There's nothing quite so budget-savvy and sweet as a church wedding! I love Jessica and John's simple approach to wedding planning and their focus on their marriage. How sweet is it that their friends at church made their reception dinner, bringing this wedding to $5K?! Enjoy this Tennessee church wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Jessica + John
March 19, 2016
Knoxville, Tennessee | Ridgeview Baptist Church
What was your budget?
Our budget was around $5,000. We spent roughly $400 on my dress, shoes, and jewelry. $500 was spent on my husband’s suit, shoes, and ties for the groomsmen. Catering was $600 which included our 3 tier wedding cake and a pasta dinner which was done by one of our church members and was absolutely delicious. The church was $200 for both the chapel and the reception hall. We spent around $300 for flowers and decorations which we bought at various craft stores. $200 was spent on gifts for the family and attendants. Photography when it was all said and done was roughly $2500 I think.
How many guests did you have?
We invited roughly 100 people all told, about 60 people made it, families and all.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We are Christians, so we both decided on a foot washing ceremony as part of our wedding to symbolize our devotion to each other, our faith, and our marriage. We also wrote our own vows, which we have been asked for copies of by multiple people at our church, including the pastor.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
Most of the decorations were made by myself and friends with a few things used from the church. All the center pieces at the reception were made by my friends and I with Dollar Tree vases and inexpensive votive candles tied with ribbon.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
The biggest thing was we had the help of friends and family to put it together. We were very blessed that our church family helped us with the venue and chapel decorations.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Don’t skimp on the photographer. It’s completely worth the money to hire a true professional that brings in a second shooter and is willing to make sure the day is captured perfectly. Also, it is good to have a plan of what you want, but don’t expect it to go perfectly… it won’t. Try to relax and enjoy the day.
What was your biggest splurge?
Again I’d have to say the photographer, though my husband did go a little crazy on his suit! But he was really excited and I have to say he looked very handsome.
What was your favorite detail?
Our vows. I spent so much time (months, actually) writing them that my husband actually had to say “Jessica, Pastor Zach needs them to get the ceremony ready.” They turned out so well and John was so happy with them.
Also, as a surprise for me, John and my Maid of Honor had a church friend play our song “God Gave Me You” on the guitar for our first dance. It was so incredibly sweet!
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
We chose to not do a reveal prior to the ceremony, only praying together with him on one side of a wall and me around the corner… So there was no peeking prior to the ceremony! Walking down the aisle and seeing this beautiful chapel and all our friends and family, then reaching a point where we each other for the first time. The look and smile on John’s face was amazing!
Photography: Rocky’s Photography • Venue: Ridgeview Baptist Church • Stationery: Gartner Studios via Amazon • Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal • Bridal Shop: David’s Bridal • Jewelry: Charming Charlie • Headpiece: David's Bridal • Shoes: Nine West • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse