If you're a bride looking for ways to stretch your tight budget, today's wedding is for you! Kacey and Justin created a sweet and beautiful wedding on a budget of $3K. They opted to DIY their flowers, host their wedding at an unconventional venue and cater from a local restaurant. I also love how they included Kacey's adorable daughter in their big day. Enjoy this lovely summer courtyard wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Kacey + Justin
Virginia Beach, Virginia | Cambria at Cornerstone Apartments
What was your budget?
We set a budget of $3,000.00.
Wedding Bands: $600.00
Bride bouquet/3 Bridesmaids bouquet/flower girl flowers/groom boutonniere: $70.00
Unity Candle/guest book:$20.00
Cupcake stand: $10.00
Grooms tux: $200.00
Flower girl dress: $100.00
Hotel (2 nights): $250.00
Venue: FREE! I work for an apartment company and was able to use one of their facilities
How many guests did you have?
We had approximately 30 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
I used the bouquet that my Memaw (Grandmother) and my Mom carried at their wedding. My Mom also had an antique butterfly pin that we placed in my hair.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
Yes, DIY was not optional. Flowers can be very expensive. My best friend’s mother-in-law made the bouquet that I carried down the aisle, and I made my husbands boutonniere, as well as my three bridesmaids' bouquets. I purchased the cupcake stand from Amazon. I had to assemble this, and I sprayed it with Elmer’s glue and poured gold glitter all over the bases and arms of the stand for the pop.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
As crazy as this will sound, I did not buy my wedding dress for our wedding. I did purchase my dress six years prior for a previous wedding that never happened. It was still at the store when the wedding was called off. So my Husband and I talked about it and we decided that I would wear it. Plus he never saw it and I was still absolutely in love with it. My dress was originally $1200.00, but I caught it on sale for $498.00, in 2009. So this saved us $$$!
I think there is nothing wrong with purchasing a dress before you're even engaged. Weddings are extremely costly. So if you know that there is a chance you will need to pay for your own wedding, buy the dress. You just have to make sure you will still be in love with it years down the road. And the good thing is, wedding dress trends do not drastically change.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Stay calm and breathe. Vanessa, our photographer, told me the last two weeks would be the worst. She was not kidding.
You will forget the small stuff. The biggest thing, if someone offers to help, TAKE IT!
Take advantage of all of your resources. Do not be ashamed to call in favors and ask for freebies.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest splurge was Vanessa Hicks, for our photography. Photos are important to us. I initially went with a smaller package, to save money, but after looking over everything, Vanessa and I decided that I needed to go one-step up. After speaking with my husband, we decided the same. If you are on a budget, spend the money on your photography and do not forget to photograph you getting ready. It is timeless! Vanessa did such an amazing job. I couldn’t have asked for more from her.
What was your favorite detail?
I am from Georgia. So having a southern touch in our modern background was important to me. However, I did not know how to execute this or put it into words. My old work manager managed the venue and styling. She surprised us by making pink and white daisies in mason jars, and covered the pool table with a red and white checkered clothe. She also worked with Vanessa and placed photos of our family/engagement session around the clubhouse. Absolutely amazing!
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
My maid-of-honor forgot my husband's ring in the limo. I heard her whisper to another bridesmaid that she forgot it, as we were exchanging our rings. I saw my Dad run to the limo, which thankfully was still on site. After about 15 minutes, he returned. However, I also noticed Vanessa with her camera up for nearly the entire 15 minutes. Afterwards, she said she was waiting to capture anything that happened from forgetting the ring. It was hilarious afterwards!
Photography: Vanessa Hicks Photography • Venue: Cambria at Cornerstone • Flowers: DIY • Day-of Coordinator: Family friends • Catering: Pollards Chicken • Bakery: Farm Fresh Market • DJ: DIY • Transportation: B and L Limousines • Hair Stylist: Bridesmaid • Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal • Wedding Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero • Bridal Shop: Colleens Floral and Bridal Shop. (no longer open) • Jewelry: New York & Company • Shoes: Payless Shoe Store • Groom and groomsmen attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, 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! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.