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Wedding with Handcrafted Details

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I’m thrilled to share this sweet wedding with you today! This lovely wedding had tons of handmade details to make the day unique. The bride got a designer gown at a sample sale (score!) and was very intentional about deciding between wedding “wants” and “needs.” I absolutely love the bunting and the bandana table decor — so sweet and inexpensive too! I know you’ll love these gorgeous photos! xoxo Jessica

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 Rob + Kate

September 13, 2014

 Wall Township, NJ, Pat’s 30 Acres


What was your wedding budget?


Venue and food: $6,700

Rentals: $400

Rings: $350

Jewelry for bride: $25.00 (earrings only, all else was borrowed or already owned)

Hair: free (salon does bride free with certain size bridal party)

Make up: free (wedding gift from close friend who is makeup artist)

Dress: $450

Shoes: $30.00 (2nd hand, ebay)

Day of Coordinator: $500

Photogra pher: $1050

DJ: $300

Flowers (bulk for DIY): $700

Flowers from florist (brides bouquet and mothers corsages): $200

Favors: $300

Invitations: $325

Cake: $225

Cupcakes: gifted, made by one of my fantastic bridesmaids!!

Beach house for weekend: $750

Gifts for Bridal Party and parents: $700

Liquor and wine: $500

Crafts and décor (table squares, thrift store vases, etc) : $1500

How many guests did you have?

185 invited

160 in attendance

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

Our ceremony was very personal. Rob’s sister did a reading, my oldest sister officiated, and my other sister and her husband played a ukulele rendition of “Moon River” as I walked down the aisle, which was actually THEIR wedding song years ago. It made the whole thing incredibly special.

Our décor was pretty special to me because I spent a year gathering vases, ceramic animals, and other odds and ends from second hand stores, and actually became sort of known at some of the local thrift shops. A lot of the volunteers knew me and what I was there for, and would even occasionally hold things behind the counter for me if something came in that they suspected I might like. They always wanted to chat about how planning was going. It became a little ritual, and to see them all out on the tables the day of made me feel a whole lot of feels.

We also had a piñata at our reception. A GIANT one that I made over the course of a week and filled with salt water taffy. We generally aren’t very serious people,, so we wanted something to drive home that this was a laid back and very un-stuffy event. I think my bridesmaids in their formal wear beating a big paper mache ball did the trick. Also, who doesn’t want a taffy shower?!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Had a BBQ menu. The BBQ menu was much more affordable then most plated dinners would be, and suited our laid back style anyway. The venue was really great at working with us. We gave them a budget and an idea of what we wanted, and they worked with us on creating a menu with a little more personality then burgers and potato salad while staying inside of our budget. We wanted to stay under $40.00 per person with tax, gratuity, etc. and they got us incredibly close, and produced delicious ribs, brisket, corn bread, salad, baked beans, etc.. It was very “southern style”. They also included two beers on tap of our choosing (Guinness and Blue Moon, which brings a third option, the ever popular Black and Blue!!!), but let us bring in all of the other spirits, so that gave us room to bargain shop for the wine and liquor, which saved us additional on the per head cost.

What was the biggest sacrifice you made to stay on budget?

We did a LOT of things ourselves. It was very time consuming to spend my weekends scouring thrift stores and flea markets, making banners, etc. We also set everything up the day before, including making centerpieces and bridesmaids bouquets from fresh cut flowers we had ordered in bulk. It was a ton of work, but FUN work.

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

Stick to what YOU want. Don’t let other people tell you what you’re SUPPOSED to, or what is EXPECTED, or TRADITIONAL. We kept some traditions, and tossed some that didn’t feel like they fit us out the window. So many people had their opinions, and ultimately on our wedding day when everything was exactly what we wanted, it didn’t matter what they thought. We knew this was everything we wanted it to be.

I would also suggest getting ultra prepared in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Make your to do lists, time lines, etc.. Then once you’re at your rehearsal dinner (if you’re having one) just let go, let it all play out, and whole heartedly enjoy every moment from then on. Even if it turns out it isn’t exactly what you planned. Things will go awry, but all of those moments will either work themselves out, or become interesting stories you laugh about in the future. You only get to do this once, so don’t waste a single second fretting.

What was your biggest splurge?

One: Our day of coordinator seemed like such a luxury when we booked her, but she was the glue that held our entire wedding together. I can’t recommend this splurge for DIY brides enough. On your wedding day there will be a thousand little issues: where does this go, when does that happen.. Those things multiply ten-fold if your wedding is heavy with DIY elements. Our day of coordinator made it her business to make sure we weren’t bothered with any of that. She also made sure that we ate and made sure that our cups were full all night. I truly believe that without her we would have spent our wedding day ring mastering a circus instead of enjoying it.

Two: We decided sort of last minute to rent a house two blocks from the beach in a town about fifteen minutes from our venue instead of getting hotel rooms for the weekend. It was really amazing to have a central location where we could just relax and drink wine on the porch, visit with family, eat snacks with members of our bridal party who popped in and out, for the entire weekend. It created a sense of community that I don’t think we would have had if we had simply booked a room.

What was your favorite detail?

Doilies! They are so light and airy, I just love them. So I bought a box of 1000 for twenty five dollars, and used them for everything. They got wrapped around our invitations, strung up all over our venue, plastered to our piñata.. I still have several hundred of them in my garage.. I feel like it’s the farthest twenty five dollars has ever gotten me.

I also really loved my necklace. It belongs to my grandmother. My grandfather had given it to her as a gift when they were young. He is no longer with us, so it was a nice way to have a part of him with me. Bonus points that it was also super gorgeous.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

Our first dance was really special. It was a song that rang very true not only for us as a couple, but for our tight knit group of friends, so halfway through we invited everyone to join us on the dance floor. Everyone was singing and really happy. It was sort of magic.



Venue: Pat’s 30 Acres  •  Photographer: DB Photography  •  Day of Coordinator: Pearl Event Planning   •  Bridal bouquet and mothers corsages: Mister Allen’s Florist  •  Cake: Mueller’s Bakery  •  Hair: Salon Du Monde  •  All other florals: Sam’s Club  •  Wedding Dress and Bridesmaids: David’s Bridal  • Invitations: VistaPrint


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