We have an absolutely dreamy wedding for you today. Melissa and Samuele had a bi-lingual, semi-destination, self-uniting Jew-ish ceremony. It took place about 10 minutes from where the groom grew up. We especially love all of the budget-savvy tips from the bride that helped her pull off this incredible wedding. You will love this Tuscan Vineyard Wedding on a $6k Budget!Xoxo, Jessica
Melissa + Samuele
June 20th, 2019
Radda in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy | Castello di Albola
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Dress: $1,300 custom Etsy dress
- Catering: $1,500
- Cake: $75
- Calligraphy: $250 (assuming this is invites, programs, and menus)
- Venue: free with catering costs
- Flowers: $5: foraged wildflowers, but bought a floral wax spray to make them last longer
- Decor: $700: mostly Ikea
- Groom’s attire: $80
- Music: $80: Spotify and rented speakers
- Photography: $1,400 for 8 hours with 2 photographers
- Hair/Makeup: $715 for me and the moms
Total Budget: $6,000
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
The location was 10 minutes from where the groom grew up. He used to pass this spot and stare in awe at its beauty. Sharing this spot with our friends and family meant a lot to him.
It was a bi-lingual, semi-destination, self-uniting Jew-ish ceremony. It took a lot to make our ceremony true to ourselves, our cultures, and inclusive of all of our guests. In the end, people could not stop commenting on how incredibly personal the ceremony was.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
I wanted footed fruit bowls to decorate the tables for the aperitivo, but they are so expensive! So, I bought both bowls and pasta bowls from IKEA, turned the bowls upside down, glued the pasta bowl on top using glass glue, and voila! Footed fruit bowls.
Music was the classic Spotify playlist and some rental speakers. Moving these between locations and getting things set up was a challenge, but we loved that we had complete control over the music.
Most importantly, we foraged for wildflowers and made table arrangements with a couple of generous guests the day before the wedding. I was worried that this was going to be stressful, but picking wildflowers in the hills of Tuscany? Probably the highlight of the week leading up to the event.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Limiting our guest list was huge. It really allowed us to take care of our guests while still keeping within our budget. We had a gorgeous, huge Italian wedding feast. We would never have been able to afford that if we had even 50 guests. But this did so much more than save money. Everyone became friends! We had people get together for dinner the night before the wedding and offered the opportunity to meet up for brunch the day after. With multiple events and an intimate guest list, we found that everyone went home with plans to visit the new people that they met.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
When DIYing, realize that you need more help than you think you do to set up on the day itself. Things will go wrong and friends generally love to help. Say yes when they offer!
What was your biggest splurge?
Hair and makeup. I got really top artists and bought nice clip in hair extensions. I figured, people will be looking at the photos of me for years to come, I want to look good! And damn, I do not look nearly that good on a normal day and Frank and Ana were totally worth it.
What was your favorite detail?
Since we were at a vineyard, we made our guest book a wine bottle time capsule. We put together a box, included a bottle of wine from that winery, and had guests write us their hopes and wishes for our future. A sign explained that we’d open it in 5 years, drink the aged wine, and read everyone’s notes. The manager of the vineyard loved the idea so much, the gifted us a really nice bottle of wine and made us promise to let them know how it is when we open it.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
My husband’s vows. I’m a planner, I wrote my vows months in advance, edited them, got feedback from good friends, edited them more. And they were nice. But he wrote his the night before and they were the most beautiful, funny, heartfelt thing you’ve ever heard. Everyone was crying and laughing. The photographers got a photo of me crying in that moment and when I look at it, it brings me back to his words.