A Magical, Six Course Dinner Wedding, for Only $6K


Did we mention it was during an ice storm?

Jillian, Nutrition Educator for at-risk moms & Scott, Pediatric Software Support

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: A magical ice storm wedding full of holiday warmth, wonderful music, and the world’s longest dinner.

Soundtrack for reading: “Tonight, Tonight” by Smashing Pumpkins

Other Cool Stuff We Should Know About

1. Scott and Jillian’s father built the moon backdrop, and included a tiny Death Star on the starry night canvas behind it.

2. Music was so important. The first band was the Jillian’s high school French teacher, the second was a group of friends (including the Bridesman!) who got together to celebrate the couple. In between acts we performed “I Wanna Grow Old With You” from The Wedding Singer. Later Jillian surprised Scott by joining the band to sing Talking Head’s “Naive Melody.” After the bands finished, we all rocked out the night with a playlist by Jillian’s super hip dad.

3. The wedding happened in the middle of a huge ice storm three days before Christmas, but everyone still made it!

4. We had an amazing six-course meal, with local beer, cider and booze—but only spent $6,000 total on the wedding.

5. After many practice runs and multiple (literally) exploding cakes, we made our own wedding cake.

6. The guest book was a Christmas tree with ornaments—every year we can revisit all the well wishes of our loved ones as we decorate the tree.

Favorite Thing About The Wedding

We only spent money on what really mattered to us, and only invited our nearest and dearest, even all the vendors and musicians were friends—all this closeness captured the magic of the holidays in one perfect day.


The Info:

Photographer: Robin Katrick | Location: Burlington, VT | Venue: Arts Riot Speakeasy | Jillian’s Dress: Ideel | Jillian’s Headband: Baroque and Roll on Etsy | Guys Suits: ASOS | Cake Topper: Ready Go Wedding Co. on Etsy

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Sally

    Christmas tree guestbook? Do explain please because that sounds amazing!

    • OnionCityResident

      We had a Christmas tree covered in red plain ornaments and a table with gold sharpies & instructions!! So easy, and really sweet to put them up this year :)

      • M. Alex B.

        What a lovely idea! We are thinking of getting married next November, and this is just so sweet. We MIGHT have to steal it, if that’s okay!!

        • OnionCityResident

          Do it! How else are you going to validate reading your guest book every year with your beloved?

  • This is definitely the most badass wedding I think I’ve seen on here yet!!

  • Emily

    Magical!

  • elcee

    Beautiful wedding! A little more information about the budget would be good….? Assuming friends just gave deep discounts, which is pretty f*ing rad.

    • jspe

      seriously! How DOES one have a six course meal for $6000. Was the space free? (no snark! real question!)

      • OnionCityResident

        Space was cheap, not free though ($1500 + they did the bar) both my husband and I have worked for the caterer, he’s a good friend and made a minimal profit. Band cut their fee in half, dress was $200 on ideel, veil was my mom’s, found perfect shoes at Payless, and no flowers!!

        • jspe

          Thanks for sharing!

  • snf100

    The dress is amazing. I also love the guestbook idea, my favorite part of decorating the tree is remembering the story behind the ornament.

  • vegankitchendiaries

    EVERYBODY DROP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND GO BACK TO CHECK OUT THOSE METALLIC FRENCH TIPS!

    Merry Christmas, everyone. Every time APW posts a budget wedding that looks this good an angel gets its wings.

    • KateS

      and the award for always being first to point out the super rad manis in wedding posts is… :D

      no, but thanks. i often miss those details on my first read, so then i go back and fully admire thanks to your comments.
      in my defense, this whole wedding looks pretty rad though, lots of awesomeness to soak in!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Ha! #guilty

    • OnionCityResident

      I’m a chef and I NEVER get to have nice nails- the gels were such a luxury for me and I knew exactly what I wanted :)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Absolument parfait!

      • Dana East

        I love this. I, too, am a cook who never has nice nails, and I, too, had metallic french tips to match my deco dress at my wedding. I think we might be soul sister mates. Is that weird?

