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Rustic Outdoor Mountain Wedding in Colorado

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Noelle and Max pulled off their stunning Estes Park wedding for a fraction of the average cost! The decor, lights, and other details were so perfect, and we especially love that they DIY'd their flowers, made a taco bar for dinner, and swapped out cake for cupcakes!
Rustic Outdoor Mountain Wedding in Colorado

Noelle + Max

Estes Park, Colorado
- 09/11/2021
Total wedding budget $14,000

Budget Breakdown

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

  • Catering
  • Alcohol/Bar
  • Cake/Dessert
  • Flowers
  • Rentals
  • Music/Entertainment
  • Photography
  • Partner 1 Attire
  • Partner 2 Attire
  • Venue
  • Transportation/Travel
  • Miscellaneous
  • Total wedding budget

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

I was so inspired by the Budget Savvy Bride when planning my wedding, it really helped me in planning my DIY wedding. I incorporated lots of candles, pictures, and personalized items.

Our bouquets were DIY and were stunning. Costco was the absolute move!
As a surprise, my parents put my and Max’s name on every single bottle of wine!

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

For the ceremony, we learned that the venue did not come with chairs the DAY OF! We got so lucky; my mom was at the dollar store trying to figure out what to do and a wedding planner happened to be behind her. She offered us 40 chairs for free!!

We rounded up a lot of blankets, poufs, and it honestly was AWESOME for the ceremony.
We relied a lot on the simple beauty of our venue. We had a bonfire in the middle of the forest on the river!

What is the most memoriable moment of your day?

Walking down the aisle with both of my parents was pure magic. With Rocky Mountain National park as the backdrop, it was perfection.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest tip-my video was FREE. I reached out to college students building their portfolios on Facebook!!

Mostly, I took time! We were engaged for about 2 years. I relied on the Facebook marketplace and got great deals from former brides.

I did my flowers on my own (the bridesmaids and I made our own bouquets), did a taco bar for dinner that was delicious and affordable, and we opted for cupcakes instead of cake.

I also found my photographer and musician through thumbtack.com. They absolutely knocked it out of the park. Our musician brought all the equipment, and he DJ’ed, played guitar, and even played BAGPIPES after we said: “I do”.

What was your biggest splurge?

Decor. Having gorgeous candles, cafe lights everywhere, and more was a top priority to me.

What was your favorite details?

I absolutely loved the custom wine bottles that my parents did.

I also decided kind of randomly to put a huge black rug down on the dance floor–I think it looked awesome! Since our reception was under a pavilion I wanted to warm it up.

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

The number one thing is to hire a wedding coordinator. We had hired one and she had to move sadly. We opted to not hire another one and it’s truly my only regret about our wedding. My family had to go above and beyond.

Another thing is to listen to your GUT. I had originally planned for a taco truck to do our food. The owner was terrible at communicating, and continuously delayed in getting a contract made or even signed once I eventually made one. We switched food vendors two weeks before the wedding and I am so so glad that I did.

The final thing, take it easy leading up. I was so stressed that I got a cold!

Share any additional details you’d like us to know about your event:

We learned that the average budget for a destination wedding in Estes Park is $40,000. With ours being $14,000 when all was said and done, it goes to show that there are always ways to get creative! If you do your research, ask around, and stay organized anything is possible!

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