Real Weddings

Beauty and the Budget, Believe or not this Arizona Wedding Was DIYed


Bride and Groom wedding portrait

In this day and age where we see the kind of beautiful event a wedding can be if you have oodles of cash to burn, it's hard to be a budget conscious couple. Mindy and Leland worked hard at finding ways to still through a stunning wedding for all their guests without breaking the bank. They called in favors from friends, DIYed the heck out of their decor and shopped around for all the best deals. If you planning our own do-it-yourself wedding stick around and get some great advice from Mindy! 

Beauty and the budget, believe it or not this Arizona wedding was DIYed and you can see every last budget friendly detail by visiting the full gallery. It is packed with beautiful photos provided to us by the talented Karlee K Photography. Go check it out now!

lacy wedding dress by Allure Bridal

wedding ring bouquet wrap elegant bridal style

cute little wedding ring bearer and flower girl

wine colored bridesmaid dress long wedding hair idea with simple braid bridesmaids in long wine color dresses from Lulu's

rustic wedding sign

Fabulous Find! 

From the Bride: I tried my best to be reasonable in the cost of the wedding. What I learned from this is you get what you pay for. Anything that I went "cheaper" or "discounted" with did not meet my expectations as much as I would've liked. BUT, I think you should pick and chose what you splurge on and what you don't. 

Something I was excited about was that my bridesmaid's dresses were only $60 from This was huge for me because the girls were paying for their dresses on their own, and I have been in a lot weddings where I paid $200+ and I will never wear the dress again. This dress looked classy and great on ALL sizes of my maids, and they could wear it again, wrapped differently! This allowed me to book an amazing hair and makeup team that was totally worth it. I think if you want you and your girls to look good on your big day, you should pay for it, and tip well. I was willing to splurge for that. 

fabric draped wedding arch ceremony entry

love wedding shelf groom and his men in navy suits ring bearer in suspenders and bow tie

wedding kiss

cathedral veil golden hour wedding photos

Calling In A few Favors

It is so hard to stay in budget these days, so as the bride I tried to turn to all of my friends and family that are involved in the wedding industry to help my dream wedding come to life. My photographer, Karlee K Photography, was my close friend from high school. She helped me find Tremaine Ranch, whom I rented our sweetheart chairs from. My hair was done by my sweet cousin, Ally, who is so talented, she also designed our beautiful chalkboards scattered throughout the venue. My makeup, and the bridesmaids' hair and makeup was done by wonderful ladies who came from La Jolla, CA. Erin did my hair and makeup for my brother's wedding the year before, and I just loved her style so much that I had to have her for mine. The girls looked amazing. The lighting and dance floor came from another high school friend of mine, Alex, from TheEventCo. 

We wanted our wedding to have its own homemade touch. My aunts helped me search high and low at every Ross, TJMaxx, and Home Goods for decor, and helped me style the event on our own. The grooms mother, my now mother-in-law, helped drape and design the ceremony arches. You would never have guessed they were $2 IKEA curtains, and eucalyptus from the trees right there at the venue. 

best day ever wedding balloons

cute wedding couple photo pine cone place card holder and rose gold Solo cup bride placecard holder and moscow mule mug

mr and mrs sweetheart table sign white wicker sweetheart table thrones

red and green wedding place setting

Who Doesn't Like Funfetti?!

Our cake was a last minute decision on our part and I am so glad we did it. The groom and I have have been to so many weddings where the cake looked delicious, and sounded delicious, but then nobody eats it! Leland and I love a good funfetti cake, and when our baker agreed to make it a naked funfetti cake we knew we had to do it. Who doesn't like funfetti?! and to top it off...we had to have our dog on top. Our one year old puppy was way too wild to be in the wedding, but on the cake she was that perfect added touch! The rest of the dessert table consisted of homemade recipes from my grandmother, friends, and the grooms mother. We made them ahead of time and froze them, then served them the day of.

Another touch we added, was to the toasts! I am not a fan of champagne, and wanted to switch it up. So after the toasts we had the entire wedding take a fireball shot with us! We had to warm things up somehow at our outdoor venue in November.

funfetti wedding cake

dessert table for your wedding reception bride and groom wedding photo

family photo shipping pallet display

Budgeting + A Little Free Advice

Something we did for our wedding that I would recommended for all brides and grooms is how we got to say hi to everyone at the wedding. Once the reception began, we quickly ate our food, and when we finished, the DJ started dismissing tables. We asked each table to come up to us on the dance floor and take a photo with us before heading to the buffet. At this time we said hello and hugged every single person at our wedding. We didn't have to walk around to each table ourselves and I got to see everyone! And then they got a photo too! I thought this was so important because your wedding guests take a lot of time and effort into getting you a gift, showing up to your wedding from out of town, or supporting you the whole way. You have to find someway to thank everyone personally!

For brides that like to be in control, I do have some advice. Tell your vendors who their contact person is to call on the day of the wedding, no matter how much they love you. I planned most of the wedding and picked out each of my vendors rather than the vendors coming with the venue. I liked this because I got to pick everything I wanted, BUT I think this did cause a problem.  My vendors created such a relationship with me as their bride, that on the day of the wedding, a lot of my vendors were calling me/texting me asking me where to go and who would be meeting me. Even though I gave them my wedding coordinator's phone number. This caused me to be a little bit too attached to my phone and a little stressed for time. But that is just my personality anyways, I always like to be on time for everything, and be in control. My advice for brides is to let your coordinators and vendors stress about time, set your phone down, and enjoy every moment. If you want to get a few more photos, make your guests wait, and take those photos, because you can never get that day back!

Budget Breakdown:

All of the decor I had around the venue was where I bargained. The ceremony draping decor were sheer curtains from IKEA that were $4 a package, with greenery from the backyard. We found most of the decor from Ross, TJMaxx, and HomeGoods. 

The name card holders we used were pine cones from the groom's parents backyard. FREE 99 right there! 

My shoes were from Macy's on sale for $40. They have this Chinese Laundry shoe in lots of colors (even blue if you need #somethingblue) and they were a comfy shorter heel I was comfortable all night. 

The groom's copper mule cup was $15 from

The brides copper mug mule was $10 from Target. 

I used for our stationery (invitations, save the dates, etc) They always have deals going on every other week so I always checked for those! 

I would always say invest in your photographer! Even if they are more than you wanted to pay but you love their style the photos are so worth it!

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