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Budget Savvy Bride: Joy’s Plan for our Wedding!


I am really excited about this contest as it is the first one I have ever applied to.  Well actually it is more of an "Us" Application!  When Joy first told me about it I knew I had to put my hands on it right away, so here we go:

Joy just graduated a few months ago from college and I still have a few more classes until I am done, which is classic tight budget situation.  Because of our financial position being able to plan everything out is very important to us so we will be able to know how much we will be able to save and still have the wedding of a lifetime!

We love nature and sports, so we wanted to incorporate that as much as possible and also to have a 'green' wedding where recycling and reusing materials is very important. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, right? so what's better than having a lot of old and borrowed things incorporated to our wedding!

I have a huge family and many friends and we could never cut any of them, except maybe for Uncle Phil.  No! Just kidding!  So, to say in budget we are going to have to be really creative with our plan to save as much as we can from the other items.  This way everyone can be with us, and we won't be scared about providing drinks and food.


Inspiration board


We still have a lot of planning ahead (Ok, I'm helping as much as I can, but Joy is the brain behind it) and we are working on saving the supplies for all of our ideas.  So some items are just an estimation of what it would cost us.  As of now, here is a description of our dream:



our venue

We are planning on using my grandparent's ranch in California; this has a lot of meaning to all of my family, because this is where the family festivities usually take place, plus here is were Joy met all of my family.



Purple fabric:     $ 1.00  for 1meter of fabric. ( we will need 2 meter to make 180 invitations)

Eyelets:            $ 6.35  (form big 2 boxes bought on sale)

Mini Rotary W/ Perforator:  $2,09 ( Bought on sale at

Paper & Prints:   $0.50 per invitation ( Joy is friends with the owner of the print place)

Total :  $100.44 for 180 invitations

The use of recycled supplies is very important to us, but most of the eco-friendly letterpresses are very expensive, so we are doing our own.

Joy designed the invitations and Web Page so our guest can see the map and directions there,that way we can save on that item's paper, she also designed the rsvp to be a postcard in order to save on mail, originally we wanted to set an online link for that and got totally paperless, but we decided better not because for some of our guest, specially the most advance on age, it was going to be hard. That's why we decided on the postcard.

She loves fabric, so we are using purple fabric that she found at a sale (leftover form huge company that went broke) for the front cover, with a stencil stamp of our monogram.



The Dress:

$75.00  ( For fabric and accessories)

Joy is making her own wedding dress ; I know I'm not suppose to know how it is going to look at the end, but she said this are her mayor inspiration models.

She already bought all the fabric she is going to use and accessories, 

She only paid full price for the accessories, because she found the fabric at the same sale where she bought the purple fabric for the invitation and liners for the tables.

"I've always loved fashion design, after designing wedding dresses for my cousin and collage friend, I knew I wanted to make my own; when I was a lil girl I never dream about wedding and never really had wedding planning thought while I was younger, but I always dream about dresses.

My mayor inspirations are from Designer Monique Lhuillier - Swan Lake and Alvina Valenta."


The Shoes:


"Last summer (winter for all of you) I ran into the "end of the season sales" that's where I found some gorgeous purple shoes with 80% off!!!! I'm now waiting on a sale so I can get purple boots, for the party"

Hair flower:


Joy is making her own clay hair flower, and she's using the left over material from the bouquets to make them.


The Bouquet:


She is making her bouquet and the girls bouquets on clay. The purple roses on the left are the ones she has been working on, the right is her color inspiration.




Joy's MOH is also an Industrial Designer and she has her own Jewelry line, so both of them have being working on Joy's necklace, earrings and bracelet, which will be her friend's gift .


Hair & Make Up


Still not prices





Converse bought on sale




Clover's Clay Boutonnieres:


The cost of the material for the boutonnieres, are include on Joy's bouquet.



$150.00 ( the 3 of them)


Joy's friend is making them for us, she's only charging us for the material, the wood will be two pieces that joy picked up to carve on our last trip to Patagonia, we never thought that we were going to use them for that, and I'm glad she didn't use the wood before.

I'm working on Joy's design ring (both of them) and she's working on mine. Joy's friend is keeping the secret from both of us, so the first time we will see the wedding bands is going to be at the ceremony.




- Dress:

$10.00 each

My FI and her girls are planning on having "dress making parties" to save on the dresses, each one will pick a different fabric from the ones Joy bought on sale and they will make the dresses while having margaritas. (I don't know about that one, because she needs to sew, but that's their plan).


- Gifts:

$7.00 each

She had light gray fabric left over from another project , and the purple inner layer, so the only thing she bought were the accessories, instead of a label she drew her name on an inside clear heart.


- Officiant:


A very close friend is a minister. Really meaningful to us cause he helped us at the beginning of our relationship.


- Signs:


Like you can see on the above picture, a bunch of metal thumbtacks are poked into a wall to spell out the word SWARM.

That's our idea for the big signs to poke purple thumbtacks to spell " wedding this way" "Bathrooms" and all the signs that we are not going to use after the wedding.

