One of our loyal SMP readers, Annette, recently emailed me images from her gorgeous New York City wedding…and I was floored. Annette designed a wedding that could easily be featured in a magazine, all while sticking to an under $20,000 budget…a feat nearly impossible for a New York City affair!

Annette_vega

Photographs by Envi Photo and Kate Leigh.

Here are some of the cost saving tips that Annette discovered…

-First, I used Target.com to find my bridesmaids dresses. They were $50 each and free shipping. I couldn’t believe how pretty they were and how well they worked within my vision. I brought my dress at David’s Bridal, always thinking I would wear a Kleinfeld gown, I chose a Oleg Cassini for under $1500. My guy’s tuxedo was rented and because 5 of them had to rent tuxedo at Men’s warehouse, his tuxedo was free.

-As luck would have it, I woke up on the day of my wedding to a monsoon. After a glorious week in NY, I was completely disappointed. But, I ended up finding these great pink and blue umbrellas at CVS that made our pictures so incredibly fabulous…the rain turned out to be a blessing!

-I didn’t decorate my ceremony at all, I kept the entire area bare. I walked down the aisle with a lily of the valley bouquet, a homage to my mom (she walked down the aisle with the same one) and a surprise! She had no idea until she saw them and then tearfully she began to say how this was the happiest day of her life. I also carried my grandmother’s rosary. My bridesmaids had hot pink bouquets with rosaries that I gave them at the bridal shower.

-Our reception was at Arthur’s Landing in Weehawken, NJ. I chose the site for it’s view of the NYC skyline and for it’s amazing, catering manager, Jody Reynolds. I wanted a NYC feel through the entire wedding and looking endlessly in Manhattan, we just couldn’t afford it. Jody bent over forward and backwards to accommodate our needs within my budget.

-The first month of wedding planning, when I started looking for decor, I saw something on SMP that I loved, terrarium centerpieces. I went to about 6 florists and no one really understood my vision. Seeing how frustrated I was becoming, my mom’s friend, who is a “florist” volunteered to do them. We ended up with these gorgeous, glass apothecary jars filled with moss we brought at a floral wholesaler, butterflies, bees and one hot pink orchid for the wow factor. They were about 15 dollars each and I had about 20 of them, not bad at all. She also did our bouquets for about $20 each.

-I had a local designer, Jennifer Palacio from Laura Clare decorate my reception site. She hung hot pink lanterns in various shapes and sizes across the length of the skyline and we hung a chandelier over the dance floor to separate the dance area. The look and feel was magical. She also hung tons of ivy w/ pink ribbons and more lanterns were used over the bar area.

-One of my husband’s friends volunteered to use his iPod & equipment (he is a musician) to host the wedding. I gave him free range and he and my hubby arranged the night’s music. They surprised me at the end with a small serenade that they both sang to me as I danced & cried. One of my most touching moments of my life.

If it wasn’t for the tireless help of our friends and family, this day wouldn’t have happened.