And Her Hubby, Of Course!
One of my most favoritest favorite weddings on a budget comes to you from Jessica from Budget Savvy Bride - one of my most favoritest favorite wedding blogs! (Of course!)
I loved Jess’s approach to her wedding planning – she was going to do it her way, and on her budget. There was no shortage of creativity and budget savvy “smarts” when it came to planning her May wedding for 150 guests.
Jessica and Eric had an amazing budget savvy wedding and were kind enough to share details about how they did it.
Weddings On A Budget: The Dress, etc!
Since one of the first things we do as brides is go wedding dress and accessory shopping, I thought I would share this part of the budget savvy wedding first. Jessica’s dress was a custom made, dupioni silk, strapless work-of-art. And she paid a mere $550 for it. That price for a gorgeous, high quality wedding dress is absolutely incredible.
It just goes to show you that you don’t have to buy off the boutique rack for an amazing dress at an amazing price. Do your research and you could also have the wedding dress of your dreams designed for a lot less than what you thought possible.
Jessica got her show-stopping blue satin shoes from Nine West for $50, and her lovely veil and fascinator from a bride blogger on Weddingbee - in trade! Jessica designed a logo for the Weddingbee Bride and got a gorgeous piece of hair art in return.
If you can offer one of your potential wedding vendors or suppliers something in trade – something that would be of value to them – don’t hesitate to ask. Let them know you are planning a budget savvy wedding and see if they have any specific needs you can accommodate. Even if they don’t, they might give you some kind of discount for just bringing it up. You never know, you might just get something really fantastic out of it.
Jessica’s unique jewelry came from etsy, which, in my opinion, is the holy grail of fabulous, frugal finds. Calling all brides planning their weddings on a budget…you MUST check out etsy.
Jessica is a DIY genius and was able to design and create so many extraordinary and unique parts of her wedding, all while making sure it truly stayed on a budget – HER budget.
Weddings On A Budget: Pretty Papers
My favorite DIY project of this wedding is the stationery and other paper products. It made me drool, I swear. Jessica oozes creative, design, and graphic talent – and it truly makes me green with envy.
She spent $187.85 on paper – $119.05 for the two shades of turquoise paper, and $68.80 for the cream colored paper and envelopes – and from this she was able to create her invitations, reply cards and envelopes for 150 guests, wraps for their biodegradable utensils (another brilliant, DIY and budget/eco friendly project), signs for the candy buffet, menu cards, reserved signs for the chairs, and all the programs. Jess printed them on her own printer, an HP Photosmart, and she spent $16 at Kinko’s having them cut (she HIGHLY recommends professional cutting).
Check out how beautifully they are done – so beautiful, in fact, that other brides planning their own weddings on a budget have come to Jessica (Jess Lehry Designs!) for their design and stationery needs!
Weddings On A Budget: Fabulous Flowers, etc.
Jessica’s coordinator, who had already given her a discount on her DOC services, handled all the flowers. The bouquets, boutonnieres, and the centerpieces cost $400. That is lower than wholesale prices, not including labor. Incredible.
Check out how gorgeous everything is, and the fabulous jars and vases used for the centerpieces. I love the varying shapes, sizes and textures. Goes wonderfully with the entire feel of the wedding. And don’t forget the burlap table runners which she bought at a farmer’s Co-Op for $40 total – what a deal, and talk about rustic elegance!
Antique mason Jars for $75 for 30
Milkglass Vases for .50 each at thrift store for 15, totaling $7.50
Green glass vases and votive holders for $20 (All were .30 each at Old Time Pottery)
Weddings On A Budget: Food, Glorious Food!
The catering was done by a local restaurant, and Jess was able to get a buffet of delicious Southern dishes, including 3 fabulous desserts (featuring a snickers pie, which was used in lieu of a groom’s cake) for $18 a person, including service, tax and gratuity. This also included delivery and set up, serving and re-filling, cleaning and breaking it down after. I can’t even go out to a casual dinner with friends for that price! By doing her research (obviously) and by using a restaurant versus a “wedding reception catering company” – they saved a ridiculous amount of cash.
Weddings On A Budget: Booze on a (Serious) Budget
This next genius idea is the textbook definition of a budget savvy wedding. One of the most expensive parts of a wedding is the alcohol. Some venues/bartending services charge upwards of $30 per bottle of wine, on the equivalent of a $10 – or less – bottle from the grocery store. Talk about setting money on fire and watching it burn, especially if you have friends that like to drink (more than) their fair share of wine!
Jess picked a venue that allowed them to bring their own alcohol in, which was an immediate money saver. On top of that, she also purchased deeply discounted wine from that wonderful place I’ve mentioned a few times already on this site, Trader Joe’s. Beer was also a great deal, since Jess’s husband has a friend in the army who was able to purchase it at the PX at a discount, and tax free. The last part of this fantastic budget wedding idea was hiring a bartender, who they found through a friend for $100.
$280 on wine – Trader Joe’s 2 Buck Chuck
$130 on beer
$100 for the bartender
What is normally one of the largest chunks of the wedding, tuned out to be one of the most budget friendly. Obviously the key to this fabulous cash saver was finding a venue that allowed them to bring in their own alcohol. Any bride with a little time, determination and perhaps a touch of creativity, can find a venue that suits their needs as well as has a “relaxed” booze policy.
The finishing touch to the bar was the wine labels Jessica created to match her stationery. She purchased waterproof labels online for less than $20, and printed them on her own printer. They were affixed on the bottles of wine labeling them as “Wedding White” for Sauvignon Blanc and “Recession Red” for Cabernet Sauvignon – LOVE it! Look how fabulous they look! Is there no end to her DIY and budget savvy-ness?!
Weddings On A Budget: Beautiful Deliciousness – for FREE
A family friend served up a huge, delicious slice of nice with a free wedding cake. Yes, FREE. It was made as a gift to the bride and groom! What a fabulous wedding gift! Aside from being lovely to look at, the 3-tiered amaretto and chocolate cake was also a huge hit with the guests.
Weddings On A Budget: The Divine Details
(Adorable!) Birdcage Cardbox: $20 during a 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby.
The ecoware was $161.97 for 1000 of each type of utensil – 200 of each were kept for the wedding and Jess sold the rest, so the actual bottom line for the ecoware was around $35. The accent paper wraps for the ecoware were left over from the paper used for the invitations, and all the twine used was free – Jess had inquired at a grocery store wanting to buy some, but they gave a roll to her for free.
The pomanders were made of tissue paper (who knew?!) that Jessica made herself. These looked great (and professionally made) draped on the aisle chairs, and you would never know all 10 cost a total of $50.
$35 for 10 balls at Hobby Lobby with a coupon
$12 for Tissue paper- 3 different colors- 4 packs of each
$5 for a Mini glue gun and glue sticks
$2 for Wire
$2 for Ribbon on sale at Big Lots
Weddings On A Budget: The Budget Savvy Bride’s Favorite Budget Savvy Tip
I asked Jessica what her favorite and/or biggest money saving budget savvy tip/trick that she used for the wedding, and here is what she said:
“For me I think it was finding a place that would let us bring in our own alcohol. We bought $2.50 wine from Trader Joe’s and made our own wine labels with our monogram to put on the bottles – an extra little detail that everyone loved – and no one knew we had gotten ‘cheap’ wine! It ended up saving us thousands of dollars!”
I’ll say it again, this is one of my most favoritest favorite weddings on a budget. It’s the little details and special touches that Jessica incorporated into her wedding. And, of course, they were all budget friendly. Jessica still blogs about weddings, as well as married life, fashion, DIY projects, and all other things fun and frugal. Don’t forget to check her out here!