Wedding Date: December 11, 2010
Location: Applegate, Oregon
Budget: Under 10k
Best Savings: We saved so much money on so many things, it’s hard to know where to start! My mom was a great help, and rounded up some amazing deals. We did our own centerpieces, to start with. We had a “silver, feathers, black, and cream” theme for the reception, and filled glass containers with these pretty cream and silver ornaments we found at the dollar store. We surrounded them with evergreen branches, and layered them with gorgeous burlap hand-sewn and monogrammed tablerunners. It was really stunning. Cost? $3.00 per table, since a lady at my church sewed all the table runners. It had a very “majestic” feel, with royal purple and black feathers and shimmering table runners. I wish I had photos to share (more on that later). There was a fireplace and mantle in the reception hall, and it was gorgeous to start with, so we lit tons of candles and lights and the whole room looked like a winter ballroom. With cream tableclothes and silver plates, it truly was stunning. We also saved a ton on flowers. I had a local grocery store order the flowers, and a lady arranged them for $330.00! The results were amazing.
My mother-in-law hand monogrammed gorgeous satin sashes with our initials for the bouquets. All the small touches made it appear very rich and intricate, even though we saved a ton! Our cake was done by a friend and was absolutely gorgeous, we topped it with a silver monogram, and set it on a table with satin runners and it looked great. Total cost of cake for 300 people? $125.00. My bridesmaids also looked lovely in their David’s Bridal outlet dresses ($80!), and handmade organza hair pieces. We also found flower girl dresses at Ross for 14.99 in our exact shade of purple and it looked identical to the $125 dress online. And here’s the best secret of all: our jewelry? $10 necklaces bought during prom season at Walmart 🙂
The worst decision we made was our photography. It was awful. We hired someone we knew, and it was a disaster; the photographer left during the ceremony and missed all of the reception. I was devastated.
Best Splurge: My dress! It was a one-of-a kind stunning dress that we had altered and tailored into the dress of my dreams. It was hand beaded and amazing, and even as a “splurge,” it was only $1200.00. I did spring for a pair of expensive wedding shoes, and my wedding band was the other splurge. The last thing we really spent a large chunk of our budget on was the food. My parents hired a wonderful local caterer who did beautiful sandwiches and gourmet salads. We got four kinds of salad and a table-full of very elegant sandwiches. It sounded casual, but in fact looked fancy, and was perfect for our mid day ceremony. We also had many children there, so it was family-friendly fare.
Tips: I caved in on photography. I knew what I wanted and I skimped at the end, and it’s a decision I will regret forever. If you know what you want, get it. We cut costs in decorations and flowers and they ended up looking better than the more expensive placed I looked. You can find good deals, but it takes hard work and dedication. If you’re willing to invest the time, you WILL have the wedding of your dreams without racking up massive debt. We didn’t enter any debt, thanks to our parents, and we stayed in our budget. It can be done and it was everything we wanted!
Update: Grace & Drew have baby news! They’re expecting Baby E (Emmersyn or Everett) on Jan 13, 2012. Congrats, Grace & Drew and thanks for sharing your beautiful wedding on our site.