Our next wedding is a perfect example that you can have a creative, stunning wedding without spending heaps of cash. Of course there are things that you have to splurge on like your vendors! But the true secret is knowing how to save on all the little extras. Like table runners, wedding decor and food.
Lucky for us our next bride and groom – Nat and Meaghan are experts on this subject, and share details on how they saved on items for their utterly beautiful Oregon wedding. Be sure to read on, and don’t miss a single photograph from Erich McVey in the full gallery here. Truth be told: he is a definite must to splurge on.
From The Bride:
Our wedding took place in the evening at my Aunt and Uncle’s home in Brooks, Oregon, a place where both Nat and I spent many summers with our family and friends. Since retiring from farming, my Aunt and Uncle spend their days gardening and designing their elaborate landscape they call the “park.” This park is such a special place to us and to our family and we wouldn’t have dreamed of getting married anywhere else. We wanted our wedding to be homegrown, intimate, and a big celebration not only for us, but for all of the people we love. We asked many close family and friends to help put this together including baking pies for dessert. One of Nat’s ideas was to have a wedding pie instead of a wedding cake. I was thrilled to say the least!
We were the first to be married in the park which made it all the more special to us. Because it is not an event venue, we brought in all of our own decorations and vendors including a few hundred feet of bistro lights and battery-operated twinkle lights to the area as there was no pre-existing outdoor lighting.
Our décor was inspired by the eclectic aesthetic of the home and property with the help of some creative friends. All of the centerpieces we used were borrowed, purchased from second hand stores and markets, and handmade. My dad made all of the birch tea light holders from branches found in the park and other family friends planted and grew the succulents for us. We also had a Persian Rug dance floor thanks to Erich and Amy McVey. All of the vendors at our wedding were also our close friends and colleagues. From the elaborate vegetable display to the beverages, the florist and our incredible photographer and videographers, it was a homegrown affair. Needless to say, we are very lucky to have friends with such incredible talents who were willing to share them with us!
One of our favorite parts of the day was the weather. The wedding was August 9th and we expected nothing but sunshine, though nature had other plans. We experienced so many weather transitions from sun and heat, to overcast and muggy and, during the ceremony, even thunder, lighting and light rain – all ending with the most beautiful and colorful sunset topped off with a rainbow. It was like nothing we could have imagined and thanks to Erich McVey, Amy McVey, Super 8 Films, and Nate Baston, we have incredible, unbeatable images and footage. With all of the fun we had planning this wedding, the most enjoyable part was spending the evening, long into the night, with those close to us. It truly was the wedding of a lifetime, all because of the efforts of those around us.
One of our favorite elements to this wedding was that they danced the night away under the stars on a Persian rug! Wait… there is more! If you already did not know the talented Amy McVey shoots Super8, and below you can see their Super8 wedding film below, and then after you enjoy their Super8 wedding film be sure to watch their equally as fabulous wedding film by Nate Baston.
Photographer: Erich McVey
Event Designer: Coco & Lily
Makeup: Beth Level
Caterer: Wooden Nickel Catering
Cinematography: Nate Baston
Coordinator: Jessica Amos-McElravy
DJ: Daniel Jones
Dress Designer: Watters
Flowers: Barb McAllister
Groom's Attire: Bar III from Macy’s
Jewelry: Samantha Mello
Read on to hear how some of Nat and Meaghan's budget breakdown and some terribly helpful tips. Please keep in mind prices do change and this is just a rough estimate so you can see what a wedding like this might cost you.
1. Would I have done anything differently?
One thing I had not planned on doing was changing out of my dress during the reception. It was very muggy and my dress, strapless, was having a hard time staying in place. I had packed a sundress in my overnight bag - nothing special, which I ended up wearing for the remainder of the celebration. As my husband and I are pretty casual people, I was not too worried about it. I was much more comfortable and it was the natural thing to do given the circumstances. If you are a bride with a strapless dress who likes to dance as much as I do, I would definitely recommend planning ahead and bringing a second dress just in case, and, depending on your budget, it doesn't need to be fancy. I was comfortable and had the time of my life.
2. Budget Breakdown
After knowing our venue would be free, we knew we could spend a little more on photography and outdoor lighting in addition to choosing our own providers for catering and rentals. We were able to pool our resources with friends to get great deals on decor, music, beverages, dessert, and accommodations.
Guests Count: 200
Venue and Reception: Free (family member's home)
Accommodations: Free + $100 for breakfast
We pitched tents and camped out after the wedding with some of our guests, which made for an amazing night as well as a safe alternative to driving home late on country roads. We provided breakfast for everyone the next morning and spent around $100. <---- steal worthy idea
Venue & Food
Outdoor lighting: $800
300 feet of bistro lights and 750 feet of battery-operated twinkle lights found on Amazon
A to Z Party Rentals: Tables, chairs, linens, plates (dinner & dessert), dessert forks, water glasses, wine glasses, glass water dispensers
Wooden Nickel Catering & a private business: Kettle Chips for the cocktail hour and pulled pork and portobello mushroom sliders and an elaborate fruit and vegetable display for dinner. Family and friends provided assorted pies for dessert.
We purchased kegs from Gilgamesh Brewing and sparkling cider while a family friend provided the wine from his vineyard.
Dance Floor: borrowed Persian rug
Flowers & Décor
Bride’s Bouquet: White hydrangea, ranunculus and baby’s breath with burlap and twine
Bride's flower crown: Baby's breath
Bridesmaid Bouquets: Baby’s breath with burlap and twine
Boutonnières: Succulents and rosemary sprigs with twine
Reception Décor: $200
(Borrowed from friends and purchased from thrift stores and Goodwill)
Vases and other vessels: Brass, silver, glass and milk glass
Picture frames: mixed metal
Flowers: Succulents and baby’s breath
Guestbook: Vintage post cards
Other décor items: brass pheasants and quail, silver goblets, and vintage toasting glasses for bride and groom
Pie Plates: Around $5 each
Second hand plates and large brass candlesticks glued together and arranged for varying heights
Tea light candle-holders: Free
Drilled birch branches of varying sizes and shapes
Table runners: $60
Instead of purchasing bolts of lace fabric, I saved a lot of money by purchasing lace curtains from goodwill. We ironed them and then measured and cut them to size. This took around 3 hours and we had enough for 272 feet, which was perfect for 34 six-foot tables.