What was your budget?
- Photography: $1500
- Little extras from Amazon: $200
- Tent: $230
- Cake: $70
- Portable Bathrooms: $100
- Cafe lighting for tent: $100
- Smores Bar: $50
- Sparkler send off: $15
- Makeup/hair/nails: $150
- Invites: $175
- DJ: $400
- Catering: gifted
- Dress accessories: $200
- Table cloths, chairs and decor: $300
- Flowers: $500
- Wedding bands: $200
- Dress: $500
- Groom’s attire: $200
- Misc: $110
Budget: around $5,000
How many guests did you have?
We had 90 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
The most personal aspect was that the wedding was in my dads backyard, it had always been my dream to get married there. My dad built two wooden arches for the ceremony, and family did the set up of the tent and décor. My husband and I both have large families with lots of nieces and nephews, and decided to have all of them that were able to be there in the wedding party.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
The two wooden arches my dad made were DIY, my stepmom also did all of the food herself with friends helping as servers during the reception. My mom did some of the flowers for the ceremony, as well as flowers for the flower girls. Our unity symbol during the ceremony was also handmade.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Having the wedding in my dad’s backyard saved us the most money, along with my stepmom catering all of the food herself. The tables and chairs for the ceremony and reception were also from my parents church and we used them for free. One tent was rented for the reception, and two extra tents were ones my parents had. I loved the gold chivari chairs, and we decided to just get chivari chairs for the head table, which also saved a lot of money. We didn’t serve any alcohol either, which was a big savings. My brother has multiple go pros and drones, so we used those to get video footage from the day, instead of hiring a videographer.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
When the planning gets hectic, and drama comes, remember the reason you are getting married. Spend time planning your favorite details, and the things you have dreamed of. Then remember on your wedding day, that some details might not go as planned, but focus on the other good things. On the morning of your wedding day, pick 3-5 moments that you want to remember the strongest. Then soak those moments in. The whole day was the best day of my life, and I have a few distinct memories of the specialist moments (Our first look, our last look at the end of the day, dancing in a circle with our families and friends for the last song, the speeches that were gave).
What was your biggest splurge?
Our photography was our biggest splurge. I work as a wedding planners assistant, and I knew that at the end of the day, all we would have is the memories and the photos, therefore I wanted to make sure we had the best pictures possible. My dress, and the flowers were the next biggest purchases/ splurges.
What was your favorite detail?
I think every little detail was my favorite. The way the reception tent looked was my favorite detail. I had my heart set on the café lighting, the rose gold table cloth for the head table, seeded eucalyptus garland with garden roses and peonies. Seeing it all together and enjoying it with my new husband, family, and friends was more amazing than my dreams for the day.
My dress was also a favorite. My mom and I have always went shopping together, and it was just the two of us when we went shopping for my dress. When we got there for our appointment our consultant was not ready to help us yet, so we browsed the racks just my mom and I, the dress I wore was one the two of us picked out (and it had pockets so that was a win!)
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Our last look was the most memorable! I didn’t want it to be an incredibly late night (working in the wedding industry I’ve seen brides and grooms leave their wedding at 2am and I knew I didn’t want that). We left around 9:30pm I think, and as we were leaving we turned around and looked back on the whole thing. Where the ceremony was, the reception tent lit up with lights, the sun setting over the trees, and just took it all in. The pictures from where we stood and looked back on the night are some of my favorite pictures of the day!
Photography: Natalie Bauer • Venue: Private Residence • Flowers: Wildwood Flowers (wedding party) + Grace Klein Design (decor) • Day-of Coordinator: Family friend • Stationery: The Making 89 • Videography: Brother-of-the-Bride • Catering: Family of the Bride and Groom • Bakery: Walmart • Rentals: NuNu • DJ: Ben Nordquist • Lighting: Amazon • Ceremony Musicians: Friend • Hair Stylist: Barb’s Family Hair Care • Bridesmaids Dresses: Mismatched • Wedding Gown Designer: David’s Bridal • Jewelry: Buchkosky • Veil: Amazon • Groom and Groomsmen Attire: JCPenney • Men’s Shoes: DSW Shoes