Styling Your Wedding On A Budget

This post is an awesome story about how to plan a wedding with style on an intimate budget!  As a wedding venue owner and coordinator, I am often asked about how to incorporate elements of the bride and groom’s personality without breaking the bank.  This wedding is a great example of how to achieve this very thing.  It also stresses the fact that your photographer is of the utmost importance.  DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT scrimp when it comes to your images.  This is what you have left at the end of the day along with your beautiful memories.  Please be sure to read what the bride has written in between photographs and at the end of this post. This also is a classic example of what you can bring to your wedding day by reading blogs like Green Wedding Shoes and Style Me Pretty. Happy planning and keep on blogging ladies!

Real Wedding: Dana + Jake’s Barn Wedding

Tuesday, May, 10, 2011 11 Comments

Today I’m sharing Dana + Jake’s rustic intimate wedding. I love how they truly made the day how they wanted it and did their own thing. Photography is by the talented Clayton Austin. Thanks so much to Dana for sharing lots of great advice + details into their day!

From Dana, “We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and just hang out, eat, drink and have a good time. When I saw the barn at the Dana Powers House, I felt like there wasn’t much else we needed besides that! I read a lot of blogs (including GWS!) and got lots of DIY ideas, mostly little details, which really added a lot to the overall feel of the wedding. We were trying to stay within a *tight* (in wedding terms) budget, so almost everything was done by ourselves, friends and relatives. Luckily I have a very talented and helpful family and crazy artistic in-laws.”

white peony bouquet

LOVE Dana’s Melissa Sweet dress!

white short wedding dress

wedding photos by clayton austin

barn wedding photography

I was really nervous about making a “grand entrance” when walking down the aisle, so instead I put on a vintage apron and my husband and I bar tended before the ceremony. This way we were able to greet everyone as they arrived, and it totally took the pressure off. We wanted to set the tone from the beginning that everyone could celebrate with us, not just at us.

bride and groom maning the bar wedding

What song did you walk down the aisle to? My sister played guitar and our friend played the cello. They did an acoustic version of “Whisper Your Love” by the Flat Duo Jets. We exited to T Rex “Hot Love” and our first dance was to The Velvet Underground “After Hours.”

wedding in an orange grove

wedding in an orange grove

wedding photos by clayton austin

wedding photos by clayton austin

wedding reception details

table numbers with string art

Our wedding ended up having around 70 guests and it was so much fun! Since it was such a small wedding, we simplified by not having a formal bridal party. We had good music, fresh made organic/local flatbread pizza, an ice cream sundae bar (instead of cake), s’mores over an outdoor bonfire, karaoke, and a photobooth. I think your wedding should really represent you and your fiance. Pack in as many of your favorite things as you can! Don’t be afraid to toss out any traditions you don’t like, or to add in things you do! Your guests will appreciate the things you do differently, and you will enjoy your day more.

table numbers with string art

pizza at wedding

ice cream at wedding

barn wedding dana powers

barn wedding dana powers

wedding portrait nighttime

Any advice for those planning now? Only do the things you and your fiance want to do! Set it up like the ultimate party you would want to attend, and then attend it (meaning, enjoy it, and have fun!) Leave out any traditions that don’t fit you and your husband, and customize, or make up new ones. There really are no rules, or if there are, you make them. Also, let people help you. And if you are trying to save money, here are ways I did that:

Provide your own appetizers. We had our favorite cheeses,fresh fruits and nuts from Costco and Trader Joe’s. We also made the appetizers the day before the wedding. We all sat around the dining room table and made caprese skewers and prosciutto melon skewers.
• Look for your dress second hand. I couldn’t afford mine at full price, so I got it on preowned wedding dresses for about half the original price. It was brand new, tags attached and everything!
• Do your own flowers. I got the majority of mine at Trader Joe’s, wholesale, and the farmers markets.

No matter how much crazy stress and hard work is put in to your special day, when it arrives make sure that you’re in the present, soaking up and enjoying every minute! I was shocked at how fast the day went by, and at the end I wished I could do it all over again.

THANK YOU to our families and friends for all their help. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we appreciate you so much. Our families literally helped us sew, paint, cut, collect, sand, and build our wedding to be the way we wanted it. We love you.

And get Clayton Austin, he is…well, have you seen his work?

Photography: Clayton Austin // Venue: The Barn at Dana Powers House //  Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet, Fiesole (altered / “customized” by Jennifer Blue) // Hair: Jordan at Salon Lux // Shoes: EBAY, last year’s Jcrew 🙂 // Groom Suit: Banana Republic // Photobooth: ShutterBooth // Event Planner: Dana + her friend Shelbea // Floral Design: Ramona Story (friend) 🙂 // Invitations: Annalaura Wilkins // Cake: DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar // Music: Malik Miko Thorne // Catering: Full of life flatbreads made gourmet pizzas. We made our own appetizers and salad.


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