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DIY Neo-Traditional Wedding

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I LOVE THIS WEEK’S WEDDING! I know this  DIY Neo-Traditional Wedding is wintry and a bit out of season for these hot summer months but I thought it might help cool y’all down a bit! (it’s hot as HADES in NYC so I’ll welcome even a pretend reprieve from this heat!) This couple had their reception at a Piano Bar (AWESOME!) and served their guests pizza, salad and cupcakes! Perfect and fun for their intimate wedding! Hope you enjoy this edition of the BSWOW! xoxo-Jessica

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Matthew + Ashleigh

February 9th, 2013
Ceremony: Mildred B. Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista, AR
Reception: JB’s Piano Bar in Joplin, MO

 What was your budget?

Our budget started out at $2,500 but we both decided to up it to $3,500 once we found the ceremony site. It was too gorgeous to pass up and in fact it was so flawless, we didn’t need to spend any addition time or money decorating any part of it. We felt decorating it would have taken away from its natural beauty.  The bride’s parents paid for the dress and the food at the reception, while the groom’s parents paid for the entire rehearsal dinner and treated the bride to an afternoon at the spa.

  • Chapel=$600
  • Reception Venue= $150,
  • Food (pizza and salad)=$500,
  • DJ= $50 ($600 total) *The DJ was already scheduled to work at the bar that evening, so we only had to pay for an additional hour for him to come in early.
  • Dress=$1,100 (including alterations), tux rental=$150
  • Bridal accessories= $150 (Shoes and jewelry)
  • Flowers= $300
  • Hair and makeup= $50 (Friends of the bride discounted for wedding party)
  • Photography= $1,000 (Friends of the bride and groom discounted)
  • Party bus= $250
  • Cupcakes= $0 (Bride’s aunt made 75 cupcakes as a wedding gift)
  • Tulle and burlap for reception= $350
  • Misc. décor at reception= $100


How many guests did you have?

Around 40-50


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

Since our wedding was in early February, we went with a rustic, vintage, winter theme. We were able to use Christmas decorations we already had. Any decorations we had to purchase, with the expectation of the tulle and burlap, were highly discounted from after Christmas sales. I was able to get 15 small mercury glass candle holders for $.49 a piece at Michaels! In addition to using the Christmas decorations, we used various decorations that we had in our house including vintage bird cages, glass vases, sticks and greenery.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

We used our resources! Living in Joplin my entire life I have friends in almost every profession. I was able to have some of my really close friends do my hair and make-up, our best friends happen to be amazing wedding photographers, my aunt decided she wanted to make our cupcakes as her wedding gift. We had great timing with our wedding being after Christmas. We used Christmas and our theme to our advantage, and at least 75% of our decorations we already had out from decorating for the holidays!


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

Don’t sweat the small stuff! It may seem like a huge deal if the ribbon that ties the utensils together doesn’t match the napkins, but it’s not! By the time people get around to untying them they won’t notice anyways, and truth be told, no one will remember what color they were in the first place! Try to enjoy your day and don’t let the little details that really don’t matter that much, affect the happiest and true meaning of your day. If all else fails, photographers can do a great job of editing!


 What was your biggest splurge?

The party bus! Although we spent more money on other things, the party bus was a last minute decision. Since we were so proud of ourselves for sticking to our budget and actually coming in under budget, we decided it would be a fun way to reward not only ourselves, but our wedding party. Since the ceremony was out of town, we thought it would be fun for the entire wedding party to be together on the back way into town and make an entrance together at the reception. In the grand scheme of things, it was really worth the extra $250 to all be together during that time. It was a time to kick back because the real fun was about to begin!


 What was your favorite detail?

The little birds that were used as decorations for the reception were my favorite detail. I love birds, and especially the small white ones I put on my Christmas tree each year. It was so nice to be able to use them for something besides Christmas. They tied our rustic winter theme together perfectly. Really, all the decorations had special meaning since a lot of them are used all year long as decorations in my home and my family’s homes.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

When Matt and I were dancing to our first dance to my absolute favorite song, Stoney Larue’s “Feet Don’t Touch the Ground.” I’ve loved this song before I even met Matt and fell in love with it all over again after we met. If you listen to the lyrics, it fits us perfectly. Matt moved to Joplin from a much bigger city and has been more of a city boy his entire life. I’m more of a small town girl and the song talks about how now he’s never going to leave this small town. As we were dancing it felt like we were the only two people in the room, although everyone was watching us. I usually don’t get too emotional but I did tear up because it really was a dream come true for me!



Chapel: Beautiful Bella Vista   //  Reception- JB’s Piano Bar  //  Dress: Norman’s Bridal  //   Bridal shoes: Steve Madden  //  Flowers: The Wildflower Joplin  //  Photography- Durall Photography  //  Party Bus: Black Diamond Limousines  //   Tulle & Misc Decor at Reception: Michael’sHobby LobbyJoann











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