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Wedding Wednesday: Real Wedding on a Budget

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Our overall vibe: A sweet and simple garden party with creative DIY touches to reflect our unique tastes, an extraordinary summer day with our family and friends.

Zach putting on the floral tie that I made for him. I love this shot!

We didn't set an exact budget for our wedding because we knew it would be like SO small. So small we didn't even talk about it. We just knew we would buy what we could when we could - no need to go into debt for one day.

I know a lot of couples go all out for this one day because it is probably the most important day in ones life, but for us we knew we could go "all out" while on a budget. It would just take some extra thought and time.

featuring a fabulous $6 headband from Icing and my Swarovski earrings from Touchstone Crystal

My bridesmaids and I did our own hair and makeup. We saved money this way and we had such a great time. We stayed in a hotel near the venue which allowed us to get ready and then carpool to the park. I did get my nails done (which cost around $45) but that was totally worth it and not really an additional charge as far as our wedding budget because I get my nails done semi-frequently.

Our tablescapes were made from borrowed card tables from family, borrowed black table cloths with disposable black and white striped table cloths on top. The baskets, crates, towers, and mini succulents were bought from various places such as Target, Amazon, and Walmart. Shop similar items here:

We enlisted the help of several family members to man the donut tables and the juice & coffee bar. We went with the brunch theme for two main reasons. First, our wedding was Sunday at 11am. Second, we just really love donuts and coffee! As far the budget goes, we didn't skimp here. I don't suspect that we saved much money versus serving "real" food. We chose a local Cincinnati donut shop and ordered many different kinds. We also served fresh fruit.

Our main focus was renting the venue, food, and a photographer. These three cost around $2,000 which was really great for planning everything else.

I designed the programs myself (they matched our super cute website) and we printed them at home on regular, good ol' cardstock. Then we had my brother and his girlfriend help us cut them out (which surprisingly didn't take long at all with our Cricut paper cutter!)

My dress was a hand-me-down that I altered a bit. I changed it up a bit to suit my taste, and overall it only cost me $100 & some time in the sewing studio. The only downside was that I didn't leave myself enough time to make it fit *perfectly* ... but it was perfect in my eyes anyway!

My shoes are Steve Madden white leather sandals. I fell in love with them when I stumbled upon them at the store. They weren't really what I had in mind (the colorful Sophia Webster sandals I really wanted weren't in my budget) but once I tried them on I knew they would pair with my ankle-length dress perfectly. And they were only $40 so def in my budget!

I have my SUPERB bridesmaids to thank for helping me make the vision of handmade flowers everywhere come to life. We spent hours (and long days and nights) making EVERY SINGLE FLOWER you saw at my wedding. I knew I wanted to make them all (bridesmaids bouquets, my bouquet, groomsmen boutonnieres, flowers to decorate the tables, and the boutonnieres and corsages for our parents) but it truly couldn't have been done without their help and a little bit of felt, wire, ribbon, and lots of hot glue. BIG HUGE SHOUTOUT, GIRLS! I love you all.

We definitely saved money with the felt flowers vs. fresh flowers. They were time consuming but also a great keepsake for the day.


Check out my DIY Wedding Cake Topper post!


We were so fortunate to have our reception at Rhinegeist, a local Cincinnati brewery and our favorite place to hang out! The setting was perfect for our Sunday afternoon needs, I even changed into a knee-length white lace dress so I could partake in the cornhole, pingpong, and relax in the rooftop sunshine with more ease (also took off my makeup to simply get back into my everyday look - if you don't mind photos of you without a full face of makeup on, I highly suggest it - it's so freeing!). It was truly a great time. We're so lucky to have our parents, family, and friends supporting us. We waited for this day for so long and I can't think of anything that would have made it any better!

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