I absolutely love how today’s couple transformed their friend’s property into a dreamy wedding ceremony and reception venue! Julia and Marlin’s wedding is filled with darling rustic details that perfectly complement their outdoor venue. I especially love all of the wood details the incorporated into their reception decor. Enjoy this beautiful, DIY wedding in the woods! xoxo, Jessica
Julia + Marlin
June 17, 2016
Arcadia, OK | In the Woods at The Andersons
What was your budget?
Our budget was about $4,000.
Photo booth: $500
Mason Jars/Wedding Favors: $220
Food (gifted by parents): $500
Wedding Dress: $400
Groom’s Attire: $130
Dance Floor: $200
How many guests did you have?
We had 150 guests, though we planned for 200.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
The most amazing, creative thing we did was make our own venue out of nothing. Before we started clearing the area, there was so many trees and underbrush that you could barely walk through the woods. There were many hours spent out there sweating, but I would not go back and change it. My husband and I learned so much about each other during that processes of working together and starting from scratch to create something that we both loved. Creating our own venue was marriage counseling for us! We were also blessed to have so many people help us create the venue too! We would have never made it so beautiful without them.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
We made our own venue out in the woods, built our own dance floor, and backdrop for our photo booth out of pallets and plywood. Most of the décor ideas came from Pinterest.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Create our own venue out in the woods, clearing about 1.5 acres on our friends 20 acres of land. Some of our close friends and us spent almost every Saturday for about 6 months out in the woods working on the venue.
Our wedding photographer also blessed us big time by shooting our wedding for free because we won her contest. We had to write out the story about how my husband and I met and why we thought we deserved to be chosen. It was definitely a good thing that we won. That was at least $2,000 we saved.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Don’t expect everything to go as perfectly as you want it. Be open to ideas. And on the day of the wedding, don’t stress about the things you can’t change. People will do things you don’t want them to do, but they are not doing them to upset you. They are simply trying to help. Just let the day happen and be joyful in every moment because truly it is not about the minor things that happen but about you joining together with the one you love.
For people that are not very organized and really good at planning, hire a wedding planner. I loved planning my own wedding because that is something I enjoy doing and could see myself as an event planner/coordinator, but there were still moments I wished I had someone there helping me.
What was your biggest splurge?
Hiring a videographer. It was a last minute decision because I thought I might regret not having a video of our wedding. It was not needed but I really wanted it.
What was your favorite detail?
I loved that we had a welcome area that represented us so well. There were so many pictures of us hanging on trees with clothespins. It was the first thing people saw walking into our wedding area.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Too many to pick just one!
My husband says his most memorable moment was my father and I walking down the aisle and then him giving me away with a hug.
Mine would be when people were all together dancing on the dance floor and then the glow sticks appeared. My aunt brought them with her all the way from New Jersey and the day before the wedding I was stressed and freaked out when she told me she brought glow sticks. At first, I was totally against the idea of glow sticks at MY wedding. But the morning of the wedding I told her to bring them. I forgot about them until they started to show up on peoples heads while dancing on the dance floor. In that moment I remember thinking that it is not about everything going my way and it having to be perfect but it is about celebrating with the people I love and who love me. My aunt brought those because she loves me and they turned out to be a hit!
Photography: Elle Ryan Photography • Venue: A friend’s home • Flowers: Jeanie Hyland (the Bride’s Aunt) • Videography: Jenkins Cinema • Catering: Family friends • Bakery: Bride and Groom made their own cake and cupcakes • Rentals: Peerless • Photo Booth: The Photo Booth Guy • Linens: Your Wedding Linen • Bride and bridesmaid’s Dresses: David’s Bridal • Groom’s Suit/Tux: JCPenneys
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, 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! Learn more here.