Such a lovely Rustic Barn Wedding to share with you today! This couple really focused only on what mattered most to them and crafted a day that truly celebrated their relationship. I love the DIY details like the paper pinwheel bouquets and the pennant banners that hung around the venue. I also LOVE that the bride and groom kept the environment and their eco-footprint in mind when planning their big day. Budget + environmentally friendly go hand in hand! Hope you love this wedding as much as I did! xo Jessica
Kevin + Brittany
July 26, 2014
Millersylvania State Park | Olympia, WA
What was your wedding budget?
Dress + Accessories + Hair and Make-up: $750
Groom’s clothes: $450
Live Band: $700
Beer and Wine: $500
Save-the-Dates + Invitations + Postage + Programs: $100
Extras (cups, napkins, table linens, ceremony chairs, etc.): $300
How many guests did you have?
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
We put a lot of thought into every aspect of our wedding because we really wanted it to reflect our values. We tried to stay as environmentally conscious as possible, used local vendors, and really got into the DIY theme.
We made each other’s wedding bands through a private workshop offered in Seattle called With these Rings. I designed my dress and had it made by Victoria at Bella Jean Boutique here in Olympia. We made our own programs and invitations, made all our own decorations (with lots of help from family and friends) and tried to thrift as much as possible. I found fabric at a thrift store and our mothers cut out hundreds of pennant flags that we strung up on twine everywhere!
Kevin’s mom made our Giant Jenga set and drove it all the out from Iowa, and my dad and some friends from my hometown in Alaska caught and donated wild Alaskan salmon for our reception (which also saved us a lot of money on catering!)
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We spent 18 months planning, saving, and bargain hunting, which definitely gave us time to find the best options within our budget. We researched venues all around Western Washington and quickly realized most private venues were way too expensive. We wanted an outdoor wedding, so we chose to focus on local state parks that included as many amenities as possible. Our venue was only $600 and came with a beautiful barn for the ceremony, a full kitchen, including tables, chairs and place settings, and cabins for getting ready, plus it was pretty close to home, so it was easy for guests to get to from the hotel.
A friend of ours who has an enormous garden wanted to do our flowers as her gift to us, while another friend who owns a food truck in Oregon offered to cater for a discounted price, and since my dad brought the salmon, it really cut those prices in half.
We also followed our favorite photographer on Facebook and snagged her when she posted an amazing deal on a photography package that we couldn’t pass up. Reaching out to family and friends and networking within our community really helped make our wedding possible.
What was the biggest sacrifice you made to stay on budget?
Neither of us feel we sacrificed anything. We started out wanting a very simple, low-key wedding and it ended up being more extravagant than we had planned, but we were completely happy with the outcome. We both chose one big thing we wanted: I wanted a professional photographer and Kevin wanted live music, so we searched for months to make sure this could happen within our budget.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Don’t procrastinate! It’s never too early to start making those favors, or researching photographers, or tying bows while you watch TV. At the same time, however, don’t stress yourself out, because it will all work out as it needs to. All wedding days have their glitches, but if you plan on that, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
What was your biggest splurge?
It was really important to both of us that we had a vegan cake made by our favorite local bakery. I have food allergies and wanted to be able to eat my own wedding cake. We knew we were spending far more than we could have if we went a more conventional route, but it was absolutely worth it.
What was your favorite detail?
We had ordered cake toppers from an Etsy store but they didn’t arrive in time. I was sad that we didn’t have anything to decorate our cake with, but I didn’t have time to worry about it. The night before the wedding, while I was sleeping, Kevin stayed up until 4 am (!) making toppers by cutting out pictures of lawn gnomes, mushrooms, and pinecones from a book and gluing them onto blue card stock with toothpicks. When I woke up the morning of the wedding, we had lawn gnome cake toppers, and they were adorable! We got the cake toppers we’d ordered in the mail the day we returned from our honeymoon, but we both agreed the paper ones were even better.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Kevin says our first dance was the most memorable moment for him. We had picked out a song but barely practiced, so when we got on the dance floor, we just got silly and started making up dance moves. He grabbed my hands and spun me around and around and around at arms length, and neither of us could stop laughing. It was a very unconventional first dance, but it worked for us.
Then, during the reception while everyone else was dancing, the band woke up the bats that had apparently been sleeping in the rafters. They started flying around, dive-bombing our guests, and everyone ran around screaming. I found it absolutely hilarious because I’ve always loved bats, and are even a sign of good luck in some cultures. I was pretty excited that they joined our party.
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.