This bride, like most, spent way over her wedding budget.  In fact $15,000 dollars over her wedding budget. *Eek*   Andrew and I originally made a wedding budget of $10,000 and some where along the line that got pushed to $11,000.  I am about $300 dollars away from that right now and I see how you can easily pass that mark because hey what’s another $100 dollars here or another $100 there?  I am determined not to spend over that, but I am going to make you all wait until tomorrow to find out how not to spend over your wedding budget!

Minus being a wee bit stressed out about over spending, this bride and groom decided to go for a relaxed garden wedding and from the looks of it they achieved the style and look they were going for!

Relaxed Garden Wedding ~ Bride’s Comments

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What were some challenges you faced planning your wedding?

We only had a day of planner, so we were responsible for managing everything from budget to decor and design.  It was fun but it was also a logistical and emotional roller coaster.

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What was your budget? Did you go over or stay under?  Where did you save money?

We started with a $15,000 budget. We were paying for it ourselves, and ultimately went way over the original budget, and ended up spending closer to  $30,000. Although we went way over budget, we both agreed it was worth every penny. 

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What were the highlight from the ceremony & reception?

Greg’s sister, Ashley, was our officiant and is a wonderful writer and presenter.  She is currently enrolled in the Literature PhD program at USC. Her ceremony speech was just perfect, being heartfelt, funny at times and deeply sentimental. I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding ceremony. As for the reception, simply getting to celebrate with all of our lovely friends and family. It was truly the best day ever.

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What types of flowers did you have?

We used dahlias, peonies and spray roses.  The colors blended so well and I was so pleased with how they turned out. 

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How many guests were invited and what was the final guest count?

We invited 130 guest and around 118 were able to make it.

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Any tips or tricks that you learned along the way and want to share with brides planning their own wedding?

For us the biggest thing was managing everyone’s expectations, at the end of the day this was our wedding and we made decisions based on what we wanted to do, knowing that those who loved and cared about us would be supportive.

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What were your wedding favors?

Greg is quite a handy man, so we opted for custom wooden coasters as our gift/place card. It was great because we both made them together.  He designed and manufactured the coasters, while I did the sanding and staining. To this day, I see our coasters out at friends and families homes and it makes me smile.

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Did you have your wedding invitations made or make them yourself?

We customized invitation from Minted.com

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Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We went to Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Vendors:

Photographer:  Viera Photographics
Equipment Rentals:Allies Party Supply
Event Planner: First Comes Love Weddings and Events
Floral Designer: Flower Frenzy
DJ:Nick Huerta
Specialty Foods:RB Bar Services
Event Venue:San Diego Botanical Garden
Caterer:The Flavor Chef
Cake Designer: VG Donut & Bakery

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. I may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my bride and groom readers.
Love and Lavender Weddings Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

I am all about saving money for your wedding day, especially on flowers. I love how this bride and her mother-in-law bought flowers from Sam’s Club and put the arrangements together.  Need money saving ideas for wedding day flowers? Choose flowers that are in season. If you have the time, buy the flowers directly from the flower market and get a friend to make them for you. Try to choose only a few types of flowers and fill in the rest of your bouquets or arrangements with foliage.  If you have a limited budget for flowers, try to only focus on where the flowers will show the most: altar, bridal bouquet and the centerpieces.  Don’t worry about the smaller details like decorating each chair in the the aisle way or sprinkling rose petals down the aisle.  These will both add up and you are spending money for something that will only be used for the length of the ceremony.  If you can’t enjoy it the whole day or evening, it’s probably not worth spending the extra money. If you really are tight on money, then add a sweet golden retriever (like this couple did) to your ceremony and you won’t need flowers at all! Thanks to Fete Photography for the lovely submission. 

Garden Flower Wedding ~ Bride’s Comments

What was the overall theme for the ceremony and reception?

We were really inspired by the location and venue of our wedding. The mountains of Asheville and the gorgeous gardens at the North Carolina Arboretum made us realize a simple, classic, wedding was all we needed to compliment our beautiful surroundings. 

Bride and Groom holding hands at North Carolina Arboretum


Like these Bridesmaids Dresses?

Click here to see similar dresses from JCrew.com
Bride with bridesmaids in navy blue dresses holding blue hydrangeas at North Carolina Arboretum

Describe the bride/bridesmaid’s attire.

My wedding dress was definitely a compromise between my mom and I! She and I have very different tastes. I prefer a very classic simple look and she likes a more eclectic, bohemian style. We both fell in love with this dress the second I put it on. The asymmetrical sweetheart neckline made it just different enough and the a-line skirt gave me the classic look I wanted.

I absolutely love navy blue, so it was no question that my bridesmaids would be sporting the color. They wore navy J.Crew dresses with a sweetheart neckline and looked fantastic. The short length was also key for the choreographed dance they performed during the reception.

Bride with bridesmaids in navy blue dresses holding blue hydrangeas at North Carolina Arboretum Bridesmaids in navy blue dresses holding blue hydrangeas with golden retriever at North Carolina Arboretum

How many guests were invited and what was the final guest count?

We invited about 125 people to our wedding and were lucky enough to have 100 close family and friends attend.

