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Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

Names: Jareesa & William

Occupation: Supply chain project manager & statistician

Wedding location: McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis, MN

Wedding Date: March 14, 2015

Budget:* $18,000

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

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 favorite part of your wedding? Getting married of course! Celebrating with our friends and family is a close second.

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

What did you splurge on? Our venue and catering — our venue uses an exclusive caterer that is pretty pricey, but our food and cake were delicious! People are still raving about it.

What did you save on? Our stationery. I ordered our Save The Dates and invitations from MagnetStreet, a BAB partner. Our day-of materials (table numbers, escort cards, programs, menus) were designed and printed in my company’s print shop. They only charged us $70 to design and print all those items!

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I would have listened to my fiancé more and just trusted my gut. I started second-guessing myself thanks to too much Pinterest and Instagram, and I worried my wedding wouldn’t measure up. In the end, it was perfect, but I wasted time being worried about the wrong things.

What was your biggest challenge in planning? Definitely managing my anxiety! The closer we got to the wedding, the more my worry got out of control. I worried about everything — the weather, that people wouldn’t come, that it wouldn’t be pretty. You name it, i worried about it. In the end, it wasn’t even necessary because everything was beautiful.

What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Figure out what’s really important, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

1. Marrying the most amazing guy ever

2. Celebrating with my friends and family

3. The amazingly delicious food! I’m still dreaming about that wedding cake

4. Getting a chance to socialize with all our guests individually, having that time made our wedding feel so intimate and personal

5. Seeing our guests react positively to our nerdy touches. Everyone really loved it and said our wedding felt authentic to our personalities.

Top 5 least favorite?

1. I was pretty stressed right up until I reached the suite to get my makeup done. At one point I turned off my phone because I needed a break from the calls.

2. By 11:30pm I wanted to keep partying but I was just so tired! Some of our guests had an impromptu after-party but all I wanted to do was get in bed.

3. I can’t think of anything else!

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?

I got a lot of unsolicited advice about everything — where to get married, the size of our wedding, what we should serve, etc. It especially came from people who didn’t know us!

The best? Several people told me to try to “be in the moment” and enjoy every moment of the day. I had that in the back of my mind and I really tried to be present for every moment. I’m glad I did, because now I think back to our marriage and I remember so many touching moments.

Real Wedding: Jareesa and William's Pi Day Nerd Wedding

Any other bits of wisdom?

  • Premartial counseling is totally worth it. We wound up finding a relationship therapist, and even though we communicate well already, she helped us learn things about each other and ourselves.
  • HIRE A COORDINATOR! We hired an amazing coordinator who made our desire to be guests at our own wedding come true. We could relax and socialize with our guests without worrying if things were going according to schedule, and that helped us enjoy the day immensely.
  • Don’t do things just because you think you “should” — figure out how to have the wedding that is authentic to the type of people you are. For us, that meant having a nerdy wedding, and for me, wearing my glasses. I couldn’t imagine NOT wearing my glasses because I wear them everyday, and I’m so glad I did.

Budget breakdown?* (These are all very approximate)

Officiant: Shon Crowley – $0 (friend who gifted his services)

Photographer: Studio 220 Photography – $2,000

Venue: McNamara Alumni Center, University Hall package – $1,800 ($1500 standard fee + $300 room flip fee)

Catering: D’Amico Catering – $7,000 (included limited bar, cocktail hour appetizers, plated dinner and wedding cake)

Day of coordinator: Ask For The Moon Events –  $550

Grooms Outfit: Men’s Wearhouse – $100 (free tux rental, purchased shoes & tie)

Wedding Gown: Luxe Bridal Couture – $400 (alterations only, gown purchased by mother as a gift)

Flowers/Decor: Festivities – $1650 (includes all flowers, ceremony & reception decor)

DJ: Instant Request – $595 (reception only)

Hair: LocStarz Natural Hair Salon – $60

Make-up: Creative Beaute Agency – $80

Save the dates: MagnetStreet – $170

Invitations: MagnetStreet – $340

Favors: mini-pies from Cossetta’s in St Paul, MN – $170

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    Real Wedding Peach Jersey 50Peach

    Names: Peach and Jersey

    Occupation: IT geeks

    Wedding location: Little Gardens

    Wedding Date: October 19, 2014

    Budget: $15,000 – $20,000

    How would you describe your wedding: We had an intimate, simple, outdoor garden wedding with a rockin’ party afterward. The ceremony was short and sweet, spiritual but fun, and we wrote our own vows.  Afterward, everyone enjoyed cocktails, dinner and a fun party.

