Well, the week has come & I am super excited to share with you how Benjamin and I managed to have a $4,000 wedding almost one year ago on 4.14.2019! My hope is that this blog goes out to all the engaged or soon-to-be engaged couples - my word to you today is "It's totally possible!" I'm going to keep it real. simple. and practical. That's what this week's blog is all about!
Let's start with a few basic tips that we learned during our 8 month engagement:
1. Create the wedding YOU want without going into debt!
There's going to be lots of opinions thrown your way but what it comes down to is the covenant you two are making before God. There is freedom to create within your budget so stick to it - you'll be so proud that you did when it's all said and done.
2. Ask for help!
I cannot emphasize this one enough. Our wedding was a complete DIY because we didn't want to go into debt for one day of celebration. The best advice we received was "Ask for help. You'll be surprised by how many people want to offer their time or expertise as a gift!"
3. Think outside the box!
Pinterest was a huge tool for me (Hope) as we planned our DIY wedding! For example, I didn't go to bridal shows. I didn't walk into stores without a list of what we needed. I asked for donations of mason jars. We didn't send out "save-the-dates" but instead, simply communicated by email or phone to out of town guests, letting them know when the wedding date was.
4. Think through your wedding venue carefully!
My forever dream was to have an outdoor ceremony. However, with our wedding in the spring, we had to think through our venue very carefully, making it a priority to save ourselves and our guests from loads of "weather" stress. For us, this didn't just mean rain...we also took into consideration a crazy windy day or an abnormal super cold / hot day or some type of weird mosquito influx. I finally came to peace with our decision to hold both the ceremony and reception indoors, knowing it would alleviate tons of unneeded stress. And our venue was PERFECT - seriously couldn't have asked for a better location that still had the rugged but elegant feel I wanted.
5. Listen to each other's desires and opinions!
Let's face it girls. We've pretty much had our wedding day planned since...forever. However, it is of utmost importance that we listen to our man's opinions. After all, you're preparing for marriage, not just one day. Why don't we put into practice taking each other's thoughts into consideration, praying through TOGETHER what the best option is and then standing in unity.
Now the fun part begins!
I'm going to break down how we stayed in our $4,000 budget (including my dress!)
My dress was purchased at Taylored For You Bridal Boutique in Mechanicsburg, PA. It was EVERYTHING I wanted and more. This is the one thing in our budget that we went above with with no trepidation. (for reasons that would take me another blog to write about)
My dress was $1,100 & the owner was gracious and allowed me to pay in 2 installments.
My shoes were $20 from Payless.
My earrings were a gift from my Mom and Dad.
My flower crown was made by a friend (all of our wedding flowers were totaled to $300)
A friend gifted me by doing my hair.
I did my own makeup!
Brookside Park in Dover, PA
Price: $575.00 for Carousel Building & Dance Hall
Hay Bales: $100.00 (delivered by local farmer)
We opted for one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants --> Neato Burrito!
They have exceptional customer service and we were so pleased (as well as our guests) with the quality of food + the unique experience! We wouldn't have done anything different. Food was our top priority and total, with appetizers + drinks, we spent $1,700 for 150 guests!
We had an amazingly talented friend gift us with our 3-tier cake! And oh...it was delicious!!
Mason Jars: We only paid about $25 for mason jars. The rest were donated by friends and a few were borrowed!
Flowers: $300 total for everything! We kept flowers simple, knowing they would go in the trash afterwards.
Sparklers: Given to us FREE by friends who recently got married before us!
Lanterns: For bridesmaids: Borrowed!
Signs: For ring bearers - FREE to make!
Benjamin's suit & tie:
He bought a new suit & tie a local department store for $175.00 on sale + he shined up his leather shoes that he already had! He also purchased his groomsmen ties on Amazon for $40 total!
Our friends, Jason and Sarah Geiling, were just starting out their wedding photography business and offered to use us as "guinea pigs" for $600. It was the biggest blessing and we will forever cherish their generosity!
And, that's a wrap friends! If you have any questions on how we saved money and stayed at $4,000, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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