Want to know exactly how you get this wedding look without breaking the bank? The gorgeous Bride is breaking it ALL down for us below, including 14 ways they saved money. But first, can we all just take a moment to soak in this tree? With the help of Blue Sparrow Events and Sweetwater Stems, this celebration was the perfect balance of splurges and saves—resulting in this pin-worthy gallery captured by Honey Gem Creative.
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From the Floral Designer, Sweetwater Stems… We wanted to create floral designs that were truly unique for Ally and Eric – romantic, natural, and timeless. To achieve a garden inspired look, we used a variety of blooms and foliage – including astrantia, ranunculus, roses, scabiosa, blushing bride protea, butterfly ranunculus, pieris japonica, silver dollar eucalyptus, and bouvardia are just a few of the items we selected. We wrapped the bouquets in a wide, dusty blue velvet ribbon – it was perfect! The ceremony space included hand-tied garlands on the chairs along the aisle, and a stunning floral design on the focal tree. We wanted the design to appear as if it were growing in that space, creating that really natural and whimsical look. The reception took place under a beautiful tent adorned with string lighting. To soften the ceiling and create a more warm and inviting vibe, we added loose and natural greenery to the lights – perfect touch! The guest tables included a variety of designs elements including ceramic compotes, candles, geometric terrariums, and gold metal vases. We could not be happier with the overall design for Ally and Eric. It was truly a magical day, and we are so proud to have been a part of making their wedding day so special!
How the couple met… Eric and I met a little over 3 years ago. I was at Punch Bowl Social at the Domain with one of my friends and we were just about to leave when Eric walked in with a couple of his friends. I immediately saw him walk in and couldn’t take my eyes off of him! He was exactly my type and I knew I wanted to talk to him, so I watched him walk around the bar to get a drink and waited to make eye contact. When we did he immediately came over and started talking to us. I felt an instant connection to him and honestly knew I wanted to marry him right then and there. I also found out that Eric and his friends almost didn’t even go to Punch Bowl that night and it was Eric’s last minute decision to stop by before heading home! I truly believe our paths crossed by a chance of fate.
As he was getting my phone number at the end of the night his phone died and he ended up not saving my info! To my surprise I got an instagram message from Eric the next day saying he remembered where I worked and typed in “Blonde Faith Salon Avery Ranch” on google which took him to the website and our employee staff page. During his wedding toast he thanked my boss for including this page because he was able to find my last name and searched for my instagram to get the rest of my number! When we started talking we quickly found out that we were practically neighbors living at The Domain! We had our first date 3 days later and quickly fell in love. We were brought into each others life at the perfect time and fate truly brought us together.
How he proposed… We were in San Diego visiting for a trip and went to Point Loma to the Sunset Cliffs, which is where Eric Proposed. It was so special, romantic and beautiful, the best day of my life.
From the Bride… Getting ready with everyone was such a fun part of the wedding day! I got ready at the venue with my bridesmaids, my mom and mother in law. It was so nice to be able to get ready at the venue and not worry about driving to the ceremony after getting hair and makeup done. If you can get ready at your venue or nearby I for sure recommend it! Make sure to buy waters, snacks like finger sandwhiches, fruit and veggies! And don’t forget the champagne! I gifted my bridesmaids with a cute box they could put all their items in with their initial on them. In each box I had: Kendra Scott Earrings that matched their dress (if you mention you’re getting the earnings for your wedding party you can get a discount on your purchase depending on how many pairs your buying!), a champagne flute that said bridesmaid, maid of honor, or mother of the bride/groom and a pair of silver flip flops to change into later. I also got them silk robes with their names on them. I wanted to get them robes they could wear again, so I choose to put their first names instead of “bridesmaid”. I choose to get robes that matched the color of the dresses and I got my mom and mother in law dark navy colored robes to match the color scheme! I also had the hangers made with their names on them as well!
Choosing the attire for the bridal party was one of the most difficult wedding planning decisions for me. I knew I wanted neutral colors but that was about it. It was hard to make a decision between mis-matched bridesmaid dresses, the suit colors, and the bridesmaid dress colors! Ultimately after reaching out to my photographer and wedding planner (who are both super detail oriented, and a little OCD like me) they helped me make a decision that would look best and flow nicely in photos. Our photographer explained that darker suits always make the dresses pop! So true! Especially against the white dress. And dark colors for groomsmen tend to photograph better and look more “fancy and elegent” She explained her opinion on keeping the groomsmen and groom in the same colors tends to look more cohesive, rather than having the groom in a separate color than the groomsmen. This made me realize I wanted everyone in the same color palettes, because I am lover of all things cohesive! For someone who has her entire closet color coordinated, I don’t know why I was thinking mismatched dresses would work for me… haha. We ended up choosing black suits for the guys and light grey dresses for the bridesmaids! Each bridesmaid got to choose her own neckline, which I loved. They were able to pick a dress that worked best with their body type, and it still looked “mismatched” but with the same colors!
And now….the DRESS! AHH, I miss my dress. I wish it was acceptable to wear it for date night on the weekend. So, I was never one of those people who thought about their wedding dress before getting engaged! So I had no idea what to get, or what style I wanted. But when I tried this one on…I knew! I would recommend trying on all the different styles of dresses until you find one that you like! One of my favorite moments of the day was my bridesmaids “first look” It was so fun to put my dress on and see their reaction! Eric and I didn’t do a first look, so it was really sweet and fun to do something like this with my girls! I loved the lace detail, of my dress and the long train. I added the lace sleeves to match the lace on the dress, and opted for a long veil with lace to match my dress as well!
