We have such a fun real wedding for you today. Paige and Ryan included so many wonderful personal details in their day. We especially love the live goats they had at their reception! It was a surprise for their guests that went over so well! Enjoy this White and Blue Farm Wedding on a $10K Budget!Xoxo, Jessica
Paige + Ryan
June 5th, 2016
Dexter, Michigan | Zingerman’s Cornman Farms
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
$10,000 was our total budget! Cornman Farms offers an intimate wedding package that we paid $5,500 for. That included our venue, catering, cake, flowers, and photography all in the price of the package so I won’t have specific break downs for those items! The intimate wedding package (at the time) allowed for up to 20 guests. We had 40 and paid an extra $100 per head for every person over 40 which brought the total cost of our package to $7,500.
Photography: Included in the cost of our intimate wedding package
Catering: Included in the cost of our intimate wedding package
Cake: Included in the cost of our intimate wedding package
Favors: About $300 total. $110 for Coozies, $185 for custom Candles and we also had wooden monogrammed coasters made by my father in law for free!
Calligraphy: FREE! Luckily I have two very talented and artistic sisters that each dabble in calligraphy so they addressed our invites for free.
Venue: Included in the cost of our intimate wedding package
Flowers: Included in the cost of our intimate wedding package
Decor: None – we didn’t really have other Décor outside of what the venue provided for free
Groom’s attire: $250 for two suits from Men’s Warehouse during a buy one get one free sale. He got a Suit for the wedding and also one for the rehearsal dinner.
Music: FREE! With a small morning brunch wedding, we didn’t have a band and just had a Spotify playlist I made playing in the background.
Stationary (Invitations + Postage, Wedding Programs, Placecards, & Thank you Cards) ~$400 for all our stationary. We had the invites designed & personalized, printed on thick stock paper at Kinko’s, and postage. This also includes having our wedding programs, place cards, and thank you cards designed and printed as well.
Transportation: ~$300 for a charter bus to drive out of town guest from their hotel to the venue and back.
Big House Tour: We offered a tour of the Big House (Michigan Football Stadium) the day before our wedding since 90% of our guests came in from out of town. That was $250
Hair + Makeup – About $200 ($100 for makeup, $100 for hair). I was the only one that had my hair and makeup done.
Alcohol: ~$500 as alcohol was not included in our package. We served mimosas and beer since it was a morning brunch wedding.
How many guests did you have?
We had 40 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
- Most of our guests came in from out of town, so the day before we offered a tour of the Big House (Michigan football stadium). My husband is a huge Michigan Football fan, I got my MBA at Michigan so it was such a fun and memorable experience for not only us but for our guests as well.
- Guest Bench – Instead of having a traditional guest book for people to sign, we had my very talented father in law make us a custom bench that our guests signed instead. It now sits in our master bedroom and is such a treasured keepsake of our wedding day.
- GOATS – as strange as it seems, the goats were such a hit at our wedding. I was a little unsure of it at first, but I still have our guests tell me to this day that our wedding was one of their favorites to attend solely because of the goats.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
Many items at our wedding were handmade to make it more personal and also save money. Those things include:
- Guest Favors: One of our guest favors was handmade wooden coasters that were cut and sealed by my father in law and the calligraphy was done by my sisters.
- Guest Bench: Mentioned this above, but had a custom bench made for our guests to sign by my father in law instead of a guest book.
- Signs: We had several signs around the venue where the calligraphy was done by my sisters to save money.
- Lawn Games: Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate on our wedding day so we didn’t get to use any of the Lawn Games, but my father and law made us several lawn games to use included cornhole boards, a giant Jenga set.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
I would say there was two main things we did. The first was keeping things intimate and the guest list somewhat small. Being able to take advantage of the intimate wedding package was a huge budget saver as it included SO many of our wedding categories including venue, food, cake, flowers, and our photographer.
Also, having a morning brunch wedding saved us a ton. Not only having it on a “off day” of the week but also an “off” time of the day was a game changer for our budget. The fact that we had it in the morning meant that we didn’t need to hire a band or DJ which again, was another huge cost saver.
Lastly, I have to say my dress. To find my DREAM DRESS and have it only be $350 was a major win. I also wore my sister's veil, jewelry I already owned and a $30 pair of Chinese Laundry shoes I got from DSW.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
I truly loved keeping everything small and intimate. We were able to spend quality and meaningful time at our wedding with every single person that traveled to Michigan to celebrate our special day and looking back that was truly the most special thing.
I have so many friends who had larger weddings who either didn’t get to talk to a majority of people at the wedding OR spent the entire wedding trying to talk to every person there instead of enjoying the day and event.
Not only does keeping it small save you lots on your budget, but to me, it was even more memorable to only have our most favorite people celebrate with us.
What was your biggest splurge?
I would definitely say the tour of the Big House we offered for our guests. It’s not something that we had to do, but we wanted to do it as a thank you to our guests for traveling to Michigan to celebrate with us.
There’s really not anything related to the wedding that I view as a “splurge” as we kept everything as low cost as possible.
What was your favorite detail?
By fair the GOATS! It really added a unique and memorable touch to our wedding for both Ryan and I and for our guests. They were a huge hit all around.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Truthfully it was GETTING to our wedding. With us having a morning wedding with everything starting at 10AM it was an early morning for me. I got up around 5:00AM to make sure hair and makeup could get done in time but also we had enough time to get to the venue and have some time to take pictures before the ceremony started.
To my surprise, when driving to our venue, the one road we needed to get there was blocked off for a half marathon. I was driving my own 15 year old Ford Escape with my hair, makeup, and wedding dress on and the cop would not move the barricades to let us through to get to the venue. I kept telling him “I’m supposed to be getting married in an hour!!” and he still wouldn’t let us through.
After a break in the race came after sitting there for about half an hour he let us through, so I was almost late to my own wedding.
We were supposed to get married outside in front of the farmhouse. However, right at 10 AM at the exact time the ceremony was supposed to start it started POURING rain. So everything had to be moved inside which delayed things about 15 minutes and bought me some time to take photos with the photographer. It all worked out but at the moment it was a bit stressful.
Photography: Lola Grace Photography | Venue: Zingerman’s Cornman Farms | Favors: Sip Hip Hoorary | Wedding Cake: Zingerman’s Cornman Farms | Bakery: Zingerman’s Bakehouse | Rentals: Pritchard Furniture | Wedding Gown Designer: EL Design Studio Shop on Etsy
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.