Kris, adjunct professor & Ben, business systems analyst

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: A relaxed and simple day on the farm, celebrating our love and commitment with the people we love most.

Planned budget: $12,000
Actual budget: $20,000
Number of guests: 120
LOCATION: Marydel, Maryland

Where we allocated the most funds:

Rentals ($8,000), catering ($2,500), band ($2,000). We knew before we started the wedding planning that there were four must-haves: pizza, pie, animals, and a live band. When we were originally looking at venues, we wanted to have an outdoor wedding on a beautiful piece of land. What we didn’t quite consider was that a beautiful piece of land, while great, often lacks structures and amenities. We fell in love with a beautiful little alpaca farm on the rural eastern shore of Maryland, right in between our hometowns and just thirty minutes from the college where we met and fell in love. We said yes to the venue before shopping for rentals, and even though we spent nearly half of our budget on rentals, I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. Two alumni from our Alma Mater own a rental company, Price Rentals and Events, and helped us tremendously with the wedding planning and rentals. They also introduced us to our incredible band, Dell Foxx Company.

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We knew we wanted pizza and pie for dinner and dessert, so we contacted our favorite pizza shop. They had only catered a few weddings before, but they agreed to work with us, and the food was amazing! Bonus, cold pizza leftovers! Our best man’s wife and her friends just recently started their own pie shop, The Ugly Pie, and we knew we wanted their amazing teacup pies as our desserts. They delivered incredible pies that were the perfect complement to my mother-in-law’s homemade wedding cake. Our guests still tell us it was the best wedding they have ever attended because of the food, music, and animals. Mission accomplished!

Where we allocated the least funds:

Invitations, decorations, flowers, and cake. Our decor theme was a mixture of vintage and woodland. I am an artist, my mother is an artist, and most of our extended families are involved in some form of art or another, so I used these connections and my DIY passion to create the decorations. I was also able to trade my photography in exchange for vintage items from my favorite vintage store, Treasures ReFound. Our tables were adorned with vintage terrariums and planters filled with dollar store moss, painted plastic animals, and faux flowers. Our tent ceiling was decorated with branch wreaths (from Michaels, on sale with coupons) that were covered with boxwood from my Aunt’s yard, and faux flowers with moss. Hanging from the wreaths were remote-controlled tea lights in my grandmother’s vintage canning jars.

My fantastic sister in-law has a natural talent for arranging flowers, so she helped with flower arranging, including the bouquets. Our cake (for the ceremonial cutting) was made by my very talented mother-in-law who bakes as a hobby, and the cake topper was made by my mother. My uncle is an arborist, and we asked him to provide a few items, including stumps to line the ceremony aisle and wood slices for the tables. On the day before the wedding, he went to our venue, in secret, and installed an incredible hand-made wedding arch. We were so surprised and touched! When we buy a house, this wild and beautiful arch will adorn our garden. For our guest cards, we made 120 farm animal card holders. These were made from spray painted plastic animals, tiny wood slices, and alligator clips. This was by far our coolest DIY for the wedding. For our wedding invitations, we chose to make a four-page hand-bound book with a cover cut on my Silhouette Cameo. Although this process was long and arduous, everyone loved the invitations and most have kept them as mementos.

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