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Stick to Your Wedding Budget

In today’s wedding world, budget is crucial. While do it yourself details, affordable wedding invitations and smaller wedding sizes can drastically reduce your wedding costs nothing cuts a budget like free. And since the bridal business is continually thriving, there is no shortage of amazing wedding giveaways. Take a minute to enter one – you never know where you can save. Everyone says they never win anything – that is until they do. And you can’t win if you don’t try.

st-john-wedding-dress
What would be the number one best wedding winnings? An amazing, eco-friendly designer dress for FREE. Trim anywhere from $1,000-10,000 off your bridal budget by winning this Elizabeth St. John giveaway. The winner is announced in one week!

i could take that view in for a week

i could take that view in for a week

Next best big ticket win? A honeymoon, of course! And what better way to spend your honeymoon than a week in the Italian countryside. Also a years supple of Buitoni products would be a nice way to settle into married life.
Neither of these giveaways exactly what you’re looking for? Attend a wedding expo – they are full of discounts and giveaways!

Modern Weddings – Ileana and Evan’s Orange Dream Garden Wedding

The Bride and Groom with Flare, Literally :)

The Bride: Ileana, 25, IT and studying to be  a Nurse

The Groom: Evan, 32, IT

The Location: Sayen Gardens, New Jersey

Wedding Colors: Cream, Ivory, Peach, and Orange with a Garden Theme

Budget: $10 – $15k

What made this wedding modern: Ileana says “The modern touch really took shape in the wedding party. The girls had on Jim Hjelm A-Line Tea length Ivory dresses with an orange sash. The dresses were very simple yet had the splash of color that made them pop. The men’s dark chocolate brown tuxes really blended well with the bridesmaids and made the wedding party image very sleek – that is until at any given time one of the 8 wedding party members broke out into horrific party faces – then we were just us!”

Ileana and Evan - Just Married!

Bride and Groom in Sayen Gardens

Where they splurged: Ileana said hands down, PHOTOGRAPHY. “We felt that 60 years from now as our memories begin to fade it is pictures that will transport us back in time. We wanted to make sure we had a photographer who knew us and knew how to capture key moments. Michelle was amazing. We chose to do a Trash The Dress session with her prior to the big day (with a Forever 21 stand in dress!)* and it really helped build a great friendship with her. We are so pleased with every single picture that the hard part is picking our album shots.”

*We will be doing a post on Ileana’s Trash the Dress session in a few weeks – you can’t miss it, the session was amazing!

The Bride and Groom in the Gardens!

The classic waist down wedding shot!

Their first portrait as husband and wife :)Mirror Candid of the Bride and Groom

Where they saved: Decoration. “Since it was in a garden, we needed limited ceremony decoration and the reception garden house was so cute and antique-y that it need very little to spruce it up. We opted to recycle some decor from my sister’s wedding and replace the flowers with our colors. We also hit up Michael’s for various accents and ALWAYS had our 40% off coupons in hand. The only flowers that were real were the bouquets, lapels & the garden around us.”

*As mentioned in the bio – Ileana and Evan had a budget of only $10k, which to me is pretty unbelievable considering how beautiful everything was!  Recycling decorations from another wedding is a fabulous idea.  Also, making your theme fit the venue rather than vice verse helps too!  Thanks Ileana for your wonderful tips!

Ileana made her theme fit the decor of the Sayen house, rather than the other way around, in order to save on decorations.

Ileana made her theme fit the romantic vintage decor of the Sayen house, rather than the other way around, in order to save on decorations.

Recycling doesn't mean settling for second rate! These centerpieces were used in Ileana's sisters wedding, save them quite a bit of money on decorations, and looked gorgeous!

Recycling doesn't mean settling for second rate! These centerpieces were used in Ileana's sisters wedding, saved them quite a bit of money on decorations, and looked gorgeous!

How a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e! The gummy bears represented the personalities of the bride and groom - fun loving and silly!

How a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e! The gummy bears represented the personalities of the bride and groom - fun loving and silly!

Oranges and whites with hints of pink and yellow made this the perfect bouquet for their garden wedding.

Oranges and whites with hints of pink and yellow made this the perfect bouquet for their garden wedding.

Illeana and Evan wanted to incorporate their three beloved kitties into their wedding day.  Since they are housecats, they had to settle for miniature sugar replicas representing them in spirit!

Illeana and Evan wanted to incorporate their three beloved kitties into their wedding day. Since they are housecats, they had to settle for miniature sugar replicas representing them in spirit!

