📋 Get the Wedding Quick Start Guide!

Pacific Northwest Wedding in The Woods on a $14K Budget

When you shop via links on our site, we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Learn more.

Moira and Amin’s adventurous elopement is perfectly timed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many couples are having to rethink their wedding plans and a secluded, adventurous elopement might be the perfect solution! They spend a lot of time outdoors together and love to hike so the Pacific Northwest was a great fit for this Texas-based couple. They wanted somewhere they could hike to with their dog and their 4 witnesses. We love that they continued to hike a bit more to hit up some breathtaking views for additional photos and finished it out with a delicious picnic spread! You will love this Pacific Northwest Wedding in The Woods on a $14K Budget!

Xoxo, Jessica

Moira + Amin

August 11th, 2020
Washington, USA| Cape Flattery

What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.

  • Air Bnb:$2600 for 5 days
  • Wedding dress: $900 + $200 for alterations
  • Groom’s suit: $300
  • Hiking boots: Had them 🙂
  • Flowers: $200
  • Cake: $60
  • Picnic foods from Pike Place: $200
  • Favors/ decor: $300
  • Wedding and engagement rings: $4600
  • Venue: $10
  • Officiant: $400
  • Wedding Planner: $400
  • Photography: $3000
  • Hair and makeup: Free

Total Budget: $14,000

How many guests did you have?

4 humans and on pup!

How did you meet?

Amin and my brother, Kyle, did their PhDs in math together at NJIT in Newark, NJ. I was also living and working in North Jersey at the time. Kyle started dating Amin’s close friend, Ivana, who was in the NJIT math program with them. In August, 2014, Kyle invited me to dinner at this Balkan restaurant, Djerdan Burek in Astoria, Queens, along with Amin and Ivana. Amin was really quiet because he had just had his wisdom teeth out, haha. I didn’t think much of him but he friended me on FB.

Maybe a month later, Kyle threw a housewarming party and invited me, with the intention of setting me up with his roommate. Well, his roommate and I really didn’t hit it off but Amin and I had real chemistry. We kept messaging afterward, and Amin kept inviting me out. It took a couple of months of this for Amin to work up the nerve to ask me out on an actual date. Kyle was initially not too happy about his best guy friend dating his sister, but he’s adjusted. Anyway, fast forward to the present: Kyle married Ivana, then Amin and I got married 2 months later.

What is your proposal story?

Amin moved to Lubbock, Texas in 2017 for work. It was a rocky period for us. I didn’t want to have a long distance relationship without any timeline for eventually living in the same place. We would visit each other, then we would break up over the distance issue, then we would get back together again.

In the spring of 2018, I dropped my phone and destroyed it, so I went tech-free for a few weeks. Amin started mailing me handwritten letters from Texas. It was quite romantic. I went to Texas for a week-long visit in March, and he says he decided at that point that he didn’t want to live in Texas without me. He mailed me another letter when I was back home in NJ. It was a fill in the blank puzzle based on his previous letters. Once everything was filled in, it said: Will you marry me?” Amin flew to NJ, helped me pack, and we drove a moving truck with my Aussie, Rory, down to Texas.

Tell us about your attire choices.

We planned our wedding in two months, so we were on a tight schedule for attire. I really wanted something with an open back and without a lot of volume that was appropriate for the setting. There was one lace open-backed dress in a local shop in Lubbock that fit the bill and happened to be in my size. I grabbed it and got it to a seamstress.

Amin ordered a new suit from Combatant Gent. His tie, which is covered in formulas for a Mosfet transistor, was the first gift I gave him. Amin’s wedding band is engraved with a Mandelbrot set fractal (because nothing says forever like a fractal).

My wedding and engagement rings are dainty, recycled, ethically sourced pieces from Catbird that Amin picked out. They have a mix of brilliant-cut and soft rose-cut diamonds. I love that when they catch the light, they make pinpoints of light on the walls, like a sprinkling of stars. I wore one pair of jade earrings that belonged to my grandmother, and a pair of opals that belonged to my mother. The best part of our wedding was that I got to wear hiking boots under my dress.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

I loved our wedding. Amin and I like hiking and camping so it was important that the outdoors was part of our wedding and also that our dog was included. Neither of us wanted a big wedding production. He said “I just want to go out in the woods and get married to you”. We landed on Olympic National Park as a location because we both always wanted to visit and hike there. Amin picked Cape Flattery since it was dog-friendy. I made a flower wreath for Rory to wear.

We rented a 3 bedroom house on the Dungeness Spit and invited Kyle and Ivana as well as my sister, Tara, and her boyfriend. On the first day in Seattle, Amin and I walked to the King County courthouse from our hotel and picked up our marriage certificate. The day before we went to the Dungeness Spit, my sister and I went to Pike Place Market and bought supplies for a picnic. I purchased matching picnic backpacks with blankets, wine glasses, a wine cooler, and place settings for each couple.

When we got to the rental house, it was right on the water and had an amazing view of the Dungeness Spit. Amin gave Kyle an engraved ax for camping that said “To my new brother, Kyle” and I gave Tara and Ivana bracelets that said, “The Future is Female”.

On the morning of the wedding, it was low tide. The six of us took our coffee and were able to walk out on the spit. It was a really beautiful morning. Rory played in the waves a little. I slipped into a mud flat trying to take a picture of a crane, so we both needed baths! My sister did my hair and makeup. Then we all drove out to Cape Flattery and Amin and I got married in this beautiful place.

Amin’s vows were perfect. He promised to always hold my hand when we finish races together and to touch my butt when we’re old and wrinkly. My siblings signed our marriage certificate on a tree stump in the forest. We all had a picnic on the pine needles looking out over the ocean. When we got back to the Airbnb, we all ate cake and macarons. It was the best low-key, relaxing day.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

I think it’s important to remember that your wedding is about the two of you and celebrate in a way that honors who you are as a couple. There can be a lot of pressure from family and friends to have the wedding they expect you to have, but at the end of the day, your wedding should be fun rather than stressful. For us, that looked like a very small wedding in the woods. We had a dinner reception of about 60 guests later in NJ for our parents and friends, but I have no regrets about the way we planned our ceremony.


Photography: Benj Haisch | Event Planning: Willow & Ivy Events | Floral: Petal & Vine | Wedding Cake: Nuflours Bakery | Engagement Ring: Catbird | Wedding Ring: Catbird | Wedding Ring: PreciousLaceJewelry | Bridesmaid Jewelry: Bird and Stone | Submitted via: Matchology


The Budget Savvy Bride is the #1 Online Wedding Planning Resource for couples who want to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. Check out our best-selling book on Amazon, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer!