…step on glass and cut your foot open on your wedding day! (That is the saying isn’t it?)  I had taken my shoes off for FIVE MINUTES, I am not even kidding, and my bare feet found a piece of glass to step on.  Luckily, I had been drinking for about four hours already so I didn’t feel it, it just looked REALLY bad.  At first I actually thought I had stepped on a bug because of the ‘crunch’ it made.  So gross!  But these pictures are actually some of my favorite ones from my wedding day because they capture mine and Tyler’s relationship so perfectly; he’s the knight in shining armor to my clumsy princess.  I remember how quickly he sprung into action, along with my mom (always prepared with a first aid kit) and got me bandaged up and back on the dance floor!  After I put my shoes back on of course….

Photos by David Maki


I got married before I found out about my gluten intolerance, so there wasn’t anything different about the cake.  The bottom tier was white cake with a raspberry filling, and the top tier was yellow cake with chocolate ganache filling; both topped with buttercream frosting. We didn’t save the top for our one year anniversary (which is good because I wouldn’t have been able to eat it anyway), I’m pretty sure we ate it in our cabin later that night, haha.

Photos by David Maki

I Do!

We had a very short ceremony because I knew I couldn’t get through anything longer without a lot of tears.  It was a very emotional day not only because I was so incredibly happy to be getting married, but also because I was missing my Grandma and Pappaw who had just passed away, both within six months of the wedding.  My uncle, who is a minister preformed the ceremony, and the only thing extra we added was a short piece where our mothers placed letters to us, along with letters we had written to each other and a bottle of wine, in a box to be opened on our one year anniversary.

Photos by David Maki

Pre Wedding Gallery

Click on thumbnails for larger view.

Photos by David Maki


The wedding decor was definitely a labor of love.  Hours upon hours were spent at the dining room table cutting up paper and burning myself on the hot glue gun.  If I had to pick my favorite aspect of the decor it would probably be the centerpieces, I decided against having real flowers since we were in the middle of a forest; I didn’t want to compete with the already beautiful setting.  Instead I made paper flower centerpieces and saved a ton of money.  The flowers are made from scrap booking paper that I cut and held together by floral wire and vintage buttons from my Mammaw’s and Great Mammaw’s sewing collection.  I placed them in old iced coffee bottles (because I thought they looked like old milk bottles!) that I wrapped in burlap and tied a ribbon around.  Each centerpiece had a battery operated tea light in the base of it and our table numbers were just scrapbook paper cut outs in inexpensive frames from the craft store.  The seating chart was an old window from a friend’s garage.  I painted the glass with chalkboard paint and wrote everyone’s seating arrangement by hand, then at everyone’s table was a place card with their name on it.  The place cards also doubled as a guest gift, each one was a CD filled with music from our wedding.  Our card box was a vintage suitcase that my grandmother gave me, I covered the inside with paper and burlap and left it open so that guests could toss their cards in on the way to be seated for the wedding.  I wanted the guestbook to be something I could look at everyday, so I painted a canvas and everyone signed the leaves; it now hangs in my kitchen!  I feel like planning the wedding to be so small and intimate allowed me to add personal touches to everything, and since the guests were the people who matter most to Tyler and I, we were willing to spend more money on little things like the guest favors.  Click on the pictures below for larger images!


Photos by David Maki



I know not everyone is lucky enough to have the creativity and the connections that I had, but hopefully you will find something inspiring or helpful!


We chose to have the wedding and reception at the same location so that people wouldn’t have to travel between, and also to save money on the venues (two for the price of one!).  Also, because we had the wedding on a Sunday they took $500 off of the price, since it was Memorial Day weekend and everyone had the next day off, it didn’t matter!  The price included the use of the venue for 6 hours, dinner for everyone, a two tier wedding cake, accommodations in a honeymoon cabin for Tyler and I for the entire weekend, and the help of a personal wedding coordinator.

2. ALCOHOL: $440.42

Since the venue didn’t provide alcohol we bought our own from Wine On High in Columbus, Ohio.  We stuck to beer, red, white and sparkling wines, and instead of having liquor and doing signature cocktails we set up a “Make Your Own Bellini and Mimosa Bar” which everyone had a lot of fun with!


