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Rustic Laid-Back Wedding Bash for $12K

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This rustic laid-back wedding bash is the epitome of fun! The bride loves Lady Gaga and she and her groom knew they wanted a night filled with fun and dancing. They included so many DIY projects. We especially love their alternative guest book! Enjoy this Rustic Laid-Back Wedding Bash For $12K!

Stephanie + Mike

Chesterfield, Virginia
- 09/14/2019
Total wedding budget $12,000

Budget Breakdown

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

  • Venue
  • Music/Entertainment
  • Catering
  • Partner 1 Attire
  • Photography
  • Bartender/Servers
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Flowers
  • Rentals
  • Decor
  • Alcohol/Bar
  • Miscellaneous
  • Total wedding budget

How did you meet?

The first time we spoke was over the phone. I was hanging out at a mutual friend’s house and Mike had gotten lost somewhere in Richmond. Our friend put me on the phone to help Mike navigate – Mike misunderstood and thought my name was Jeffeny. We met in person about a month later at a friend’s house and immediately hit it off. I’m still saved in his phone as Jeffeny.

What is your proposal story?

Every year Mike and I spend a night or two over President’s Day weekend at a hotel or B&B in the area as a little staycation to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The year he proposed we were planning to treat ourselves and stay at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA. Mike had planned to propose at the Jefferson but the night before we left, we had a game night at our house with friends and after they left, we were dancing and listening to music in the living room. Mike said he couldn’t wait any longer and ran into the bedroom and came out with the ring. He proposed right there in the living room and it was perfect.

Tell us about your wedding vision.

We knew we wanted to go with a rustic vibe and chose Sunflower Yellow, Forest Green with pops of Cranberry Red as our colors.

We chose Pocahontas State Park as the venue because it fit our theme perfectly and was also crazy affordable.

The most important thing for us was to make our day about us. The fact that so much of our wedding was DIY (Mike is a graphic/web designer so even our invitations and website were completely done by us) I believe really helped make everything about the day feel like it was about our love.

Tell us about your attire choices.

Even though we went with the rustic theme, I knew I wanted a big dress. So I went with a pretty classic, but still sexy, Pronovias dress from Bliss Bridal – a bridal consignment store in the area that has since closed.

Mike knew he wanted a yellow jacket to go with our theme, but after many failed shopping trips and online orders, he bought an off-white jacket from Target, some yellow RIT dye and dyed his own wedding jacket! It came out perfect and he got compliments on it all day long!

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

Probably the two most important things for us were photography and music. We really wanted our wedding to feel like a big party with the people we love and that’s totally what we got.

We got so so lucky with both our photographer and DJ. We met Linda of Awesomesauce Photography through one of my bridesmaids and not only was she within our budget but she also totally shared our fun, goofy vibe and understood what we wanted from our day. We accidentally met our DJ about a year before the wedding when we went out one night to a local bar. DJ Duffy was DJing that night and we could not stay off the dance floor! We knew right then he had to be our DJ.

As far as skipping things – there are probably lots of things we skipped. The first thing that comes to mind though is that we did skip on wedding favors. We also did electronic save the dates through email, both decisions were to save money.

What were your favorite parts of the day?

My favorite part of the day was absolutely dancing with all my friends and family all night. I’ve honestly never had so much fun in my life. One specific moment that made my night was when DJ Duffy played a medley of Lady Gaga songs, both hits, and deep cuts, and my best friend and I were scream-singing every single word.

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

We had a friend, Holly Hackworth of Witchin’ Bouquets, do our flowers for the wedding. Sunflowers were a big theme throughout; our decor featured sunflowers as well as my bouquet. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were sunflowers & baby’s breath.

Tell us about your wedding cake.

The groom’s father, who has worked as a pastry chef previously, made our wedding cake. The top and bottom tiers were Strawberry Lemon while the center tier was White Chocolate Raspberry. The entire cake had Vanilla Buttercream frosting.

Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.

Most of our decorations were DIY or handmade. Pinterest was my best friend! We made little twine balls & filled them with string lights and hung them around the banquet hall. I also used hula hoops from the dollar store, spray painted them gold & then decorated them with flowers to create beautiful floral hoop decorations.

One of my favorite personal touches was our alternative “guest book.” We used a big painting frame we had around the house, strung twine in rows from side to side with guests’ seating cards hung on it with wooden clothespins. We then put an Instax instant camera & asked guests to replace their seating cards with “selfies.” The result is so wonderful and now I have even more photos from our day.

Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?

At the rehearsal dinner, my father gave me a set of pearls that used to belong to my grandmother. I wrapped them around my wrist and wore them as a bracelet.

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

Focus on the two of you as a couple and remember that the love you share is the most important. If you inject that love into everything you plan for the day, your guests will feel that. Try to block out the nonsense that always comes with wedding planning and when things get crazy, be there for each other to remind each other that the whole reason for this day is to celebrate how much you love each other and the rest is all just a bonus.