I’ve been getting a lot of requests for budget weddings lately, so when Tory sent me images from her lovely wedding planned on a budget of just $10,000 – I knew it would the perfect way to kick start a set of budget wedding features I have planned for the next few months on Once Wed.  I asked Tory if she wouldn’t mind sharing a few details and she happily obliged…

Andrew and I wanted a personalized
wedding that would reflect us as a couple.  We both love nature
and being outdoors and decided a casual yet elegant wedding in an outdoor
setting would be perfect for us.  During our first visit to Gale
Woods Farm
, we loved the view from the ceremony and reception sites
overlooking Whaletail Lake, the existing fire pit surrounded by quaint
wooden benches and the laid back feel of the outdoor country setting
and barn-inspired pavilion.  The farm setting was also meaningful
for us both since Andrew grew up on a family farm and I spent my first
four years in the very rural country surrounded by farmland and with
neighbors who farmed just across the road.  We envisioned a country
picnic with a mix of classic and rustic details.  The color palette—a
mix of chocolate brown, sage green and cream with sky blue accents—was
inspired by nature.  On our wedding day, we not only wanted to
celebrate our marriage but also our family and friends, much like a
family reunion.

The budget for our wedding was about
$10,000, which inspired us to be creative, undertake many DIY projects
and research affordable vendors.  Since my major was interior design
and I also took graphic design classes during college, I especially
enjoyed searching the internet, books and magazines for lovely weddings,
incredible details and weddings reflecting the couples’ personalities.
I was surprised and delighted by all the inspiring resources and collected
lots of inspiring images.  The internet was also a great resource
for researching vendors.  One aspect that we wondered if we would
be able to find within our budget was a photographer whose work we adored
so we were thrilled when we found Zempel Photography and not only loved
their work but they were wonderful people as well.

Andrew was very involved during the
planning process, and we enjoyed completing crafty projects together.
To help save on costs, we did several DIY projects—including the stationery,
birch log arbor, natural grass centerpieces, birch log holders, hanging
mason jar candle holders, framed family wedding photos, hanging photos,
quilt guest ‘book’ and favors.


I think of all our DIY projects Andrew’s
favorite projects were constructing the arbor together out of birch
logs from our AutoCAD drawing and using my dad’s and his brother-in-law’s
power tools to cut the birch log holders for our table cards.
For our natural grass centerpieces, we collected the grasses from my
parents’ land in the country and his parents’ farmland.


While in art and design school
for Interior Design, I took graphic design classes that ended up being
incredibly helpful in designing our wedding stationery.  With feedback
from Andrew and my mom, I created our invites, programs, reserved signs
and other stationery.


sisters all wore different dresses in chocolate brown and each had unique
handmade Swarovski crystal dangle earrings.


The honey
for our favors was collected from bees on Andrew’s parents’ farm.
Andrew and I filled the small mason jars with the honey, cut the check
fabric squares and hemp ties to fasten the tags.


Family is important
to both of us so we decided to have our parents walk us down the aisle
and our siblings and Andrew’s three little nephews as our attendants.
To match the casual atmosphere and country setting of our wedding, picnic
and BBQ style food was served.  Andrew’s uncle catered with the
help of a few of his other relatives.  Instead of cake, ice cream
and baked goods such as cookies and bars made by family were the dessert
after dinner.  Once it got dark, guests were also invited to roast
marshmallows and make s’mores around a fire.  In place of a dance,
we had summer yard games (such as bean bag toss and ladder golf), hayrides,
classic board games and playing cards.


I wore a Watters Alencon lace dress,
Regina B. crystal hair comb, Nadri crystal earrings and handmade double
strand pearl bracelet from a local store called Che Bella. We wanted the guys
to be dressed for the occasion yet be practical for the hot, July summer;
Andrew and the other guys and his three little nephews wore white short
sleeve dress shirts, black dress pants and ties in our wedding colors.


also made the hangers for the mason jars by ourselves and used twine
to hang the jars from the large tree just outside the pavilion and on
the shepherd hooks to light the path from the pavilion to the fire pit
once it got dark.

Tory, thanks so much for sharing!

[All Images c/o Zempel Photography]


Comments (10)

Hollie | Reply

Ah, finally… a beautiful wedding that is affordable! Kudos to Tory and Andrew!

kelly | Reply

I totally love the feeling of this wedding with the soft blues. And the umbrellas are great!

Amy@FianceMeetingYouHere | Reply

Absolutely beautiful. These homespun weddings are always my favorite!

Michelle | Reply

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for posting an affordable wedding. My budget is 10k too so I am this wedding was a huge push for me to stick to my budget and not go over. I can’t wait to see what other weddings you have in store. Love your blog.

Kristi | Reply

oh my goodness, I have been inspired before, but never on such a close fit as to the ideas we have for our own wedding someday! The birch arbor – perfect! I envision the same design in driftwood for our beach ceremony. The grass centerpieces – perfect! I’d add beach grasses, cattails and reeds from our site. Thank you for posting!!!

Jennifer | Reply

This is literally the wedding I have spent the past three months planning! It is gorgeous!

Carrie | Reply

Hi – this is also the look I am trying to have in my wedding. Does anyone know where to find those gorgeous umbrellas?

Tory | Reply

Hi Carrie. We rented the umbrellas from Bella Umbrella (bellaumbrella.com). They have a large selection of umbrellas and parasols to choose from. I highly recommend them. Hope that helps!

Carrie | Reply

thank you for sharing! Tory – your wedding is beautiful & gorgeous -quite an inspiration

marisa | Reply

Hi – I would love some advice on how you built the arbor and anchored it to the ground…we’re building the same kind for our wedding! Yay!

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