We got our invitation suite from Minted.com. It was SO easy to use, affordable, and ships fast! They give you 10 free samples, (we ordered like 30 haha) We wanted everything to be cohesive and simple. We used our wedding website for guests to RSVP, and it was a great way to save money on stamps and envelopes! Since we had a smaller guest count I think it worked great. I think guests found it more convenient to RSVP online rather than sending back a response in the mail. One of my favorite decor elements from the day were these marble escort place cards I had made for our head table and the custom seating chart mirror design. I didn’t do assigned seating for each table, instead I did assigned seating for our head table with the escort cards, and then the seating chart mirror to help direct each guest to their assigned table. It saved the headache of assigning each guest to a specific seat, and they got to choose where they sat within their assigned table.
@haleywynndesigns KILLED it on the escort cards and mirror designs. Another awesome thing is being able to use the beautiful mirrors after the wedding! They were super easy to wipe off after the wedding, and look beautiful in our apartment. I got the mirrors from Home Goods! Our florist created the most beautiful floral arrangements and boutonnieres. I wanted simple bridesmaid bouquets, that incorporated the natural elements of our outdoor venue. We had an elegant, tuscan theme for our floral decorations. Since our ceremony site was beautiful, we didn’t have to spend too much to decorate it. Our florist decorated our ceremony tree with a beautiful floral design, and added beautiful greenery to the top of our tent! We created cohesion by adding that greenery to the seating chart, welcome table, and welcome sign. We incorporated a lot of loose greenery, with simple designs for our head tables. We also had little bud vases with simple roses, and candles throughout the reception tables and head table!
I made all of the signage for our wedding from a template on etsy for $10! Click here for the link. I bought the table number frames from amazon, and bought the other frames and easels from Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Marshalls. Instead of a guestbook that we would never look at again, we had custom wine bottles made for guests to sign! Our photo booth was a huge hit! We had a custom marble backdrop (cue the marble escort cards) and I ordered the cutest photo booth props from Amazon from here and here! Such a small investment, that made the night SO fun!
Our wedding planner was a godsend. Having a wedding coordinator for our wedding was the BEST decision. She took so much stress off of us the days leading up to the wedding and the day of. Our wedding wouldn’t have been nearly as beautiful without her.
Our wedding day was without a doubt the best day of my life. During the wedding planning process I worried so much– about all the little details and in the end, it all turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I was so nervous, up until the minute I was standing in front of Eric at the ceremony site. As soon as I was standing in front of him, all of my nerves went away, and I said our vows with confidence and excitement. I have never felt so happy, and joyous in my entire life.
Here are a few ways we saved money on our wedding:
Veil: Purchase your veil from Etsy or from your seamstress. My veil was about $100 vs $400+ at the bridal shop.
Shoes: Again, my shoes were about $60 from Nordstroms. I wore them for 15 minutes and then changed into flip flops. Theres no need to spend $200+ on shoes that you wear for 15 minutes.
Suits: Eric’s suit and the groomsmen suits were all under $250, and they got to keep them. We got them from a local suit shop in Austin! The Black Tux is also a good option!
Pretty Ceremony Site: We saved a lot of money not having to decorate our ceremony site because it was so beautiful even without any added decorations!
Small Bridal Party: Depending on what you are gifting your bridesmaids, and if you’re paying for part of their hair or makeup, I would estimate spending at least $100 per bridesmaid (and thats low). Having only 5 bridesmaids helped us out with our budget as well!
DIY Table numbers, menus, and other signage: Instead of buying table numbers or menus, I downloaded an etsy template and printed them myself using cardstock, and a paper cutter! It cost me about $20.
Inexpensive Invitations: Minted has great options for inexpensive invitations and they usually have discounts during any holiday! Save money on stamps by personally giving the invitation to people you see often.
Linens: My wedding planner from Blue Sparrow Events said that some people spend about $40+ on each table linen! Ours were less than $30 for ALL FIVE of our guest tables combined and they looked beautiful!
Programs: You don’t really need wedding programs. They get thrown away or used as fans
Guest List: We had about 55 people at our wedding. We kept it small by only having very close friends and family at the wedding. We honestly didn’t invite anyone we didn’t have a close relationship with. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Obviously having a small guest count saves money on food. But also allowed us to have fewer guest tables, fewer linens, less floral decor, less alcohol needed, fewer invitations, and more time to spend with each person and the list goes on. Having a smaller wedding was so great if you can swing it!
Catering: We saved money on catering by having a buffet style dinner and having one entree with a pasta as a “side” rather than having 2 entrees!
Cake: We got a very small cake, enough to feed our guest count perfectly, and didn’t save the top tier.
One location: We had our getting ready, ceremony and reception all in one spot. This saved us money on transportation. We didn’t have to hire any transportation other than our getaway limo for our wedding day.
Bachelorette Party: We choose to stay in Austin for my bachelorette party, which saved on travel expenses for sure!
Photographer: Honey Gem Creative | Videographer: Paper Bird Films | Event Planner: Blue Sparrow Events | Florist: Sweetwater Stems | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Kayla Knight Cakes | Invitations: Minted | Ceremony Venue: Vineyard At Chappel Lodge | Brides Shoes: Nina | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way | Catering: Dagar’s Catering of Austin | DJ: Infinity Sound Lab | Bridal hairpiece: Top Gracia | Bridemaids Robes: To Happily Ever After | Bridesmaid gifts: Kendra Scott Jewelry | Groomsman Ties: The Tie Bar | Hair & Make-up: Lola Beauty | Photo Booth: We Just Click | Rentals: Premier Events | Seating Chart, Bar sign and Place cards: Haley Wynn Designs | Wedding Dress Boutique : Serendipity Bridal