My cosmetology license definitely paid off when it came to my hair and makeup, I did both myself and used my industry discount to purchase all the supplies needed for both, which saved me a lot of money!  I got my shoes at DSW and had a coupon for my birthday (I LOVE DSW), the only splurge in this category was my necklace; handmade and purchased from the Etsy store that I wish I could remember the name of!

4. VENUE DECOR: $242.05

This is where we had to get creative.  Everything was bought piece by piece as it went on sale/as we had coupons and we did A LOT  ourselves.  I’m talking hours and hours spent at the dining room table cutting scrapbook paper into flower shapes, hand painting a canvas for the guestbook, and countless little details that seemed never ending.  Oh, and hot glue gun burns.

5. INVITATIONS: $42.47

Hey, when you only invite 25 people, the invites are going to be cheap.

6. MUSIC: $80.00

We loaded up my IPod and my wedding coordinator knew when to press play!

7. GROOM’S ATTIRE: $50.00

He had the pants and shoes, we bought a shirt, tie, and vest!


I don’t count this as part of the budget because it was very important to my lovely mother to give it to me as a gift.


We gave all the men coordinating ties, my attendants got clutches, my mother in law was given a picture frame with the promise to fill it, and I gave my mom an embroidered handkerchief.

10. WEDDING RINGS: $1,200

We went very simple when it came to our wedding bands since we both do a lot with our hands everyday.


We are lucky enough to have a professional wedding photographer in the family; my brother in law.  My sister and brother in law were sweet enough to give his services for the day as a wedding gift.  That being said, years from now the pictures are all you’ll have to look back on your special day and it is my opinion that this is NOT the area to cut costs, you get what you pay for.  We were obviously familiar with my brother in law’s work and like I said before, this is what he does for a living.  I have seen what happens when a bride and groom use a family friend’s hobby to save money and it does not have a happy ending!  Visit my brother in law’s website for more information at

That’s it! If your’e keeping track that brings my wedding expenses to a grand total of $5,999.83, only $999.83 over our original budget!



As the saying goes, keep it simple, stupid.  In my line of work I am lucky enough to have a part in getting a lot of brides ready for their special day, this also means I get to see them at hour zero: stressed out, overwhelmed and thinking about everyone but themselves.  I almost became one of those brides; planning a huge wedding that I couldn’t afford and accommodating everyone’s wishes while compromising my own.  That is, until I was suddenly overcome with tears in the middle of a Panera when a family member texted me asking if I could add another guest to the list for her, someone I personally had not seen in about 2 years, and and had never met Tyler; this is when my darling fiance suggested that maybe we should just elope.  I knew that I didn’t want to elope, but I did know that I couldn’t continue planning the wedding that made me so unhappy that I burst into tears at Panera.  Later that day I trashed all of the plans I had made so far, (luckily at this point they were still just “plans” and I hadn’t reserved or paid for anything yet) and started to consider what would be best for myself, and for my fiance, after all it was OUR wedding.

The following were our requirements for our dream wedding:

1. Spend no more than $5,000. (In the end we went over budget, but I don’t regret anything we spent money on)

2. Invite only the people who know and support us as a couple.

3.  Keep every detail of the wedding personal and simple.

4. Learn how to say “NO”.

5.  Be prepared to hurt some feelings.

I can honestly say looking back now, from the day we decided to keep it simple, planning my wedding and marrying my best friend has be the most fun and fulfilling thing I have done so far.  Of course there were moments of feeling overwhelmed and small little spats between Tyler and I when I would accuse him of not doing something “right” just so I wouldn’t ask him to do anything else, but all in all; it was perfect.  My mantra through the whole process was “Your’e getting everything you want, and at the end of the day, as long as you end up married to Tyler everything went as planned”.

Now I’m not knocking big expensive weddings, I’ve been to a few and they were beautiful, but they’re not who I am and I wanted to stay true to myself, and my relationship.  This resulted in a vintage-inspired, Memorial Day wedding weekend in Hocking Hills Ohio with a guest list of twenty five people.  In my next series of posts I will break down the budget, DIY and money saving tips, and share the pictures and the memories of my special day with you.


My $6,000 Dream Wedding

©2012DavidDackMaki-snapflashphoto_ 379

In honor of my anniversary this month on the 27th, (I can’t believe it’s been a year already!) I will be posting pictures from my wedding, along with my budget to show you that you can have a beautiful, stress-free, dream wedding on the cheap!

Photo by David Maki