Necie and Richard held their afternoon July wedding in the backyard of the bride’s childhood home in Connecticut. Centered around family and close friends with a guest list of 60 – it was the perfect backdrop for their intimate ceremony and reception. The bride’s two children played very special parts as ring bearer and flower girl, as well as participating in the ceremonial union by adding their own sand to the bride and groom’s “unity frame” – a symbol that they are now a united family. With a budget of $5,000 they incorporated in many super savvy budget saving ideas like getting their alcohol from Costco and having a friend DJ the reception. The gorgeous sunflowers were purchased as single stems and arranged by the bride and bridesmaid. They were also fortunate enough to get a fantastic deal on their photography through a friend. Dotted with personal touches throughout all the planning, my favorite was the “date night” jar! Fun and genius! Everything about this wedding is truly lovely and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Weddings on a Budget:
Necie & Richard
July 5, 2013
What was your budget?
Our budget was $5,000 for just under 60 guests and the ceremony and reception took place in my (bride) parent’s back yard.
Officiant Fee/Marriage License: $250
Food: $800 for the taco bar, put together by a friend with items/ingredients purchased from Costco
Serving assistant: $200
Cake: $125 We got a smaller wedding cake for the cutting and used a Costco sheet cake for serving
Alcohol: $300 from Costco
Music: $100 a friend was DJ for us
Rentals: $400 for tables, chairs, and glassware
Flowers: $300 including the burlap, lace and ribbons purchased from City Line Florist in Trumbull, CT and arranged by the bride and bridesmaid.
Hair and Makeup: $85 and done by a friend of the bride
Photographer: $800 by Joanna Fisher – I got a fantastic deal on our photography because Joanna and I graduated from high school together and remained close friends over the years. We agreed that a charge of $800 would cover the event hours and minor post-production work. While the custom package that was chosen did not include any prints or albums or products, Joanna gave me the option to purchase at a later date after the wedding had been paid for which is really helpful from a budgetary standpoint.
Bridal Party gifts: $600
All stationery including invitations, programs, seating cards: $75 got us a ream of paper and lace envelopes and we did the creating and printing ourselves, so all of our printed items were handmade, including our card box.
Bride’s dress: A gift from my parents
Groom’s tuxedo: A gift from his parents
Bride’s dress alterations and her children’s clothes: $250
Other DIY details:
Our guestbook was actually a photobook that we made from our engagement pictures (which were taken by my brother), and we made a “date night jar” for guests to leave ideas. A family member handmade us a personalized cornhole game and a personalized box for the rings to be carried in as well. We also set up an app that guests could upload their photos to, to go along with an I Spy game we created. The venue was our biggest budget saver. The backyard wedding turned out beautiful. And there were some, who did not attend the wedding but saw pictures, that were curious what venue we used as they wanted to have their own weddings there.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest “splurge” (and I put that in quotes because we got a GREAT deal from a friend) was our photography. And I would tell anyone to make that a priority because pictures are a way to capture the memories that you can look back on for the rest of your life.
What was your favorite detail of the day?
It is really very hard to decide, but one of my favorite details was the personalized cornhole boards because we can use them again and remember our wedding day. The groom’s favorite detail was the lawn games for guests to enjoy during the reception, or maybe the taco bar.
What is one tip or piece of advice you would pass onto other brides?
There are so many tips, but one thing that we would suggest is to stick to a reasonable budget. There are many costs you don’t think about like gratuity, alterations and little extras here and there, and it is so easy for the cost of things to add up; but remember that it is one day and you don’t want to start out your lives together with massive debt because of your wedding day. You can still have a beautiful and memorable wedding on a manageable budget… also make sure EVERYTHING is done before the wedding day, and find a way to relax before the wedding; the actual day goes too quick, enjoy EVERY second of it.