Weddings on a Budget:
Rachel & Ryan
Raleigh, North Carolina
March 23, 2013
*What was the date of the wedding? What city, state and venue?
Our wedding date was March 23, 2013. We got married in Raleigh, NC at Trinity Baptist Church–the Church I grew up at.
*What was your budget?
Our budget was CHEAP! LOL! No, but seriously, we didn’t want to go over $1500.
Save the dates—$80.00
Invitations–We made our own invitations. Our friend drew Lumiere (from Beauty & the Beast) on our wedding invitations for us, and she normally charges $200 per photo. The paper, stamps, etc ran us roughly about $60-80.
Venue–The venue was roughly about $200, with a $150 deposit.
Dress–Believe it or not, I got my dress during the David’s Bridal $100 dress sale! They didn’t have it in my size though, so after alterations, cleaning, etc, the dress ended up costing me about $200.
Tux rental–Because Ryan had so many groomsmen, they ended up cutting us a deal. Ryan’s tux only cost him $125.
Catering–My family cooked for our wedding! My mom was a life saver. Up until the morning of My mom and sister were cooking. My mother in law and Grand mother also provided food. My sister-in law baked our cake.
Alcohol–We did not provide alcohol at our wedding.
Wedding planner– The wedding was planned by Ryan and I, and our families. We were originally going to get married on the beach at Emerald Isle, but made a last minute decision to get married in Raleigh. That caused a lot of stress and last minute planning, but it all turned out beautifully and the way that God wanted it to. In my opinion, our wedding day was perfect.
Photography–Ryan and I have actually known Tianna for a few years now. When she found out that we were looking for a wedding Photographer, she offered us a discount! Truly TY
Rings–We actually WON our wedding rings! After I bought my dress at David’s Bridal, a few days later I got a call from a lady at David’s Bridal. She said that I had been entered into a contest and had won our wedding rings. We love them. They are Titanium!
Flowers: My mom was my hero during our wedding planning. Not only did she do a majority of the cooking, but she also made all of our flower arrangements! I have received so many compliments about our flowers! My mom spent around $150-200 for all of the flowers. They were artificial flowers, but the most beautiful bouquets you will see.
Music: Ceremony and/or reception: For the music played at our ceremony, we paid the pianist $100. For the DJ at our reception, a friend actually volunteered as a wedding present….we got lucky!
Wedding cake: My sister in law made our wedding Cake!! And, my parents ordered a sheet cake from Costco…both turned out BEAUTIFUL!
Hair and makeup: My sister-in-law Melissa Kitchens did my make up, and two friends did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair.
Wedding favors: For our wedding favors, we got bird seed and put them in little zip lock bags & attached tags to them that said: “Watch our love grow!”– it had our name and date on the back. Total spent on wedding favors: $15.
Site rentals: We had our reception at “Hope Cafe” in downtown Raleigh. We paid $100 to set up on Friday afternoon, and we payed about $300-350 for the actual reception on Saturday night.
Decorations: Around $50-70
Transportation: My husband drove us
Total Spent $1650
*What personal or creative or aspects did you incorporate into your wedding?
The biggest thing that made our wedding what it was is that so many people came together and helped make our wedding what it was. From my Mom cooking & making the flower arrangements, to Tianna phot graphing us, to Randy being our DJ, Keith Marrying us, Amber doing my hair, etc…it was all just a blessing. Some might of seen it as a “cheap” wedding, or a “simple” wedding, but Ryan and I have never been “over the top” or “flashy” at all. All of the times that I stressed out about different aspects of our wedding, the whole time Ryan would say: “We are going to leave that day man and wife. THAT is what is important. Nothing else”. So, our wedding was VERY personal….not many other people can say that they had the “Same wedding” as us. We were showered in blessings and love on our wedding day by all who pitched in to make it special!
Also, Ryan and I had a photo of my Grandma and Grandpa sitting in the pew on the same row as my mom. Both have passed away and I wanted some kind of way for them to be there…although, I know they were watching from heaven. I just wanted a way to see their face when I turned around and faced that congregation as Mrs. Ryan Ashlee Wall. That was one of the most special things in the world to me!
*What was the biggest budget saving part of your wedding?
The biggest budget saving part of my wedding was MY PARENTS! Although I am a grown woman they still purchased the wedding venue, my dress, etc, several other things for our wedding. I often felt guilty about it, but they always just replied that I was only getting married once…and it was their pleasure.
*What was your biggest splurge, and why?
Our biggest splurge was probably our Shutterfly guest book and Finger Print tree. I have an “awe” box at home, and wanted a way to go back and remember all of the sweet friends and family that we had at our wedding.
*What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail was the bouquets that my mom made for me and all of my bridesmaids. I saw all of the sweat, tears, and work that she put into them and they turned out GORGEOUS. I still have my bouquet (my mom made another one for me to toss at the reception so I could keep mine that I walked down the aisle with), and it is in a vase in Ryan and my bed room.
*What’s your one A-HA moment or takeaway tip for brides still in the planning process?
DON’T STRESS! I know it is easier said than done. Not everything is going to go “as planned” on the actual big day. You can plan, and plan, and plan, and stress, and loose sleep, and stress…which is what I did for months. The “what if’s” can run through your mind. But at the end of the day, all you can do is plan, and leave it in God’s hands. Ask Him to be there with you on your wedding day and as you walk down that aisle. Ask Him to bless your marriage, and be right in the center of it!
P.S: Some of the best memories from Ryan and my wedding are the moments when things didn’t go “as planned”!! During our first dance, I was dancing on his shoes, and we almost tipped over! Haha! Learn to laugh in the moment and know that chances are, no one else knows that anything has gone wrong!
Also, while planning….just remember…enjoy the journey. There were so many times when we were planning the wedding, when I told myself (and others), “It shouldn’t be this stressful!” Movies make wedding planning look so easy, not stressful at all. Truth is, it is stressful, but don’t let the stress consume you. Remember why you are planning this event in the first place, and enjoy the journey. You are, after all, only going to do this once.