Sunday, May 02, 2010

Budget Wedding How To


In honor of this day I have put together quite the blog....ENJOY!

I was chatting with a girl at my old work at the kids gym....I no longer work there and am a nanny for three sweet kiddos...about my wedding. She is currently planning her own and was asking how much we spent and about all of our DIY things!! Then, a while back my sister sent me an AMAZING link to a couple's website who are posting everything about their life. From wedding to house renovation to baby news. They also had a link on their site about their wedding budget and how they spent their money. These two things have inspired me to share about the details of our wedding!! Like our DIY things, how our budget was split up, and just some fun saving tips that we found! So, enjoy the walk through my wedding planning. For those of you out there planning and needing ideas, I hope this helps.

Let's start with the basics. We got married on February 13, 2009, at a court house in Pensacola, FL! Our public wedding, which was frequently called "wedding #2", "elopement ceremony", "vow renewal", and now "that thing we had in May" (which would be me saying that to my husband)....take your pick.

Tip Saver #1: Invitations
($415 including invitations, postage, thank you notes,
and printing off our own add in for the invites.)
You don't have to order thank you notes and all the add ins (like RSVPs and directions) from the people who do your invitations. Since the place I got my invites at sent me a digital copy I was able to use the logo from it and transfer it over to my RSVP cards to match that I printed out myself. Adding on RSVP cards was another $150 or so. I only paid Kinko's $67.88 for RSVP cards, directions, AND an extra invite card for an after reception BBQ for family and the wedding party...saving me an extra $200 if I had of used the invitation company to do it all for me.

Tip saver #2: LOCATION! ($370)
If you can cut down on one expensive cost it would be your wedding/reception site.
Our ceremony was held in Fordland, MO, in the front yard of my parent's new home ($0)... a tent ($370).
Tip Saver #3: RENTALS $320

My mother has many connections due to her line of business and we were able to save big bucks by borrowing items. Also, don't forget to go to the Bridal Fairs! I won a $150 gift certificate to a rental place that basically covered our table cloths and a little extra. We only paid $320 to cover everything decorative inside the tent....from serving ware and fabric to centerpieces and tables (minus the food). We had a friend of the family let us borrow a ton of stuff....a friend from church ran the sound system and brought all the equipment from church without asking a dime...we were able to reuse some items used from my sister's dad is a landscaper at a HUGE nursery in Springfield and borrowed all the landscaping for the front of the house and inside the tent. My parent's hadn't lived in the house long enough to get to the curb appeal and needed something to fill the blank space. Thank you Wickman's Garden.

Here's what we saved by borrowing!
Crystal serving bowls reused from sister’s wedding $140.00
Using real silverware instead of buying disposable $25.00
11 vases for centerpieces reused from sister's wedding $110.00
3 vases for centerpieces borrowed from friend $30.00
6 round tables borrowed from friend $36.00
4 flower arrangements borrowed from friend $60.00
4 long tables, 2 round tables borrowed from Aunt $32.00
Wireless microphone borrowed from church $95.00
Speakers and sound system borrowed from church $250.00
A to Z Rentals gift card won at Bridal Fair $150.00
Generator borrowed from dad’s friend $170.00
Silver serving spoons & tongs reused from sister's wedding $42.00
Big silver cooler for ice cream from friend $50.00
Live plants borrowed from Wickman’s Gardens (my dad works there) $1000
TOTAL:$2190.00 IN SAVINGS!!!

Tip Saver #4: BRIDESMAID DRESSES. ($100 for all)
These things can costs hundred's of dollars (plus) at wedding stores. I didn't want my bridesmaid's to pay for their dress, so I searched and searched for the perfect dress that complimented the style of mine, but for way cheaper. Theses dresses were bought at Maurices on sale! They were just above knee length brown dresses with an empire waste and a tie back sash that gave it a similar line as my dress. It was VERY affordable and cute! I hope my girls find another occasion to wear them. As for the groomsman, my wonderful father-in-law and mother-in-law took that job for us, and the expenses, and we were so so very thankful!

Tip Saver #5: Make your own accessory(ies) ($3).

When looking at veils and hair pieces at the place I got my dress, I was astonished to see how expensive something was that I could make!! So that's exactly what I did. All I did was go to a beauty store and pick of up a comb to glue some things on it and stick in my hair. My mom had a ton of costume jewelry from the 80's that I tore apart and glued onto my hair comb.

Tip Saver #6: Flowers ($150 - bride, bridesmaids, boutonnieres, and toss)
A friend of mine, who also did our catering for the after reception party, put together our flowers! We only paid what for the cost of flowers and materials, nothing more. Many times just the bride's bouquet is $200-$300.

Tip Saver #7: Have a friend or family member officiate. ($0)
We are very blessed to have a pastor in the family....better yet, Josh's dad! It made it more personal and special!
Thank you David. We love you so much!

Tip Saver #8: Photographer ($665)
Find a photographer who is running a special on filling up their empty dates for the wedding season. Since our wedding was early May, we scored on finding a photographer who wanted to fill up her earlier dates and was running a special. It was a husband and wife team....AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHERS! CLICK HERE FOR THEIR WEBSITE!

Now for the final list! Here's where we spent our money and where we saved!

Wedding dress $609.49
Dress alteration $165.00
Shoes and garter $28.05
Bridesmaid dresses $100.00
Manicure and Pedicure $80.00
Bridal gown cleaning and sealed storage $86.00

Invitation $176.00
Postage $152.00
Thank You Notes $18.80
Kinko's Printing $67.88
Guest Book Pages $4.28

Bridesmaid $65.25
Shower Hostess Gifts, South Haven $30.00
Shower Hostess Gifts, night before wedding $29.21
Gift for helpers: music, flowers and food, friendly lender $35.14

Flowers: bride, bridesmaids, boutonnieres, toss $150.00
Photographer $665.34

A to Z Rentals: tablecloths and skirting $52.48 (really was $202.48, but won a $150 gift card)
Paper Goods: Sundae bowls $55.99/Napkins $5.81
Cake (June's Cakery) $218.77
Punch: White Grape Juice $9.64/Sprite $5.77
Table Decor: fabric $21.35/Fruit $56.73
Topiary Pots Tulle Fabric $8.23
Ice Cream $39.63
Chocolate Sauce $8.56
M&M's $11.50
Strawberry Sauce $5.99
Sprinkles $6.94
Pirouettes $18.70
Whipped Topping $7.86
Tent Rental $370.00
Tables and Chairs $156.00

Lunch: Chips, Chicken Salad, Rolls, Grapes $38.15

TOTAL: $3560.54

See, you CAN do it! A low cost wedding, but everything it needs to be!!
To view our wedding photos, click the link's below:

Setting Up
Getting Ready
The I Do's
Love Always
Reception and After Party
The Details

For anyone out there reading this that is planning your wedding, I really hope this inspires you to be creative and do as many things yourself! A little money can really go a LONG way when you put your mind and resources to work! Josh and I had a wonderful day and when we look back on pictures we wouldn't have changed a thing!!

Celebrating our 1 year "ceremony" by eating our cake topper:


Anonymous said...

Hola Whitlocks! I'm linking this to my blog! Hope you don't mind!! Great job on savings, it was a beautiful wedding!!

Josh and Lane Whitlock said...

I would love for you to link it! Thanks! I'm always finding ways to save money!