Real Weddings: Brittiny & Michael’s Marvelous Memphis Wedding

I’ve never met Brittiny, but I have corresponded with her – and I’m certain that I would like her.

Brittiny is an event planner.  She’d seen enough stressed out brides planning big, fat weddings to know that wasn’t the route she and her fiance wanted to take. (Check out her blog, Mochafrugalista).

Sadly, her dad is battling cancer – which also put the important stuff in the forefront.

“I wanted a small wedding with my grandmother’s cooking and the kids playing,”she says.

And she pulled it off for $3,000.

I hope Brittiny inspires other brides to re-focus on what really matters. And to keep it real.

wedding couple in front of church

Brittiny, 30 & Michael, 34

Memphis, TN

Wedding Date: November 20, 2010

Number of Guests: 50-60 including 20 children

Wedding Cost: $3,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: No 2 Vance (An event venue in historic Ballard & Ballard Obelisk Flour Building.)

Wedding Reception Location: No 2 Vance

blowing bubbles outside of church

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

My dad has cancer and we really wanted him to be there with us for our wedding. We never wanted a large wedding. We always wanted a small wedding because of costs savings. Owning an event design company instantly allowed me to see that I didn’t want the stress of a 200+ wedding. I wanted a small wedding with my grandmother’s cooking and the kids playing.

Memphis bride

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

There really wasn’t a challenge. We knew we wanted our family there with a few select friends.

flower girls at wedding

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

It wasn’t difficult at all. We knew we wanted our closest family and friends to share in our special day. My grandmother probably found it harder not to invite every person in our large extended family.

no. 2 vance wedding

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family?

Lol!!! My grandmother wanted me to invite my third and fourth cousins that I hadn’t seen since elementary school.

happy wedding couple

If so, how did you address them?

I quite frankly told her no, and if she got too upset I committed the ultimate faux pas and sent the invites to my cousins two weeks before the wedding instead of the appropriate time.  (Terrible, I know …  lol!!)  Of course they all said they were coming and didn’t show up.

sapphire ring shot

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

My dad hugged me right before we were to walk and he was in his wheelchair and said I was beautiful. My stepdad walked me out and when they asked who gives this woman away we all turned and waved at my dad. Another great part is when I cried the entire time. I was so unemotional until it was time then I cried the entire time. And laughed. It was hilarious and wonderful. I was literally bouncing when we were pronounced. Then we turned around to walk away and the pastor said we had to pray. I love the picture of when we had to turn I was laughing and looked so happy.

bride laughing during ceremony

african american wedding ceremony

african american wedding couple

bride and groom kissing at ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Seeing my cake for the first time. My grandmother made it and argued because she wanted a traditional cake with columns and a fountain. I absolutely loved it. BTW, my mom totally made all of the wax seals for the favors, they were on my invites too.  She decided to open an etsy store because she had so much fun doing it.  Well, I designed an etsy store for her as my wedding gift to her and she is opening the store.

wedding cake with jewels and black feathers

monogrammed wedding favors

white satin chair covers

purple wedding napkins

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Being able to speak to my guests and not worry about the dances and the timeline. We were so relaxed.

wedding couple holding hands

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Do it!!! Don’t worry about the pomp and circumstance. You can dance in the street like we did.

Memphis bride and groom portrait


Linens: A Narcissus Affair

Venue: No. 2 Vance

Event design: Amour Toujours Events

Photography: Krystal Alayne Photography

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9 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Real Weddings

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  1. Posted by Megan Clouse on December 20th, 2010 at 12:09pm

    I love her big, heart warming smile! Looks like a fun wedding!
  2. Posted by lizzie on December 20th, 2010 at 5:35pm

    Beautiful wedding! I love her veil and their cake is georgeous!
  3. Posted by Britt on December 20th, 2010 at 9:56pm

    What an amazing one-month anniversary gift!!!! Thanks everyone for the compliments! It was an amazing day for a brunch wedding.
  4. Posted by Jessie on December 29th, 2010 at 8:52am

    They look very happy!! Look like they had a lot of fun!!
  5. Posted by Martha Jean on December 29th, 2010 at 9:22am

    Brittiny - Thanks for sharing your wedding story and planning. What an inspiration!
  6. Posted by Jessica on January 8th, 2011 at 10:14pm

    Thank you!!! You inspired me!!! Our budget is as well 3,000 it seems a little hard for me, but we are looking at 75 people... I know with faith and not stressing so much it can be done... Im glad to see someone on here with the same budget
  7. Posted by Christina on January 9th, 2011 at 3:05pm

    Jessica, so glad you got inspired by Brittiny and Michael's wedding. $3,000 is totally doable with a small guest list!
  8. Posted by Rena on March 19th, 2013 at 12:37pm

    Absolutely love it. Your wedding was beautiful, simple and sweet. And was a great cots! :-) Many blessings!
  9. Posted by francis on August 5th, 2013 at 3:40pm

    i just ran into your site today .. being around the wedding world for almost 5 years now .. to come in at such a low budget is so impressive and commendable.. i love seeing couples staying within their means .. not starting life in debt .. i loved how you proved that a low budget wedding can be so beautiful and romantic :)
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