from a shop called ASA Bridal. • Jewelry: Bracelet from Alex and Ani • Shoes: Walmart.com (Mark and Maddux) • Groom’s Suit/Tux: Men’s Warehouse • Groomsmen Suits/Tux: Men’s Warehouse