A picture-perfect ceremony followed by a private bridal portrait session on the dock would complete this perfect day! Their vision was simple and elegant and their naturally beautiful venue was the perfect place to bring it to life. We especially love all of the details their family and friends contributed. You will love this Gorgeous Wildcliff Quarry Wedding for $4K!Xoxo, Jessica
Taylor + Jonathan
September 8th, 2019
Wildcliff Weddings and Events | Blackwater, MO
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Venue $2500
- Catering $750
- Cake $125
- Photography $550
- Attire $150
- Decorations $200
- Flowers were gifted.
Total Budget: $5,000
How many guests did you have?
How did you meet?
We met in science class our sophomore year of high school. We started dating and ended up getting pregnant our junior year and now here we are almost 8 years later!
What is your proposal story?
Our proposal was more of a realization that we should probably tie the knot after being together for so long. It just finally felt right to make our family of four whole!
Tell us about your wedding vision.
My vision was simple and elegant. We really wanted an outdoor ceremony. The venue was so beautiful, I really wanted to keep it plain and simple as far as decorations. My Pinterest was pretty much all white with greenery and lanterns. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found Wildcliff online, and when I saw it in person I was SPEECHLESS.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We really wanted a small wedding with our closest family and friends to celebrate us finally becoming one after almost 8 years of being together. We wanted the day to be about us, so we decided to have no wedding party and only include our two sons to stand next to us. This made for a very intimate ceremony that was special for our little family.
Tell us about your attire choices.
My dress was actually only $40 from Windsor. A very generous person offered to alter it for me and add the elements I wanted that I couldn’t find in any other dress. She added lace over the bust and made the train and veil. I wanted something light and airy but also elegant and she was able to help me do just that.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
We really wanted an intimate ceremony. We decided to skip having a bridal party stand next to us. This helped us save a TON of money and made for a really intimate setting. This allowed us to take the honeymoon we wanted!
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Just before it was time to walk down the aisle, my childhood best friend told me that she had a gift for me. I knew it was something that would be tear jerking because everyone was lined up to watch me open this gift with their cameras out. She gave me a locket with a photo on each side – one of both of my grandparents who I lost in 2014 and 2016, and the other side was a photo of my father who I lost when I was only 5 years old. She wrapped it around the handle of my bouquet so that they would be with me as I walked down the aisle on the biggest day of my life. It is a gift that I will cherish forever and a moment that I will never ever forget. Her thoughtfulness still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
I had a large bouquet that was all white roses with a lot of greenery. A close family friend is a florist and she put the arrangement together straight from my dreams!
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Again sticking with the simple essence, we had a white cake with buttercream filling and frosting. It was decorated with real roses and was also made by a family friend!
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
My stepfather made a wall to stand behind our table during the reception that was made with the wood siding off of the house he grew up in. We decorated it with tulle, greenery, and a galvanized ‘W' that added a personal touch to the outdoor reception area.
Our unity ceremony was very un-traditional. Instead of doing the sand or candles, I used a blank canvas that stood next to the arbor. Our unity was us each drawing one half of a circle to represent two halves becoming one whole unit. It is now a decoration in my house that reminds me of our special day every time I look at it.
What was your favorite detail?
Hands down the scenery we were in. When I tell you that my breath was taken away when we toured Wildcliff, that is no lie. I was ready to get married right then and there in my shorts, tee shirt and sandals. The cliffs in the background were incredible, the water was so clear and blue, the sun shone just right over top of us and everything about the venue was more than perfect. I also really loved that I was able to wear my great grandmothers turquoise ring as my something borrowed AND something blue – it stood out perfectly against my dress in our photos and I love seeing it when I look back at them.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
I wore my nana’s turquoise ring that she took off for the first time in my 23 years of life to let me borrow for the day.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Having our wedding ceremony on a Sunday saved us a ton of money. I am very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family that offered to help do things for me to save on money.
I was able to save on hair and makeup by having a dear friend do it for me. I saved on my wedding dress by wearing a $40 Windsor dress that I bought online. I took my cheap little gown to my friend's grandmother who made it look exactly like I had imagined. She added lace and tulle and even made me a custom veil. This was probably the biggest money saver.
My God Mother is a florist, and she put together the arrangement I described to her over the phone, she is seriously amazing and saved me a LOT of money. I definitely think not having a wedding party saved money as well.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest splurge was honestly our wedding venue. We went back and fourth for about a year on what we wanted our day to look like. Would it be a backyard wedding or would we be able to spend the money on a venue? The minute I found Wildcliff, I knew I had to spend the money on this place because it is INCREDIBLE. It was exactly what I had been searching for the entire time. It was the perfect mix of my husband and I – nature and outdoors for him, yet elegant and classic at the same time for me!
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
I think the biggest advice I could give to anyone planning a wedding is for them to remember – this day is about YOU and what you want. It's really hard for me especially to not think about other people and what they want, I'm a people pleaser. Making the decision not to have a wedding party was hard for me because I knew it could possibly upset my friends and family who dreamed of standing next to me on my big day…but at the end of the day, I made my decision and it was perfect. Do what feels right to you, and what will make the day most memorable for yourself and your soon-to-be life partner.
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.