I am so excited to share today’s reader wedding! This is Amanda and Jerod’s big day at La Belle Vie. Not only was I very impressed with all the DIY and thought Amanda put into her wedding, I was also so shocked when she said she did the entire thing for $4,000! Anyone who has planned/is planning a wedding, knows completing that goal is no easy feat. The original budget was $5,000, but the thrifty couple managed to save $1,000 by doing a lot of the work themselves and getting help from friends and family.
I asked Amanda to give us her top tips for planning a budget wedding in Spokane, so be sure to read those below.
Thanks for sharing Amanda!
Tips from Amanda about how to plan a $4,000 wedding!
Our wedding budget was $5,000. We made our entire wedding day in a little under $4,000.
Pinterest is your best friend. There are a lot of good ideas here for aspiring brides who want to DIY well. I found a great tutorial for paper roses, and a couple of my friends and I made 90 of them out of pages from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We had a newspaper theme for our wedding (Jerod and I are both journalists), so I decided to use paper flowers for all the bridal bouquets, centerpieces, and groomsmen’s boutonnières. The only fresh flowers we incorporated were for the parents and grandparents. The paper flowers looked fantastic and added a unique atmosphere to the wedding. Make decorations that you can use past your wedding day. I hand-made signs out of canvas, puff paint, and paper flowers with love quotes on them and hung them in the reception hall. They are now on the walls of our apartment and they fit right in. Why put a ton of work into making decorations you’re only going to use for one day? Make it an investment that you’ll be proud to display for a while.
Look for friends who are also professionals who know what they’re doing. Also look for ways to support local businesses. It’s a great way to support local start-ups in the area, and they might be more willing to give you a discount or work with you on a custom order, more than a chain store might. We weren’t able to afford a traditional caterer, but a couple friends from church had catering experience and one (Jane) currently owns a local bistro. They, along with their husbands, put together our entire reception, including our wedding cake. We had a buffet-style reception instead of a plated dinner, which saved us a lot of money (and we didn’t have to make seating arrangements, which is always a plus). Our photographer, Taylor Zajicek, was one of Jerod’s friends from Whitworth University. He doesn’t market himself as a wedding photographer, but he works as a professional photographer for a well-known ambassador program, so based on his previous work for that company and the engagement photo session we did with him, we knew we could trust him to do a fantastic job. He got our wedding photos back to us less than two weeks after our wedding, too. He and his girlfriend, Joanna Kendall, put us completely at ease and made our day even more enjoyable. The couple that did our wedding cupcakes recently started Sweet & Stout Cupcake Co. within the last year. We wanted to support their business and they make incredible cupcakes, so it was a no-brainer to ask them to help us out. Jackie and Dylan made lemon raspberry IPA cupcakes and salted chocolate caramel cupcakes for our reception and they completely stole the show. My mother-in-law used to own a calligraphy business, so she graciously offered to calligraphy all 200 of our save the dates. They looked incredible and we were able to share her awesome calligraphy skills with our guests.
Sometimes, it’s good to buy in bulk. We got a bunch of paper globes from Oriental Trading Co. that we used to decorate the gazebo and the aisles for the ceremony. They have good deals on small wedding favors, too, if you’re looking for something quick and easy.
Support independent sellers and get a great product for a great price? Go Etsy. I got my bridesmaids’ gifts, garter, wedding jewelry, wedding dress hanger, and parent’s thank you gift from different Etsy sellers, and I had nothing but good experiences with all of them. The products are incredible because they are custom-made when you order them, and you don’t have to look very hard to find a great product at a great price. Plus you can find unique things that don’t look like they were mass-produced and impersonal. Unique and personal is the way to go.
Repurpose. My father-in-law offered his late wife’s wedding dress (circa 1980s) to me after Jerod and I got engaged, and I took it to Amazing Alterations to see if they could help me update it. The staff there did an incredible job of turning an already pretty dress into a gorgeous modern piece that kept the original integrity of the dress. My mom let me borrow her veil, too, so I was able to wear items from both sides of the family. And oddly enough, the lace flowers on the dress and the veil matched perfectly. Pretty awesome coincidence.
Use your own skills! My husband and I are both writers and majored in journalism and graphic design in college, which is why we opted for a newspaper-themed wedding. We wrote and designed our save-the-dates, wedding invitations and wedding programs (the invitations and programs looked like the front page of a newspaper). We were completely happy with the result because it was uniquely us. We printed our invitations and programs in black-and-white instead of color, too, which saved us a bundle.
Don’t assume that something has to be expensive to be great. Keep an eye out for things you can do yourself, local businesses you can support, and people in your life who are willing to share their professional skills with you.
Be flexible. Your wedding day is going to be fantastic even if the PowerPoint slideshow dies in the middle of the reception, or you walk too fast down the aisle, or if the confetti didn’t get sprinkled on the reception tables. At the end of the day, you’ll be married to the one you love, and the rest is just details.
Venue – La Belle Vie
Photographer – Taylor Zajicek and Joanna Kendall, private photographers
Dress alterations – Amazing Alterations
Makeup – Dolly Metzger, Mary Kay consultant
Groom’s ring – Zale’s (in the Spokane Valley mall)
Catering/wedding cake – Sheri Ehrlich and Jane Edwards, private caterers (although Jane owns Picabu Bistro)
Wedding cupcakes – Sweet & Stout Cupcake Co., locally owned by Dylan and Jackie Waidelich
Wedding coordinator – Esther Daugherty, private consultant
Wedding invitation and program printing – Sir Speedy Printing