Sarah and Nathan chose Bouligny Tavern for their wedding because it holds such a special plates in their hearts – it was the first place each truly felt chemistry with another person, which just so happened to be with one another! This intimate and emotional wedding is so very New Orleans. Full of whimsical details, like the comic book boutonnieres and the local snow cone cart, this celebration shows you can have the sweet wedding you dream of while sticking to a budget.

Photography by Arte De Vie.

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What was the best advice you received as a bride? Chill out. Freaking out serves no purpose. I’m a procrastinator, but if you have offers for help, take them!

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? The day turned out exactly like I hoped it would. Maybe it was luck but it was perfect! I do wish we would’ve had more time. Six months was quick!


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Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  I did. I’m not the most religious, but I was raised in a Catholic family and I wanted to have something that meant something to my mom. My “something old and borrowed” was her rosary. My “something new” was my dress, and the “something blue” would have been a garter but the thing wouldn’t stay up!

Stationery by​ ​Suite Paper.


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Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? The whole “altar” was DIY. The three curtain rods were from Home Depot. The material from JoAnn fabrics. We had some real foliage and the rest was faux greenery. But they looked great and were super affordable.

Floral design by Harkins.


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Arte De Vie | Snippet & Ink Arte De Vie | Snippet & Ink


Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? When Nathan and I met, I was engaged to someone else, but Nathan kept saying I should be marrying him. Of course, I thought he was crazy. We work together, and had a great working friendship, but one day after several dirty martini’s, I invited him to meet me and the girls at Bouligny. Maybe I needed the liquid courage to be honest with myself, but that night I felt the chemistry kick in. I took a leap of faith and called off my wedding 2 weeks later – I hadn’t even kissed Nathan! We both just knew. I gave myself time to clear my head, and it has been the best decision of my life.


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The Ceremony

“It was important that it reflected us. Nothing irritates me more than a cookie cutter ceremony. It was the most significant moment of our life to date, and it had to be as personal as possible.”


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Your ceremony in three words. Personal, emotional, and kind of funny.

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? The first time we ever hung out outside of work was at Bouligny. It was also the first time I ever experienced real chemistry with another person. It was intense and our forever moment—the wedding had to be there!


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What was your ceremony music? Nathan is really into music and wanted only music that reflected our time together. Everyone walked to Lana del Ray’s, “Born to Die”—we still can’t listen to it without getting emotional. We all left to Jimmy Cliff’s, “You Can Get It”.

Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? One of Nathan’s best friends, Gabe Cofield. They met as neighbors maybe three or so years ago, both moving to the city for the first time—it was love at first sight [laughs]. He was Nathan’s wing man that night he met me at Bouligny and he’s been there for our entire relationship.


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What were your ceremony readings? It’s a Bob Marley quote:

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”


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What were your vows like?  I wrote them, they embody what’s important to us. It’s essentially the same with one different sentence to make it about the other person.

Do you (Sarah/Nathan) vow to be faithful, honest, open-minded, respectful, and kind. Vow to be patient, even when (Sarah/Nathan) is having a moment. Be supportive through every high, but especially in every low. (for Sarah) Vow to tickle Nathan’s feet even when he doesn’t deserve it/ (for Nathan) vow not to use all the hot water even though you love to nap in the bath tub. Vow to love (Sarah/Nathan) mind and body. Vow to always put each other first even when life throws you every unexpected obstacle that makes you want to fall apart. Vow to love and cherish (Sarah/Nathan) for the rest of your days.


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What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Gabe gave a toast to us with all of our guest which I thought was cool. He also did a ring warming. He did a bit about the ring, a joke, and then a symbolization. He gave the rings to our parents to pass on good energy, love, and well wishes for our marriage. In a moment of emotion when my dad walked me up, Nate wiped my tears and kissed me—I loved that. I asked if he was ready, and usually a man of complete composure he said, “As long as you don’t lose it, I won’t.” Who says that to any girl before she walks down the aisle? I was a mess!


