What a beautiful backyard wedding we're featuring today to help ring in spring! Although Kyrsten and Jacob were married in December in the sunny Southwest, their beautiful backyard wedding and reception is especially inspiring for our readers who live in the colder states and are beginning to see the first signs of spring right now. Like many of our budget-savvy weddings, Krysten and Jacob show how using what you've got can save you $$$. They were able to use the grounds of a golf course for their ceremony for free and a they had their reception at the home of a friend. I love how the rustic details like the fireplace mantle and the flowers give the wedding intimate, comfortable yet chic atmosphere. xoxo, Jessica
Kyrsten + Jacob
Sun City, Az | Desert Sring Golf Course
What was your budget?
We had a lot of connections that saved our wallet! We were able to do the ceremony outside at a golf course for free. We did the reception at a friend's house that was absolutely beautiful. I am a Pinterest freak and have had my wedding planned since I was 16. I wanted my wedding to have a rustic/indie feel to it. I did simple centerpieces of wood slab that I cut myself, doilies I found on saveoncrafts.com and lanterns with flicker lights I got from Hobby Lobby when they were on sale for 50 % off. The burlap runners were also from Hobby lobby.
We saved a lot by using our resources and connections, doing my own decorations, and looking at thrift stores and garage sales for the little stuff.
Photography (including free engagement session): $1450
Rented chairs and tables (from a school): $50
Ceremony and reception venues: $0
Food and cake: $700 (Paid for by parents)
Flowers: 291.72 (used a wholesale florist)
DJ: $0, done by a friend (Since it was a small reception area we just used the speakers we had installed at the house).
Photo booth: $400
Dress: $0 (Borrowed from my maid of honor who let me tailor it to my style)
At the end of all these we didn't have money for favors , which really didn't matter cause most weddings you go to they end up throwing half of them away at the reception and the other half get thrown out with they get home. In total we probably spent around $3500!
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
I got all my girls in the bridal party white collared shirts with our date and initials on them for getting ready the morning of the wedding.
I lost my little brother to suicide 6 months before the wedding. He was supposed to walk me down the aisle. I walked alone because no one could come close to filling his shoes. For the “Father/Daughter Dance,” I danced with all the men in my life who had made an impact on me. Most of them were close friends of Chris and I. A signature look for my little brother was how he tied his tied. He was a pro at the Eldredge Knot, so all the groomsmen and groom wore that knot. I did a special dance with my mom to our song.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We used what we had. We had a friend with a huge gorgeous house, so we used that. We had a friend that had a connection with a manager of a golf course, so we used that. We recycled decorations from our engagement party and used things we found at garage sales and thrift stores.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Make a list of things that are most important to you. And when you get down the list and you don't have money for the least important things then you don't have the money and you skip it, it's not the end of the world. It is one day and you don't want to start your marriage off in debt.
What was your biggest splurge?
The photographer. She is absolutely amazing! I don't regret a single penny!
What was your favorite detail?
My dress. I got to wear a dress I looked great in, I made it my own and saved a lot of money!
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
The moment before I walked down the aisle, I was my changing room alone. I had a picture of my little brother with me and I thought about what his reaction would be of my dress and how handsome he would look walking me down the aisle, if he would cry or not, dancing crazy with him at the reception, and just having him there. Yes, it made me sad but it was my special moment with him to make me feel like he was there and a part of that big day.
Photographer: Melissa Wright Photography • Ceremony Venue: Desert Golf Spring Course • Photobooth: Hollywood and Mayhem Events • Catering: Oregano's • Cupcakes: Sweet Daddy Cupcakes • Groom's attire: Men's Apparel Club
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.