8 Tips for a Wedding On A Budget


My husband and I got married on Monday November 12, 2012. Why on a Monday? It was cheaper and it didn’t really matter what day of the week we had it on. Since we were paying for the wedding and honeymoon ourselves, we did everything we could to cut back on costs. In total we spent $5000 on our wedding, not including the rings, dress or honeymoon. If you or someone you know is planning a wedding and you need to stay within a budget, I have some advice.

The biggest thing to remember: this is your day, it’s going to be beautiful and unique no matter what so just go with what feels right to you and your partner.

8 Tips For A Wedding On A Budget



1. Find a local beautiful place that works with your personalities.

My husband and I love Key West so when we found this gorgeous outdoor venue complete with a tikki bar and beach side fire pit, we knew we hit the jackpot. Since it was a small local venue, it was much cheaper than some grand hall or a golf course.

2.  Have the wedding on a weekday if possible.

I found that most venues and vendors offered cheaper rates on the weekdays. 

3.  Cut back on your guest list.

I know this one is difficult but trust me, it can be and needs to be done. When we first got engaged, I told EVERYONE they were invited and soon had a guest list of over 150. Once we started looking at venues and food, we realized we had to cut back. I narrowed it down to just family and close friends. We ended up with under 50. The venue was cheaper as well as the total cost of food and drinks.


4.  Make the decor yourselves and enlist help.

Every chance I got, I was with my friends and family creating the centerpieces or stuffing the stockings (Christmas theme) It was much cheaper than buying predone decorations. We also decorated the arch we stood under during the ceremony with dollar tree ribbon and glittered letters.

5.  Forgo the photographer.

Nowadays everyone has amazing cameras on their phones, just ask everyone to take as many photos as they can and send them all to you after the wedding. Pinterest has tons of ideas for cute picture requests you can leave on the tables. This way the guests can be involved and help capture candid photos. We also ask a couple people with video recorders to bring them and we set them up in the isle to capture the whole ceremony.


6.  Find friends or family that have special skills or equipment.

I am lucky that my dad worked for an amusement park and had professional sound equipment. He brought it all to the reception, hooked it up and we plugged our phone in to play our wedding playlist we made. I also have a friend who is a cake decorator. She made our little cake to cut and we got a big sheet cake from publix for the guests.

7.  BYOB

We hired a bartending service that would just come serve the alcohol that we brought. Find out what they supply then you bring the rest. We took a survey from our guests to find out what the majority would be drinking and stocked up on that. We also created our own specialty cocktail that we had the bartender serve.

8.  Utilize your time in a way that suits you.

The package we got included 4 hours of space usage. Since neither of us are very religious, we had a very quick, maybe 15 minute ceremony then spent the rest of the time dancing and celebrating with friends.

Snapshot Of My Life


Who am I? I have struggled with this question for many years and I still don’t really know. I know what I am. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and, most recently, a mother. I know what I like. I like to make those around me happy. I like to go bowling and visit new places. I like to watch tv and scroll through FaceBook. I realize all of this somehow adds up to answer the question of who I am, I just haven’t figured out how it adds up yet.

I am a 25 year old new mother to a beautiful baby boy. I am a wife to my wonderful, loving husband. I am a sister to three crazy and amazing brothers. I am a daughter to my father, mother, step mother and many “adopted” parents who all love and care for me in their own ways.

My life started on July 20 1990 in Chicago. In 1992 we welcomed my brother CJ. In 1995 my brother Cordell came along. We were all born into the carnival business. My parents met at a carnival where my dad was working. My mom decided to join him on the road. My family in Chicago still own a traveling carnival. In 1995 we all moved to Florida so my dad could work at Old Town in Kissimmee. In 1998 my mom left my dad and my step mom, Jeri, moved in.

I got my first “job” when I was 13 helping out at the arcade in Old Town during the summer. My second job was at pizza hut near my mom’s house. After that, I’ve always had 2 jobs. Once I turned 16 I started working for my dad at Old Town during the Friday and Saturday night cruises. I worked on and off at the arcade. I graduated high school in 2008 and moved in with my now husband. I then got a job at Blockbuster on nights I wasn’t at Old Town. I hated Blockbuster so I quit and got a job at Dunkin Donuts. While I was at Dunkin Donuts, I left the arcade and got my first job serving at Lone Star Steakhouse. That’s when My life changed. You can read about why I love serving so much and what I think it takes to be a good server here.

I have always known that I like making people happy whether it was giving massages, cooking dinner, or keeping the house clean. I love to make people smile. That’s why serving was perfect for me. It combined my 3 favorite things: making people happy, eating amazing food, and making money. I was lucky to have the manager of Lone Star hire me straight as a server because she thought I would be great at it.

She was right, I was a natural born server. I could handle multiple tables, help out my teammates and go above and beyond to make sure my guests had the best experiences possible. I soon learned to bartend and started doing both. I then left Dunkin Donuts to serve at Buffalo Wild Wings. I ended up leaving BWW because they closed at 2 so I wasn’t getting home until 3 or 4. I then got a job bartending at Hilton Grand Vacations by Sea World. I left Lone Star and went full time for Hilton, until I applied for and got hired at my dream place: Walt Disney World. I am currently part time at Hilton and Disney.

In 2wp-1465108879118.jpg011 I got to visit Key West for the first time, that’s where my husband proposed. You can read all about my trip and watch the proposal video here. We got married in November 2012. We had a beautiful “Christmas in Key West” themed wedding. You can see pictures and read about how we did a gorgeous wedding on a budget here.


My husband and I bought our house in March of 2014 and we welcomed our first baby boy, Sammy Nole, into the world in April of 2016.


As for who I am, I think I am exactly who I’m supposed to be right now. I just have to keep doing the best I can in life and see where it takes me. I will continue this blog to see how my life changes and develops over the years.