 - Outdoor Church:


Ever since Joy show us this outdoor chapel my family has being in love with it, My dad is a constructor so he's saving all of the old pieces like doors windows and panels we can use to build our own outdoor chapel, Joy doesn't want this exact same thing, so she's modeling 3d her idea so my dad can see what are we going to need to build it, and everyone is excited about helping us.


- Wysteria tree paper: (to be used as altar)


Same thing here, but in this case is Joy the one that's in love with this tree.

One of joy's close friend  had a cheese store (this is kind of odd) but to wrap them she uses purple tissue paper, that's why she happens to have TONS of it, joy show her the idea and she was glad to help and gave us 100 layers of purple tissue paper.

Of course after the wedding we are not throwing it or using it as chimney material, our plan is to set it on our bedroom.




 - Signs:

$0  ( Already have purple and green recycled paper)

$?  ( We will need frames to hang those)

Joy wants to make a sign with our monogram using this quilling  technique, using the purple and green paper her friends and mines have got together for us.


- Luminary:


All of our friends and family are getting these bottles bottoms together; they don't have any idea what we are doing with them though.

We will only need to buy the light bulbs and wire to set the lamps outside.


- Seat cards:


We are planning on using "glow in the dark" paint to draw the manes of our guest on rocks.


 - Centerpieces:

$10.00 for all of them

We are going to make paper flower like the ones above.

We are also saving clear and green wine bottles that we are going to cut and melt into taller shapes to make different heights of bases for our centerpieces.


- Other Décor:



( Inspiration and ideas pictures)

Our friends are also saving jars, and old wood boxes, so we can put together this ideas for party décor.










My mom actually bakes wedding cakes, so we ask her if she could o ours, she was more than happy and will make the cake for free.

Cake Topper:


That's actually the cost of the material, because she already had the wire and tools. We wanted something different so the climbers fit perfect with our personalities.

Cake Stand:


I already collected tons of wood for all the wood projects, and since I live very close to the forest I have tons of them. I also have the tools and glue.





 Our favorite's drinks are Ice tea and Pink lemonade, so we want to have plenty of those.

We are planning on having TONS of beer and "Pisco" that's typical Chilean hard liquor that you can drink as shoots, with soda or "Pico Sour" so we want to offer all of those so our guess can try Joy's National drinks.

My brother knows people from a local liquor store, so we are hoping he can get a discount for us.



Buffet Dinner: 1,400.00??

We haven't really searched catering and that's because my mom said that she wanted to help us with that. We still have plenty of time. We want to have different kinds of food, but we don't want the food to be bad just because it's going to be a buffet.




Since my FI is a Web Designer we are bartering the service for a band new web page and blog for the photographer.

We are not going to have our wedding book's soon cause she wants to design them, so that printing cost will not be include on the wedding.- plus she already set up a section on our wedding page where our family will see our pictures and upload theirs too, I really liked that.


Thank you cards:


Joy made a cute Illustration of us to be use on our thank you cards.

The other picture is us trying to figure how to save money =)


So far... the expenses will be:

$0                         - Venue

$100.44                  - Invitations

$75.00                    - Dress

$21.00                    - Shoes

$0                          - Hair flower

$12.00                    - Bouquets

$0                          - Jewelry

$??                         - Hair & makeup

$??                         - Suit

$22.99                     - Converse on sale                                          

$0                           - Clover's clay boutonnieres

$150.00                   - Rings

$40.00                    - Girls dress ($10.00 each)

$28.00                    - Girls gifts ($7.00 each)

$0                          - Officiant

$4.60                      - Wedding signs

$0                          - Outdoor church

$0                          - Wysteria tree paper altar

$0                          - Reception signs

$20.00                    - Luminary

$5.99                     - Seat cards

$10.00                   - Centerpieces

$0                         - Other décor

$??                        - Rentals tables and chairs

$0                         - Cake

2.99                       - Cake topper

$0                         - Cake Stand

$500.00?                - Drinks

$1,400.00?             - Buffet dinner

$0                        - Photography


GRAND TOTAL: $2,392.99?



This is a piece that Joy wrote to me so I can post it with the application:


-  There are people that said that is better to eliminate something, than not doing it like you want (I doesn't matter if it's because of money or time) that is true, but before you eliminate something that you wish you could have, you have to ask yourself this:

     Do I know someone that can do that for me?

     Can I barter something I have or know for other services?

     Can someone I know have the contacts that can help me and not charge me full price for it?

- Use all your contacts and try to borrow as much as you can from close friends, ( you don't want to look desperate either).

- Look for sales, wait to have things with some kind of discount, if you see that that's not an option, then buy, but never rush.

- There's a lot of different coupon websites that can save you a lot of money when you purchase online like: (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link)

- Be creative, sometimes you have exactly what  you need in front of you, you just have to look closer, RECYCLE is not tacky!!

- Use your spare time and try to practice DIY projects, they can be more than just be the way to personalize your wedding, sometimes can save you a lot of money."



Thank you for reading and consider us, and if you like the way our wedding is coming together, visit Joy's wedding planning blog:

Thank you and happy planning to everyone. From Joy and Ken

Last Updated: August 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm
Tags: Budget
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