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Arte De Vie | Snippet & Ink Arte De Vie | Snippet & Ink


How did you go about planning your ceremony? We asked Gabe to put something together for us, and he went above and beyond. I got inspiration from Pinterest for the space. I had dinner with my boss ten days before the wedding and she came up with the brilliant idea of having the ceremony on the front porch. She said, “Having a sit down is so not y’all’s style” and doesn’t fit the whole cocktail party (that we happen to get married at) vibe. I still hadn’t ordered chairs for the ceremony, anyway, so it was just the idea I needed—it was perfect. Gabe wanted to do a champagne toast at the beginning of the ceremony. Then we had everyone move to the front, and it really gave the personal, carefree vibe I was hoping for. My boss decorated the space exactly how I envisioned. I like light colors,warmth, natural, and lots of green. It was amazing.


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The Reception

“Everything went as I hoped and we had an amazing time—it was so surreal and goes by as fast as everyone says. We made a pact not to separate from one another for too long, which I loved! It’s so easy getting caught up with everyone else and I didn’t want that to happen to us. I wanted to remember being with him on our day. Nothing is better than flirting all day with your new husband on your wedding day.”


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How would you describe your reception? It was really cool and sophisticated. It was exactly what I was going for.


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Menu: Gougeres / Duck Confit / three types of Bruschetta: White Bean with Pickled Carrot & Black Garlic, Marrow & Garlic, and Burrata with Pesto & Lemon Zest / Gouda Beignets / Tempura Fried Green Beans with Aioli / Deviled Eggs: Salmon & Caviar, Pork Belly / Tempura Fried Seafood // Burgers / Fries with Aioli / Beef Short Rib with Chimichurri

Did you have a signature cocktail? No. The only rule was keep the Old Fashioned’s coming!

Catering by Bouligny Tavern.


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What was your first dance song? My husband is a huge Hall and Oates fan, and wanted “Sara Smile”. I do love the song and I’m just glad I married someone who has the same appreciation. Although, dance lessons made us want to never hear it again.


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What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Flour Power’s chocolate mousse cake— six layer cake with mousse in between and chocolate ganache heaven on top!

Cake by Flour Power Confectionery.


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What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? I’m not sure I have one. My dad couldn’t speak to Nathan or me the entire time with out getting emotional and that was really special to me. A week later when we had lunch he was still a little overcome.


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Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  I don’t mind sharing. I feel like no one really notices small details. We also had a small wedding. I’m sure it’s hard for large weddings where you need a huge space.

Here’s the full budget breakdown and vendor list for Sarah & Nathan’s New Orleans wedding for 60 guests:

Venue, Rentals, Catering, Alcohol: $7000 space food/booze – $7000
(We got a steal because we know the owner, he usually starts at $10000)
Photography by Arte De Vie: $4,300
Videography:  $1,950
Wedding Dress by Tarik Ediz: $,2000
Suit by Luca Falcone: $1,500
Bride’s Wedding Band: $1,900
Groom’s Wedding Band: $5,000
Flowers by Harkins: $400
Stationery by Suite Paper : $500
Music: Free – it was pre selected on an iPod.

GRAND TOTAL: $25, 550

Sarah’s budget tips? “I would wait for a gorgeous space within your budget that you don’t have to spend much to decorate. Our space for the reception needed nothing. Places to spend: photography, dress, venue. If you can’t afford a good band, get a good DJ.” For other real wedding budget breakdowns, see Kate and Billy’s wedding feature, Jessica & James’ wedding feature and Nicole & Morgan’s wedding feature.

Photography: Arte De Vie / Venue, Catering: Bouligny Tavern / Floral Design: Harkins / Dress: Tarik Ediz via Nima’s Bridal Boutique / Bridesmaid Dresses: BCBG / Suit, Shirt: Luca Falcone / Bow tie: Carrot & Gibbs / Shoes: Johnston & Murphy / Groomsmen Attire:​ ​Rome’s Tuxedo, Nola Couture / Stationery:​ ​Suite Paper / Cake: Flour Power Confectionery

This post contains affiliate links. 

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When you’re planning a wedding, one of the first things that comes up is The Budget, and it can be incredibly helpful to see how other couples allocated funds for their own wedding celebration. Morgan and Thomas have graciously shared their full budget breakdown with us… You can see their full wedding feature here.

lsecret-daudrey-1 lsecret-daudrey-1



Friday, May 15, 2015
Paris, France
14 guests


From the bride: One of the reasons we chose a wedding in Paris was to save money! Thomas and I were lucky, and our parents paid for us to go to college (which is expensive without a doubt), so we felt that we needed to pay for the wedding ourselves. We both have large families spread out all over, so a traditional wedding/reception would have been large, and expensive. I know my taste level is high, so it would have been hard sticking to a budget when it came to decor and flowers, etc. Here is a basic breakdown of what we spent (not included here are DIY invitations printed at Staples, DIY calligraphy, or the cost of the apartment for all of us to stay for a week):

Ceremony: The American Church, $1200
included location for 2 hours, officiant, and organist
Total: $1200

Dinner: Chez Julien, $1600
Cake: Ladurée, $200
Total: $1800

Dress, purchased at sample sale for 90% off: Vera Wang, $500
Shoes: Gucci, $1000
Alterations: $300
Hair, not including trial: Ciara Coiffure, $165
Makeup, including trial: Charles Gillman, $275
Groom’s suit: Hugo Boss, $400
Total: $2640

Estelle Preston, $125
Total: $125

Le Secret d’Audrey, $2640
included 5 hours of photography, plus ~400 edited, full-resolution images
Total: $2640

Flights, $2000 for 1 round-trip ticket
“We planned in advance, and saved up credit card points to get one ticket for free.”
Total: $2000

GRAND TOTAL: $10,405


L'Secret D'Audrey | Snippet & Ink L’Secret D’Audrey | Snippet & Ink

Photos by Le Secret d’Audrey.

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When it comes to wedding expenses, sometimes it’s hard to understand just why a particular item costs what it does, or why there’s such a range in rates. Something as seemingly simple as chair rentals can cost anywhere from $1.00 to $15.00 each! Today we’re taking a look at wedding cakes to see if we could better understand some of the factors that might result in a certain price tag, in our second installment of Budget Breakdown, with special thanks to Jasmine from Jasmine Rae Bakery

1. The Cake (and Filling)

First things first: the cake itself! The quality and availability of ingredients used to make your cake will affect the price. For example, vanilla beans cost more than pure vanilla extract, which costs more than artificial vanilla flavoring. In general, organic ingredients will cost more than conventional ones, and in-season ingredients are less expensive than out-of-season (fresh strawberries will cost less in June than in January).

Most bakers have a standard menu of cakes and fillings that they offer, with per slice prices based on ingredients and techniques. If you want something custom (maybe your grandma’s famous fudge cake recipe?) or something that accommodates dietary restrictions (say, gluten-free cake with dairy-free filling), that will generally add to your per slice price, anywhere from $1.00 to $5.00 more per slice. Because it’s unfamiliar to the baker, it may require that they source special ingredients they don’t normally use, and it may also require them to do one or more test runs, which equals more time and more ingredients.

And then of course the quantity of cake adds to the total cost. Most bakers price cakes on a per slice basis (with some having minimum requirements), so naturally a cake for 50 guests will cost less than a cake for 250.


2. The Baker 

The baker (sometimes called a cake designer or pastry chef depending on their preference and experience) that you hire will play into the final cost of your wedding cake. As with any vendor, the more experienced, skilled, and in-demand they are, the more they can charge for their work.

Bakers also have overhead expenses that get factored into their rates: rent and utilities (retail space or work space), transportation costs (to and from the venue), and equipment (baking pans, stand mixers, parchment paper, etc.), to name just a few. And as you would expect, their costs depend on location – the mark-up will be higher in a city with higher overhead (New York City is more expensive than in Nashville, so hiring a baker there is likely to cost you more).


