Rustic Wedding on a Budget

You know I love a good rustic wedding on a budget – and that’s just what I’ve got for you today! Rather than tell you all the things that I love about this day, I’ll share what the couple’s sweet photographer, Sarah Beth had to say about this wedding:

I had the absolute pleasure of capturing Jen & David’s big day. Their wedding was almost completely DIY- and a labor of love from all who know and love them. Jen is a country girl at heart, so she incorporated two different pairs of cowgirl boots- my favorite being the mint/teal pair! Jen is also a volunteer firefighter- and the firehouse has been a huge part of her life, so her home firehouse in Lewes, Delaware, lent the firetruck for her and David to use for the wedding- making for tremendously fun pictures! All of the details at the reception venue were put together by a few sweet and crafty ladies from Jen’s home church, Redland Baptist. They focused on the rustic feel of the overall day to pull together an incredibly sweet venue. It was such a wonderful treat to shoot one of my best friend’s weddings!

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Jennifer + David

November 23, 2013

Wedding location Rockville, MD  |  Redland Baptist Church, Adelphi Mills

What was your wedding budget?

We did not really start with a budget because we did not have anything to work with! We prayed and as we went we just tried to find the best deals and do things the smartest way possible and God provided the rest. This is totally a rough estimate, but our wedding was probably no more than $6,500.

$50 (Save the Dates designed by my bridesmaid and then printed)

$750 (Reception hall, already had tables and chairs so we did not have to rent them separately)

$300 (Church usage)

$150 (Sound guy to run the equipment for ceremony)

$150 (Wedding Coordinator, depending on your venue, sometimes you must use one)

$150 (Set up and breakdown of sanctuary)

$2,000 (wedding gown, veil, jewelry, boots)

$500-1,000 (food- we had friends donate BBQ, we bought buns, coleslaw, ect from Costco)

$150 (drinks- apple cider, sweet tea, unsweet tea, hot chocolate donated by mom)

$150 (cake- we actually had a friend make one anniversary tier and pie to cut, but bought the rest apple

and pumpkin pies from Costco for like $7.95 and they are HUGE)

$100 (favors- CD soundtrack of songs that were part of our story)

$200 (linen like paper table clothes, real looking plastic silverware, fine china plastic plates from Costco)

$800 (flowers for Bride, bridesmaids, and around the reception just babies breathe and accent pieces,

used bouquets at head table)

$100 (Paper cups, hot cups, napkins and dessert napkins)

$150 (Bridesmaid gifts and groomsmen gifts, a collaboration of things some handmade by me)

Things our friends helped us with or we got for free through a coupon!

  • Tux – with every 5 rented, you get one free… 5 groomsmen = free tux!)
  • Invitations – my brother handmade them
  • BBQ – our friends have a farm and killed a deer and pig for us
  • DJ – we made up a playlist and asked our friend to emcee
  • Food prep – we bought all the ingredients and our friends helped put it together
  • Decorations – gathered old mason jars, lace table clothes and friends made it incredible
  • Photography – would have been over $1,000, but my best friend’s gift was our pictures
  • Pastor – my dad is a pastor and performed the wedding
  • Music for ceremony – My cousin and best friend from childhood played guitar/piano
  • Videographer – My uncle videotaped the ceremony and the reception

How many guests did you have?

150 invited, 140 attended.

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

I wore cowgirl boots with my dress because I am always in boots!

Our pre-ceremony music was classic rock remakes by the Vitamin String Quartet. Our program was actually a booklet with the story of how my husband and I met and how we got engaged told from each side of the story. Our rings were carried in on my great-grandfather’s bible that he preached out of when he was alive. We walked out of the ceremony to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song played on piano. We rode from the church to the reception in my fire department’s fire engine driven by my captain. Our reception had a rustic theme of burlap, lace and mason jars. Each table was a different bible verse and each place setting had the verse on a card in their silverware pouch. The song I walked down the aisle to, “How He Loves Us” was the song he proposed to and then became our first dance as well.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing we did to save money was to ask around to our friends who had specific skills to see if they would be willing to help us out. I know that I have done that for people in the past and you would be surprised how your friends can come together and help make your day more special than anyone else could have.  I would also say praying was a big part. God put specific people in our lives that were so willing to lend a hand, sometimes without even being asked.

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

Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are so many little things that you can add to your wedding to make it unique. However, when you are finally there with the ring on your hand and enjoying all the celebration, you barely have time to notice those little things. Some are worth it, and some can be pushed to the side. Figure out what the most important aspects are and focus on those. Also, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about not inviting them to your wedding. If you have a small wedding and cannot invite the world, true friends will understand. It is your day and you only get to have it once! On that note, GET A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER! You will want the best photos possible to keep for the rest of your life. Get it videoed too if you can!

What was your biggest splurge?

I think the biggest splurge was my dress. I always thought I would get a great deal and not spend much on my dress. After I tried on about 30 of them, I could not walk away from this one. It had every bit of my personality in it. It was cheaper at the bridal consignment shop than the retail stores, so I still technically got a deal!

What was your favorite detail?

My favorite detail was probably having my fire truck to ride in. It meant so much to me that my brothers from the firehouse drove almost three hours to be there and brought the fire truck like Cinderella’s carriage to escort me to the reception. It felt like home and was so special to me.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The most memorable moment of my day was the dancing at the reception. I loved our first dance because we practiced it so much and the song is so dear to our hearts. The dance with my dad to “My Girl” was fun and sweet. My husband’s mom broke out into air guitar during their dance to “Sweet Child of Mine”, and that was a bucket of laughs. After those dances, everyone just laughed and danced together. It was a beautiful picture to see all friends and family together in one room.


Photography: Photography by Photos by Sarah Beth  //  Bride’s Hair : Meghan at IRA Ludwick Salon   //    Apple and Pumpkin Pies by Costco  //  Wedding Gown by Allure, purchased at I Do, I Do Wedding Gowns  //  Tuxedos by Men’s Warehouse  //  Bridesmaid Dresses by David’s Bridal  //  Bridal Jewelry by Etsy Shops Glamorous Bijoux and MyLittleBride and Waxing Poetic  //  Bride’s Boots by Corral Boots  //  Apple Cider by Heyser Farms  //  Flowers by Creative Floral  //  Adelphi Mills 

Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Learn more here

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