    Real Wedding ceremony 50Peach

    What was your favorite part of your wedding? The exit! Our venue didn’t allow anything thrown or flaming (like sparklers), so we provided our guests with party horns and glowstick necklaces. When Jersey and I were standing inside waiting for everyone to finish assembling outside, our ears were met with the most glorious, raucous, synchronized HONK-HONK-HONK-ing of the party horns! It was so funny and happy and celebratory that our faces just lit up with joy.

    Real Wedding exit 50Peach

    What did you splurge on? His suit. But we felt strongly that a perfectly tailored Armani suit is something that he can wear for YEARS to come … unlike me and my wedding dress. We don’t regret it a bit.

    What did you save on? Many things!

    • We opted to not have favors. Instead, my mom and dad graciously handled our out-of-town welcome bags, bless them!
    • My dress — I budgeted about $2000.00, but found mine for $800.00!
    • Programs — my Maid of Honor designed the gorgeous things, then called in a favor for printing them. (Rumor has it that our little 100-count program printing halted the work the printers were doing on the latest major Clinique ads. NBD.)
    • We didn’t do name cards per person, but used a collage picture frame to list out each table’s people. (And saved a damn tree.)
    • I printed out table numbers for free from Pinterest on card stock and used the venue’s included table clips to hold them.
    • We double-purposed the bridesmaid bouquets as our table centerpieces.
    • I also wasn’t afraid to bargain or offer to pay in full up front for a percent discount, which easily saved us at least a thousand.

    Real Wedding roses 50Peach

    Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect?  Uhhh, yeah. I wrote an entire separate post about our blown budget.  Go read this post for more details. But in short, I wish I’d known then what I know now: read the fine print, plan for the unexpected, ask more questions than you think are necessary and do not, DO NOT, pay one cent more for anything than you think you should.

    Real Wedding mirror 50Peach

    What was your biggest challenge in planning? The guest list and RSVPs. With such big families on both sides, it was tough to choose only 100 to invite. And when about 10 people who RSVP’ed yes didn’t show up on our big day, it was such a letdown … It meant that we could have asked 10 *other* people who we really wanted there to come! Planning a wedding 100% showed me the importance of the RSVP.

    Real Wedding arbor 50Peach

    What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? You can only control what you can control. Do your best to think through all the details, ask questions and don’t apologize for it. But when the big day arrives, LET IT GO. Things will go wrong, but your only job on your day is to be there and be happy and marry your person. Let everyone else freak out about the curveballs!  Also, wine is a requirement when wedding planning. For realz.

    real wedding dad dance 50Peach

    What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

    1. Seeing him standing there, waiting for me, while my dad walked me down the aisle. It made it all worth it.
    2. Having so many loved ones, from all over the US, in one place on that day just for us. Warm fuzzies galore.
    3. Dancing with my Dad.
    4. That we made our wedding day unique to our wants.
    5. I’m finally Mrs. Jersey!!!

    Real Wedding waterfall 50Peach

    Top 5 least favorite?

    1. Hands down, I hated feeling like I was under a microscope with everyone on the wedding weekend. “Are you okay?” “Are you sure you’re okay??” “You seem nervous.” Stop looking at me, swan.
    2. The day went so fast!!! We did manage to thank everyone personally, but it was all a beautiful blur.
    3. RSVPs: We hated having to hound people to tell us if they were coming. Nothing makes you feel more lame than inviting someone and they can’t be bothered with responding to you. Plus the no-shows, just grrrr.
    4. I wish there had been more time to spend with our out of town guests. We did our best, but it was still difficult.
    5. It’s a little thing, but I only got one bite of our wedding cake that day! My sweet tooth may have cried a little.

    Real wedding cake 50Peach

    What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I wouldn’t say I had any bad advice from anyone. However, there were more than a few well-meaning but quite obvious and/or obnoxious suggestions. But I was all: Yo. I got this.

    The best? On the wedding day, take it all in. Look around and mentally note all the details, the people, the love in the room and enjoy it. We did, as much as we could.

    Any other bits of wisdom? Yes!

