How to Plan a Wedding Under $10K- The Dress

We all know how expensive weddings can be…or maybe you’re here because you just got your first quote from a wedding vendor and you’re in complete sticker shock. It’s ok-we’ve got you!

So let’s get down to the real question. Can you plan a wedding for under $10K? The answer is, of course you can! But we’ve got to have a chat first about what that means. . .

You can definitely still have a beautiful wedding on the cheap, but you have to be realistic about your expectations and prioritize what’s really important. Most people think that they have to get all their vendors by picking the cheapest vendors available, and while that might get you under $10K it’s also a fast track to disappointment.

Really the best way to find middle ground on your dream day and your budget is to choose what’s most important to you, then find qualified and talented vendors that make the most of your big day. Hiring a planner (like us!) can help you find ways to save, get discounts with vendors, and can help you pull off your vision without emptying your bank account.

In this series we’re going to cover different categories that you might prioritize first- dresses, photography, flowers, etc. and talk about ways you can still get the perfect day in your budget. We’re going to kick things off with a big one-your wedding dress.


A wedding dress is a huge part of your day, obvs. But the struggle is REAL when your budget isn’t enough to get the dress you’ve pinned on Pinterest. Like, you want a beautiful dress that you’re going to look and feel amazing in but also *looks at empty bank account*. Yikes. Let’s talk about that…

There are a TON of options for finding affordable wedding dresses. You can even start at a bridal dress shop and ask them about sample sale dresses or ones they have in your budget. (Some of our fave local shops- White Lace and Promises, Gilded Gown, and Lillian Ruth) But in this blog we’re going to focus on some local options for budget brides. We always warn brides when ordering online look for reviews, research the company thoroughly, and always order with enough time to get it altered.


Before we dive into the deets, the styled shoot put together for this series was done with the help of some very talented (and budget friendly!) local vendors. Be sure to check them out! Our photography was done by Kristin Lane Photography, hair was done by Hair by Katie, makeup was done by Beauty by Blair, and floral was provided by LB Floral. Our backdrop was the stunning Historic Southern Railway Station.

Now let’s talk dresses! One of the best options if you’re looking for affordable dresses is looking at consignment shops. Several dresses from this shoot were featured from Ivory and Grace a new consignment shop here in Knoxville.

While these dresses were used, they still were stunning, clean, and photographed beautifully. The best part? All of the dresses shown in this post were under $500. Seriously. While some dresses can still be upwards of $1000 at consignment shops, a dress that previously would have cost two or three thousand dollars and was likely worn once-or possibly never-can be WAY less than that.

So think about it, what could have been $2000 is now $300 (like that stunning dress from above is). That’s $1700 you have to spend on a talented photographer who is going to take incredible shots and make that used dress look like it belongs in a magazine. Along with Ivory and Grace, we also recommend Loveliest!


Another great option is thrift stores and vintage stores. While the sizes will be much more limited than with consignment stores, you’re guaranteed to find a one of a kind unique dress. We borrowed some dresses from one of our fave vintage stores, Nostalgia and oh my GOODNESS. THE BEAUTY.

I mean, can we talk about this pantsuit-skirt hybrid real quick? This easily became one of our favorites for it’s unique style and pearl-fect details. This gettup was less than $100. For real.

And this lacey number definitely gave us some Madonna vibes but we weren’t mad about it.

There’s plenty of various decade styles too, like these 20s Gatsby dresses.

It might take a little extra time to track down the perfect dress, but you’ll have fun going through the stores searching for the ONE.

A few words of warning for dresses from consignment shops or thrift/vintage stores: Yes, the initial price might be super low but you’ll want to also take into consideration alteration fees and cleaning fees. Often times it’ll still come out to be cheaper than a new dress though!

Cutting budget with alternative sources is WAY better than cutting corners trying to go through a sketchy online company. Let me say that louder for you folks in the back…cutting BUDGET is better than cutting CORNERS.

If you want help planning your dream day on a budget, reach out to us! You can also stay tuned for more blogs and live videos in our Team Weddiquette series.

Thanks again to our team of talented vendors who helped with this shoot!

