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Fall Inspired DIY Barn Wedding

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Fall Inspired DIY Barn Wedding

Danyel + Julius

Bellingham, Washington
Total wedding budget $15,000
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What was the budget breakdown for your wedding, and how many guests did you have?

  • Food: $3,700
  • Beer: $500
  • Photography: $3,900
  • Venue: $4,100
  • Dress: $1,500
  • Alterations: $600
  • Flowers: $400
  • Candy: $100
  • Linens: $200
  • DJ: $1,000

Budget: $15,000

How many guest attended?


How did you meet?

My long-time friend from grade school introduced us. A group of us who all grew up together went camping in our hometown and my friend brought along a gentleman he worked with (Julius). I knew nothing about it but to my surprise, I guess they had been talking about it for months. They both are Wildland Firefighters for the Baker River Hotshot crew. We ended up talking that whole night and he asked for my number at the end. His crew got a call to go work on a fire in California the next day so we spent the next couple weeks texting and getting to know more about each other. He asked me if the next time he got to come home, he could take me out on a date and of course, I said yes! We spent the next year falling in love and when I got accepted into CWU to finish my teaching degree, he followed me and we have been together for 5 years!

What is your proposal story?

On our second date Julius took me on a nice summer hike that was meant to be about 5ish miles long. Well, we got off the route somehow and it became a much longer hike. We didn’t get back to the car until 2am. That has always been my favorite hike, date, and mountain top since that day. For the proposal, Julius took me on a snowshoe hike up that same mountain in the winter super early so we could see the sun rise. He was SO incredibly determined to make it to the top (which was quite a long tiresome hike). When we finally made it to the top, we had a snack and took a picture like we usually do to document our many hikes. He set the camera up a few times and put the timer on so that he could run back to make it into the picture. After the third time (he actually put it on video so we could watch it later, but I didn’t know), we looked at each other and I said “I think we got the picture, it took it.” He started to fiddle with his pocket zipper (which was stuck), and in one motion he got down on one knee and said “Danyel Ellingsen, will you marry me?” I said yes and jumped into his arms maybe before he finished I was so excited! I had NO idea. He had been planning it for a year and said it was the biggest secret he has ever had to keep. So right there on that mountain I became the happiest girl in the world to get marry the love of my life.

Tell us about your wedding vision.

Our vision was completely built off of our adventurous lifestyle. It was a woodsy, forest, very outdoorsy, lots of ferns, eucalyptus, wood rounds, and mountains wedding with a side of romantic. We had lots of greens, pumpkins (because it was a fall wedding), golds, browns, and chalkboard signs. We were really big into doing as much as we could by ourselves. Julius and I made all of the barn wood chalkboard signs, centers pieces, decor, pumpkin art, etc. Julius also made the arbor which took most of the fall. Our vision was a reflection of us as a couple, we both grew up on a farm so we wanted a cozy barn. We both can’t get enough of the outdoors, hiking and being in the woods so we knew it had to be somewhere secluded with trees all around. The colors chosen were more of just a collection of natural outdoor colors, lots of greens, browns, mustard/golds, and a hint of deep dark burgundy.

Tell us about your attire choices.

The attire choices for the groomsmen were casual yet rustic/country sharp. They wore charcoal Carhartt slacks (a more formal style than the average Carhartt) light grey button-up shirts, brown suspenders, brown loafers and my mom made them all brownish tweed bowties. They looked so handsome and they were able to wear their attire after the wedding.

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?

The most important element of the wedding planning was the pictures and the beer. The photographer I was very adamant about being our splurge because pictures are what we can keep looking back on forever. We skipped flowers and went with ferns and eucalyptus.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

Our favorite parts of our wedding was when we read our own vows, said “I do” and walked down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Jacobsen (while the song “Mess Is Mine” played), dancing with friends/family/adorable nieces, and just soaking up every moment we had to take it all in and say “we did it”.

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

Our wedding flowers were ferns and eucalyptus. My bouquet was all ferns, some eucalyptus, and a deep burgundy dahlia. My bridesmaid’s bouquets were handmade by my mom and friend and wrapped in hemp twine. They were made of ferns, eucalyptus, and a couple deep burgundy mums. I knew that flowers were super expensive and we splurged on the photographer and beer so we did more affordable plants instead. We had eucalyptus and ferns everywhere, on the tables, arbor, bar, etc.

Tell us about your wedding cake.

My mom and her best friend made our wedding cake. It was my favorite growing up, it was pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and they decorated it so that it looked like cream layered petals, with ferns bordering the bottom, and 2 wooden rounds at the top with a D and a J.

What did you do for favors?

We had a candy table for favors. We had jars and jars of different kinds of candy with handmade treat bags that I made which said: “love is sweet, take a treat.” Some of the candy was handmade by my mom. Growing up my grandma made caramels for special occasions, and my mom used her recipe to make caramels for the candy table. My grandma and I were really close and she passed away several years ago so it was really special that my mom made caramels for our wedding candy table.

  • Favors- caramels, treat bags that said “love is sweet, take a treat, Love the Jacobsens”
  • Cake stand- Julius made a 3-tiered cake stand out of a fallen old pine we found while hiking
  • Wedding cake- my mom made it out of my favorite childhood cake recipe
  • Centerpieces- Julius cut, sanded and coated all the wood rounds for the centerpieces
  • Chalkboard signs- made out of our old barn’s wood, and I painted with chalk paint
  • Arbor- Julius made it out of a pine tree. He milled it, stained it and pieced it together without any nails so that we could assemble and disassemble it easily
  • Wedding decorations- wooden mountain frames, guest sign table photo collage, bridesmaid bouquets, pumpkin art

Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?

My grandma and I were really close and she passed away several years ago so to feel her with me on my special day, my mom and aunt gave me one of her silk handkerchiefs to put in my wedding dress pocket when I tear up at the altar. It was the one she always tucked in her sleeve so it really meant a lot to me. The caramels my mom made for the candy table are a family tradition that my grandma used to always make for special occasions.

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

Please don’t stress, take it all in, relax and just enjoy being engaged, being in love and planning this process with one another. Take one thing at a time to check off your list and try to prioritize what things on your list are time sensitive so that you can start working on those first. This is truly such a special time and it should be enjoyed, not stressed. At the end of the day, it’s about you guys, your love for one another and sharing it with the ones closest to you.


Photography: Courtney Bowlden Photography    •  Ceremony Venue: The Cattle Barn •  Reception Venue: The Cattle Barn  • Videography: Johnny Brady (Friend)  •  Wedding Cake: Juli Ellingsen (Mom) •  Hair and Makeup: Brittany Burton •  Bride’s Shoes: Pink Petals • Headpiece: Ellensburg Floral • Submitted via: Matchology