Do you have a story to share? This is part of a series called "Weddings on a Dime." Please send me your brief story (how you meet, got engaged, etc.), your budget (you can be as detailed or not detailed as you want), along with pictures of your "Big Day" to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would LOVE to consider featuring your wedding.
Also, if you have a wedding dress hanging in your closet and are not sure what to do with it, I HIGHLY suggest donating to Adorned in Grace, a bridal and formalwear shop in which the proceeds go toward helping children escape trafficking!
As told by Lyndsy, who blogs over at The Manz Fam
How we met:
I like to tell people we met online. Because it is partially true and because it makes Jonathan blush when I say that. We were in the same graduate cohort at Baylor University and were introduced over email in March 2006 as a class of 20 students that would be studying together for the next two years. J and I started emailing since we had a mutual friend and got to know each other as we happened to be reading the same Donald Miller book “Searching for God Knows What” and discussed church and religion and politics. That July we both relocated to Waco, TX and saw each other for the first time in person after months of email conversations (this was pre-Facebook). We started dating that fall semester and got engaged a year later.
Planning a wedding long distance while finishing a Master’s degree and job searching for dual careers could have been the recipe for disaster. But it helped us to keep our priorities in order. We were most excited to begin marriage together!
We wed on June 7, 2008 in Fresno, California in the First Church of God where I had grown up and was baptized. Our joint philosophy for wedding planning was ‘darn the Man.’ Meaning we didn’t want to feel pressure to “have to” do or have something at the wedding just because a Bridal magazine told us. So while I enjoyed looking at the pretty pictures, I did not use magazines as a guide for what our wedding on a budget would be like.
We knew that many of our friends and even family wouldn’t be able to travel all the way to California to be part of our day, but we wanted to include them still through invites. To do this affordably we decided to utilize email and through copying a card digitally we sent this along with a note directing people to our website that was set up for free with a coupon. J’s brother was a video productions major and filmed a video invite for our official invitation that was posted on our website.
My cost priorities for the wedding were to have beautiful photos so we used a professional who was also a friend acquaintance that we trusted and loved his photojournalist style. We paid $1,400 for all the rights to over 300 photos digitally touched up and 200 printed 4x6 proofs.
Flowers were the main decoration besides the beautiful people all dressed up. We got bouquets for the bride, bridesmaids and mothers, corsages for grandmothers and cake topper flowers all for $426.40.
The other priority we had was for our friends to not pay more than they already were by flying to CA for the wedding. So we purchased the bridesmaid dresses for them, after December holiday dresses went on clearance for $19.99 at Ann Taylor LOFT. Because my ladies were spread out in OR, GA, TX we were able to get all the sizes needed and they actually got to try them on locally. (And really do get to wear them again!)
We tried something a bit unconventional with the guys and decided to not do suits because it was Fresno in June and HOT! And suits are expensive with nobody wearing the full thing the whole day anyway. So we rented matching vests and ties for $10 for each of them and they provided their own black pants and shoes and white shirts. The guys loved it and because they didn’t have a coat on we didn’t order boutonnieres. We bought Jonathan a black suit for $200 on sale that he continues to get use out of to this day. My dress was on sale at David’s Bridal for $300. I wore flip flops I owned and borrowed a veil, bra and slip from my sister in law.
The cake was done by a home baker for $75 who also lent her beautiful cake stand to help our preferred two-tiers to stand a bit higher and look regal. Our 2pm wedding had an afternoon reception with a Mashpatini Bar $14.95/person done by International Catering Company that provided table linens, water and tea, desserts and best of all servers to oversee everything so all of our family and friends could enjoy being with us and not working.
Because we met in Grad School we decided to ‘decorate’ the table centerpieces with books. We borrowed from my Grama’s library collection and stacked a large medium and small book with different fabric and wrapping paper then tied with a bow. $10
Every other table had a hurricane glass of lemons that were from my parent’s backyard and borrowed vases from the high school where my mom worked. The caterer offered silver charger plates to put below them.
Since this was a church fellowship hall reception no dancing or alcohol was involved, but our entertainment was an Open Mic. My brother played MC, calling people up to offer a story or congratulations to the bride and groom. It was a wonderful way to make the day personal and see so many of our ~120 guests that we may not have gotten around to all of them.
Because why buy bubbles when you can do a soccer tunnel??
We borrowed my parent’s convertible to drive off in. To extend our post-graduation, pre-job honeymoon we stayed in Fresno two days to enjoy the family that was still in town visiting. Then, we went to housesit for friends who lived in the Yosemite foothills an hour away and hung out solo for a week. J’s parents gifted us their timeshare that we transferred to a resort in Lake Havasu, Arizona that was driving distance from CA. Although the average temperature there was 105, we were happy and in love and not at all regretful of our wedding day spent with friends and family.
Venue: $200 donation for Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall use First Church of God, Fresno, CA / Photography $1400 / Flowers: $426.40 / Bridesmaid Dresses: $19.99 ea. at Ann Taylor LOFT / Groomsmen Attire: $10 ea. / Grooms Suit: $200 / Bride's Dress: $300 David's Bridal / Cake: $75 / Appetizers: Mashpatini Bar $14.95/head by International Catering Company / Table Decorations: $10
Total wedding costs: ~$4,100
Wow, what a fun wedding Lyndsy!!! I love all the details! Thanks for sharing your story. Lyndsy and I went to undergrad together at Warner Pacific College. She is definitely an inspiration!
Do you have a story to share? E-mail me at email@example.com