Splurging & Saving: A Colonial Wedding

I have found that people in general always have something they love to splurge on and something they love to save on, whether they are the thriftiest people ever or the biggest spenders. So, I’ve decided to start a little series of posts over here that I’ll throw on the ol’ blog every now and then asking others what they splurge and save on. Today, we have the second wedding in the series. I hope you enjoy!

If you’ve ever been to Colonial Williamsburg, you’ve visited one of my favorite places in the world. As a William and Mary alum, the historic college that is just footsteps from Colonial Williamsburg, I frequently walked through the cobblestone streets and enjoyed everything that Williamsburg had to offer during my college days.

It was there that I was lucky to meet my beautiful friend, Ashley, who studied history just a year ahead of me at William and Mary. When she asked me to be in her wedding that was to take place at some iconic Williamsburg locations, I knew that despite living in Grenada, I couldn’t miss it.

Colonial Williamsburg Wedding

Her wedding was in the gorgeous Wren Chapel on campus, and her reception was at the Williamsburg Inn. Her biggest splurge was her reception and dinner package. She said, “The Williamsburg Inn offers a flat rate for space rental and food and drinks which, at first look, does indeed look extravagant. However, we got a lot out of that package and the convenience of having all of our vendors right at hand from the Inn – people who were 100 percent professional and non-pushy.  We also really wanted a unified, comprehensive dinner, drink, and space package that would complement the style of our wedding, which we received from this ‘splurge.’ Having an elegant, classy but fun reception and dinner was really important to us so we could express ourselves through our party while ensuring our guests had a rewarding and enjoyable experience.”

Judging by the picture below of the hubs and me sitting at Ashley’s table, I’d say Ashley got her wish. The reception was a hit.

Williamsburg wedding

So what was her big save? One thing she mentioned was the music. She had fife and drum players lead the wedding party and guests from the chapel to the reception venue and then played handpicked music on an iPod, which we danced to until midnight.

williamsburg wedding

Other saves included doing her own makeup Princess Kate style and having her charming dad serve as the “MC,” which made the reception a lot more personal, and according to Ashley, put the groom and her at ease. She also said, “Another big save was on my dress. For people who think they have to spend at least 2,000 dollars for a quality dress, it’s simply not true.  Alfred Angelo had some GORGEOUS dresses and ultimately the Victorian-esque dress of my dreams for an amazing price.  I don’t think a 2000 dollar+ dress would have been any better or even as good!” So ladies, take note. Stop being influenced by Say Yes To The Dress! There are many beautiful dresses out there for fractions of the cost!

Carriage wedding

All in all, Ashley’s wedding was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been to. I was so honored to be her bridesmaid and so glad that the hubs and I were able to go and witness her special day.

What do you think of Ashley’s wedding? Does it make you want to plan a trip to Williamsburg? I am personally pining for the gorgeous Virginia fall days over here in Grenada as I write this…

[Note: Photos by Brad Howe]

About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford aka "Cat" is a personal finance freelance writer who currently lives in the Caribbean with her husband and spoiled pup, Julep. To learn more about her writing services, please visit her Hire Me page or e-mail her at Cat[at]BudgetBlonde[dot]com. Follow her on Google + to get all the latest updates.

Lovely comments:

  1. Ah! I’m dying to go to Williamsburg!

  2. I can just imagine how beautiful it must have been, especially in the fall! Beautiful area. I never wanted a big wedding myself. I just don’t like being the center of attention that much. I always pictured just me and my future husband and a few friends on a beach somewhere, preferably barefoot. But I do imagine a pretty dress.

  3. It looks like she had a beautiful wedding. Love her dress! All of you look like you are having a lot of fun. I like the way she prioritized her spending. And the wedding photos look amazing.

  4. I’ve always wanted to go there, I have family just outside. She is smart to have invested in a good photographer too! Looks beautiful!!

  5. Hi! First, I got your message, and will be starting up Wherever Wednesday the first Wed. of every month starting Nov 7th! Thought that might make it easier to get enough participation for. :-)

    And wow…what a beautiful wedding! We had to focus on the “save” on ours. Spent around 6,000 on it (back in 99) and my parents are still talking about how “expensive” it was (yeah).

    Our saves:
    Used Wedding Dress and Veil
    Wedding Cake From Albertsons (a supermarket) – this was the only save I regret. They put cardboard under the frosting, and we didn’t know til we tried to cut the cake. Ah, hey…I don’t even regret that. It was a funny moment I’ll savor.
    No Alcohol (we didn’t drink so that was easy).
    Reception at church (came free…so did the wedding planner)
    Photographer just for ceremony and a few before/after pics, and disposable cameras at the reception (plus a friend who promised to take some good shots).
    Decorated the tables with dollar store items (tall walmart glass vaces with a single floating candle from the dollar store in each, and plastic beige tablecloths…actually looked very nice).
    Giant subway sub for food.
    A friend for a minister.
    Printed our own invitations.
    Made our own unity candle.
    Me and some friends decorated the day before.
    Did my own make-up (and got compliments on it, specifically)

    SPLURGE
    Flying my maid of honor and best friend out from California. She said she’d get out one way or another, but we knew it would be a big strain on her to pay for it, so my parents offered to, which I am so grateful for.
    The flowers. I didn’t have much, just the bouquets, but they were big and beautiful and full of the flowers I wanted ( I had so many people complement me on them – and a couple future brides ask where I had them done). I’m so glad I went with the florist I wanted.

  6. What a pretty wedding!

  7. This is so super cute! I have family in Williamsburg. Love the ipod music deal.

  8. Wow this wedding looks awesome. Personally I’d be ok with getting married at a courthouse and having a giant party at a friend’s house since that’s the best part imo! But if not, I’d probably shell out some big bucks and get a nice wedding with all the benefits.

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