    1. Brides and grooms: take 15-30 minutes the morning of your wedding day and just gather yourself. It helped me a bunch to have some quiet time to reflect, calm my mind and prepare my control-freak self to let go of the planning mentality.
    2. If you find you and your partner are covering much of the costs of your wedding (as we did), a long engagement will help tremendously. We were able to spread out the payments and time them so that we didn’t go into debt. And same goes for parents, too.
    3. Budget for the bridal party gifts.It adds up quickly, no matter how much you try to DIY or Etsy the hell out of it.

    Real Wedding arbor 50Peach

    Budget breakdown?

    Venue: $13,000.00 *included: ceremony and reception space, seating, decor, linens, all florals, food/drink, cake, lighting, wedding planner and day-of coordinator

    Dress + alterations: Enzoani Beautiful, $1040.00

    Veil and bling belt: $250.00

    His suit: Armani, with dress shirt and tailoring: $2400.00

    Pearl necklace, my great-grandmother’s: Gifted

    Cuff bracelet and earrings: 150.00

    Badgley Mischka flats: $60.00

    Photography by Lee Patterson (engagement session + day of, digital-only package): $1800.00

    DJ: $999.00

    Videography: WeddingMix, $650.00

    Officiant: $350.00

    Save the Date Magnets: MagnetStreet $180.00 ← ordered waaaaay too many. Rookie mistake!

    Rehearsal dinner invites: MagnetStreet $50.00

    Thank You cards: MagnetStreet $72.00

    Invitations: MagnetStreet $568.00

    Guest Book: Shutterfly self-made $72.00

    Wedding bands: $2300.00

    Bridal party and parent gifts: $1000.00

    Hair/makeup: $500.00 — with trials for both and the day-of, both onsite

    Hotel suite, 3 nights: FREE – they were comp’ed for us due to a glitch with our hotel block!

    Rehearsal Dinner: $450.00, but FREE – We paid for it ourselves with gift cards we’d received since the engagement, so $0.00!

    Actual Total: $25,441.00

    List of all vendors.

    Venue: Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, GA

    Photography: Lee Patterson

    Videography: WeddingMix

    DJ: Lethal Rhythms

    Officiant: Jeremiah O’Keefe-West

    Hair: Joseph’s Salon, Lawrenceville, GA

    Makeup: Andrea Carter

    Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, NE Atlanta

    Dress: Ivory Bridal & Formal, Smyrna, GA

    Suit: Saks Fifth Avenue, Atlanta, GA

    Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Jim N’ Nicks BBQ

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    Names: Tiffany & Justin Occupation: Educational Writer & Video Game Designer Wedding location: Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens, San Diego California Wedding Date: October 11, 2014 Budget: Well, here's the thing. My kindly generous parents didn't give us a solid figure to work with, but I wanted to be reasonable and arbitrarily chose $15,000. And then when we really got into things I realized that would be…

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    Guys, I've been absolutely dying to get the whole damn story on Kate and Daniel's insane, beautiful, literary, uncertain wedding ... and it's finally here! Her amazing red dress, the f*ck it all attitude about how things "should" be, the anxiety of the whole visa and immigration process ... it's been a helluva journey, but now Kate and Daniel are married. And it was the…

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     It's been nearly two months since contributor Elizabeth married Bryce on a rainy day in Greensboro, N.C., and they partied down in a Gatsby-looking fashion on a $7K budget. Today, Elizabeth is back to share the details, Real Wedding-style. Name: Elizabeth & Bryce Occupation: I work for study abroad at Duke University Wedding location: Greensboro, NC Wedding Date: August 9th, 2014 Budget: $7,000-ish How would you…

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    Ashley and Curtis' sweet Minnesota wedding was put together with a lot of time, energy, effort and love. While the bride and groom did not set a budget (!!), they managed to pull off a great party and amazing wedding under around $18,000. While rain threatened to put a damper on their big day, the skies cleared up, the roads dried up and the party…

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    When this super sweet, laid back wedding from Lauren Lindley Photography fell into my lap, I spent some serious time living vicariously through the subjects of the photographs, with sand between their toes, mountain air surrounding them and pops of color livening up this sweet, family-oriented South Lake Tahoe wedding. The couple, whose sons played part in the ceremony, chose the destination because the bride…

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    It might be super warm outside, but it doesn't get much hotter than this sizzling fete Rhea and Rio threw in Cabo San Lucas for 35 of their nearest and dearest. The L.A.-based couple decided that having an intimate, sentimental wedding was what they wanted, so they made it happen, all for less than $10,000. And man, did they look good doing it! Name or…

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