Megan and Andrew Edwards were engaged for one year and one day, which left them just enough time to plan a vintage-inspired, carnival-themed wedding on a budget.
The Kansas City couple, both 27, dated for three years before their engagement. They had planned to spend $5,000 but wound up spending $10,000. According to wedding website The Knot, the average wedding cost is around $31,000. So even though the Edwardses went over what they planned, they still saved big bucks.
The bride’s advice for having a beautiful wedding for less?
“Don’t be afraid to shop around for better prices,” she says. “Thumbtack.com (a professional services search engine) was a huge money saver for me.”
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Megan says the things that didn’t go as planned on her wedding day ended up being her favorite moments.
“Look forward to the things that will inevitably go the wrong way. Those are the true memories you will never forget! That is what makes life so fun.”
The event happened on a Friday (Oct. 21, 2016), which is always cheaper than a Saturday wedding.
Invitations: This is a place where the Edwardses-to-be also saved money. They purchased a design from Etsy and printed the invites at FedEx.
Location: The Pavilion Event Space
Dress code: Semi-casual or dress-casual
Wedding party: This wedding was a real family affair. The groom’s father, Don, and stepmother, Stephanie, were the best man and matron of honor. Friends of the bride and groom served as bridesmaids and groomsmen: Caitlen Woods, Jordan Cox, Zach Bircher and David Oquendo
The dress: Megan found her gown at David’s Bridal in the Northland. She spent much less than many, only $729.
Special traditions: The reception featured a Champagne toast by the groom’s parents, and the newlyweds did the traditional bouquet and garter toss.
Flowers: Another cost-cutting measure: All of the wedding florals were fake. The couple ordered them from Amazon, saving big.
Song that got the party started: “Party Rock Anthem,” by LMFAO
First dance: “I Won’t Give Up,” by Jason Mraz
Processional: “A Thousand Years,” by Christina Perri
Father/daughter dance: “My Wish,” by Rascal Flatts
Theme: Vintage carnival
Colors: Teal and burgundy, with accents of black and gold
Party favors: The couple skipped wedding favors. Megan says: “They’re a big waste of money, and they were not missed.”
Number of guests: 100
Food: By skipping the traditional sit-down dinner, the Edwardses saved even more. The reception featured a popcorn bar, corn dogs and treats from the Funnel Cake Truck.
Booze: Wine and beer
Before and after
Bachelorette parties: The bride and her friends went paintballing in second-hand dresses. The bride wore her mother’s wedding dress, while the other women wore tacky dresses from Goodwill. After that, they enjoyed tacos, nachos, margaritas and sangria at home during a Pure Romance (a sex toy and beauty products company) party.
Bachelor party: The men enjoyed a steak dinner, gambling at home, bars at Power & Light and ended the night at a strip club.
Bridal shower: Cupcakes, punch and card games
Rehearsal dinner: After the couple set up their venue the day before the wedding, homemade dinner was served at her parents’ home: pulled pork, mac and cheese and beans. After, they lit a firepit for a dessert of s’mores.
Honeymoon: Six nights, seven days at an all-inclusive, adults-only resort in the Dominican Republic
Day of planning/coordinating: The matron of honor, Stephanie Edwards
Catering: The Funnel Cake Truck
Hair and makeup: Ceara Matsuda of Bespoke Salon
Photography: Matt McNeal with AMAC Entertainment. “Huge shout out!” Megan says. “We loved him.”
Photo booth: Provided by Lawrence DJ Service. Megan recommends this DJ overall: “This guy was so fun!”