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Amanda and Matt’s Wedding: Favorite Things

Congratulations to Amanda and Matt, who were married October 12, 2013 at her childhood home in Newnan, Georgia. Amanda has graciously shared her planning journey with us, and now it’s time for one last look at her amazing DIY wedding.

Let’s Wrap This Thing Up (My Favorite Things)

Hey guys! Amanda here one last time on my wedding. You have seen the flowers and attire and rather than take you through all the rest week by week, I wanted to do one final post about all my favorite things. So here goes….

1. I got up bright and early the day of my wedding. I had already told my mom, mother-in-law-to-be and everyone else involved that I wanted to help set the tables up, arrange flowers, set out place setting etc. simply because I am a control freak and it made the day a lot less stressful to be working and seeing the progress. It does not take me 8 hours to get ready. What made this one of my favorite things is I got to see all of the people who love Matt and me come out of the woodwork to make our day happen. That was the bomb.

2. Seeing Matt before the ceremony. I went the traditional route and didn’t have a “first look.” It was strongly urged and recommended, but you just can’t fake or recreate this moment.

That isn’t to say I didn’t see Matt before the wedding. We hung out with our families and friends all day setting up. All of our memories of that day include each other.

3. The stained glass window.

The window was salvaged from my mom’s childhood church.

4. The stool.

This stool was what my great granddad used in his shop for my dad to reach the counter when he was little. When the shop closed, it became a staple in my Pampa’s house for us grandkids to use. Unfortunately, my Pampa died shortly before the wedding, so I used the stool as a token of remembrance that day. With the 13″ height difference, it came in handy.

5. The cakes.

Is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to find a good wedding cake these days? Maybe it’s me. I tasted and tasted and I honestly couldn’t find one that beat a Publix specialty cake. I’m not talking Publix wedding cakes. I am talking about the Chocolate Ganache cake you can buy every day. I bought one of every type of cake they made. It was delicious and they even help you find out how many cakes you need!

7. This picture.

Instead of a dance floor, we had lawn games. BIG HIT. People love lawn games.


This Bluegrass band was so good that over 27 people asked me for their number. Too bad they are just men from church. They nailed it. 

BUT MY FAVORITE PART is how much money we didn’t spend on the wedding. Being someone who works for Daria, I have seen a lot of weddings and read a lot of wedding blogs. It always interested me when people say they are “planning a “budget” wedding on $10,000. Therefore, “we had to cut guests, served a smaller meal, used fake flowers and a iPod as the music.” There is nothing wrong with that, but I was able to have the wedding of my dreams (seriously) for WAY less than $10K. 

Here is how:

  • Rather than rent table cloths, I made them. A LOT of fabric stores have to throw out entire bolts of fabric when there is a small defect on them. It can be in the corner, and even so small you may not even notice it. I took that material and made my own white tablecloths.
  • Runners were made out of fabric I picked out on sale at Hobby Lobby. 
  • I wanted an eclectic look so we bought all different patterned china from thrift stores all over the southeast, saving 15-20 cents on every piece versus renting china. When you are buying dinner plates, salad plates, cups, saucers and dessert plates for 300 people, that adds up.


  • The photographer I wanted really was out of my price range, but I make websites on the side and she needed a website, so we traded. She is happy and I am oh so happy.
  • Flowers, as you know, were bought in bulk at the local farmer’s market.
  • We served a full meal to all of our guests with more options than you can think of for ½ the price of a traditional “wedding caterer.” Like crazy people, we hunted down a famous BBQ contest winner in our town and asked him to cook for us. He wasn’t a caterer, so we really discussed the logistics of everything and it went off without a hitch.
  • The band, as I said, was made up of some elderly men from church.
  • Tablescapes were made up of blue wine bottles and mason jars bought in bulk offline for cheap.
  • I borrowed the navy blue napkins from my cousin who just had a wedding and bought everything, like I did.
  • We didn’t have to pay for a venue because it was at my home.

Wanna know the grand total?

LESS THAN $5000. Moral of the story: Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to sacrifice anything (except maybe some time) to plan your wedding on a dime. It can be done!

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Bright ideas, wisdom and musings about weddings, celebrations, ceremonies and life in general, from Daria’s seventeen years of planning, coordinating and officiating.