--> Our reception venue saved us the most money of all. We rented the National Guard Armory in Beatrice, NE. It doesn't sound glamorous, but it was a new building and the perfect place to have a reception. It can hold up to 500, had a state of the art kitchen, big bathrooms, new tables and chairs, etc. Plus, it only cost us $150 to rent and we could bring in our own food and alcohol vendors. That's unheard of in today's wedding world. The only catch is you have to be affiliated with the military to rent it.
--> We used Colleen's Catering from Beatrice, NE for the food. I thought it was delicious and at $8 per plate it was reasonable.
--> A talented friend, who makes cupcakes on the side, baked our mini cupcakes and cake topper. I ordered the tower off of Amazon. She was much cheaper than the cupcake shops.
--> We bought mini cheesecakes, cream puffs, and kisses from Sam's Club so that the dessert table had more than just cupcakes. The M&M's were purchased on clearance after Valentine's Day. We borrowed my grandma's serving platters instead of buying new.
--> We also bought snacks from Sam's Club for the wedding party to tie them over while taking pictures that afternoon.
--> Pickrell Tavern provided our alcohol and gave us an awesome deal.
--> Adorn Photography is amazing and has some of the best prices around. Andrea and Erin make the picture part fun (believe it or not). They have such great personalities and talent for this profession.
--> The bridesmaid and candlelighter dresses were $84 from David's Bridal.
--> Our family members provided the music for the ceremony so we didn't have to pay anyone. Thankfully they're very musically talented.
--> We created and printed our own wedding invites and ceremony programs. Both were one sheet printed front and back - simple. I created them in Adobe InDesign. You don't need a fancy program like InDesign though. I made sure I could print two invites per page (8.5"x11") and three ceremony programs per page which saved on paper.
--> We booked our DJ and Photobooth together from Complete Music during a bridal fair and saved a little bit.
--> Finally, we just watched sales and always made sure to use coupons when possible. We spent $8,000 total for our wedding. 375 guests were invited and a little over 300 showed up. The average cost of a U.S. wedding is around $25,000. That just blows my mind.
Just a reminder, here are the wedding saving posts from the past couple of weeks:
DIY pocket squares for wedding
Wedding dress for less
DIY burlap wrapped koozies for wedding favors
Painted tuna cans as candle holders
Milk cans + branches + white lights for wedding reception lighting
Ball jars as candle holders
Learn to do updos for events
Flowers from Sam's Club for wedding
Happy planning! You CAN have a gorgeous wedding for LESS!