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I’m Jessica, founder of Modern DIY Bride. In 2016, I married my wonderful husband, Scott. We cultivated our dream wedding through a series of DIY projects. We also paid for our entire wedding ourselves, without debt. Let us help you do the same!

Scott and I met in 2014 at a small gathering at my friend’s house. He had just bought a house in the small town where I grew up…one block away from my childhood home where my parents still live! While neither of us were looking for love, it knocked us both off our feet. The reason Scott and I weren’t looking for love was because we had both been married before. Scott’s divorce was still fairly fresh and I was focused on raising two toddlers while finishing grad school.

I’d always heard that love happens when you least expect it. That was certainly true for our love story. In 2015 we got engaged and married a year later. We like to schedule at least one life changing event per year!

When it came to planning our wedding, we were torn between a large celebration or a more intimate event. My parents footed the bill for my first wedding. I wasn’t about to ask them to help pay for another wedding. And to be honest, having family help pay for your wedding comes with strings attached. Scott and I both wanted control over our wedding. Control over the budget, guest list, menu, and location.

After a lot of discussion over whether it was appropriate to have another big wedding, we decided to go all in on our wedding! While we had been married before, this was the only time we would marry each other. We wanted it to be special – a day that we planned together with all of our friends and family to witness. And let me tell you, it was magical!

DIY Wedding Ceremony

We are the “Do It Yourself” type of people and our wedding was no exception. The floral arrangements and decorations were DIY. We even wrote our own wedding ceremony for my dad to officiate. The venue was beautiful, very remote and didn’t include much. While at times it seemed very overwhelming (I seriously considered hiring a wedding planner at least twice during the engagement), it was exciting to plan everything.

In one year, we managed to save almost $20,000 to pay for our wedding and honeymoon.

I developed a system during our engagement that allowed me to keep track of our upcoming wedding expenses. I was OBSESSED with planning for the wedding. In fact, I probably spent way too much time analyzing my budget spreadsheet. My system helped us make sure we had enough to cover deposits when they were due and pay the final vendor bills right before the wedding.

I tried using online calculators from wedding websites, and they just didn’t do the trick. Budgeting for a wedding is so much more complex than taking your total budget and dividing it by the number of months until your wedding.

$12,000 ÷ 12 months = $1,000/month

As we started hiring vendors and signing contracts for the wedding, we quickly learned that deposits and final payments were all due at varying times. For example, our wedding venue was one of the first things we secured. To hold the venue for our wedding date, we needed to pay a $1,000 deposit. Then final payment for the venue was due two weeks before our wedding. However, when we booked our caterer, the deposit was due six months before the wedding, and the final payment was due one week before the event.

We needed something to keep us organized, track our savings each month, and ensure that we didn’t go over budget. Or worse, not have enough saved by each payment due date and end up using our credit cards.

It is no wonder so many couples find themselves pulling out their credit cards in the months leading up to the wedding. 45% of American couples begin their married life with debt accumulated from their wedding. Finances are also one of the top reasons couples get into arguments.

And while your wedding should be an unforgettable day, the unforgettable part shouldn’t be your monthly credit card statement.

That’s why I started Modern DIY Bride. To share the system I developed to save and pay for a wedding with other couples. If you aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and grab a hammer (or a jar of Mod Podge), I will show you how to cultivate a dream wedding through a series of DIY projects!