Broke-Ass Category: 15-25K Budget Weddings


My fiancé and I are social and at times private people. We enjoy both quiet and unpublicized time with loved ones as well as social media engagement and interactions. It’s a healthy balance. With that being said, our wedding website needed to reflect both sides.

We desired to create an informative and functional wedding website to share our love story with visitors and inform our guests of the wedding details.

Our must haves:

  • Welcome Message: a warm invitation to our world and a thank you for being a part of our lives
  • Our Story: depending on when you met us and/or how long you have known us you may not know the FULL story. It’s the beginning to our forever so we decided to dig up the archives, read thru old emails and g-chat messages and compare notes so that we didn’t miss one detail

Real Bride Ciji's Wedding Website

Designed by John Rich Media


  • The Crew: those that have been a part of our best and worst moments, the group of people that will fly, drive or catch the bus not to miss our wedding celebration(s) and those that have invested time, money and energy to ensure that we have a very special celebration. We crafted a special message for each person to pair with a photo of each person in the wedding party
  • Images: we sprinkled in some of our favorite pictures with our engagement pictures so that we could give visitors a peek into our world. It was a cool process to gather pictures from social media and our phones and then house them in a Google folder and allow our website designer to select the best photos to match the text copy. The photo trip down memory lane was a great break from making wedding planning decisions
  • Hashtag: need I say more?  Of course we had to include our hashtag! After several discussions and online focus groups we decided on #trulytownsend7 
  • Details: remember how I mentioned that we have a private side? We reserved this section for our guests. In this password protected section we included our wedding date, time and location. Recommending lodging in the area, attire specifications, details on our unplugged ceremony, the registry website link and most of all how excited we are that everyone will be joining us on our big day!

Real Bride Ciji's Wedding Website 2

Designed by John Rich Media

Last but not least, we decided that our wedding website would not only act as a hub of information but also as the primary RSVP location. We skipped ordering reply cards and decided to incorporate a form on our site that captures RSVP information and streamlines the seating chart process.

A special thank you to John Rich Media, for making our vision a reality!

What are you including in your wedding website?

  • 11/1

    Affiliate Disclaimer New$500, that’s all that I budgeted for my wedding dress. Many said that it would be  impossible to find a dress under $1000, many told me that I should splurge a little because it’s my once in a lifetime “big day,” many told me it was too early in my planning process to understand how much dresses cost. All of the feedback was shared with good intentions, so I figured that I would set out to find my perfect dress and not worry too much about the cost … at least not right away.

    I rallied the Bride Tribe and we set out to David’s Bridal. I have never tried on wedding dresses before and I didn’t have my heart set on a specific style, so I figured that the appointment would be good to at least narrow down the style that I like. The appointment was set for 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, my plan was to not take up too much of their time so I planned to be out of there in an hour and then we could all grab lunch!

    Real Bride Ciji's Wedding Dress Shopping Adventure

    All of my local bridesmaids joined me and those out of state participated in the fun by sharing their thoughts in our GroupMe. I tried on each and every style and while I have to admit that I have never been one to enjoy trying on clothes, there was something special about the experience! Although a somewhat overwhelming adventure considering that I had never thought about ivory, champagne or white and trumpet vs. mermaid. The best part was NOT looking at the price tags. After trying on about eight dresses and enjoying the time with my favorite ladies who sipped on sparkling grape juice while I sucked it in and allowed a stranger to tug, pull and zip; I left knowing my favorite top two styles and ready to dig deep into finding my budget friendly dress.

    It’s been three months since that day and I have learned more about wedding dresses than I could have possibly have ever wanted to know. I’ve considered re-purposing a dress that I wore 13 years ago when I was a debutante. I’ve hit the heart button for all of my favorite sellers on Etsy and weighed the pros and cons of having a dress made and shipped from China or Bulgaria. I’ve researched EVERY bridal consignment store in America and negotiated with strangers on Facebook trading pages.  I’ve considered taking sewing classes, primarily for my reception decor but it wouldn’t hurt to know how to make a wedding dress, right?  I’ve become obsessed with and I check my size and price range daily to find a deal. I’ve done all that I can and just when I was thinking about giving up, something amazing happened. Actually multiple amazing things happened …I found the dress of my dreams, honestly I found four dresses of my dreams.

