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helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank


What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.

I am a giant fan of DIY, not just because its cost effective- mostly since I am a crafty Jane of all trades (artist, graphic designer, photographer etc etc)!

The dress was a Target brand dress I found at Goodwill for about $10.00. As a costume maker and sometimes seamstress I am always hunting for good stuff to alter or reinvent there. If as some sites say you use the dress as a marker for your budget…well my total budget except photography was under $200. Now to find the perfect dress you would have to be on the hunt for some time 🙂 I have had that dress over a year.

I made everything from the boutonnieres and bouquets to invitations and the veil!


How many guests did you have?

If you include our Pastor and Photographers- three!

We wanted to elope without being selfish, and so we had a very private intimate ceremony, just us and two of our kids, with a reception planned for cool crisp October- and not worried about the budget there either- my man can cook!

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

Just about everything for our DIY wedding was personal to us- we are bird lovers, and so we picked Brian’s favorite bird, the Chickadee, for our announcements and invites to the reception, and the guys boutonnieres. My son Rocko was the Best Guy, and my daughter Oonagh, my Best Lady. Everyone except the bride wore brand new black Chuck Converse Allstars and jeans 🙂


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

I think that making my own invites started as a money saver, and I was very worried they would look ‘cheesy’ and cheap- but low cost can still mean classy!

They turned out wonderful though, and I even decided to splurge and buy an embossing kit and stamps for $9 on clearance as an added embellishment to the envelopes and etc- and wow! they looked great. I should note, I already own a very high end photography printer- if someone wanted to design and make their own invites but only had a HP home printer or something most professional printers would print on great quality paper for a really low cost.


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

Enjoy it- enjoy each other and get a good photographer! Do not let concerns over what other people think you should or shouldn't do worry you endlessly. It's the basis of the rest of your life together, not just a popularity contest or party!


What was your biggest splurge?

The best wedding photographer in Nashville! Stephanie of La Photographie- worth every penny and more! I have many friends who photograph weddings, and her costs are not as astronomical as I had heard by any means- I cannot stress how much a good capture meant to us. We just loved the pictures, plan on hanging one huge one on canvas over our mantle 🙂 the pictures truly are all you have left! As a photographer, sure this means something to me, but so many of the women in my friends and family regret their pictures. you do not want to look weird or discolored or just have a bad 3×5 of your big day!!!


What was your favorite detail?

I love how simple and sweet it all was, I love the circus- just not for that day


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

When we both started crying- everything stopped!



Photography: La Photographie

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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  • christina

    I am a little disappointed. Not sure this wedding will help most of the readers on this blog. I always wait for Wednesdays, but I didn't even read past 3 guests only included.

    • Sam

      I have to respectfully disagree. There are all kinds of ways to have a wedding. It's nice to see elopements, especially since it's the only option for some people with tight budgets. I'm not having a dessert only reception, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the weddings featured on the blog that have these types of receptions. This blog shows that there are lots of ways to have your special day on a variety of budgets.

      As for the wedding, I love the dress. I'm really jealous of brides who look stunning in short dresses. I also really love the colored veil. I feel like I keep seeing the colored veils more and more. Maybe it's a new trend. Anyway, congrats on your lovely wedding, Brian and Anjeanette.

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  • @dqueener1

    Where did the wedding take place? that house is very unique? i love it.
    By the way i vote this my favorite entry i love the colors and ideas.

  • The Sweet Maple Life

    I would love to know the type of metal that the Groom's wedding band was made of?? Anyone know??

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