Red and White Tennessee Wedding on a $14k Budget
This wedding comes to us from Franklin and Nashville Tennessee! This looks like such a fun wedding- the rooftop reception space made for a great venue for dancing and having a great party! The photographer, Matt Andrews, did a great job capturing the spirit of the day! Thanks so much for sharing your wedding with us Regina & Matt! xoxo, Jessica
Regina & Matt
April 17, 2010
What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.
Our budget was around $15,000. Adding everything up, I think we came in somewhere around $13,500. I am sure there are costs here and there that I am forgetting. There were some things that we found the cheapest possible option and some others that were more of a splurge. My most important thing were photographs, we spent around $2,200. I absolutely feel it was worth every penny. We had him attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner to get pictures of our family and friends, instead of my bridal portraits. He also brought along a second photographer and set up a photo booth at our reception (big hit with the guests). We decided to save money with a DJ instead of a live band so we spent $425. I would not have changed a thing. He was incredible and kept people on the dance floor all night. He also brought lighting. Our videographer ($750) was a gift from my Godmother so that was no expense to us. It worked out great because both of our families helped tremendously on our big expenses. Our catering ended up being around $21 a person. Our venue was $1,275. We rented a trolley to take the bridal party from the church to the reception for $200. Our florist was $1,500 which included all bridal party flowers, arrangements at the church, and reception centerpieces.
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We tried to incorporate as many personal aspects as we could. My Father passed away from cancer 3 years ago on May 30. I contemplated walking down the aisle alone, but eventually asked my mom because I knew I would need her there with me and I knew it would mean the world to her. She was so appreciative and it was really touching to see people’s face as we turned the corner. I will always remember the intimate moment we shared right before the doors opened. We had 2 people do a reading at the ceremony. We chose my Godmother and Matt’s Father. It was really special to have them read and speak directly to us in front of all our guests. For the two outside unity candles, we used our baptismal candles. My something old was Matt’s bonnet he wore home from the hospital. It came with a poem from his grandmother. They snipped a few stitches and it became my hanky. I also had a picture of my dad inside a bouquet charm on my bouquet. At the reception, we had 3 bottles of wine from Arrington Vineyards. We had people sign them with silver sharpies. We will drink them on our 1, 5, and 10 year anniversaries. Finally, in lieu of favors we made a donation to the American Cancer Society on behalf of each guest in honor of my late Father and Matt’s late Grandmother.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
I feel like we did so much to save money, but everything always adds up. We made our own invitations. They ended up costing a little under $3.50 each for pocket folds (this included the postage). I decided to plan and coordinate everything on my own, but luckily included in our reception price was an event coordinator (Deanna= AMAZING). She helped coordinate all of our vendor arrivals, their set up, and she decorated the entire reception. I printed our programs from home. We also DIY all the decorations. We alternated centerpieces at the reception between flowers and glass vases. I got the glass vases from Dollar Tree (you can go to their website and buy items by the case). I then decorated them with ribbon from Michael’s. I found our chair sashes for $0.99 on a website and my mom created miniature bouquets to tie along with each out of silk flowers. She also made wreath’s for the church doors and pomander balls to hang by the road at the church. Our wedding cake was a very small cake for us to cut and then we had butler passed mini cupcakes (this saved some money on our catering total). There was something in every aspect of our wedding that I tried to do to save money.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Try to just take in every moment. It goes by so fast. Now that I look back, it feels like it happened in the blink of an eye. I would also say to make your day about you and your fiancé because at the end of the day that is the whole reason you are there. Also, do NOT stress over the small things. There will be things that do not go as planned, but at the end of the day you will have your husband and the memories. I would also advise that if you will not be hiring a coordinator, have someone at the church to help out if you need. There were a few things we needed at the last minute and it was nice to have a family friend with us to help run those last minute errands.
What was your biggest splurge?
I am not sure if I can pick one thing that would technically be a splurge. I tried to find the cheapest option for all vendors possible. It just makes it hard because everything begins to add up. We spent the most money on catering and our photographer.
What was your favorite detail?
Where do I begin…my colors, when my husband and I danced with our flower girl, the dress (ohhh the dress), our soloist’s song choice at the wedding (“My Heart, Your Home”- Watermark), my Mom walking me down the aisle, the charm of my Dad on my bouquet, maid of honor speech, karaoke at the end of the reception, our first dance. I could go on forever, but I should probably stop now.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Again, there are so many running through my head right now. I would have to say waking up to the bright sunshine on the 17th . You always worry about the weather especially when the cost of the tent (if bad weather) for your reception venue is more than the location all together. When we set the date everyone thought we were crazy. We met in April 2004, so April was an important month for us. April’s weather can vary in Nashville, but I knew if my Dad could not be there he would handle the weather for me. The week leading up to the wedding the weather did not look very good, but at that point it is something that you cannot change. I kept the faith. When I woke up on Saturday to clear blue skies and 65 degrees, it literally brought tears to my eyes. I am still thanking my Dad everyday for the beautiful weather he gave us on our special day! On a funny note, almost at the end of the reception we realized we had real life wedding crashers! I am assuming they walked up from Broadway. It made for some funny photos!
Church: Saint Andrew Lutheran Church | Reception: Aerial | Caterer and Wedding Cake: Down South Delights | Photographer: Matt Andrews Photography | Videographer: Precision Videos | Florist: Rachel Short | DJ: Red Carpet Entertainment | Transportation: Nashville Wedding Trolley