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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 some of the flowers and some alcohol.
How would you describe your wedding: A truly magical day!
What was your favorite part of your wedding? Bride: Walking down the aisle to Andrew, it was like time stopped and it was just me, Andrew and my dad. For me, one of the most memorable parts was the moments when my dad and I were standing at the head of the aisle waiting for the music to start. Once it started, he asked me when we should go and I just said “I’m ready when you are.” Other memorable parts were saying our vows — I remember vividly the “with this ring, I thee wed.” For guests I guess the memorable parts were probably our groomsmen Austin’s little words he spoke about me and Andrew as a couple and advice for us.
Groom: Us looking at each other doing our vows.
What did you splurge on? The biggest expense was the catering and alcohol.
What did you save on? Hands down the invitations — We had wanted to DIY to save money but it ended up getting extremely complicated–last minute we got them on Vistaprint with a 40% coupon for $160!! That’s a invitation and RSVP card and envelopes for both. They were gorgeous!
One money saver was finding a private alterations person instead of doing it through David’s Bridal. We only paid $175 for alterations (bustle, sweetheart neckline, hemming multiple layers and taking in around the waist) whereas the David’s Bridal consultant said alterations are generally around $300. A big money saver was not having a lot of flowers. The only ceremony decor we had was two urns of flowers at the end of the aisle.
Also — if you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, sign up and get the 30 day trial free (just make sure you set up a reminder to cancel otherwise your card gets charged).I ordered a TON of stuff off Amazon and got it all within two days — I was so thankful! Some Amazon purchases include Hersheys Kisses, hangers for dresses, tissue paper for hotel bags, gift boxes for bridesmaids shirts and glitter paint for champagne glasses.
Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I think the only thing we wish we had done differently was serve ourselves dinner. The head table was served a little bit of everything from the buffet but we both wish we had gotten our own plates so we could have had more of what we specifically wanted.
What was your biggest challenge in planning? The biggest challenges was the guest list — we should have had a final number allotment for each side and cut it off after that instead of allowing it to fluctuate.
What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Don’t overwhelm yourself with tons of DIY projects! I’m so glad I didn’t!
What was the best piece of wedding advice you received? Enjoy every moment and stick to your guns about things that are really important to you.
Any other bits of wisdom? It was important to me to incorporate as many family heirlooms as possible. I wore my maternal grandmother’s pearl necklace and my parents had earrings made for me that had amethysts that belonged to my paternal grandmother. My bouquet was wrapped in my paternal grandmother’s scarf. My family heritage is English/Scottish and it is tradition for wishes to be read aloud at the reception from family who were unable to make the trip.
Vistaprint coupons all the way — there are often Groupons for Vistaprint and I used them to get bridal shower thank you cards, wedding thank you cards and invitations. Getting a day-of coordinator was the best decision EVER!!! Ours was absolutely amazing. Don’t feel like you have to spend hundreds of dollars. Ask around churches to find someone who is experienced and is willing to just do it on the side.
Hack: instead of floral centerpieces on tables we had rose petals sprinkled on the tables and it gave such a romantic feel. It was only $45 for all the rose petals and there were tons leftover.
Tip: One of the things I was complimented on the most was the program, I made it myself in Publisher but people loved that it listed a timeline for the evening and the menu so people knew where to be and when. It was really helpful to have a big turnout for the sparkler send-off because everyone knew what time it was at!
Total: Approx. $20,000
Venue & Caterer: Approx. $2,000 and $6,500
Cake Art: $500
Hair & Makeup: $300
Galina by David’s Bridal
Groom’s Attire: $150
Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse