Wedding from Rachel Schultz

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!

Wedding from Rachel Schultz

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)
Decorations: $391
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.)

Wedding from Rachel Schultz

Ceremony venue: $565
Officiant: Free
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

Wedding from Rachel Schultz

Photographers: Free (Two photographers, for the entire day! Courtesy of my wonderful and gifted friends Camryn & Emily.)
Videographer: Free (Thanks to Annie & Tim!)
Invitations: $80
Postage: $89 for 400 invitations
Programs: $25
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

TOTAL: $6,789

Wedding from Rachel Schultz

(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 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. He can dunk if he drinks a 5 Hour Energy.

The Ceremony from Rachel Schultz




  • This was amazing to read. I hope one day when we finally set our date we can make ours as simple yet elegant as yours! Thanks for sharing!

  • Karen

    I absolutely loved reading about your wedding and looking at the pictures! This was a God-Wink for me today as my daughter and I are planning her wedding which will be in January of 2015. Your story is precious and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing!!!

  • Michelle

    I got married in 2001 for $5000 and that included a 10 day honeymoon in Colorado! I had to laugh at some of your comments and agree on so much. We did DIY for what we could, found deals where we could (the lady that did my flowers said that if you buy flowers from her she would loan us centerpieces for our table, FREE), and cut out the unnecessary stuff (who needs a limo?). Our cake topper came off of ebay, and I still have it on display in my hutch because I absolutely love it! Wish couples today realized that you don’t have to have an extravagant affair to get married. It’s about the start of a new life, not the size of your centerpieces or spending 1000s on a dress that you will only wear once.

  • Gina V.

    I stumbled upon your web site while perusing Pinterest recipes. I must say, your wedding photos are beautiful. Mazel tov to both of you!

  • Karen

    Came upon your blog today on Pinterest. You’ve got some amazing recipes for someone so young! You seem like a very talented, intelligent, creative woman. We had two daughters get married this past summer and we also were able to keep the costs at a reasonable level. To be honest, my husband knows the totals, but I didn’t look! I know they were each under $10,000 and both weddings were really lovely and both so unique. In this day of “Say Yes” to everything and spend exorbitant amounts of moolah at a wedding, it is truly refreshing to see a young couple spend within their means and focus on the days and months and years after the wedding day! Looking forward to reading your blog more often!

  • Annette

    Wow! What a fun filled, stunning wedding!
    Well done!

  • Julie

    Wow! So, I was out to find a simple and easy peach cobbler recipe (like my MIL makes), and I came across your site. First thing, after the recipe, had to be to check out your wedding! We only spent $4,000 on ours. Way to go!
    I feel like running across your site was a little smile & nudge from the Lord today. Thanks for being here & sharing :)
    I just read the Hunger Games! I feel the same way about my hubby!
    God Bless

    • Rachel Schultz

      So great, Julie! Thanks girl.

  • marcia grossman

    I really enjoyed reading about your wedding. (I’m 62 years) In this day and age (is that the expression?) to read about something done so well and so reasonable, is amazing to me. Good for you. I love your site. Thank you. Marcia

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thank you, Marcia!

  • It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people in this
    particular subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re
    talking about! Thanks

  • Anonymous

    Great blog!

  • Hi Rachel,
    I just happened upon your blog today and absolutely love it! I did about the same thing as you for our wedding, only a little bit more expensive ($8,000) and then blogged about it. You can read all about my DIY wedding at Thanks for all of your great ideas as well, I really enjoyed reading them!

  • Allison

    Love your blog, and also love that my husband and I were married on May 12th as well (granted, ours was 2008 before you two met. LOL)

    • Rachel Schultz

      AWESOME! And thanks!

  • Sandra

    I’m a huge fan of your blog, especially because there’s a sweetness in you that makes me want to read your blog everyday and learn more about your food and life experiences. Thank you so much. Luv and smiles straight from Portugal.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks so much! That is super nice!

  • I am officially hooked on your blog :)

    LOVE IT!!!

  • margaret pike

    your wedding looks awesome

  • Ashleigh

    And to top it all off you love Jesus!! :)

  • Ashleigh

    You are officially my new favorite blogger! The rundown of your wedding plus the 2 ingredient lemon bars has me seeing hearts :) You rock!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks so much! :) That makes me smile

  • Anonymous

    Congrats Rachel and David! Many blessings to the both of you ….

  • Amanda

    I LOVE that you references The Hunger Games!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Haha, yep. I’m a fan :)

  • Ashley

    It’s such a small world… I just stumbled upon this amazing blog from Pinterest and as I’m browsing through it, I see Tyler Oakley, a YouTuber that I absolutely adore!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Haha, yep. He’s one of my dear friends from High School.

  • DeeDee

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your awesome blog!! I don’t even know how I got here but I’m glad it happened!! Best Wishes to you and Dave!!! When its my time..I will inbox you!!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thank you so much! I look forward to it.

  • TxGal

    What a Beautiful wedding you had – and wow, for less than $7,000 !! You are VERY fortunate indeed to have friends who could do so much ! Our oldest DD is getting married this October, outdoor wedding, and we have tried to keep costs down. Unfortunately we don’t have good friends for photographers, and our catering is more than yours was – for just 150 guests ! Those are our big costs. We’ve kept the flowers basic, DIY decor, and her dress was on sale. We should come in about $10 K, hopefully … cause we’ve got another daughter to go !!

  • Anonymous

    Love it! We did our for under $4000.

  • Thanks for this page! Your wedding was beautiful and an inspiration for a frugal future bride!

    • Thanks so much!


      • Heather Guthrie-Hoey

        Sweet Inspiration I’ll file away as my daughter is only 15! Found your story upon my hubby whipping up a variation of your fruit salad w/secret ingredient! Sunny, Vibrant Blessings to you and your husband, Rachel!

        • Margarita

          Love your wedding pictures and your website! What a delight! I love your authenticity, creativity, simplicity and grace. You permeate the brilliance of our Creator! :-). I celebrate your wedding budget, too! As a former wedding planner, I would tell couples, “Invest more in your marriage than on your wedding!”. By the way, my husband and I just celebrated 20 years of marriage and our wedding cost totaled $3,500. It was an outdoor Spring wedding at a historic plantation home which accommodated 150 guests. As you so beautifully revealed, weddings can come under a $10,000 budget. Rich blessings to you and your husband as you begin your new journey towards Parenthood!!

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