We request the honor of your presence at our Wedding on May 12. Well, it already happened. But, this will be basically the same. You’re a wedding crasher now! Let’s begin with some brief basics of the bride (that’s me) and groom’s love story. (Cue Taylor Swift).
He saw her: October 10, 2010 at a weekend retreat
They met: March 4, 2011 on a plane to Istanbul, Turkey
He asked her on a date: September 12, 2011 at Beaner’s Coffee
First date: September 16, 2011 at Charlie Kang’s Restaurant
He asked her to be his girlfriend: September 21, 2011 at MSU Botanical Gardens
He asked her to be his wife: December 16, 2011 at Mill Race Village
They got married!: May 12, 2012 in Charlotte, MI
They Honeymooned: May 13-20, 2012 in Orlando, FL
Perhaps the most unique thing about our wedding is the considerably low cost. The only reason we had such an affordable wedding is because of our incredible community of friends who did so much for us. We could not have done it without them. A lifelong thank you to all of you!
The average cost for a U.S. wedding is $25,000. That was not at all what David and I were willing to financially devote to the day. A few days after we were engaged we came up with the general budget of $10,000. (Still seemed like a lot to me!) After making a more specific, itemized budget our projected cost was $10,670. A little over, but we were still going to work with it.
Five months later, I’ve calculated the actual costs for our wedding for 287 guests which adds up to… $6,789!
Here’s how we did it.
Reception venue: $1,050
Food: $2,749 for a full dinner by A Catered Affaire for 287 guests.
Servingware: Free (Plastic dishes are included by caterer in cost of food. We could have paid extra for china.)
Wait staff: Free (Included in cost of food)
Linens: $114 (Plastic tablecloths from GFS)
Drinks: Free (Included in cost of food)
DJ: Free (My very talented and generous friend, Matt.)
Cake: $126 from Bake ‘n’ Cakes. A small, professionally made cake served the head table. Ten of our friends each made 40 cupcakes to serve the rest of our guests.
Transportation: Free (We just drove in David’s car, decorated by my bridesmaids.)
Ceremony venue: $565
Officiant: Free (Thanks to our friend, Scott.)
Guestbook: Free (My bridal attendant, Lauren offered to buy it for us!)
Bird Seed Send-Off: $45
Bride’s gown: $708. I bought the dress (originally strapless) for $550 at David’s Bridal, added a corset for $148 and spent $10 on materials for me to do the hem and makes the sleeves.
Bride’s jewelry: $22 for vintage earrings
Bride’s handkerchief: Free (My grandmother’s)
Bride’s shoes: $50
Bride’s Hair & Makeup: Free
Groom’s suit: $240
Grooms accessories: $20
Bouquets, corsages, & boutonnieres: $106
Photographers: Free (Two photographers, for the entire day! Courtesy of my wonderful and gifted friends Camryn & Emily.)
Videographer: Free (Thanks to Annie & Tim!)
Postage: $89 for 400 invitations
Thank You Postcards: Free! (I filled out feedback survey for Vistaprint and mentioned how they made a small mistake on our postcards. Later they called us and let us know we would be getting our money back for the whole purchase. So unexpected! They totally earned our future business.)
Thank You notes postage: $58
Bridesmaid and Bridal Attendant Gifts: $136
Groomsmen and Usher Gifts: $160
Officiant Gift: $55
THE DIY PROJECTS
Centerpieces: fresh flowers without spending all your green
Cakes & Treats: the yummiest part of the whole day
Dollar Dance: a less awkward version that even gets you some kisses from your groom
How to DIY Wedding Bouquets: made with silk flowers
Fringey Crepe Paper Backdrop: simple steps for a big effect
Guest Book: something that won’t end up in a box in your basement
Invitations: how we did them cheaply and quickly
Reception Seating Chart: the easiest thing ever! I was once intimidated by this task.
Save The Dates: totally free and totally cute
Table Numbers: simplistic and inexpensive
THE BRIDAL PARTY
(As appeared in our program)
What Dave Says About Rach
After I started getting to know Rachel, she quickly became my best friend. I’ve never enjoyed talking to anyone more than her and she’s the first person I want to tell about anything. Rachel is an intelligent woman and a deep thinker who can stimulate my mind or make me laugh uncontrollably. One of my favorite things about Rachel is her embodiment of God’s grace; she is so forgiving and loving that she gives me a deeper understanding of God’s love for me. These few sentences barely begin to describe why I love her so much.
What Rach Says About Dave
David is the kindest person I have ever met. When I think of the expression “heart of gold,” it is personified by David. He is selfless. He is hard working. He is intelligent. He is hot. He is humble. He thinks before he speaks. I want to be more like him. I trust David with anything, including my entire life. He is the best thing about me. He is the perfect combination of Gale and Peeta (for The Hunger Games fans). He is 6’3″. He’s always on the Dean’s List. Oh, and he can dunk if he drinks a 5 Hour Energy.