IF you are just checking in, we are talking to Danielle…an SMP reader who sent us the gorgeous details from her own real wedding!

From Danielle...

I knew the most important things to me when looking at my budget were location, pictures and food. I spent the majority of my money there and then really budgeted the rest. I knew I could have the wedding of my dreams if I just really put my mind to it and chose the right elements. I also wanted a wedding that was not the regular cookie cutter wedding – a wedding that exuded our love and our story. Very personal and fun!


All photos by Ray and Erica Tisdale at 35 Atlanta

I found my Maggie Sottero dress here at a local store in Atlanta and used Ann Taylor for the bridesmaid dresses. Ialso bought a gold cocktail dress to change into during the reception since we love to dance and I knew I could not move around in my princess dress! One of my bridesmaids made my chocolate brown programs and I worked with a local stationery shop for my save the dates and invitations. I knew I wanted to add small elements and details because to me that is what makes the difference but I knew with my budget I would have to get creative. I chose not to do favors and instead did inexpensive things like…

-HandPainted Signs leading guests to the ceremony site

-GuestTowels in all the bathrooms printed with a great quote

-SilverLunch Pails filled with guest necessities (Advil, Breath Mints, Band Aids, Hair Spray, Gum, etc) in all the bathrooms

-Chocolate brown bar napkins with our monogram

-Candle Monogram “C” on the dock

-Sparklers as we were leaving

I also knew that I could save money on my flowers since FWF offered such a beautiful, natural setting. My dream was to have peonies in my bouquet but they were out of season and it would have been excessively expensive to ship them in. Instead, I asked my florist to take carnations (I know, I know) and wire 3 or 4 of them together to make it look like a full, lush peony. It worked! We added hydrangea, roses and magnolia leaves to complete the look. I found some discarded burlap that we wrapped them in and I added beaded trim (that you use for pillows) around the burlap. It was the perfect mix of Montana Rustic and Southern Chic!

For the ceremony, I chose to use the backdrop of the oak tree and lake instead of overloading the area with flowers. We did use two large urns filled with tons of baby’s breath – they were breathtaking! I had gotten the idea from Martha Stewart Weddings years ago and it was a huge cost saver! We decorated the reception tables with burlap tablecloths that had a white topper. We chose inexpensive table arrangements so that I could save money. I used simple flowers, assorted nuts, and tons of candles. Candles always make the space look elegant and romantic! I also hung mason jars throughout the trees and shepherd hooks along the reception area. They were magical!

We have a few more brilliant details coming, so check back in a bit!