Under 7 grand?! You bet your sweet patootie! This spunky bride DIY-ed her way into a gorgeous day that was filled with fabulous ideas and wonderful memories; the only thing it was lacking was whopping price tag! Mindy and Alex were able to transform her parents backyard into a charming wedding wonderland without the restrictions that a public venue would have. This gave them the freedom to set up whenever they liked, party as late as they wanted, as well as commemorate the day with one of the cutest ceremony ideas we have seen to date!
Intrigued? We hope so, keep reading to find a full list of all of their DIY projects and to see their full budget break down! And as always there is tons more to see of this casual elegance wedding for under 7k in the full gallery here. All beautifully captured by Rachel Solomon.
From the Bride:
Alex and I got engaged, and before we quite realized what we’d gotten ourselves into, began to plan a wedding for three months later! I had always hoped to have a casual wedding in the mountains among lots of trees. However, my handsome groom could not imagine the day without lots of family, friends, and a big celebration. So, to reflect the hearts of us both, we chose to have a big wedding with a casual feel.
We were married in Lakeside, Arizona in my parents’ backyard which gave us a lot of freedom with vendors, decorating, etc. My mom and step-dad were incredibly excited about the idea and helped out in more ways than imaginable. From her attention to detail and creativity to his carpentry skills and readiness to take on any project, the two of them created a stunningly beautiful wedding. It was so much more than I could have even dreamed!
On the day of the wedding, clouds hung over the house threatening rain. I began to regret my final decision the night before to not rent a hall and became incredibly nervous. Our ceremony was at five and though cloudy it hadn’t even sprinkled in the morning. But, the raindrops came around 4:30! At 5pm as the rain lightly trickled down, my dad walked me down the aisle and delivered me to my love. As the drops became larger and intensified I only once remembered the fact that all my guests were getting wet! I said a silent prayer that it would let up (our reception was outside in the backyard as well). There didn’t seem to be a dry eye in the place as Alex and I shared the vows we had written ourselves and the whole ceremony was like something in a movie.
Much to my delight the rain completely stopped after the ceremony! We took pictures, ate the incredible meal my family and friends had prepared for us (smoked brisket and chicken), chatted with our guests and danced the night away. It was absolutely an amazing way to get married!
I think I would have made up some small generic thank you’s ahead of time for friends who helped out last minute (but whom I didn’t know would be there sooner). There were a lot of people who pitched in to make our wedding simply amazing that I didn’t plan to help out (particularly because it rained and things needed to be put away and brought back out). I think I would have found a friend a head of time who is good at details, being efficient and naturally organized to be my designated “wedding planner” and ask her to do that for us as her wedding gift. It would have helped out my family and I a lot just to have a go to person.
Photographer: Rachel Solomon
Cake: The Cake Baketress
Dress Designer: Nordstrom
Groom's Attire: Perry Ellis
Venue: Bride's parents' backyard, Lakeside, AZ | Hair & Makeup: Bride | Flowers: Bride's family | Jewelry: Bride & friends | Caterer: Bride's family | DJ: Bride's family | Officiant: Friend of family | Stationery: Bride & Groom | Veil or Hair Accessories: Bride & friends
Read on to hear about all the DIY projects Mindy and her family did for her big day as well as get the full budget break down for this casual elegance wedding under 7K. Please note that costs change as the years go by, and prices are subject to change. This is just one couple’s breakdown to give you a rough estimate on how much a wedding like this may cost you.
Florals (bouquets, boutonnieres)
Some friends and I made the boutonnieres with baby's breath and white roses
Burlap utensil holders
My mom and grandmother made them mostly (my sister and I helped with the flowers on the top)
My mom painted them and used old fence wood they tore down before the wedding
Wrapped bottles (LOVE)
Saw the idea on Pinterest and essentially mimicked it with supplies from Hobby Lobby and Michael's
Guest book tree
We made up the idea because we wanted something different so we used a few dead branches from my parents' lot and planted them. Then my grandmother, mom and I cut the hearts from scrapbook paper.
Save the dates, invitations (from where)
We made the invitations (did not have save the dates since we had such a short engagement) with brown Wal-mart paper, my mom's printer, a hole punch, and some twine. Alex and I got the "tie the knot" idea from Pinterest and designed them around that.
Bride & bridesmaid robes
Mine was from Victoria's Secret (not cheap! like $50) and my sisters' were from Macy's (surprisingly reasonable at $30)
All the signs were inspired by Pinterest and my mother and I. She mostly made them all.
Flower crown in your hair
I made it with some flower bunches from Michael's by twisting them together.
Poms in the trees
We made these out of Wax Paper (thank God it wasn't tissue since it rained), and there are a zillion posts on Pinterest about how to make them but we used the simplest (fold up like a fan, tie the middle with wire, trim the ends to make a point, then fan/fluff the layers). We experimented with the number of layers depending on the size.
Little tags on the napkins
We designed them. My mom, grandmother and I printed, cut and painted the edges.
I made it. Brother and sister helped me come up with the arrangement!
Friends of the family loaned us the easels and a couple chalk-boards. They made them themselves!
We budgeted for $5,000 which is almost impossible for a wedding this size but we knew if we aimed small we would probably keep it lower than if we started with a realistic number. We went over by about $2,000 which put us at approximately $7,000 for the total. We also really saved money in every way we could...by using what my parents had (venue, wine bottles, old fence that we tore down for signs, dance floor that was later reused to build my parent's shop they were in the process of building, etc). We borrowed a lot of decorations from a friend who had recently gotten married but didn't want to sell her stuff. Also, our family made the food which we bought from Costco (we are blessed with amazing cooks)! My mother, grandmother, and I made most of the decorations from craft store supplies. We also did not have an official Videographer, DJ, Emcee or serving staff.
Grand Total $6,436.00
Officiant, Hotel Etc. $50
Gown (gift) $0
Veil or Headpiece (DIY) $6
Groom's Attire $120
Thank You Cards (DIY) $15
FAVORS & GIFTS
Bridesmaids Robes $60
Parents Gifts $350
FLOWERS & DÉCOR
Ceremony Flowers $25
Reception Décor $450
Gifts for Volunteers $100