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Casual Elegance Wedding For Under 7K

cute idea to keep the first look a surprise

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.

ruffled wedding dress from Nordstrom

diy floral crown

white bridal bouquet

beige bridesmaids with babys breath bouquets

cute flower hair accessory

white rose boutonnieres and cream colored groom attire

cream and grey groomsmen look

jumping high five groom and his men

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!

diy happily ever after starts here sign

diy wedding signs

diy wax paper poofs ceremony decor

hanging potted plants and white roses lined the aisle

wedding ceremony chalkboard sign

large chalkboard wedding program and flower girl

saying i do

wood burn sign idea to remember your wedding day

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.

photography by Rachel Solomon


wedding kiss

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. 

diy wedding signage

reception signage

diy wine bottle center piece idea

burlap silverware pockets and eat drink and be married napkin tags

rustic outdoor reception and sweetheart table

rustic diy dessert table

vintage grain box and diy fabric banner decor

white ruffle wedding cake

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.

DIY Projects:
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)
Wooden sign 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)
Signage 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.
Scrabble picture I made it. Brother and sister helped me come up with the arrangement!
Chalkboard signs Friends of the family loaned us the easels and a couple chalk-boards. They made them themselves!

Budget Breakdown:
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
CEREMONY Officiant, Hotel Etc. $50
RECEPTION Food $1000
Rentals $1000
Cake $250
Misc $200
ATTIRE Gown (gift) $0
Veil or Headpiece (DIY) $6
Groom's Attire $120
STATIONERY Invitations $60
Thank You Cards (DIY) $15
Postage $200
FAVORS & GIFTS Bridesmaids Robes $60
Parents Gifts $350
FLOWERS & DÉCOR Bouquets $30
Boutonnieres $20
Ceremony Flowers $25
Reception Décor $450
MUSIC Gifts for Volunteers $100
PHOTOGRAPHY Photographer $2500

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