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Outdoor Boho Wedding in Illinois with DIY Details

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Kelly + Seth embraced many DIY projects to create a wedding that was full of personality. Not only did it add unique touches to their special day, but it also kept their budget within $18k!

Kelly + Seth

Petersburg, Illinois
- 10/08/2022
Total wedding budget $18,000

Budget Breakdown

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

  • Hair & Makeup
  • Cake/Dessert
  • Stationery
  • Partner 2 Attire
  • Alcohol/Bar
  • Flowers
  • Catering
  • Partner 1 Attire
  • Rentals
  • Photography
  • Venue
  • Total wedding budget

Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your wedding?

So many personal aspects were included on our big day. That is the beauty of being your own wedding planner!

For personal attire, I made lockets with photos of our loved ones who had passed so that we could carry them with us. I also had custom cufflinks made for my husband with our dog, Odie’s, face etched into them. We had a small toy dog, and with a bit of paint and patience, made it look like Odie for the cake topper.

The songs we chose to play throughout the day were all very personal. We created all of the playlists on Spotify together!

From a creative standpoint, I had a lot of flexibility in creating the wedding of our dreams. All signage was made by me as calligraphy is a hobby of mine. I made all floral arrangements other than my bridal bouquet. We added in yard games including giant jenga and bags handmade by my dad. All wooden pieces were crafted by my dad. All glassware was thrifted by my mom, my sister and me.

Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?

I made our save the dates in Procreate as a DIY project. I also made all signage in Procreate or with paint pens – including our wooden/plexiglass seating chart and our mirror sign. Giant jenga and bags were also DIY. All floral centerpieces/bridal party rings were DIY. I did my own makeup as well as the makeup for my wedding party. The venue was also decorated by myself and my family.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing we did to save money was do lot of DIY and thrifting!

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side? 

Enjoy the moment! Remember to add your own special spin on things. Adding special pieces and details throughout the day were ways I could add joy to the planning process. Remember that good things take time and that realistic goals are important.

Be willing to delegate tasks when needed. Focus as much as you can on you and your partner on the day of. As much prior organization and planning you can do to allow that time and brain space on your big day is a huge plus. I had a binder with all details sent to a few of my most trusted gals. It allowed me to really be present for all of the moments with my husband!

What was your biggest splurge?

Photographer and venue was our biggest splurge, though our wedding wasn’t much of a “big splurge” given the total cost.

It was absolutely worth it to find the venue of our dreams and to have a photographer who we connected with and who had photos we loved. She made every photo so easy, calmed our camera-nerves, coordinated beautifully with family photos, helped with so many tasks for the day (including my bustle), and captured every raw, real emotion of the day. The photos are beautiful and bring me back to each moment and feeling from the day.

What was your favorite detail?

Our favorite details include the little dog figurine I painted for the cake that we called “baby Odie” and the yard games.

We also loved our venue! The style; the detail.

Giant bonus: our wedding party stayed with us at the B&B. It was so nice to have the extra time together, and to skip the hassle of driving all over to various locations.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

The most memorable part of the day was our first look. I recommend this to everyone, and I would scream it from the roof tops if I could! The private first look not only gave us a moment alone to share true, candid feelings privately. It also gave us my favorite photos!

During this time, we read private vows that we wrote for one another. It was the most sweet, genuine, special part of the day, and one that I am so happy we chose to do. If you are on the fence, do it!