We know many of you are trying to plan your wedding on a budget, but it can be really hard to gauge what a 5k, 10k, 20k, etc. wedding looks like – and sometimes it feels like no one is talking about the cost of things these days. That’s why we were so excited when the bride from today’s real DIY wedding, Moorea of MooreaSeal.com, chose to spill the deets on her $8,000 wedding to her hubby, Max, and we think her transparency is sure to help a few of you plan your own day without breaking the bank!
When I looked at it originally I though, PSSH I can totally do something amazing with that, easy. But woo, turns out that planning a wedding is pricy!!! Haha. So I’m proud we did what we did on that budget. It’s all about teamwork! And being that I am in the fashion and design industry, you know I still was dreaming of a beautiful wedding even on a tiny budget! I am someone who really believes in having reason behind all that I do and doing things thoughtfully, which is why we really wanted to keep costs down on our wedding while also focusing on making it truly reflect the people that we are. We are both very relaxed at heart, easy going, and gentle spirited, but we love things with a bit of shimmer and shine, a touch of glamour as well. So we decided to host our wedding in a family friend’s pastoral yard as the natural, romantic, and golden landscape that would serve as the backdrop for our wedding.
Thanks so much to Marissa Maharaj for the stunning images below and big congrats to Moorea + Max on a beautiful day that looked less like a budget celebration + more like a million bucks!
I let my bridesmaids choose their own dresses and asked that they choose long, textured, patterned dresses with touches of sparkles in varying grey, silver, gold and taupe tones. And the dresses they chose were a DREAM, all from Nordstrom. Max and I are both people who are free spirited and independent partners who love each other’s uniqueness. And we wanted to reflect that sentiment in our wedding. So it was very important to me that each of my bridesmaids felt very comfortable in their dresses and that they felt like their dresses were a true reflection of themselves while also tying into the mood of our wedding.
One of our dearest friends in Seattle came down for the wedding to play the music as we walked down the isle, and I can’t tell you how moved I was as I held my dad’s arm walking towards the man I love, seeing all of our closest friends and family smiling away as our friend Scott played “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young on guitar. That truly was the most moving moment of the entire wedding, feeling the ease and peace of our community, and the gentle happiness we all experienced together knowing that we were exactly where we were supposed to be.
Moorea looked simply stunning in her lace strapless dress by La Belle Elaines.
The advice I have to give to brides, grooms, and anyone helping plan and set up a wedding is that it CAN be done on a smaller budget! It just takes a lot of work. As someone who started a business with just $10 in 2010 and now has a team of 12, an online retail site, a store front, and a published and best selling book, I'll tell ya, sometimes planning a wedding feels a lot like business! But working on all the details pays off and remaining positive and calm through the process is so important to focus on. We saved a ton of money by doing almost everything ourselves, and spending the week before cleaning a barn, tidying the property, decorating our tents and the barn, the kids area, every hour spent working on our wedding made the big day feel even more precious because we saw all of our hard work pay off in truly the most relaxed and magical, dreamlike day of our lives. There were plenty of things we had to let go of for saving money's sake, like deciding to just play a playlist of our favorite dance music rather than hiring a DJ, doing my make up and hair myself, not knowing what our bouquets would look like until we made them the day before our wedding, there were lots of unknowns and plenty of things that were not perfect reflections of what we had envisioned. But you know what? Everything had our personal touch, and because of the efforts we made, the efforts our community made in helping us, our wedding was the most perfect reflection of us, our love, and our community that I could have ever imagined. And it was worth the 3 days of tear down Max and I did after the wedding too!
photography: Marissa Maharaj // venue: Penn Valley, California // rentals: Roots Reclaimed // pies: An Honest Pie // selfie sticks: Manzanita Selfies // wedding favors: PF Candle Co // reception tents: Life’s Best Inn Tents // hotel: The Outside Inn // bridesmaid dresses: Nordstrom // wedding dress: La Belle Elaines // groom’s suit: Suit Supply // groomsmen suits: Men’s Wearhouse // wedding cake: The Flour Garden // table + chairs: SRC Rentals // bridal accessories + table decor: BHLDN