Justin + Katie's $3k Backyard Wedding
This week we have another awesome Two Bright Lights submitted wedding from Simply Knot Photography! I am thrilled to share this $3,000 backyard wedding from Phoenix, Arizona. This sweet bicycle themed wedding has a sunny yellow color scheme that I just love. They couple saved by having their wedding in their backyard on a Sunday, keeping their guest list low, and having a potluck! I love the intimate feel of this wedding and it just goes to show- you don’t have to do anything expensive or elaborate to have an amazing wedding! It looks like it was a wonderful day and you can tell that they had all that truly mattered to them! Thanks Katie & Justin for sharing your lovely backyard wedding with us!
What was your budget?
Dress/Alterations – $450
Katie’s Shoes – $10
Justin’s Outfit – $200
Photographers – $900 (special discounted rate)
Florist – $280 (bike arrangement, bouquet), Free (chuppa, aisle, driveway)
Officiant – Free
Rings – $500
Invitations – $50
Table/Chair Rentals – $250
Decorations – $200
Food – Free (Potluck)
Cake – $70
Champagne – Free
Wedding night dinner – Free (Thanks to La Grande Orange/Chelsea’s Kitchen)
That totals to be just under $3,000.
How many guests did you have?
30 Family members + wedding party. We hosted a friends reception the night before.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Our wedding colors were inspired by 2 items: our vintage baby blue bicycle & a yellow floral arrangement already in our living room. The remaining color palette came from our green garden and dark brown furniture. We wanted to be sure yellow was the main color, so we used it in important details: the flowers, the centerpieces, the groom’s and best man’s attire, and the bride’s shoes. We brought yellow to other unsuspecting objects by simply tying a muted yellow and brown ribbon.
Our wedding was on a Sunday morning in our backyard. Our intention was to have the atmosphere of a garden party. Men wore sport coats; women wore sun dresses. We used vintage accents whenever possible, like mason jars as glasses, eclectic second-hand silverware, and lace napkin rings. We hadn’t intended to have a theme, but when it came to the tables we didn’t want to use plain old numbers.
We named the tables after different bicycle styles (e.g. cruisers). The kids table even had a special name – training wheels! This theme made our old blue cruiser (aka Big Blue) a welcome addition to our decor. Our florist arranged fresh flowers in the basket. We also tied ribbons from the bike for guests to write warm wishes, which made a unique guest book.
For favors we gave away custom CDs filled with ceremony and reception music. The CD label was designed by the bride’s sister and used many of the same elements from the wedding invitation. Our other favors were boxes filled with mini brownies, which doubled as table seating cards. We used store-bought white boxes and wrapped them with a muted yellow and brown ribbon fastened by a round name tag. We used first names only for a more intimate feel. Not only did we write out own vows, but our brother-in-law was our officiant. He brought a whole new level of intimacy to our wedding.
The wedding was kid friendly by making a kids table full of toys and games. Later in the reception we (the bride and groom) hosted a jeopardy trivia with questions written with our families in mind (especially the kids). I had been planning our wedding music since before I had met Justin. Because we had put so much thought into the music already, we were able to choose songs special to us for the different parts of the ceremony. For Justin’s processional we chose Boomshakalaka from the Dumb and Dumber soundtrack, his favorite movie. Katie’s processional was carefully chosen to be Everyday by Buddy Holly, a childhood favorite. The rest of the playlist was a combination of Katie’s favorite movie, Singin’ In the Rain, and other favorite artists like Etta James and the Beatles.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
A tight budget meant attention to detail. We purchased a cake for $70 from a local restaurant that we decorated with extra flowers (for free) from the florist. When shopping for my dress I looked for a dress that would need minimal alterations. Many of the decorations were handmade, e.g. the lace napkin rings were printed on vellum paper at home using a free template. It was important that most of our decor could pull “double duty” when the wedding was over. So we purchased, not rented, our silverware from Goodwill for a total of 35 sets for almost $10. We ended up with a mixture of “vintage” silverware that can be used for parties or family get-togethers. We purchased mason jars in bulk from a local hardware store to use as glasses during the ceremony. For Christmas/Chanukah we gave the jars to family and friends filled with goodies. The groom’s attire was also carefully planned and purchased, not rented, so it could be worn again.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Start your planning early, especially if you are on a strict budget. Typically, the less money, the more planning. Talk to your family and friends for advice.
What was your biggest splurge?
Our photographers. They gave us a great deal that we just couldn’t pass up. So we increased our budget & tightened our belts. They were worth every penny!
What was your favorite detail?
The chuppa. So many wonderful details went into the final chuppa. First, Justin made the chuppa himself. Then, our neighbor florist donated and decorated the chuppa with tons of flowers and accessories. The chuppa was then draped with Justin’s grandfathers’ tallit. In the end, the chuppa represented everything we valued about our wedding: family, generosity, and resourcefulness.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Some of our favorite moments from the day happened during the most unconventional times: – When the music didn’t start as planned before the ceremony – Giggling and crying alone when it was time for me to walk down the aisle with only one of our photographers (Ryan) to see me – The first moment alone as husband and wife. I burst into tears while we hugged and laughed