A Mountain Top Wedding: Tera + Mike

Creative, DIY brides on a budget, this one is for you! Tera + Mike did everything themselves. Well, they did have one vendor – one they decided was worth every penny – and I have to agree a great photographer IS worth the investment as I think you will too after seeing these photos from Jonas Seaman.

Tera + Mike decided to have their ceremony in the middle of the mountains in Mount Baker in Snoqualmie National Forest (they applied for a free permit to do this, such a great idea!) and then had their reception in their backyard. Tera made her own dress and headpiece – and wait until you see them! They made everything else they could (napkins from vintage sheets, celebration flags and banners from those same sheets, save the date buttons with their own button maker, invites and anything they could think of!) and thrift-shopped or borrowed the rest. Instead of paying for a caterer, they relied on the culinary talents of family members. They picked wild blackberries and made shortcake to serve for dessert. They served beer that was home-brewed by a friend and the rest was purchased from local breweries. Their flowers were home-grown by friends. This all saved them money, but the really cool part for them – their wedding was totally unique + totally them. Every ounce of it was a reflection of their love and the love of their family and friends. So super perfect!

bride getting ready, dress in window, ruffle dress

Tera + her mom Sheryl designed Tera’s necklace and earrings.

bride in ruffle dress

save the date

first look

First look photos – always my favorite photos from a wedding. :)

mountain top wedding

hooray flags, mountain top wedding

Tera walked down the aisle to the theme song from A Fistful of Dollars played by three friends of theirs on the flute, guitar and bells. ‘Twas epic.

mountain top wedding

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? Standing in the middle of the Cascades, the mountains we know and love, having our ceremony officiated by an old friend and looking out to see 50 of our favorite people in the world standing in those mountains with us, for us.

mountain top wedding

The officiant was their friend, magician Ben Seidman. He’s the resident magician at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and one of the consultants and masterminds behind Criss Angel’s Mind Freak TV show. He got all licensed up to make the union official and even performed a card trick during the ceremony – how fun!

bride and groom on bridge

bride and groom by waterfall

bride and groom by waterfall

bride beer mug

hanging lanterns and tissue balls

marriage lisence

mountain top wedding

mountain top wedding

Any advice for those planning now? Hire an awesome photographer. Then, set your checkbook aside and make things. Be creative. Think about who you are as a couple and don’t change who you are to fit some traditional mold of what a wedding “has” to be. You don’t have to get an expensive dress, cake, or venue. Make or buy a dress you’ll wear again. Have whatever dessert you want. Remember that backyards are awesome; ours is now filled with memories.

Congrats to Tera + Mike and thanks for sharing your super rad wedding with us! Such great inspiration for all those DIY brides out there that you can have a beautiful, amazing wedding for well under 3k.

Thanks also to Jonas Seaman for the photos as well as second shooters, Jeff Marsh and Mary Ellen Williamson

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  1. This wedding is so inspiring! As a bride planning a DIY wedding–I love seeing how others pull things off! My finace and I have been hunting thrift stores and garage sales for months and are finding some sweet deals! I love that they brewed their own beer and used local breweries! So sweet…and her dres….*swoon*….absolutley stunning!

  2. Wow, wow, wow – this is gorgeous!! Definitely the ultimate DIY wedding!!

  3. This is nothing short of inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

  4. wow, so good. can’t believe they made EVERYTHING. beautiful stuff!

  5. Every picture is so stunning. They really pulled it off. I’m sure they wouldn’t of wanted the wedding to be any other way.

  6. Amazing! It doesn’t get much more DIY than crafting your own dress and brewing your own beer. And their ceremony site is absolutely breathtaking!

  7. Looks like a great and yet simple wedding

  8. Amazing! I can’t believe they made her dress! I’m in awe right now of the awesomeness!

  9. I love her style. Ps. Great photos!

  10. Wow.. Such a breathtaking location! I love the intimate feel of the whole day.

  11. Love the photos..awesome. Yes, this is a lovely wedding.

  12. perfect advice to those planning now!

  13. So wonderful to see such a gorgeous wedding and then realize you recognize a few faces as well! :) Living in a small town in Northern Wisconsin, you don’t expect that to happen on this site. But, the groom used to work at a coffee shop here!

    Congrats! The dress is amazing!

  14. gorgeous wedding! Can you tell me where you ordered your save the dates from and where you got the pins (or are those magnets) made? :)

  15. Hi Brooke, this is Mike (the groom). We made the save the dates, buttons, and magnets ourselves! You can buy button makers online, and magnets at just about any local craft store!

    Also, Meg, good to see a Racy’s patron here!

    • Hi Mike,
      I commented below with questions about having a wedding in the national forest. I’ve been looking into this idea and stumbled across your wedding. Where exactly did you guys have yours? It’s so beautiful! What should I be aware of? If you have time to drop me a line I would appreciate it SO much! Thanks, Kelly

  16. What a gorgeous little wedding! Intimate is the best! Awesome photos!

  17. I just love her style! So unique but still elegant and beautiful!

  18. The 14th picture… the black and white shot of the bride from slightly above. wow.

  19. I’m always amazed at the level of creativity of today’s brides and grooms. 20 something years ago when I was planning my wedding my dad said you pick the place and there dress and leave the rest to me. It’s what we did, and I loved my wedding, but love the way couples are handling (and paying) for their own weddings and details.

  20. Hi,
    I know this wedding was a while ago now, but can you tell me more about getting married in a national park Mike? What permit did you apply for, and where specifically in the park did you get married? Was it hard to work around the rules/regulations? I’ve been looking into the same idea and saw this; you wedding was stunning and it looks like you guys pulled it off beautifully! Any advice would be much appreciated!! Thanks, Kelly

  21. very nice moody picture. I like your style!


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