Nick + Abby

This July wedding was everything we could have dreamed up for a perfect summer wedding. The greenery, the lights, the coolest, most adorable couple ever…oh and of course, Samson, the super cute Golden who made the day impossibly cute! We’re so excited to share one of our all time favorite weddings.


Meet Nick, Abby, and their sweet fur-baby, Samson!

When they met with us, they described their perfect wedding day as a mix between industrial and summer garden party, but they weren’t sure how to pull it off. Luckily for them we knew exactly the dream team of vendors to pull of their vision! All of the amazing moments of this day were captured beautifully by JOPHOTO .


The day began with hair and makeup by the talented team at Bangs and Blush.

For the ceremony and reception area, we knew we had to have the perfect team to transform the Standard from an industrial backdrop into a summer garden wonderland. We trusted the floral design to LB Floral, and they spent months designing and hours installing greenery across the beams, on the walls, and tables to create a lush display within the industrial setting of the venue and the bouquets.

Hanging from the beams, we brought in Bright Event Productions to install hundreds of edison bulbs from the ceiling to create a dreamy, garden patio atmosphere.

The DJ from Ogle Entertainment not only rocked the dance floor but killed it with amazing uplighting, the bartenders from Pour Guys and the amazing caterers from Bradford Catered Events made the reception perfect.


We put some of our signature Team Wedding touches into the day, like the hand made number signs that matched the wood of the venue. We also had a custom brewery sign made for the couple’s home brewing company. They had the logo put onto glasses for favors which we looooved!

The couple also handmade olive oil favors for their guests, and the talented Tri Star Scribe made custom seating tags for them!

It was a wonderful evening with the sweetest people ever, and we were so happy to help make their vision come to life. You can check out more on our Pinterest page and pin your favorite parts of their day!


Photographer // JOPHOTO
Venue // The Standard
Florist // LB Floral
Videography // Two Arrow Cinema
Caterer // Bradford Catered Events
Rentals // All Occasions Party Rentals
Cake // Public
DJ // Ogle Entertainment
Lighting // Bright Event Productions
Hair and Makeup // Bangs and Blush
Bartenders // Pour Guys
Invitations // The Happy Envelope
Dresses // White Lace and Promises

Amanda + Cameron

Oh, these two! My soul definitely felt like I'd found kindred spirits when I met these sweet birds!

Let me introduce you to Amanda and Cameron! 


Amanda contacted me about doing a 20s-40s style, speakeasy wedding...MY DREAM!

As soon as we got to planning, I realized that not only did I have one of the best weddings ever to work on, I had such an amazing couple to get to know!

The two met at at diabetes summer camp, and had a romantic love story that spread over the years. They came back to Tennessee to have their wedding at the Millstone in Dandridge, where Amanda grew up. 


Although it poured rain all day, we turned the reception barn into a speakeasy with amazing details to bring the theme to life. We are so excited to share this special day, with stunning images from Leah Moyers Photography!

Amanda's retro hair and make up was done by Southern Belle Beauty and the floral and catering was done by Main Street Catering


The rain didn't keep us down, we moved the ceremony inside!


Guests all showed up in 20s themed costumes, and the centerpieces were collected cigar boxes, vintage books, and antique liquor bottles. 


The ceremony included an intimate hand-fasting ceremony, and lots of happy tears! Cameron walked down the aisle to the theme song from Peaky Blinders, and it was pretty much the coolest thing I've ever seen a groom do. 


The rain didn't stop the party at the reception either! After the IDOs the couple and their guests cut a rug, with our favorite part of the night...a live band! Megan and Her Goody Goodies had us swinging the night away.


And let's talk about FAVORS! These two had a unique speak easy mug exchange where guests brought a mug and took a different one home! All the liquor...we mean "tea"...was served out of these mugs!


We loved the speak easy style bar set up, it's one of our favorite projects we've ever done!

They also had adorable honey jar favors for guests to take home, with our custom designed labels. 


To see more of Amanda and Cameron's roarin' 20s wedding check out our Pinterest!

Venue // Millstone
Photographer // Leah Moyers Photography
DJ // DJ Express
Band // Megan and Her Goody Goodies
Caterer // Main Street Catering
Rentals and Floral // Southern Knot
Hair and Makeup // Southern Belle Beauty
Photobooth // Memories in a Flash


Krista + Kevin

We adore love stories here at Team Wedding, but we REALLY adore this one. 

