What was your budget?
- Photography: $1500
- Dress: $1200
- Catering: $3500
- Cake: $200
- Favors: $150
- Flowers: $500
- Decor: $1000
- Groom’s attire: $200
- Music: $1000
- Rentals: $3000
- Carriage Rental (2 hours): $400
- Trout Pond: $500
- Save the Dates and Invites: $300
How many guests did you have?
We had somewhere between 200 – 250 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
My husband and I are avid outdoorsmen. We love fishing and hunting and really wanted to incorporate our passions into the wedding. We started with an idea of a rustic outdoor wedding, and then personalized it further to really represent who we are. We used a lot of our own things in the decorations, including our antlers and fishing gear, as well as wood that we had found in various locations. We hand painted all our signs, and had a trout pond so that guests could fish at the reception with real trout. We also invited people to camp out the night of the wedding, so the party carried on long into the night and we didn’t have anyone driving home after drinking. It was a fun touch, especially since we love camping so much. Cody and I had our own tent away from everyone else down by the river, and we camped out on our wedding night as well.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
Most of our wedding was DIY. We hand painted all our signs with the help of my Cricut machine to make stencils. We built and decorated our arbor. We decorated the barn, and my mom did the flower arrangements. We mowed the property several times throughout the year before the wedding. We made our wedding programs that doubled as fans for the warm July wedding. We made our guest book out of a scrapbook, and many more little projects.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
The biggest thing we did to save money, was use a family friends property to save a huge chunk of money on the venue. The only thing it cost us was physical labor. We also saved a lot of money by having my mom do the floral arrangements. We really drew from our family and friends and their personal skills to help us out and save money where possible. We found ideas online and at stores of decorations that a lot of people buy, and then made them on our own, usually out of things we already had around.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
I wish that we had spent money on a wedding planner. The planning part wasn’t actually that bad, but on the day of the wedding, things were pretty unorganized and not everything went as smoothly as it could have. It still ended up being a wonderful day, and there were no disasters, but I would recommend to anyone wanting to do a DIY wedding to get an outside planner. Even with family and friends helping run things and organize and keep people on track, it’s not the same as having a separate – detached person there to direct people, especially once guests started to arrive.
What was your biggest splurge?
My dress. I did not plan on spending that much, but it was so perfect that we went for it and I was so happy with it. We also spent more than we planned on the food, but it turned out wonderfully and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.
What was your favorite detail?
The elk antlers on our arbor. We found all of the shed antlers that were on the arbor while hunting, and it had a lot of sentimental value for me, as well as just being gorgeous! Also the trout pond. I think we may have the only wedding with a real trout pond, where people could catch actual trout during the reception. It was the one thing I really truly had my heart set on!
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Riding through the field with my dad in the carriage to the aisle and seeing my soon to be husband (and my dog, Bocephus, who was our ring bearer) waiting at the other end for me in front of the river, with all our family and friends around.
Photography: Amber Hempen Photography • Venue: Private Venue • Flowers: Family • Stationery: Designed by Bride and Printed at VistaPrint • Favors: DIY • Catering: Family friend • Bakery: Simply Sweet Cupcakes • Cake: Friend • Rentals: Abbey Party Rents • DJ: Clinton Dove – Play DJ USA • Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Family Friend • Carriage Rental: Gala Horse Drawn Carriages • Trout Farm: Gold Creek Trout Farm • Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff Design via Romashka Bridal • Wedding Gown Designer: Stella York • Bridal Shop: Laineemeg Bridal • Jewelry: Mikimoto Pearls • Shoes: Nocona Boots via bought at Beth West Western Store • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Generation Tux • Ties: The Tie Bar