Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Garden | Jennifer Koshorek & James Rader, June 12, 2009, Alhambra Hall
“We got creative to save money,” says local schoolteacher Jennifer Koshorek of the wedding she and her now-husband, Jamie Rader, threw last June at Alhambra Hall. “So we picked easy projects with bright colors and different patterns that would have a huge impact,” she says. “Overall, we wanted a day that felt like us: comfortable, welcoming, fun, sometimes unexpected, and grateful for the wonderful people in our lives.” To get there, the pair divided and conquered between the two of them, since most of their would-be helpers lived out of town. They decided where to spend their cash—on food, music, and photos—and thereafter? “‘Good enough!’ That was our motto,” says Jennifer. “At the end of the day, no one cared about which chairs we rented because they were out on the dance floor with us. We realized that the best details were those that took care of our guests.”

Cost-Saving Tips

The Food

The Drinks: Rather than serve wine with dinner, they had an open bar offering drinks during cocktail hour and later during the evening.
The Apps: Since the cocktail hour included hors d’oeuvres, there was no appetizer course served during the sit-down dinner.
The Dessert: An informal, homestyle cake cost less than a dessert bar or fancier confection.
The Caterer: Booking Carolina Catering for both the reception and out-of-towners brunch the next day earned the couple a discount.
The Rental: Tables came with the location, so the bride and groom didn’t have to rent them.

The Details

The Welcome Bags: White paper lunch bags were stuffed with free Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau guides, bulk-bought cookies from Charleston Cookie Co., and more.
The Lighting: Buying decorative paper lanterns —which remained unlit—cost less than renting them. Glass lanterns used at the reception became the couple’s wedding gift to themselves.
The Stationery: While self-designed invitations were bought online, the couple made programs on their home computer, then had them printed, cut, and folded at a local copy store.

Total spent: $26,000


Bridal party hair: Hair by Juliet, (843) 532-8472
Bridal party makeup: Moore Make-up
Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew
Cake: Cakes by Kasarda
Caterer: Carolina Catering
Centerpiece buckets: Red Hill General Store
Groom/groomsmen suits: Jean’s Destination Suits
Day-of wedding coordinator: Southern Chic Weddings
Fireplace lanterns: Pottery Barn
Flip-flops: Old Navy
Flowers: Out of Hand
Invitations & save-the-date cards: Wedding Paper Divas
Music: Chris Crosby (ceremony); Rob Duren (DJ)
Officiant: Mobile Marriages
Paper lanterns: Paper Lantern Store
Photography: Liz Duren
Reception location: Alhambra Hall
Rentals: Snyder Party Rentals
Rings: Blue Nile
Ring bearer clothes: GAP Kids
Ring bearer nests: Out of Hand
Wedding gown: Romona Keveza
Welcome bag sweets: Charleston Cookie Company

* Non-listed aspects of this wedding were done by the couple, their families, and their wedding party