If anyone had told me that spread sheets and budgeting was going to be an integral part of adulating I wouldn't have wished so hard to grow up. But now we are here and I assume there is a wedding in your near future, lucky you! Well besides the cake tastings and the dress fittings there is that pesky little wedding budget you need to keep an eye on.
Our next couple were absolute budgeting wizards and between Christina and Kosta and all their friends and family they have some solid advice on how they kept their wedding spending to a minimum. Keep scrolling to find out all of their secrets, oh and don't miss any of their wedding day details; there is a full gallery of photos for you to scroll through thanks to Fete Photography.
Breaking Down Your Wedding Budget
From the Bride: We went into the process knowing we wanted to stick to around $20-25k and we did a good job sticking to that. We had a total of 70 guests.
We knew we wanted the wedding to be in the Asheville area. After some research we stumbled upon the Mountain Magnolia Inn in Hot Springs, NC. The town is just adorable and right on the French Broad River. When we arrived we were blown away by the beauty of the home, then you turn the corner and you see it, the Walnut Tree. Once we laid eyes on the tree we knew this was the spot. I've never seen a tree like it, it just had such spirit to it. The grounds of the inn were perfect for both ceremony and reception, which we loved because it was easy for our guests.
The venue was surprisingly affordable and even came with a wedding coordinator. It helped the budget significantly that the ceremony and reception were held in the same location. Not to mention the venue has an incredible restaurant on site, so I believe that saved us a lot of money too. The alcohol was also provided by the venue for a reasonable price.
The reception with food, rentals, service, and taxes landed around 11-12k which was most of the budget.
Where we saved:
We saved significantly with a local DJ at around $700.
My dad officiated the wedding which was another savings of about $300.
My mother made my veil for only $15 dollars, it was identical to the one I fell in love with at the bridal salon, except that one was priced at $450.
My mom and sister also painted my entry sign and all of the mercury glass that I purchased in bulk. Supplies for the mercury candle holders were around $150. Most of the other decorations I rented. I rented an entire living room set and other small decorations for around $150. Other miscellaneous décor my mom was kind enough to purchase and I estimate that at around $150. We were able to go low key on decorations due to the venue being beautiful and lush.
I spent only $1,000 for flowers. My bouquet alone was $200, but I did only greenery for my bridesmaids bouquets. The groomsmen boutonnieres were also greenery. I had a floral crown and my sister and MOH had a greenery crown. We also had greenery for the table runners and a bit on the cake. In addition I had corsages and boutonnieres for Kosta and my parents.
Russian Bread Tradition
The tradition goes back hundreds of years to a time where it was customary for the new wife to move in with her new husband and in-laws. This was a way for the groom's parents to welcome the newlyweds into their home and bless their marriage.
Karavi is a specially baked bread with a family recipe that is only baked for this occasion. Today, the tradition has changed to where the couple is offered the bread at the reception to welcome the bride and her family. The bread is brought to the reception on an ornate cloth. The bride and groom are asked to tear a piece of the bread from their mouths with no hands. The person that pulls off the largest piece of bread is considered the head of the household. On top of the bread there are two swans and a ring between them. Each newlywed eats a swan for happiness and the ring needs to be shared between the couple for good luck and a successful marriage. This is usually done the day after the wedding.
Where we splurged:
Photography to me was the most important piece at $3000 for 6 hours of coverage
I also splurged on my dress which was around $3,700. I still can't believe I spent that much money on a dress, but you really have to decide on which things are most important to you. For me it was food for my guests, photography and the dress.
Gifts for family and wedding party were probably around $1,500 (not too bad)
Note: Our rehearsal dinner was also at the venue and cost around $3000 total for venue, food, drink, and decorations.
Keep It Simple & Don't Sweat
Keep it simple. Kosta and I really believe that because we simplified our wedding day, he and I were able to enjoy it more. We also saved a lot of money by selecting a venue that was gorgeous and didn't really feel the need to splurge on décor. Having an outdoor wedding allows nature to do the work for you. I'm glad we had a small headcount because Kosta and I were able to have a meaningful conversation with everyone that attended.
We had two mini disasters. One when my veil fell off as I approached down Kosta. It was actually kind of funny and a cute moment to remember. The other happened while we were cutting our cake, we broke the cake cutter! It was hilarious and the photographer got some super cute candid shots. So I guess no, we didn't really have any disasters, we were lucky!