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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 – Nicole and Jon’s Champagne Wedding

Nicole and Jon

The Bride: Nicole, 27, Social Worker

The Groom: Jon, 26, Visual Arts Teacher

The Location: Linden Hall Mansion in Southwestern Pennsylvania

Wedding Colors: Champagne and white with hints of pink.

Budget: $20-25k

Where they splurged: Awesome food and great entertainment were important to both Jon and Nicole, so they splurged on a great DJ who used a music video screen and had surf and turf for dinner.

Where they saved: Nicole loved her dress, and loved even more that it was less than $500 from David’s Bridal.  The couple also decided to skip the favors, and instead put a “question and answer” game sheet about the bride and groom on each table.  They made the sheets themselves on their home printer and stuffed them into silver envelopes they picked up from Target for an elegant feel.

What made this wedding modern: Jon is Filipino, while Nicole has eastern European heritage, so traditions were incorporated from both cultures to make sure both families felt included.


The girls wore champagne bridesmaids dress in different styles and carried white and pink roses.

The girls wore champagne bridesmaids dresses in different styles and carried white and pink roses.

Nicole's gown featured champagne gold embroidery that tied together their color theme.

Nicole's gown featured champagne gold embroidery that tied together their champagne color theme

The best part of the wedding:

Nicole and Jon had a blast at the reception and were glad they spent the extra cash on the DJ video screen.  “The main thing Jon and I wanted out of our wedding was to get all of friends together and to have a great time.  We would have done that anyways, but our DJ definitely helped!”

Looking back, what they would have changed:

Nicole said that a lot of vendors that she worked with were not very accommodating.  If she had to do it again, she would have dumped the vendors she didn’t like and gone with vendors that were friendlier and more flexible, even if they didn’t offer exactly what she wanted.  “It just wasn’t worth the stress!”

Her Advice:

“When the wedding day comes, relax, quit worrying, and have a good time.  If you’ve done all your planning, everything will come together.  Even if a few things go wrong, there isn’t anything you can really do about them, so might as well let loose and just have a good time!”


The rain decided to hold out for the ceremony.

The rain decided to hold out for the ceremony.

The Linden Hall Mansion provided a gorgeous backdrop for the photos and complemented the color scheme.

The Linden Hall Mansion provided a gorgeous backdrop for the photos and complemented the color scheme.

Georgeous peep toes completed the look.

Gorgeous peep toes completed the look.

The mansion interior went perfectly with the champagne color scheme as well.

The mansion interior went perfectly with the champagne color scheme as well.

The DJ was well worth the splurge!

The DJ was well worth the splurge!


Submit you own wedding to the guide…