Amber & Isaac planned an intimate ceremony for only their closest family and friends. They planned at a distance but did a beautiful job creating a feminine, rustic day full of gorgeous details. They planned a truly beautiful day, and you’ll see that in every little detail! Enjoy this “All You Need is Love” Garden Party for $11K!Xoxo, Jessica
Amber + Isaac
August 31st, 2019
Birmingham, AL | Shadow Wood Manor
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Photography $3050
- Hair/makeup $250
- Grooms attire $650
- Dress/veil $1500
- Flowers $2350
- Cake/dessert bar $550
- Venue $2500
- Decorations $500
- Invites $150
Total Budget: $11,500
How many guests did you have?
How did you meet?
We met on a dating site. The funny thing about that is that we were both on a dating site because we’d each made conscious decisions to not be in serious relationships but here we are, married!
What is your proposal story?
When we first started dating we lived in different towns and only spent about two days a week together, for a few hours. It was summertime so we would drive out to the lake and just enjoy each other’s company. When he proposed, he took me to that lake which was the most special spot!
Tell us about your wedding vision.
I wanted something soft and light, especially since it was summer; sort of a garden party vibe – simple but elegant.
I knew I wanted soft pinks and whites for my florals and picked the blue bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen attire to add some color contrast. The grey suits tied in as a nice, light neutral color.
The venue we found had the most stunning features, and it was really the only place we checked out, we fell in love with it right away!
Tell us about your attire choices.
A lot of the attire was influenced by the Alabama heat in late August. I knew my bridesmaids would need short dresses and I wanted a lace component to contribute to the soft, garden party feel I wanted.
The groomsmen wore suits, minus jackets simply because it was just too hot. It also added to the elegant but not super formal feel we were looking for.
For my dress, I knew I wanted a ball gown and there’s just something about that layered skirt I was obsessed with! I also knew I wanted a show-stopping cathedral veil. Somehow it all came together, even though my dress and veil, in particular, were a bit aside from the rest of the vibe.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Photography was number one. We knew that our wedding photos would last generations and wanted to splurge on photography to ensure beautiful, lasting memories. A dessert bar was definitely a second splurge. We chose to skip out on a formal DJ; instead, I had my maid of honor run the music from Spotify on my phone.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
So many! The first look was, of course, a wonderful moment. We also chose to do little surprises for each other; I wrote a letter and he dedicated a song to my mother who passed several years ago.
My mother in law also sang a beautiful song that held meaning to us. One funny moment was when Sweet Home Alabama came on. I was walking across the dance floor and Isaac’s aunt exclaimed and almost jumped out of her chair; I had a feeling that song would be a hit at our Alabama wedding!
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
I wanted to keep them simple and elegant. My bridal bouquet had blush and white with pops of pink (that somehow came out a little creamsicle colored but I actually loved it!). I did all white for the bridesmaids’ bouquets and everything else was blush and white. Eucalyptus accents throughout, especially in our head table garland which was a beautiful mass of eucalyptus and other greens and some simple but lovely flowers grouped in the middle. The florals were just exactly what I wanted.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
The wedding cake fell in line with the simple but elegant vibe. We chose a vanilla cake with fresh strawberry filling. If you had asked me before if my wedding cake would be vanilla I would have said absolutely not. But our baker made the most flavorful, moist vanilla cake I’ve ever eaten and I just didn’t want anything else! It was two tiers and decorated with a simple ribbon design and accented with fresh flowers.
Among all the other desserts, Isaac also had a Reese’s peanut butter cup cheesecake for his groom's cake.
What did you do for favors?
We didn’t do formal favors per se, but we made up these cute little hand fans because we knew it was going to be very warm while everyone was outside for the ceremony.
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
I had originally planned on doing a lot of DIY, but it turned out that our venue offered a treasure trove of decorations included in the cost of the rental, so we really utilized what was provided. One significant but simple personal detail was the small table I set up with a bouquet and a photo of my mother.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Pick what’s important to you and focus on that. You can get lost down the rabbit hole that is wedding planning and lose sight of what’s truly meaningful. Pick one (or two if you’re able or wanting to) features to put a chunk of your budget into and all the rest will fall into place.
You’d be surprised at how things just come together once you’ve settled on a focal point. There are tons of ways to make your wedding beautiful without spending a fortune. We had our family make all the dinner food, and my bridesmaids helped decorate everything. Ask friends and family for little bits here and there and it’ll all just come together magically, though you might not think so during the peak of planning!
Photography: Katie & Alec Photography | Ceremony Venue: Shadow Wood Manor | Reception Venue: Shadow Wood Manor | Floral: Wild Things | Stationery: Zazzle | Wedding Cake: Adored Sweets | Wedding Dress: David's Bridal | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal | Veil: David's Bridal | Submitted via: Matchology
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 resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.