The best part of the wedding:

“The laughter. Everyone was in such a great mood and happy that everywhere you looked people were smiling. We felt so blessed to have such a perfect day with the people we loved. It’s an amazing thing being surrounded by people who are sending you well wishes every moment. When you are immersed in good vibes it is hard not to get on a natural high. We were married and so happy. And that is what it was all about.”

The Bride and Groom doing what they do best - laughing!

Ileana and Evan - The First Dance!

Cake Time!

Her Advice:

“Don’t splurge if you are going to feel guilty about it. ENJOY it. Smile and enjoy your man. The day is about the two of you – not just you.”

The party's over, but it's just the beginning...

All photographs are copyright of Michelle King Photography.

Submit you own wedding to the guide…

Modern Weddings: Amber and Matt’s 1920s Gangster Wedding

Amber and Matt's 1920s WeddingThe Bride: Amber, 26, Materials Engineer

The Groom: Matt, 27, Materials Scientist

Wedding Theme: 1920’s Gangster!

Wedding Colors: Black, White, and Red

Budget: $10-15k

What made this wedding modern: Amber loves themes and for the longest time she desperately wanted to wear a fedora hat in her wedding.  This obsession naturally grew into what she called “Project Gangsta” – her vision of a 1920’s gangster themed wedding in black, white, and red, complete with fedora hats, pinstripes, and toy guns!

Where they saved: Due to their small wedding party, Matt and Amber opted not to have a rehearsal dinner and instead spent the evening with out of town guests at a local amusement park – Kennywood Park.  Talk about a fun rehearsal!  They also decided to get married on a Sunday because it saved them $4/person in food, drink, and cake costs.  The maid of honor’s dress was $30 at Macy’s and their photographer was an acquaintance who only charged $1000 for the entire day.

Where they splurged: Amber’s biggest splurge was her dress at $600, which was handmade and based off a design she sketched up herself.  The splurge was well worth it because she got to wear the dress of her dreams, literally.

The bride and groom in their fedora hats!

The bride and groom in their fedora hats!

Believe it or not Amber's flowers are silk! Feathers were worked into the bouquet to create something that Amber loved since she is not a flower person.  The bouquet exceeded her expectations!

Believe it or not Amber's flowers are silk! Feathers were worked into the bouquet to create something that Amber loved since she is not a flower person. She was blown away by the final results! P.S. Check out that sexy garter!

The guys wore pinstriped suits and spectator shoes, while the maid of honor wore a red Marilyn Monroe “Seven Year Itch” style dress.

Groomsmen in 1920s style spectator shoes

The Bridal Party

The bride in her fedora hat

The best part of the wedding:

Amber said that taking photographs at Carnegie Mellon University (where they met each other as engineering majors) and the cake ceremony were definitely the best parts of the wedding. “For the longest time Matt had said he was going to shove cake in my face.  So I came prepared.  I had a lab coat and safety goggles underneath the table that I put on before he fed it to me.  Once I put it on, I had the DJ play “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.”  Everyone got a good laugh out of that.”

Looking back, what they would have changed:

“Honestly, nothing… I loved every minute of it.  The only downside was that the venue was not willing for us to stay any later than our allotted time.  It is understandable, but looking back, I wish the night could’ve lasted longer.  We still had a lot of people out on the dance floor ready to party long into the night.”

Her Advice:

Don’t get hung up on tradition.  When I told people my wedding ideas of having a non-traditional wedding, I got some comments.  But weddings should ultimately be about pleasing you….not family or friends.

Black and white cake

Pinning on the Boutinneire

Amber all decked out in her lab coat and goggles facing the fabled cake smash!

Amber all decked out in her lab coat and goggles, facing the fabled cake smash!

*****POST UPDATE*****

There was a question about Amber’s wedding invitations – I had a chance to ask here and here is what she said:

“I had them made at Party City.  I picked a really simple tri-fold invite in red and had our names on the front in a circle with dots around it in black….very art deco.  On the inside, since we sent our invites out super early, I had an “Old Time” picture Matt and I took at the beach where he was dressed as a gangster and I was dressed in a flapper costume that sort of acted as the “Save the Date” card (see below).  It had the hotel info on it so people could leave it on their fridge if they wanted to book a room.”

The insert used for the wedding invitation

The insert used for the wedding invitation

“Based on the invite design, I made all my table cards and seating chart have a similar art deco design.  Each table was named after some Gangster-esque item.  Below the name, I gave a little background on the item.  For example, the head table was the “Bonnie and Clyde” table.  I also had table names such as Eliot Ness, Nickelodeon, Flappers, Tommy Gun, Spats & Spectators, etc.”

Awesome ideas!!! I hope this offers some extra inspiration for anybody planning their own “Gangster” wedding! 🙂

Submit your own wedding!