2009-04-02 / News

Local couple wins wedding worth $10,000

By Eileen M. Daly

Jeff Tuttle and fiancée Renee Walker Jeff Tuttle and fiancée Renee Walker Island native Jeff Tuttle and his fiancée Renee Walker are going to say their "I do's" a little sooner than planned and in style this May after the couple won a $10,000 wedding package.

Tuttle and Walker recently won the wedding package at a bridal show at the Edward King House in Newport. Walker said the couple was looking into holding their wedding reception at the Edward King House when event planner Christine McCullough suggested they attend the bridal fair and enter the "Say I do," contest.

"We thought 'that's probably not going to happen, but we'll go anyway'," Walker said. The couple went to the bridal affair, which Walker described as "absolutely beautiful," and walked away as grand prize winners. The only catch, Walker said, was that the couple had to be married on or before May 3, 2009. The couple had originally planned an October wedding, but Walker said the prize was just too good to pass up so the wedding was moved to May. "Instead of seven months to prepare we only had 60 days," Walker said, "but I like a challenge."

Tuttle and Walker met last year when she responded to an ad for a car that Tuttle had listed on Craigslist. "I had bought a car that was a lemon. It just kept breaking down," Walker said. "Jeff offered to take my old car to the junkyard and to put whatever money he got for it toward the cost of the car he was selling," Walker said. When she finally took Tuttle's car for a test drive, Walker said she spent more time talking to him than paying attention to the car. "I just thought he was such a nice person."

She bought the car from him and when the transaction was fi- nalized she suggested they meet for drinks just as friends. "I originally thought he might be a good match for my girlfriend since I am six years older than he is, but he really liked me," Walker said. After that first drink together they had so much fun that Walker invited him to come along with her to see a band that she already had plans to see. "We've been together ever since," she said.

The wedding package Walker and Tuttle won includes: D.J. service, videography, catering, a wedding cake, tuxedo rental, photography, spa services, flowers, a limo, travel services, music, and wedding planning.

The wedding will be held on Sunday, May 3, at the King Edward House and according to Walker things are moving right along. "Luckily, I was able to find a dress right away," Walker said. Walker found the dress. but it did have to be ordered she said, but it came in very quickly, arriving last week and eliminating a major worry.

Winning the wedding package will allow Walker and Tuttle to have a number of things that they were not planning to have at their wedding due to expense, such as a videographer and even a DJ. The couple still plans to forgo a honeymoon because as Walker says, "We are saving for our forever honeymoon: a house."

Walker said she would like other young couples to know that they can have a beautiful wedding without a lot of expense even if they are not fortunate enough to win a prize like their wedding package. "We used a lot of things that were borrowed instead of bought," Walker said. "For instance, my niece is going to be the ring bearer, but instead of buying a brand new $30 pillow for the rings we are going to use a bible that belonged to Jeff's grandmother."

She plans to tie a ribbon to the bible to connect the rings. "That way we are using something that has a lot of sentimental value but isn't costly." Walker pointed out that although $30 may not seem like a lot, those dollars add up. By being smart about those extra dollars, couple's can do a lot to reduce the cost of their wedding, she said.

Walker and Tuttle have established a website to chronicle their wedding and Walker hopes to add a blog detailing how to plan a wedding in a very short period of time and how to keep expenses down. Readers may visit their website at www.theknot.com/ourwedding/ reneewalker&jefftuttle.

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