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Intimate Outdoor Garden Wedding on an $8K Budget

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Morghan and Austin held out hope that their September wedding would not be affected by the global pandemic. Eventually, they came to the difficult decision to transition from their large and extravagant wedding to a more intimate gathering of their closest friends and family. Though it was not how they had originally imagined their wedding day to look, it was even more special to be surrounded by the people who mean the most to them! You will love this Intimate Outdoor Garden Wedding on an $8K Budget!

Morghan + Austin

Cle Elum, Washington
- 09/06/2020
Total wedding budget $8,030

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Venue
  • Flowers
  • Cake/Dessert
  • Decor
  • Attire
  • Catering
  • Total wedding budget

How many guests did you have?

28 people attended… many attended on Zoom:)

How did you meet?

We met our Junior year of college at a house party! We were both at places in our lives that we felt we were not ready to start dating. We decided to start a friendship but after a couple months, the connection was too amazing to let go!

What is your proposal story?

He planned the whole day out for us. We started with breakfast with a view and at the end I received a rose and book. The book had rhymes that led us throughout our day. We started with a walk through the park where there was a rose along with pictures of my father who had recently passed away from cancer because Austin wanted him to be apart of our day. From there I found a rose next to pictures of our pup!

After the walk we headed to the UW stadium where I found another rose! (I am a WSU cougar and he is a UW husky so the rivalry had to be added in!) from there we headed to the top of the space needle where we enjoyed a drink and I was told we were headed to my favorite place.. the zoo! We walked through the zoo and he gave me the final rose at the giraffe pen (my favorite animal!) with the last rhyme that told me to head to the rose garden.. there a table was set up with pictures of us, roses and our song playing. Then my best friend asked me to marry him and our family popped out to congratulate us! Truly the most romantic and perfect day!

Tell us about your wedding vision.

Well, our vision changed a lot. We originally had a 250 plus wedding planned, until the end of July we truly believed it was still going to happen. Our venue had it all planned but then our governor restricted all weddings to 30 people. So, we changed our plans. We were able to use a house in the same area we had planned to get married which was amazing! We wanted a classic, rustic outdoor feel. We stayed with the same fall colors, white, burgundy, and black.

Tell us about your attire choices.

I am saving my original first pick dress for our big party in June 2021 and the boys will save their suits for that date as well. I went to Davids Bridal as soon as I knew we were still going to get married and not postpone! I wanted something that I did not have to get altered because it was close to our date! I tried many casual dresses on and didn’t feel like a bride but then I tried my dress on. It fit perfectly and I loved that it reminded me of the first dress I picked! My girls all had their dresses so they wore them and will again in June 2021!

What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?

Our original venue was truly our dream venue but, the fact that we still could be in the same area was huge for us. We love the Cle Elum/Suncadia area. After COVID hit, everything “important” to us went out of the window. We knew we wanted to still get married that day and we were just lucky our grandparents, parents and siblings could be there.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

My favorite part of the day was finally getting ready after setting up the house with all of the wedding stuff. The girls finally got to sit down, relax and get ready. That’s when it all hit! I was hiding in the room so the boys could come over and I heard Austin say “I know I can’t see her yet, but can I say hi through the door?” But the absolute best part of the whole day was finally seeing my soon-to-be husband!!

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

We ordered the flowers from Costco and one of my amazing bridesmaids put them together. They were beautiful and only $80!

Tell us about your wedding cake.

We debated for a while on what to do about the cake. At first, we asked Amy if she could do it next year for us, but she couldn’t. We were super sad but remembered we still needed one this year and she could still do it! The bottom tier was chocolate cake with a peanut butter filling and the top tier was chocolate cake with vanilla filling. It was SO yummy and Amy made the most perfect simple white cake. Exactly what we wanted!!

What did you do for favors?

We saved our favors for June 2021 but we did give out cups with our last name and our wedding date. It won’t be the right date for the celebration but it is our wedding date and maybe people who couldn’t attend will feel as if they were there with us!

Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.

Oh goodness, most of our stuff was DIY! My amazing father-in-law made our altar and the flowers on the altar were put together by Austin’s aunt, mother, and 2 sisters. My 2 sisters-in-law and mother-in-law did the centerpieces for dinner and any extra decorations for the ceremony. I made the chair piece for my dad who passed away 4 years ago and I made all of the personal signs: the memory table sign, the drink sign, and the welcome sign!

Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?

I had my mom and dad’s rings tied to my flowers so my dad was part of the day. My brother had my dad’s money clip I gave him just that day as a gift for walking me down the aisle. The knife we used to cut our cake is the knife my parents used at their wedding. Also, I had the garter my now deceased had given my mom on her wedding day!

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

Oh gosh, times are so different right now. COVID has made it where couples are having to do small intimate weddings. We say DO IT!! The party can come after. Yes, we would have loved to had our huge wedding/reception but we were not able to this year. But with all the planning that we had been doing, it became less about us and more about the day.

Having to cut it down, made it about Austin and me again. It made it about our love and I would not have changed it for the world. My advice is to get married no matter what it looks like. COVID could be around for a while, so don’t stall love! As my family knows, tomorrow is never promised. After losing my dad way too early in life, I learned the hard way to tell the people you love them any chance you can get! We did not want to wait another year to be husband and wife!! As we say, love wins.

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