stefania, community coordinator & anthony, high school college counselor

Sum-up of the wedding vibe: We ate, drank, and danced the night away with help from our family and closest friends.

Planned budget: $10,000
Actual budget: $15,000
Number of guests: 85
LOCATION: Riverdale, New Jersey

Where we allocated the most funds:

The venue fee, rentals, food, and drinks made up 58 percent of our budget. Early on in the wedding process, we decided a ballroom or banquet style venue wasn’t our thing, and while we found venues like wineries and barns alluring, they were out of our $10,000 budget. Then I learned about the Glenburn Estate, a historic home, with a barn, on five acres of land. We instantly fell in love with the beautiful structure, open space, and greenery. The rental fee was a bit pricey considering there weren’t any traditional supports like a caterer or bar, a maître d’, or any staff to set-up or clean up, and we had to rent a tent, lights, and dance floor. However, the space was ours for the entire weekend, which meant we had a built-in space for our rehearsal dinner, and having a non-traditional wedding venue gave us the ability to get creative with our budget and have an affordable Saturday, child-friendly wedding.

Where we allocated the least funds:

Originally photography was a big part of our budget, but our options were still limited by our budget. Then, we heard about Corey Torpie Photography. Her photojournalist approach to wedding photography matched perfectly with our vision and, once a year, Corey offers free high-quality wedding photography to a couple with a tight budget who give back to their communities. We still can’t believe she chose us as the lucky recipients! We LOVED working with her, and our friends and family still can’t stop talking about our pictures.

Other places we saved: We decided to spend $6 to send virtual save the dates via Paperless Post and skipped party favors altogether. As for the invites, a friend graciously offered to design our wedding invites, and we saved money by printing through Vistaprint and gluing them to paper panels we bought online via Cards & Pockets. The final result was a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind invitation for about $2.25 an invite.

I did my own makeup, and while I also planned to do my own hair, my friend and bridesmaid who knows me all too well foresaw that plan ending with a grumpy bride in a frizzy ponytail. She paid for a hairstylist to do my hair, and it ended up being one of the best gifts on that 85-degree fall day. Flowers also don’t come cheap, so we decided to buy carnation bouquets from Sam’s Club and bulk flowers from Flower Moxie. It took a lot of hours to coordinate orders, pick up, deliver, and assemble, but the tradeoff was we got flowers for us, the bridal party, and table decorations for about $350 (including tools).

Wedding Warriors TC

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