3. The Design

Do you want a multi-tiered show-stopping wedding cake? Or maybe just something small and lovely for cutting? The style and design of your cake will play a large role in its final cost. Cakes that require more time and skill to decorate and assemble will cost more than simpler ones. For example, fewer tiers cost less because they require less assembly, and are easier to transport than taller cakes. A round cake with a rustic buttercream finish requires less time and skill to complete than a square cake with perfect rolled fondant corners. To better understand how a cake’s style and design contributes to its final cost, we’ve asked Jasmine from Jasmine Rae Bakery to share some of her gorgeous cakes. Keep in mind that the prices listed are for a San Francisco-based bakery.


$9 per Serving | Scantily-clad buttercream cake with fresh flowers.

Most bakeries will charge their base price for this style. Naked and almost-naked cakes require very little technique, though a more experienced cake maker will be able to create a more intentional look. Real flowers save time and money compared to handmade flowers – just ask your florist about getting a few extra blooms! Round cakes are the easiest to work with, and this cake is easy to transport because it won’t tip over.


$13 per Serving | Fondant torn paper finish with torn paper flowers.

A unique finish requires experience, and adding a finish beyond a simple fondant covering requires more time. Handmade decorations like these fondant torn paper flowers are time-intensive and require lots of practice and a high level of skill, as does the fondant torn paper cover the rest of the cake – it is very delicate and requires lots of rolling and tearing. This cake cannot be assembled on site the day of your wedding, meaning it must be transported whole which creates more of a challenge! 


$15 per Serving | Rice paper blossom, square-tiered tower.

Square layers are the most difficult to cover because there is no room for error when laying fondant over sharp edges as opposed to round edges. The layers must be perfectly even to prevent gaps in the fondant, which cannot be hidden with piped pearls or ribbon on such a clean, modern design. Three techniques are required including specially-treated fondant covering, hand-painting, and rice paper flower creation. Tall designs are prone to tipping over and are difficult to deliver, which may require more hands on deck! If this cake needed to be proportionately scaled up in size to accommodate a wedding with 120 guests, the tiers would have to be twice as high, which would actually make it an 8-tier cake internally. Above all, the high-end designer style looks deceptively simple but requires an incredible amount of skill and a precise level of perfection from an expert cake maker.


It’s always helpful to know which factors to keep in mind, but the right baker will be able to bring your vision to life in a way that fits your budget. They may even recommend a surprising style or feature you’ve never seen or considered before! By keeping your preferences flexible and your budget in line, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see (and taste!) the final product!


Looking for more budget tips? Learn about the cost of a wedding bouquet in our previous Budget Breakdown!

Photography: Christina McNeill / Cake: Jasmine Rae Bakery / Cake Stands: Sarah’s Stands / Floral Styling: Celeste Greene / Florals: La Fleuriste

Christina McNeill and La Fleuriste are Snippet & Ink Select vendors. 

0 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Budget Breakdown

When you’re planning a wedding, one of the first things that comes up is The Budget, and it can be incredibly helpful to see how other couples allocated funds for their own wedding celebration. Maura and Aidan have graciously shared their full budget breakdown with us… You can see their full wedding feature here.

Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink



Sunday, September 1, 2013
Whately, Massachusetts
165 guests

Venue: Quonquont Farm, $3300
Cleaning / Damage Deposit: $600
Insurance: $175
Rentals: Northhampton Rental, $400
Total: $4475

Napkin Fabric: $110
Silverware: $100
Total: $210

Catering: Heirloom Catering, $9265
Bartender: $350
Liquor License: $75
Beer Supplies: $300
Additional Beer: $100
Wine: $700
Sparkling Apple Cider: $100
Other Beverages: $200
Total: $11090

Candles: $50
Flowers: Eliza Gray Gardens, $350
Total: $400

Stationery: $200
Kippot: $160
Welcome Bags: $100
Seed Favors: $150
Total: $610

Bride’s Attire: $500
Groom’s Attire: $200
Total: $700

Website: $99
Honeyfund: $39
Misc. Help: $250
Total: $388

Lara Kimmerer, $3718.75
Total: $3718.75

GRAND TOTAL: $21,591.75



Some budget tips from Maura and Aidan:  

DIY is not always less expensive, but can be way more fun.  In some places, there were things that we really wanted to make ourselves that wound up being just as expensive as off-the-shelf (beer). In other cases, we saved a lot of money and achieved a far more personal feel by going the DIY route (invitations). By and large, things mostly came out in the wash but we were definitely able to give things our own flair in a way we would have never been able to afford if it hadn’t been for some of our own sweat equity.

