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Traditional Chapel Wedding in Illinois with DIY Details

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Stephanie + Robert

Sycamore, Illinois
- 03/26/2023
Total wedding budget $16,673

Budget Breakdown

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

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

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

Blue is Robert’s favorite color and we chose to make that the main color of the wedding. We are also Christians and it was important for us to get married in a religious setting, while also receiving professional wedding services in a beautiful venue. That was one of the main reasons we chose Chapel in the Pines.

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

I created all of the centerpieces. I bought the faux flower balls on Amazon and thrifted vases from Goodwill. I also made a ton of purchases at Hobby Lobby (card box, welcome sign, welcome sign stand, favors sign, etc.) to bring it all together.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Shopping clearance first is a must! See if there is anything you love. My dress was originally $1499 at David’s Bridal but I got it on clearance for $382. I also got my wedding band from Blue Nile on clearance. It was originally over $1000 but I paid less than $500 for it!

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

Especially if you are footing the majority of the bill for your wedding, do what you want to do and you will not have any regrets. Don’t listen to opinions from others or let it sway you from your vision or budget.

What was your biggest splurge?

The alterations for my dress was our biggest splurge. I didn’t realize how much it would cost because of the lace details. I was so focused on the deal I got from my dress that I forgot to think about alterations!

I went to a seamstress who had an amazing reputation and paid over $1000. I did not want to go anywhere cheaper and hand over my beautiful dress to someone with less experience. The seamstress did an amazing job on my dress!

What was your favorite detail?

The officiant at Chapel in the Pines had a great script for our ceremony. He added humor when appropriate, and the ceremony flowed with ease.

My dad brought his photo booth mirror and that was a huge hit with our guests!

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

My favorite moment was walking down the aisle towards Robert and seeing all of our closest family and friends in one space. Truly amazing!

Share any additional details you’d like us to know about your event!

Chapel in the Pines is an all inclusive venue. They handled our catering, bar, linens and chair covers, tables and chairs, ceremony and reception space, and our officiant. We also got to hold our rehearsal there the day before the wedding.

Our parents contributed to the cost of our wedding flowers from Sam’s Club, our wedding cake, Robert’s attire and videography. We paid for 1 hour of videography of our ceremony only. My dad brought his photo booth for free and we are very grateful! My godmother made our wedding cake (she bakes professionally) and my husband’s friend Myles agreed to DJ for $400. He had prior experience at other weddings. We are so thankful!