Bride Spotlight: Alison & Bryan

As you all know, we’ve been requesting submissions from you for pictures and stories of fabulous parties you’ve thrown. They’re for a new blog we’re creating (I can’t say much more than that, so don’t ask me!). You’ll hear more about that blog soon enough, but first I had to share one of the amazing submissions I received this week.

Alison sent me pictures and a lovely email about the wedding she planned for herself with a budget of only…$5K! Since the new blog is only about parties and weddings are separate, I decided to post her submission here in our Bride Spotlight so I could share this special event and Alison’s amazing pictures with you.

With each set of pictures, I also took snippets of Alison’s email so you could hear the explanation from her words. All the following captions are directly from Alison’s email.

couple photo

To understand the wedding, you must first understand the love. Bryan and I met in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2004; it was truly love at first sight. The first time we kissed I knew I loved him.

event photo

Two weeks shy of our 5 year anniversary, in the town where we first met, in the company of 52 of our closest friends and family, and with our brothers as our only attendants, we united as husband and wife.

event photo

The wedding was planned in 3 1/2 months and with a budget of 5k. I decided to tap into the theme of ‘The Great Gatsby’. I wanted to find a way to embrace decadence regardless of despair.

event photo

Every element of the day was DIY. Almost every detail item was either handmade using lots of 40% off coupons from Michaels, or purchased from Etsy, Ikea or Craigslist.

table setting,wedding decor,wedding ideas,wedding centerpieces,flowers,arrangements,bouquets

Too many times you’ll see weddings where no one is having fun. I didn’t want that to be my wedding. This wedding would not be a production, it would be a celebration.

table setting,wedding decor,wedding ideas,wedding centerpieces,flowers,arrangements,bouquets

Doing a wedding for 5k was not easy; it takes lot of time, care and extensive researching, but it can be done. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful wedding.

table setting,wedding decor,wedding ideas,wedding centerpieces,flowers,arrangements,bouquets
table setting,wedding decor,wedding ideas,wedding centerpieces,flowers,arrangements,bouquets

At the end of the day, it’s the love that stands out the most.

Thank you Alison. This was a lovely wedding! Do any of you have tips & tricks you’d like to share for how to cut costs for weddings under $10K? I’d love to hear them.

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  • http://www.californiasolcreations.com Ebony Coston

    I have planned a few 5K weddings! It a little more work but the results are amazing like the wedding above. I recently planned a 2k wedding! The bride was able to use a beautiful landscape back yard of a local friend. We were able to get a few ” something borrowed” items from a few girlfriends such as chair covers, vases, candles.. With a strategic plan and a creative spirit, thift store, fabric stores, lawn and garden, even the local dollar store can provide interesting decor items. Being selective is a MUST! You may have a small
    budget for the wedding day, but you can create a look of much more.

  • bhamwa

    I keep running across brides who start the conversation with,”I saw an idea about using mirror tiles, vases with colored marbles and floating candles…” is there any way to nip this one? Also, the $5k we’re talking about… is that the whole wedding (dress, food, cake, decor, venue) or just the decor? I’m concerned that brides who want an actual wedding reception (for more than 3 people) think DIY & $5k do-able… am I wrong? I’m all for opinions on this one!

  • alison

    thanks for your comment, bhamwa. in my case, my 5k budget included absolutely everything: rentals, venue, whole foods and zingerman’s catering, print material, cake, cake toppers, hair/makeup, centerpieces, photography, dj, event staff, dress, suit, handcrafted cocktails made from top shelf liquor, decor, etc–even our wedding bands! so again, proof that it can be done; HOWEVER, TIME is MONEY…at least that is how i look at it. if you’re willing to do the legwork (in my case, i was on my hands and knees planting and sewing for 3 months), and you relax your expectations/decrease that guest list, it’s doable.

    our wedding was an absolute dream day for us, and we are thrilled that it has been recognized by such a great man! thanks again preston!

  • http://www.honeybeeandmeblog.com MELISSA

    MY WEDDING WAS 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS AND IT WAS AT MY IN-LAWS HOUSE ON THERE LAWN UNDER A GIANT TENT… THAT WAS IN 1991.. i HAD NO ATTENDANTS, AS i REALLY DID NOT WANT ANY AND i WENT TO MY HAIR DRESSER THAT MORNING TO HAVE MY HAIR DONE AND i DID MY OWN MAKE-UP.. WHEN YOUR IN YOUR MID-TWENTIES YOU DON’T NEED MUCH MAKE-UP… WE JUST DID NOT DO A LOT OF OTHER THINGS…

    it started at 4 pm and was over at 9pm.. mind you there was no alchohol as I was not drinking then…

    It was so lovely…..
    we had 100 people at the wedding… sit down.. with a country band…

    xxoo
    melissa

  • http://www.handinhandbridal.com Hand in Hand Bridal

    When working with a smaller budget keeping it simple and streamlined is key. I like to use one particular stand out item and fashion the rest of the wedding around it. Milk glass for example is very affordable and extremely versitale. Eclectic groupings and simple flowers make for a fresh but tasteful decor.

    If you maintain your expectations and are willing, like Alison said, to spend a lot of time doing research you can have a beautiful personalized wedding on any budget.

  • http://www.californiasolcreations.com Ebony Coston

    @Allison you did an amazing job, it looks like you spent 50k!
    @bhamwa you just have to introduce those mirror anf marble brides to other ideas. They probably saw that centerpiece at another wedding. With a little elbow grease and creativity even a wedding with 300 and more it can be done!

  • Didi

    Oh what a lovely wedding! Clever and Romantic does not need to be expensive if you are willing to put in a lot of work and time.

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  • http://www.weddingsbyMsSoniacomingsoon MsSonia

    In my experience unless your guest list is minimal, I find it difficult assisting a bride to have the wedding of her dreams on $5 or $10K in New England. Yes there are plenty of ways to cut corners but if your guest list is HUGE catering alone will just demolish the BUDGET!

  • Alma

    I really admire you Alison for putting in all the work that it must have taken you to create such a beautiful wedding. In the end the wedding is what YOU wanted and not what someone else thinks it should have been.

  • http://www.aesthetics.co.uk Kirsty the Event Staff Girl

    Wedding is an every woman’s dream. This blog serves as an inspiration that every couple should not think that extravagant wedding is necessary. The important thing is both are happy and will love each other forever. Nice blog. Thanks!