Once upon a time, I went to highschool with the sweetest girl named Krista. When she got engaged, I was so thrilled that she immediately reached out to me so I could help her plan her dream wedding to the man of her dreams, Kevin. We're so excited to share this special day with you, captured so amazingly by Jennie Andrews Photography


As you can see here, they're the most adorable people ever. 

But besides being so sweet and kind and funny, they also have the best, nerdiest, wonderful love story ever. 

Krista and Kevin met online playing World of Warcraft. When I first heard that, it didn't surprise me as Krista was an avid player in high school! But what made it even better, is that they started talking to each other because they were waiting for the same book to come out, and when it did they read it together. YOU GUYS. We can't even handle how adorable it is! 


They ended up falling in love, and to start their happily ever after Krista and Kevin wanted to use their love for reading as inspiration for their perfect day. 


I was so excited by the opportunity to combine Krista's beautiful blush and teal color palette with a vintage flare of books.  For the ceremony, we created a library backdrop using all of their most cherished and treasured books. We added trinkets and vintage items to give it a cozy, vintage reading room feel. 


But we couldn't stop with just the backdrop. We really wanted to give the room a truly magical feel, so we surprised Krista and Kevin with pages suspended in the air of their favorite novels. 


But to me, the most magical part of this ceremony is that I had the overwhelmingly joyful honor of writing the vows for Krista and Kevin. I wrote them in theme for our book lovers starting their own story, and for their unity ceremony the two actually used an old feather pen to write the first line of their vows. With the help of Tri Star Scribe, the vows were then finished so they could have them to keep forever. 


The ceremony was beautiful, but the reception was the real treat of the evening!

For cocktail hour, the couple had two signature drinks that perfectly captured their "punny" personalities!


We wanted to give everyone a truly unique and fun experience for the photobooth, so we built giant book palettes to place behind Sisters Vintage breathtaking audra couch!

After cocktail hour, guests entered the reception, which was one of our favorites of all time. 

We used teal linens from White Table and gold chivari chairs with pink chair sashes from Events by Rothchilds to bring her vision to life. 

From there Lisa Foster Floral Design added a delicate beauty to our centerpieces and the bouquets! 

We really wanted to incorporate not only their passion for reading, but the books and words that mean the most to them. Each table featured a quote from one of their favorite books about love and adventure. 

But we couldn't leave it at just books there! We had another surprise up our sleeves for our two page turners. We hung over 200 books from the ceiling, to create a magical feel throughout the entire room. 


Once our bride and groom arrived, the party started. It would not have looked anywhere as wonderful as it did, or had anywhere near as much fun without our DJ and master uplighter Jim Ogle from Ogle Entertainment

There were so many incredible moments during the night, but there's one in particular that me or anyone there will never forget. 

A few months before the wedding, Kevin's father passed away. To honor his memory during the wedding, they brought his hat and cooler full of Old Style, the beer he always drank. 


During the reception, the grooms uncle made a toast to his late father, and all his family members joined him on the floor to grab one of the beers in remembrance of him. 


I've seen a lot of touching moments at weddings, but this takes the cake for the most perfect, special toast to a loved one I've ever seen. 

Kevin and Krista are two incredibly special and wonderful people. From start to finish, it was such a special thing to be a part of making this day just as perfect as they are. 


Dressof their big dayThank you for letting us get carried away with love and adventure to make this one of our favorite weddings ever, for one of our favorite couples ever! 

And a HUGE thank you to all our vendors who made the day so incredible! 

Venue // The Standard
Photographer // Jennie Andrews Photography
Videographer // Two Arrow Cinema
DJ and Uplighting // Ogle Entertainment and Light Design
Caterer // Bradford Catered Events
Flowers // Lisa Foster Designs
Bartenders // Pour Guys
Linens // White Table
Chairs, Napkins, Sashes // Events by Rothchilds
Calligraphy // Tri Star Scribe
Vintage Chair, Couch and Book Rentals // Sisters Vintage
Dress // Davids Bridal
Hair // Salon 327 

To see more of this amazing book themed wedding, check out our Pinterest!