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confession. we didn’t pay for the bulk of our wedding. my parents did.

we were so incredibly grateful that my parents offered to foot the bill. but that doesn’t mean we felt the need to just blow money on random things. our desire from the beginning was to have a wedding that felt real and sincere to us. a day where we could feel relaxed, have fun, and most of all, feel like ourselves. and that just didn’t include a big fancy wedding. we went for simple, intimate (read: small guest list), and laid back.

here’s a bit of advice that i found very helpful in my own wedding plans: pick one thing that you are willing to spend a lot of money on and then decide where you can cut back.

our number one priority was photography. second to that was location. everything else i was willing to compromise on. as you already know we hired the fantastically awesome jonathan o’brien for our engagement session and the equally as fantastic eric barker for our wedding.

we chose woodmill winery as our location. it was the perfect spot because it was such a great combination of us. it was beautiful and classic and set in the middle of nowhere. it held good memories for us. and we both envisioned our wedding at that spot.
the things i was willing to majorly cut back on i did. my bridesmaids carried beautiful handcut and dyed paper flowers.

we used the same flowers in our decorations.

we opted for a cash bar. that’s right. we didn’t buy people alcohol. and everything worked out just fine. and we served nc barbeque for dinner. i felt like the food was a major nod to G’s ultra southern family.

i bought local honey, jars from a local vendor, and tags from etsy to create our honey favors.

we used another etsy shop to design our invites. ordered the cardstock and envelopes from a wholesaler online. and printed them at office max. best decision ever. i loved our invites. and we saved $$$

and guess what? our wedding was everything we wanted. it was elegant but understated. laid back yet traditional. our guests went home with full bellies and a favor i think they actually used. plus i remember most of my wedding day as opposed to feeling like it swept by me. and G and i both felt calm and just like us on our wedding day.

my advice to any brides-to-be reading this post is this: be true to yourself and your fiance. don’t make your plans based off what others want/expect/demand. do what feels right for the two of you.

ps- for you curious kittens out there. i’m not sure the exact figure of everything we spent…but i’d guess it was around $6000 tops. which is like miraculous according to most budget bride blogs.