What do Thailand and a Michigan campground have in common? Find out! Brandon and Lee's wedding took place at a campground around the corner from Lee's parents' house, where she had gone often as a kid and on into high school. Their candle favors, handmade yarn hangings, Lee's scarf, and Brandon's suit all either came from Thailand or were Thailand inspired from a time when the two of them took off on an adventure and lived there together.
The combination of the Thailand pieces and the
woodland campground theme blended really very well. With so much prettiness there's no way it could fit into one post so you'll find the rest in the full gallery, photographed by Little Blue Bird Photography!
From Little Blue Bird Photography: From the moment we arrived at Lee's parent's house to begin photographing her wedding day, we knew it would be something special. I love when brides decide to get ready at their childhood home, first of all - there are pictures of them on the walls and their parents' wedding photos. It was obvious that this was a special day for a special couple loved by so many - this became more apparent as the day went on - in the emotion in Brandon's face during their first look, the warm welcome we felt from their family and friends, and the joy in the dancing in the lodge.
I love the personal elements to this wedding - for example, I was able to photograph her dress hanging in her parents' bedroom window right next to THEIR wedding photo. This is the wedding that I have been waiting to photograph - I told my husband and second shooter that I loved it so much that I wanted to cry...but I totally didn't...not even when Brandon (who I was told was not an emotional guy) cried upon seeing his bride at the end of the aisle or while the two said their vows (which they wrote themselves).
From the bride: We started dreaming up our wedding when we were living abroad in Thailand, so naturally we wanted pieces of Thailand weaved into our wedding day along with our love for the woods and outdoors. Because of this, we had our favors purchased prior to setting up any of our major vendors. I did everything out of "order" (so to speak), I did not follow any timeline or pre-made "to do lists", rather, we completed tasks as it made sense for us and our life at the time. First piece of advice: do what works for you and your fiance. Second, if you are all about the DIY details (which we were), enlist others to help!
We offered fresh made gourmet pizza as a part of our meal. At one point during the middle of the meal, something went wrong mechanically with their pizza oven and there was a delay. My husband and I visited the tables who were waiting for food and I (a woman with a serious sweet tooth) directed them to have dessert before dinner! I'd say that was a fair trade off ;)
saved in numerous ways and spent on the areas that meant a lot to us.
We felt strongly about quality, locally sourced, food and drink. Because
of this, our largest expenses were toward food and beverage. Based
on my research, our music, photography, and my wedding dress expenses
were "middle-of-the-road" and worth every penny we spent. They were
We rented a 250-acre camp that served as our accommodations, wedding and reception site, which ended up being less than $1500 for the entire weekend -- huge savings! Along with our reasonably priced venue, we saved on decor, floral arrangements...pretty much anything that could be DIY. I preserved eucalyptus, and collected various preserved greens from friends and family to create all bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpiece arrangements, and so on. My father made gorgeous re-purposed railway tie centerpieces, the entire wedding ceremony site, along with many wood decor details. My talented, artistic sister-in-law and brother made all of our signage from re-purposed wood. You get the drift, everyone used materials that were free (or reasonably priced), which kept our budget down.
We also purchased and shipped many items while we were abroad, including our favors ($50), table runners ($50), and my husbands wedding band ($60) from Thailand. My husband had his entire outfit for the wedding custom made in Vietnam for $100. These international purchases were a fraction of the cost (and very meaningful for us) compared to what we would have spent on those items here in the states.
When you get creative and use your resources, you truly can manage a wedding budget!
Inspired by the thriftiness of this bride? We sure are! Follow in her footsteps and learn to DIY your own faux or dried floral bouquet with this post: How To Make A Faux Flower Bridal Bouquet.