Oh my word! Where do I begin with this beautiful Louisiana wedding? From the flowers to the hand lettering to the gorgeous decor, Ashton and Darren created a fairy-tale wedding on a budget of less than $20k! Definitely make sure you check out their cake and cake table… there’s nothing that says chic like like a naked cake decorated with flowers! Enjoy this white and blue wedding with darling details! xoxo, Jessica
Ashton + Darren
May 28, 2016
Shreveport, LA | Dixie Cotton Gin
What was your budget?
We spent $17,215 on our wedding.
$1,700 Wedding Dress, Veil
$250 Groom’s Attire
$2,500 Photography (engagements and wedding)
$1,350 Bouquets, Boutonnieres, Flowers
$700 Wedding and Groom’s Cakes
$200 Calligraphy (for signs and cards)
$ 75 Rentals for Reception Decorations
$500 Favors and Necessities (Cake Topper, Garter, Guest Book, Send-off Wands, Cups, Napkins, Programs, Kid’s Table)
$ 600 Decorations (Table Centerpieces, Table number cards/pictures of bride & groom)
Utilized talents of friends for Make-up/Hair
Utilized talents of friend for Wedding Planning
How many guests did you have?
We had about 160 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We included favorite engagement pictures on the bride and groom table. Also among special pictures and plaques, we included a shadow box of dried flowers from the 1st bouquet given to me by my husband-to-be.
Instead of table number cards on our guest tables, we placed picture cards of us at the different ages in our lives. Along with centerpieces each table had pictures, beginning with both of us at Age 1 on Table 1, progressing up to Age 18 on Table 18.
I also included my dad’s childhood Bible in with the wedding décor. I wore a solitary diamond necklace that my dad had made from his mother’s wedding ring, given to me specifically for my wedding day.
One of Darren’s favorite things to do when he dresses up is to pair funky patterned socks with his outfits. Our wedding day proved to be no exception to this style of choice. Darren chose striped and polka dotted socks that matched our wedding colors and gave a pair to each of his groomsmen as a gift for the wedding day.
Have young nephews, little cousins and friends, we offered an alternative “Kids’ Area” for the young children that might find the wedding ceremony boring for them. Puzzles, bubbles, books, and coloring books were supplied for them and their caretakers so that their wedding experience would be a pleasant one. Each child had their own special bag of favors to help them remember the day.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
We chose to have ribbon wands to swing as a send-off for the bride and groom. Rather than to purchase these ready-made, these wands were handmade by my mother. She also made and monogrammed personalized pillows for the reception area. Anticipating warm temperatures for a May outside wedding, the programs were not traditional, but were paper southern style fans. These were designed, printed and put together by family and friends.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
I kept to my rustic/vintage style, keeping wedding décor elegant but simple. Going with this style, handmade or used decorations were more fitting that newly bought ones. I utilized the skills and talents of family and friends for handmade things, as well as used props and decorations lent to me.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Having attended quite a few wedding, I was always observant of ideas that fit my personality and style. As time neared for me to plan my own wedding, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted my wedding to be. You have to have that starting point, but still, the chore of planning can be overwhelming if you try to go it alone. Let your family and friends know your style and enlist their help. Bridal Fairs are great so attend the ones you can. But for me, most of the vendors I chose came from the advice and knowledge of friends. Bridal Fairs gave me opportunities to personally meet and schedule my chosen vendors.
What was your biggest splurge?
My biggest splurge was probably the venue. I was raised in the country and was accustom to the simplicities of that life. The Dixie Gin offered a similar atmosphere.
Even though this was the biggest expense of my wedding, it so much fit my lifestyle and my wedding style. Selecting the venue was first and foremost and preceded the rest of the planning.
What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail was the airiness of an outside morning wedding, accompanied by a brunch. I’ve never been one that liked being confined to inside a building. The freshness of the air, and the gentle breeze added that special tranquility to this best day ever.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
So that we could spend more time with our wedding guest rather than tying up valuable time taking pictures after the wedding, we decided on having “the first look” before the ceremony. This is our most memorable part of the day because in the middle of all the busyness happening, we were able to slow down and spend a few minutes together free from distractions.
Photography: Micahla Wilson Photography • Venue: Dixie Cotton Gin • Flowers: Botanical Occasion’s by Leanne Graves • Day-of Coordinator: Lauren Allen at Dixie Gin • Stationery: Sue Paperie • Calligraphy: PAPERGLAZE Calligraphy • Catering: Maison Louisane • Bakery: Georgie Girl • Rentals: Vintage Rental Boutique • DJ: Jesse’s Professional DJ Services • Hair & Makeup: Sister-in-law of the bride • Wedding Gown Designer: Willowby by Watters • Bridal Salon or Shop: Happily Ever After • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse