This bride is awesome for a lot of reasons (rainbow-hued wedding theme, anyone?), but I have to say that her ability to craft one breathtaking detail after another (with the help of amazing family + friends) is most certainly standing front and center in this gorgeous day captured by Brian Shofner. I’m talking everything from burlap bows to signage to those crazy cool centerpieces. See it all in the full gallery.
From the Bride… Although my love grew up in Michigan, I, a native Texan, could dream of nothing more wonderful than a wedding in the Hill County of Texas. Where the stars at night really are big and bright and rolling tree-filled hills encompass one’s being. We wanted our wedding to feel relaxed, like a home where you can put your feet on the coffee table. That’s what inspired our day… well, that and our not-so-huge budget.
We chose Memory Lane in Dripping Springs, Texas, as our venue because it glows with country charm. We said our vows at the outdoor ceremony site beneath big tree branches and sunshine. We then continued our celebration inside the oversized barn-inspired reception hall. I, an eternal idealist, have always dreamed of a rainbow wedding. While some family and friends were skeptical, CJ, my sweet groom, actually agreed to this and allowed me to turn my long yearned for vision into reality.
We made nearly all of our décor, which gave me an outlet for my out of control Pinterest addiction and helped us save money! Our crafting included: burlap and lace bows to attach to the benches outdoors, burlap and lace table runners (thanks mom!), table numbers, centerpieces, escort cards, and welcome signs for the guests. For seven months, Hobby Lobby was just a regular stop on the way to and home from work. Now that it has all come to fruition, I can say, the work was worth it. I can’t imagine our special day without all the intimate touches which we created.
For the sign in picture, CJ drew our “Dreams do come true” picture where guests signed in by stamping their thumb print which was to be a collection of balloons helping a pig in cowboy attire to “fly.” Some guests got a bit too creative with their thumb prints, in our opinion.
For the centerpieces, I collected over 70 glass bottles of different heights in all colors of the rainbow (only purchasing on the weeks in which bottles were 40% percent off, of course). For the day of, Wild Bunches Floral filled the bottles with white hydrangeas, baby’s breath and daisies and we put three matching colors on each table. I hand drew each table number using a chalk pencil on black cardstock paper and inserted them into price-friendly picture frames purchased at Ikea which I spruced up with a small burlap bow.
I borrowed a Cricut cutting machine from a friend to cut each one of our boot shaped escort cards. I then added detailing with a white paint pen to each boot tip along with guests names and table numbers. The boots were hung on a ladder with mini clothespins for guests to take to their seats. Using black foam board and a white paint pen to mimic a chalkboard look, I free handed Pinterest-inspired lettering for our “Welcome to our Wedding” sign and our “Take a Seat Not a Side” sign.
My ball gown dress, designed by Justin Alexander, had a simple bodice, followed by a party of tulle and organza. I paired it with cowboy boots I already owned to match our theme. Although the gown was ivory, I rocked the rainbow with my fingernails, bouquet and bridesmaids. Since each of my bridesmaids is overflowing with personal beauty and style, I gave them each a color of the rainbow (purple, blue, green, orange and red) and allowed them to pick their own dresses, boots and jewelry. I wanted them to feel beautiful and comfortable too.
The guys’ attire was simple, but they looked handsome wearing jeans, belt buckles, white button up shirts and boots. They loved the comfortable clothing and it set a great tone for our down to earth celebration. For CJ, my groom, we added a Ralph Lauren brown corduroy coat which I purchased from Dillard’s during an internet door buster sale. It’s all about working the sales!
One of my favorite parts of the day was right before walking down the aisle when I read a hand written letter from my groom. It helped calm my jitters and reassured me of the great man I was marrying. Soon after, the music began and I walked with my sweet dad down the aisle and said “I Do” to my sweet love.
Oh and then there was the cake. Simon Lee Bakery, thank you for baking and designing cakes that can change lives. The bride’s cake had rainbow butterflies spiraling to the top and the groom’s cake was the shape of Michigan. Cutting into those cakes felt liking slicing through butter and it tasted like a smooth mouth full of wedding bliss. Yum.
This truly was a day full of sunshine, love and joy. Like everyone warned, it did go by fast, but I will always cherish the pictures, memories and my marriage. I wish a wonderful wedding to all to-be brides and if you also have a not-so-huge budget, I’ve provided some tips on how we saved money.
Sticking to the Budget
• Spending less, doesn’t mean less of an experience. Really. Chose carefully what is and is not worth splurging on. What are “must have’s” for you and your groom? For us, my dress and the cake were splurges. The rest was about creative savings.
• An easy one was the season. Having a January wedding saved us money on the venue and DJ.
• Utilize your resources, as in your friends. A wonderful co-worker coordinated our wedding day free of charge. My cousin and bridesmaid, who is a trained cosmetologist, did my hair and makeup for free. A pastor friend of ours officiated our wedding and did our premarital counseling which made the ceremony very special for us.
• Bulk order! This isn’t just a way to save on groceries (although I’d recommend it). We bulk ordered baby’s breath from Sam’s for the bridesmaids’ bouquets and wrapped them in burlap the morning of the wedding in twenty-five minutes. We also bulk ordered plates and plastic ware, and napkins all of which were big savings.
• DIY: I’ve already mentioned all of our DIY décor, but we also did it ourselves for other things, too. Rather than ordering drinks and appetizers from our caterer, we provided guests with water bottles and a rainbow soda bar full of bottled vintage sodas, like Orange Crush! We also made a build your own trail mix bar with nuts, raisins, Cheese Its and M&Ms bought in bulk. Oh, and not to forget, the build your own s’more bar, with oversized marshmallows, three different types of chocolates and graham crackers which could be roasted on an outdoor fire pit – huge crowd pleaser.
• Borrow, reuse and recycle. Let’s face it, nothing beats free. My garter and my hair flower were borrowed and I already owned my cowgirl boots. We also borrowed plenty of items for décor including easels, the Cricut cutting machine and appetizer trays.
• Get a food truck to cater! After doing several tastings we actually decided to go with a food truck in Austin, The Peached Tortilla, which was delicious and saved us a big chunk of change.
Photography: Brian Shofner | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Simon Lee Bakery | Catering: The Peached Tortilla | Bride's Jewelry: SnobishDesign | Florals: Wild Bunches Floral | Wedding Venue: Memory Lane