    Finally after weeks of searching every site known to (wo)man, I found not one but three dresses that I love from, all under $100 each. So I bought them all, I just couldn’t take any chances with leaving one for someone else to snag before me. Five days after making the purchase and confirming the shipping plan, I decided to attend a “run for the dress” sale. I really just wanted to go and jump in on the fun and I was pretty confident that unless I saw an “I can’t live without it” dress that fit me with no alterations and was under $150 that I would leave the store empty handed.

    I stood in line for an hour, I met wonderful people, we discussed our wedding planning progress and we took selfies to distract us from the long wait to get inside. The store provided a DJ and employees walked around pumping up the crowd. I started to get more and more excited as the time passed and a couple of pumped up text messages from my Matron of Honor/Best Friend were icing on the cake! I was READY and even though I didn’t plan to buy anything, I felt like it was game day.

    There was a countdown and then the doors opened and Brides, mothers and friends rushed into the store.


    I followed suit, ran in and started to look thru the racks. All of the dresses were outside of my budget so I started to help a new friend that I met in line find her perfect dress. I had all but given up on finding anything for myself and was happy to help her since I didn’t plan to make a purchase until I saw the ONE. There it is was hanging on a picked over rack of dresses as if it was waiting for me to walk over and grab it. As I neared, I decided to grab it and try it on, why not? That was a mistake. I put it on, some of the other brides stopped shopping to help me zip it up, I walked over to a mirror and immediately knew that it was the one. I had to have it, so I bought it.

    In one week, I became the owner of four wedding dresses. Oh boy! Now all that I have to do is narrow down which one will be the one that is the ultimate one.  My hope is that I say YES to the dress soon!


  • 10/7

    Names: Meg & Steve Occupations: Development Coordinator for a community revitalization non-profit; high school Spanish teacher Wedding location: Pearl S. Buck Estate, Perkasie, PA Wedding Budget: $25,000 ** Number of Guests: 207 Wedding Date: June 20, 2015 How would you describe your wedding: Our wedding had a little bit of everything. We had some traditional elements, but also did things our own modern way. For example, we had…

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    Name: Jessica Knowles and Andrew Long Occupation: Jessica - Sales and Marketing Manager for Housing Company; Andrew - Landscape Designer Wedding location: Brickyard at Riverside Golf Club, Macon, Georgia Wedding Date: May 16, 2015 Budget: Around $15,000. The amounts below add up to around $20,000, however my parents paid about $15K, I paid for photography, hair/makeup and rings. Groom's family paid for his tux and…

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    And now to quote the immortal words of Soul II Soul: “Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now.”  Nick and my's wedding was so amazing, and our honeymoon to the Pacific Northwest was absolutely perfect. That’s what made it that much harder to come back this past Sunday to our everyday lives. We ordered a pizza for dinner and cracked…

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    Finding a photographer has been a challenge. Pictures are probably the number one priority for me for the wedding, so it's something I really want to get right. It's the one thing I'm not willing to skimp on, however I don't really want to spend a million dollars either. I thought by doing a Sunday morning affair, I could save on photography costs a bit, especially…

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    First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the realization of all of the traditions that come with it. From wearing white to tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake, there are many "rules" that brides and grooms are expected to follow on their wedding day, some dating back to the 14th century! Let's take a look at some of them: Brides began wearing white…

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    Names: Jareesa & William Occupation: Supply chain project manager & statistician Wedding location: McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis, MN Wedding Date: March 14, 2015 Budget:* $18,000 How would you describe your wedding: Our wedding was pretty traditional but we incorporated elements of our nerd personalities to make it our own. I also had my youngest brother do a reading of my favorite poem. What was your…

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