        • OnionCityResident

          I think it’s perfectly sensible :)

  • jspe

    THE BALLOOONS! <3 those so much.

  • StartCloseIn

    I KNEW I recognized the venue! Here’s to my home town of Burlington VT rocking it out!!

  • macrain

    I am crazy into these winter weddings, and this one is no exception! So dead for the ornament guest book!

  • Callie

    I LOVE that dress.

    • OnionCityResident

      It’s Sue Wong if you’re ever looking for something similar- my bridesmaid with black hair wore Sue Wong too :) she makes great vintage styled dresses and so much cheaper than others like Claire Pettibone.

  • MK

    Hands up if you scrolled back up to find the Death Star in the backdrop.
    (Gorgeous wedding!)

  • AGCourtney

    Okay, who else immediately scrolled back up to find the Death Star? I love the background! That is awesome. This whole wedding is awesome. And I LOVE the fur, I am definitely rocking a capelet of some sort on my wedding day. Man, all these amazing winter weddings make me want to change my date from September to December, but then I’d have guests trying to make their way through messy Minnesota winters to contend with. D:

    Congratulations!

    • OnionCityResident

      Thank you!! the fur and the faux fur coat I wore outside were my great grandmother’s- she passed away only a couple eyars ago and it meant so much to me to be able to wear them that day.

      • AGCourtney

        Oh!!! That makes it even more wonderful. I’m so glad you were able to wear them as a meaningful tribute to her. <333 I have a few things from a deceased loved one, and wearing them is a bit like having them with you, no? Ah, I'm just blown away by how personal and meaningful you guys were able to make your wedding. It's just beautiful.

  • KitBee

    That short dress/star tights combo is maybe my new favorite thing.

  • Amy March

    Credit on the amazing star tights?

    • OnionCityResident

      H&M- same as the dress I wore them with.

  • River

    I love everything about this wedding — the moon and stars; the mash-up of art deco and rock n’roll; that mani!!; that crown!!

    but most especially, the singing bride <3 Girl, thank you so much for sharing your wedding here. I am planning to surprise my groom with a song and I've been really nervous about it — even though I'm a musical theatre actress, I've been stressing about what will people say, etc. — and it's just really really really nice sometimes to see I'm not alone in being a singing bride.

    That last sentence got away from me — yeah, it did a bit. ;-)

    Beautiful, beautiful wedding <3

    • OnionCityResident

      <3 <3 thank you so much

  • Kara Davies

    Oh my, everything EVERYTHING is gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Riot

    SMASHING PUUUUUMPKINS! And your dress, and everything else :)

  • Aubry

    Is the subtle theme hugo/voyage to the moon? Or was it unitentional that it reminded me of this movie? ( note to self re-watch that one, i love it!)

    • OnionCityResident

      Our initial theme idea came from not wanting to spend very much money- a “depression era” Christmas wedding. That changed constantly, but we first started dating by staying up late together watching the original Cosmos series, and space seems to be an ongoing theme in our relationship. The moon backdrop fit perfectly with our vintage feel, and so our mish mashed wedding theme was born.

  • Ashley Meredith

    This should definitely have been a How We Did It. I require more details!

    And I LOVE beyond words that star-and-moon backdrop (with or without Death Star, though of course that makes it even more awesome). I think I might need one for my daily life…

    • OnionCityResident

      We had our anniversary party last night, complete with backdrop- I think we’ll be taking pictures in front of the Death Star for many years to come :) I am happy to answer any questions; I chose to submit this as a Wordless Wedding because I just had no idea where to start with writing the How We Did It.

      • LilDuds

        Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I’m getting married in April and I’ve been having a hell of a time trying to figure out what to do with my shoulder length curly hair. I saw your wedding pics and immediately was like THAT is what I want! I ordered a headband right away (not the same one, but from the same etsy site) and I’m printing out your picture right now to bring to my hair trial this weekend. Thank you so much for posting your beautiful wedding!

  • emilyarta

    But really, you guys, that dress. Hearts in eyes.

  • Charleston Videographer

    Stunning and love it was within their tight budgetary constraints…just perfect!