Groom wearing grey suit and blue neck tie at North Carolina Arboretum Bride and groom in grey suit and blue tie  at North Carolina Arboretum Wooden ceremony chairs  at North Carolina Arboretum White flower boutonniere with blue ribbon  at North Carolina Arboretum White flower boutonniere with blue ribbon  at North Carolina Arboretum

What were some challenges you faced planning your wedding?

Figuring out music was a huge challenge for us. We both absolutely love music, so everything from whether to have a DJ or a live band, to what music would be played during dinner was a huge discussion for us. It took forever for us to make any type of decision and finally booked a DJ only a few weeks before the wedding. We took it very seriously!

Groom and golden retriever walking down aisle  at North Carolina Arboretum at wedding

Which pieces of music did you use during the ceremony?

Our Recessional was to “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by The Beach Boys. I have always loved The Beach Boys and when I heard that song again,  when James and I just started dating, I thought it was perfect. I’m so glad we used it during our ceremony.

Wedding ceremony at North Carolina Arboretum Wedding ceremony  at North Carolina Arboretum

What were the highlight from the ceremony & reception?

I absolutely loved our ceremony. One of my best friends from college, who  was attending Duke’s Divinity School at the time, performed our ceremony. It was so special to have someone who had known us for so long, as a couple, be a part of that time with us. I’m so glad we decided to write our own vows. It was so much fun to anticipate James’ reaction and have them be so personal. Both of our vows were the perfect mix of funny and sentimental!

Another highlight during the ceremony was James’ father. He read a Cherokee prayer and his emotions took over – he almost wanted to give up trying to do the reading. James gave him a huge hug and told him to take his time. It was such a special moment.

Golden retriever dog at wedding ceremony at North Carolina Arboretum  Bride and groom holding hands in the air after wedding ceremony at North Carolina Arboretum Bride and groom kissing  at North Carolina Arboretum Wedding reception at North Carolina Arboretum Pink pattern and wedding reception table numbersPink patterns and blue hydrangeas in a vase

Did you have your wedding invitations made or make them yourself?

For the wedding invitations, one of my bridesmaids and I used a template we found online and adjusted it to our liking. We then had it printed using an online printing service. It saved us a ton of money and came out beautifully!

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What types of flowers did you have?

Our flowers were primarily blue hydrangeas and pink roses. My wonderful mother-in-law is a master gardener and did all of our centerpieces and the bridesmaid bouquets with flowers delivered from Sam’s Club. She did an absolutely amazing job. The boxes for our centerpieces were made by my bridesmaid, Kate. It was definitely a group effort.

White and blue hydrangea and white frame table number at navy blue and pink wedding reception  at North Carolina Arboretum Pink and white bride and groom sign on wooden chair at pink and navy blue wedding reception at  at North Carolina Arboretum Pink and navy blue thank you sign at wedding reception  at North Carolina Arboretum blue berry apple button in jar with navy blue and white polka dots  at North Carolina Arboretum wedding reception

What was your budget? Did you go over or stay under?  Where did you save money?

We tried so hard to stay within our budget for the wedding. We primarily paid for our wedding ourselves and I had just graduated law school a year before, so we didn’t have a lot of wiggle room. We ended up going over a bit, but overall I am really happy with how we did. We really tried to save everywhere we could, except for what we thought were the most important things: food and photography.  My mother-in-law is a master gardener  and was a complete saint when it came to helping with flowers. She did all of the centerpieces and the bridesmaid bouquets using flowers from Sam’s Club. They looked absolutely amazing. We also saved money by using a free template for our invitations and printing them through an online printing service. I was really happy with how it turned out!

Wedding cake with chocolate sauce dripping and bride and groom and dog cake topper  at North Carolina Arboretum Pink cake with pink rode petals  at North Carolina Arboretum

Any tips or tricks that you learned along the way and want to share with brides planning their own wedding?

Don’t leave for your honeymoon the day after the wedding! Someone told me that when I was planning and it was such great advice. It was so nice to have all day Sunday to relax with friends and family and get ready for our trip.

groom and groomsmen playing foosball  at North Carolina Arboretum bride and groom embracing  at North Carolina Arboretum  at sun setbride and groom dancing  at North Carolina Arboretum Pink and navy blue wedding reception  at North Carolina Arboretum Bride and groom leaving wedding reception  at North Carolina Arboretum Bride and groom leaving  at North Carolina Arboretum wedding reception in trolley and guests throwing lavender at them

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We went to France on our honeymoon- it was a dream! We started out in Annecy, which is near the border of Switzerland and then ended in Paris. Annecy was the perfect place to start our honeymoon. It was low key and absolutely beautiful, with a gorgeous lake surrounded by mountains. Paris had a lot more going on and we loved walking around and seeing all the sights! My goal was to try as many macarons as humanly possible and I’m happy to say I succeeded.     

Vendors:

Photographer: Fete Photography 
Planner: Golden Girls Events 
Florist: Studio Flora Diva 
Cake: West End Bakery
DJ: Eric Everett 
Makeup: Makeup at Grove Arcade
Hair: Lola 
Bride’s Dress: Wtoo 
Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew
Groom’s Attire: Vera Wang
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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. I may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my bride and groom readers.
Love and Lavender Weddings Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
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