Brides on a Budget: Retro & Romantic
Meredith Sheffer & Eric Rose; May 24, 2009, St. Johnâ€™s Lutheran Church & Historic Rice Mill
“I wanted to do so much ourselves,” says Columbia resident Meredith Sheffer, “because I’d like to think that Eric and I are unlike any other couple, so our wedding should have been unlike any other, too.” With that in mind, the pair rolled up their sleeves to organize one singular affair. They chose the Holy City because the groom graduated from the College of Charleston and wed at St. John’s Lutheran Church because he’s writing a dissertation on one of its past ministers. From there, the personal touches grew tenfold. While Meredith tackled the reception décor, attire, and stationery, Eric organized a Lowcountry Boil rehearsal dinner, hired the officiant, and picked out the groomsmen’s ties. Family and friends assisted with flower arrangement and more. “It was pretty surreal to look over and see the mother of the groom’s date teaching one of my bridesmaids how to tie a square knot for the menu cards!” Meredith laughs now.
A Sunday event meant lower location and vendor costs, while choosing a holiday weekend (Memorial Day) allowed guests to enjoy an extra day in Charleston.
The Gown: Purchased at the Brides Against Breast Cancer Outlet in Santee, Meredith’s dress was a bargain ($750 for a $4,000 gown)—and her purchase contributed to a good cause.
The Groomsmen: Tan suits from the J.Crew Outlet saved the men big bucks.
The Drinks: Serving beer, wine, and a single signature cocktail was less pricey than a fully stocked bar would have been.
The Stationery: By printing labels for the invitations (rather than hiring a calligrapher), the couple trimmed a little off their bottom line.
The Coordinator: Sarah Bradley of Social Event Design came on as a day-of setup maven and coordinator, which cost less than enlisting her full menu of services.
The Centerpieces: Blue Mason jars came from Craigslist, and the flowers were bought at cost from a wholesaler.
Total Spent: $25,000
Caterer: Good Food Catering
Ceremony location: St. John’s Lutheran Church
Day-of wedding coordinator: Social Event Design
Flowers: Charleston Flower Market (reception flowers were do-it-yourself)
Hair/makeup: Stella Nova
Music: Kenley Young and the Restless
Photographer: Ashley Brokop Photography
Reception location: Historic Rice Mill
Stationer: Jot Papers
Trolley: Absolutely Charleston
* Non-listed aspects of this wedding were done by the couple, their families, and their wedding party