If it’s going to stress you out, it’s probably worth paying someone else to do it. For example, we wanted to have complete control over our playlist and had a friend who hooked us up with a professional sound system and was willing to do some “light emceeing” for us. If you wouldn’t have fun building your own playlist – or with any other project for that matter – it might be worth hiring someone to do that work for you.

Don’t get wrapped up in what you “should” have at your wedding. Necessity gets really inflated during wedding planning, so instead think about if it’s something that will enhance your experience and that of your guests, and where you can pare down.


Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink Lara Kimmerer | Snippet & Ink

Photos by Lara Kimmerer.

0 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Budget Breakdown

When you’re planning a wedding, one of the first things that comes up is The Budget, and it can be incredibly helpful to see how other couples allocated funds for their own wedding celebration. Heather and Brady have graciously shared their full budget breakdown with us… You can see their full wedding feature here.

From Heather: “We spent about $30,000 when all was said and done, including rehearsal dinner and welcome drinks, and accommodations for some of our family. We saved a bit of money (but added a bit of stress) by buying flowers in bulk from the florist and arranging the centerpieces ourselves. Luckily I had an army helping me get it done, otherwise I do not recommend it!”

Ruth Eileen Photography | Snippet & Ink Ruth Eileen Photography | Snippet & Ink



May 31, 2014
Bristol, Rhode Island
86 Guests

Venue (ceremony and reception): Mount Hope Farm in Bristol, Rhode Island, $4,250

Catering / Rentals (food, drinks, desserts, cake, staffing, day-of coordinator): Russell Morin Fine Catering$14,000

Photography (one photographer for the wedding day as well as a photo booth, engagement session, and a military discount): Ruth Eileen$3,442

Videography: Blueflash Photography$1,065

DJ (ceremony, cocktail hour, reception): Fivestar Entertainment DJ$1,070

Florals (6 bouquets, 5 boutonnieres, 5 corsages, and 5 buckets of assorted flowers for DIY centerpieces): Robin Hollow Farm$1,900

Bridal Gown: Hayley Paige via The Bridal Garden$2,870 (Looking to re-sell if anyone is interested!)

Bride’s Accessories (Shoes: Michael Kors / Jewelry: Nadri via Nordstrom): $200

Hair/Makeup: $250

Groom’s Attire (Suit, Cufflinks, Pocket Square: Banana Republic / Shirt: J. Crew / Tie: Men’s Warehouse / Shoes: Florsheim): $600

Invitations: Green Fingerprint$1,200

GRAND TOTAL: $30,847


(I also collected vintage stamps for the invites, thrifted glass and crystal vessels for centerpieces, and DIY-ed some decor, but I truly have no idea how much I spent for these things, as they were collected and created over more than a year’s time!)


Ruth Eileen Photography | Snippet & Ink Ruth Eileen Photography | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Ruth Eileen / Venue: Mount Hope Farm in Bristol, Rhode Island / Dress: Nina by Hayley Paige via The Bridal Garden / Shoes: Michael Kors / Jewelry: Nadri via Nordstrom / Suit, Cuff Links, Pocket Square: Banana Republic / Shirt: J. Crew / Tie: Men’s Warehouse / Shoes: Florsheim / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff via Special Events Bridal Shop / Dog’s Attire: Silly Buddy / Stationery: Green Fingerprint / Calligraphy: Ali Makes Things / Floral Design: Robin Hollow Farm / Catering, Cake, Rentals: Russell Morin Fine Catering / Music: Fivestar Entertainment DJ / Videography: Nathan Gomes, Blueflash Photography
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