$10,000 Backyard Wedding

I’ve got another lovely wedding for you today from the talented Krista Lee Photography! One thing I love about this bride’s advice is that she realized that photography was a priority to her, and spent over 1/4 of her budget on photos and yet still had a lovely day by DIYing and finding ways to save in other areas. One of the *hardest* places to cut costs is the venue, so Malory was savvy in using the property of a family member to throw their wedding. Not everyone has family with gorgeous riverfront property but there are DEFINITELY non-traditional and out-of-the-box venues that you can use for little to no cost that would save you a bundle– definitely something to think about! Hope you enjoy this lovely wedding!! 🙂 xoxo- Jess

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Clint + Malory 

May 19, 2012

Savannah, TN, at a family member’s home.

What was your budget? Please give us a breakdown of how you spent your budget– rough estimates are fine!

We never actually sat down and said, “okay this is our budget” but we both agreed that we did not want to go over $10,000 and $5,000 or less would have been absolutely amazing. We didn’t quite make the ‘under 5 grand’ mark but we gave it a good go!

Flowers- $650 (this included some real flowers and silk flowers, my aunt is amazing and helped with the arrangements and decorating)

Catering- $1,500 (We did light finger foods as it was so hot that day, and my grandmother made homemade lemonade.)

Wedding and groom’s cake- $400 (Well, actually Clint opted for cupcakes instead of a full out cake.)

Wedding paper (save the dates, invitations, programs, etc.)- $700 (My programs were totally DIY which saved a ton!)

Tent/table/chair, etc. rentals – $1,800

Photography- $3,000

Wedding party gifts- $200

Miscellaneous decorations – $200 (We hit up a ton of sales at hobby lobby and local flea markets)

Music- $0 (Clint was friends with the band so it was a very nice wedding present to us!)

Wedding attire- $1000 (My dress and Clint’s tux were gifted to us from my awesome grandmother, and the wedding party paid for their outfits. My best friend’s sister did hair and make-up as a wedding present also.)

How many guests did you have?

We had between 75-100 roughly

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

Our overall theme for the wedding was rustic/southern chic which was perfect since we grew up in a very small southern town, it seemed only fitting. We tried to do as much DIY as possible to add a personal feel. Our programs were all DIY with the help of Microsoft word, a local printing shop and my awesome bridesmaids. Clint hates sweets (I know right!?) so he opted for cupcakes instead of a big cake. To help distinguish these cupcakes as his, I took simple white labels and printed helicopters on them (he’s a pilot) and wrapped them around toothpicks to make little cupcake flags, super cute and easy. Another personal aspect was in my bouquet. I used a single red rose in the middle in honor of my great-grandmother who was not with us to share the day. We were very close and her favorite flower was the red rose. It was so nice to have her there with me! My bridesmaids wore beautiful teal colored dresses except for my MOH who wore a nice shade of green. I wanted her to really stand out.  My beautiful cedar arbor that was used in the ceremony was built by my husband himself. He went out into the woods and cut the trees down and everything, which made for a very interesting day!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

Of course the DIY projects saved, but the biggest help was not having to pay to rent the venue. We are also so blessed to have amazing family members and friends with awesome resources and talents!

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

Do not let anyone tell you it is too early to plan something or get something done. With wedding planning, it is never too early to mark a detail off your checklist. Also don’t ever forget whose day it is.

What was your biggest splurge?

Our biggest splurge was our awesome photographer. Clint and I both decided early on that images of our day were a top priority, and I must say, it was such a wise decision. We now have beautiful images that we can look back on for years to come.

What was your favorite detail?

We loved that everything was so casual. It seemed like our wedding was exactly what we wanted, sounds silly right because how else would it be, but it just seems like we heard so many horror stories about weddings going wrong or doing things just because someone else wanted it. Our wedding definitely represented us and how we are, and the southern chic décor tied in with our small town roots. We could not have asked for a better day.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The wedding ceremony started out with a bang. Clint works for an EMS helicopter service as a pilot, so in honor of our wedding day, one of his fellow pilots flew and medic crew flew over real low which was such an awesome moment for both our guests and Clint. Of course, saying “I do” was pretty amazing as well!!


Bakery: Sweet Cravings by Wendy   |  Flowers: Modern Florist   |  Photography: Krista Lee Photography    |   Band: House of Mercy  |   Rentals:  Party Pros

Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here

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