Is there anything better than being on the edge of a life changing event and taking in all of the possibilities in front of you? So why not drink it in while you are in the moment? That is just what free spirits, Chris and Marcy did after he popped the question. “If I could give any piece of advice it would be to relax and enjoy that special time together.” Marcy said, “We did absolutely NO wedding planning (we didn’t even bring it up) for the first month of our engagement. It was so nice to just enjoy one another’s happiness and be excited for our new lives together without the stress of planning a wedding.”
Whatever they did, it seems to have worked out stupendously for them! Their whole day appeared effortless and with so many DIY elements it was beautifully tailored to fit their personalities. To see even more of this DIY Palm Springs wedding don’t forget to check out the full gallery here. All of the gorgeous details were captured by Yuna Leonard. Be sure to read on for the full budget break down, waiting patiently for all you Palm Springs Brides!
From the Bride:
We got married in Palm Springs last October, and it was just a complete fairytale. Palm Springs has always held a special place in our hearts, plus the soft natural light is just so pretty and romantic. Our entire wedding weekend was so special since we had the majority of the wedding party staying with us at the estate. We had a weekend full of festivities starting with the fun set-up and rehearsal dinner on Friday and ending with a poolside brunch on Sunday. It simply wouldn’t have been the same without them. Plus…our friends helped out with so much.
Marcy and Chris decided to design their own Save the Dates and hand assemble their wedding invitations, the template for which they purchased on Etsy. This ended up saving them oodles, the grand total adding up to just around $100 for both the invites and the Save the Dates. What a smart couple! Swoon Alert! How gorg is Marcy’s Watter’s wedding dress! Plus she got it for a steal of a deal from an LA boutique that was using it as a sample dress. Bonus!
From the Bride:
We saved a TON of money by doing our own flowers. After researching the flowers we would need I arranged for my maid of honor to pick them up at the Original LA Flower Mart. The night before My bridesmaids and I prepped all the centerpieces and our bouquets. We also made all the boutonnieres with succulents and air plants from our garden and Etsy.
The beauty of doing our wedding at Cree Estate was that we got to personalize everything and make it our own. The downside is that we had to do everything ourselves. From the tables, chairs, lights, dining utensils, and linens…down to renting extra trashcans for the bar areas, we had to pretty much rent and bring everything.
With help from my dad we created large wooden signs that not only were a fun decorative touch but they were helpful in guiding our guests around the estate. We DIY’d almost everything. From all the centerpieces, place cards, ceremony backdrop, table numbers, all the bouquets, and programs — pretty much everything was handcrafted by myself and my awesome bridesmaids.
Due to a tight budget I truly tried to find ways in which to cut costs. Off the bat, we “splurged” on two things that really meant a lot to us: the venue and our photographer. We felt that, ultimately, you’re going to throw away the decorations, eat the food and drink the booze…but you’ll have your photos forever and the right setting can make or break the overall feel of your entire day. So those two areas were non-negotiable for us, everywhere else we tried to find budget friendly alternatives.
Another one of my favorite projects was the place cards. We spray painted little animals with gold paint, hand stamped our guests’ names onto shipping tags and then tied each tag to the animal with gray baker’s twine. I thought they turned out super cute. We even took hand-sewn muslin and spray painted it in different patterns with gold paint to make the table runners. For the centerpieces, I had been saving glass jars, bottles and vases for months so that we could paint the inside in order to keep them looking shiny and glossy. This project was super easy and super fun.
We thought Marcy and Chris’s “Love Note” guestbook idea was super cute! The table was set up with note cards for guest to congratulate, sign and/or give advice to the happy couple. So pin worthy, right?!
From the Bride:
I’m so honored to be part of Wedding Chicks. I probably looked at the site daily when planning our wedding so it’s really special to think that we might be able to inspire another couple, just as many did for us.
Looky here! It appears that Marcy and Chris had some fun on the Wedding Chicks Free Printables Page! These super fun Bride and Groom seat signs can also be at your wedding for FREE, all you have to do is download and print. It’s almost too easy! You can even customize your own Wedding Chicks tote like the one seen below, or choose from tons of other designs at the Wedding Chicks Shop.
Although we loved every minute of our wedding, we do wish that we had thought to capture the speeches and toasts from our best friends and family. We were lucky enough to have a friend video our vows, first dance, and the father-daughter dance (which we love having on video) but we wish we had all the amazing, beautiful, and thoughtful things our friends and family said on video.
We really lucked out in that one of our best friends owns and operates a few bars in Los Angeles so they were able to help us purchase all the wine, beer, and alcohol at cost. We’re suckers for a donut so opted for a donut bar, opposed to a traditional wedding cake – the guests loved it!
Check out the wedding film from Spencer Woolcott below to get a closer look at this DIY free spirit wedding!
Veil, Hair Accessories: Tessa Kim
Photography: Yuna Leonard
Coordinator: Galas By Gerry
Cinematographer & Photobooth: Spencer Woolcott
Venue: Cree Estate
Flowers: DIY bouquet, centerpieces & boutonnieres Original LA Flower Mart
Dress designer: Watters
Shoe Designer: Lulu Townsend
Groom’s attire; Zegna
Jewelry: Earrings Lulu Frost for J.Crew
Lighting: Signature Party Rentals
Bridesmaid Dresses: Chosen by bridesmaids | Hair: Sarah Latchford |Makeup: Dejakai Martin | DJ: Jim Evens
Read on to see how much this DIY free spirit wedding cost. 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.
Sure, I'd be happy to provide a budget breakdown, here's what our money got us:
Total Budget: $24,000
Palm Springs, CA
Venue & Accommodations, 3 days: 6,000
Photographer, 6 hours: 2,700
Dress & Accessories : 1,570
Bride's dress : 1,400
Belt, DIY: 10 (DIY Belt, I handmade the belt by re-purposing some matching velvet material and a crystal clasp I purchased from a different belt I got on sale at Anthropologie)
Groom's Suit, Shoes, & Tie: 1,000
Rentals & Lighting: 4,500
Flowers, DIY: 400
Boutonnieres, DIY: 30
Catering and Staff: 4,000
Decor, DIY: 900
Stationery, DIY: 100
DJ: Free, friend
Officiant: Free, friend
Processional: Santo & Johnny “Sleepwalk”
Bride’s Processional: Phosphorescent – “Song for Zula” (instrumental)
Recessional: Mazzy Star “Fade Into You”
Grand Entrance: The XX “Intro”
First Dance: Van Morrison “Tupelo Honey”
F/D Dance: Whitesnake “Here I Go Again” (this was my favorite song as a little girl and it’s always held a special place in our hearts)