Real Wedding: Dana + Jake’s Barn Wedding

Today I’m sharing Dana + Jake’s rustic intimate wedding. I love how they truly made the day how they wanted it and did their own thing. Photography is by the talented Clayton Austin. Thanks so much to Dana for sharing lots of great advice + details into their day!

From Dana, “We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and just hang out, eat, drink and have a good time. When I saw the barn at the Dana Powers House, I felt like there wasn’t much else we needed besides that! I read a lot of blogs (including GWS!) and got lots of DIY ideas, mostly little details, which really added a lot to the overall feel of the wedding. We were trying to stay within a *tight* (in wedding terms) budget, so almost everything was done by ourselves, friends and relatives. Luckily I have a very talented and helpful family and crazy artistic in-laws.”

white peony bouquet

LOVE Dana’s Melissa Sweet dress!

white short wedding dress

wedding photos by clayton austin

barn wedding photography

I was really nervous about making a “grand entrance” when walking down the aisle, so instead I put on a vintage apron and my husband and I bar tended before the ceremony. This way we were able to greet everyone as they arrived, and it totally took the pressure off. We wanted to set the tone from the beginning that everyone could celebrate with us, not just at us.

bride and groom maning the bar wedding

What song did you walk down the aisle to? My sister played guitar and our friend played the cello. They did an acoustic version of “Whisper Your Love” by the Flat Duo Jets. We exited to T Rex “Hot Love” and our first dance was to The Velvet Underground “After Hours.”

wedding in an orange grove

wedding in an orange grove

wedding photos by clayton austin

wedding photos by clayton austin

wedding reception details

table numbers with string art

Our wedding ended up having around 70 guests and it was so much fun! Since it was such a small wedding, we simplified by not having a formal bridal party. We had good music, fresh made organic/local flatbread pizza, an ice cream sundae bar (instead of cake), s’mores over an outdoor bonfire, karaoke, and a photobooth. I think your wedding should really represent you and your fiance. Pack in as many of your favorite things as you can! Don’t be afraid to toss out any traditions you don’t like, or to add in things you do! Your guests will appreciate the things you do differently, and you will enjoy your day more.

table numbers with string art

pizza at wedding

ice cream at wedding

barn wedding dana powers

barn wedding dana powers

wedding portrait nighttime

Any advice for those planning now? Only do the things you and your fiance want to do! Set it up like the ultimate party you would want to attend, and then attend it (meaning, enjoy it, and have fun!) Leave out any traditions that don’t fit you and your husband, and customize, or make up new ones. There really are no rules, or if there are, you make them. Also, let people help you. And if you are trying to save money, here are ways I did that:

Provide your own appetizers. We had our favorite cheeses,fresh fruits and nuts from Costco and Trader Joe’s. We also made the appetizers the day before the wedding. We all sat around the dining room table and made caprese skewers and prosciutto melon skewers.
• Look for your dress second hand. I couldn’t afford mine at full price, so I got it on preowned wedding dresses for about half the original price. It was brand new, tags attached and everything!
• Do your own flowers. I got the majority of mine at Trader Joe’s, wholesale, and the farmers markets.

No matter how much crazy stress and hard work is put in to your special day, when it arrives make sure that you’re in the present, soaking up and enjoying every minute! I was shocked at how fast the day went by, and at the end I wished I could do it all over again.

THANK YOU to our families and friends for all their help. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we appreciate you so much. Our families literally helped us sew, paint, cut, collect, sand, and build our wedding to be the way we wanted it. We love you.

And get Clayton Austin, he is…well, have you seen his work?

Photography: Clayton Austin // Venue: The Barn at Dana Powers House //  Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet, Fiesole (altered / “customized” by Jennifer Blue) // Hair: Jordan at Salon Lux // Shoes: EBAY, last year’s Jcrew :) // Groom Suit: Banana Republic // Photobooth: ShutterBooth // Event Planner: Dana + her friend Shelbea // Floral Design: Ramona Story (friend) :) // Invitations: Inspired by Ruby&Willow, DIY’d by Annalaura Wilkins // Cake: DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar // Music: Malik Miko Thorne // Catering: Full of life flatbreads made gourmet pizzas. We made our own appetizers and salad.

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  1. LOVED this wedding! I loved that they really made it their own. And as a bride planning on a pretty tight budget herself, I really appreciated the money savings tips!

  2. I love the “feel” of this wedding. It just proves how you don’t need the big hotel, 3 courses and massive expenditure to have a great day!

  3. I’m having a barn wedding this september, so this is a great source of inspiration. I love all the details.

  4. OMG CLAYTON = GENIUS. I would want these photos on my wall when I get old if I was the couple. BEAUTIFUL!

  5. I agree, the money saving tips are great! I was wondering, Dana, when did you get the flowers? I am planning on doing my own flowers, but am unsure of when to get them/how to store them so that they do not wilt before the big day!

  6. This is such a gorgeous wedding! I love the dress! All the details are so beautiful and those pizzas are a super great idea!

  7. Crazy in love with this wedding. Loving all of the rustic details…that rusted chair is gorgeous! And the bride and groom are absolutely adorable! Love her Melissa Sweet dress – reminds me of pretty frosting!

  8. oooh i LOVE this wedding. the bartending as your guests arrive idea is perfect, and i really love that you didn’t use a wedding planner..i’ve been panicking about not hiring a professional – but your wedding was gorgeous! what a beautiful and personal day!

  9. OH love Austin Clayton’s work! STUNNING! The last shot..AMAZING!

  10. Totally in LOVE with the dress!! And their whole attitude towards their wedding is just fab! that really is what weddings should be all about!

  11. I totally agree about not doing anything that doesn’t feel right for you and your husband. We wanted a casual lunch with friends for our wedding and that’s what we did. Knowing we didn’t have dancers on our guest list, we skipped the DJ and played music off the Ipod, we had an uncle do some live tunes for us on the guitar. I walked down the aisle to a bluegrass song and we had popcorn for our appetizers. It was a wonderful day!

  12. positively dying over those invites and those napkin rings!!! so sweet!

  13. LOVE this! The invitations look so cute (if you have any other pics, I’d LOVE to see them!), and the bride is adorable…love the dress and her hair.

  14. Marisa Nicole, Weddings & Events on:

    I absolutely LOVE everything about this wedding! From the design elements to the food, her dress and how they structured the celebration, it is all simply fantastic!

  15. What an amazing wedding! I love all of the handmade details. This looks like such a fun and laid back wedding – always my favorite kind!

  16. LOVE her dress and all the sweet little wedding details!!

  17. something new, something blue on:

    love the antique look!
    looks absolutley amazing!

  18. OMG where did they get those fabulous shabby chic doors/room divider?? I have literally been looking for the exact same thing but have had no luck… so gorgeous, along with the rest of the wedding! Love the bar-tending idea, not sure if we could swing it though because we are taking first look pictures.

  19. the portraits of just them are so so beautiful!

  20. obsessed with this wedding. Cannot get enough…..totally copying :)

  21. I’m planning a very budget wedding and just love these tips! we’re not having a wedding party either. this is so cute and I love that you guys were tending bar as people came in. I would borrow but my fiance is a bartender by trade and I don’t think he wants to work on our big day. :)

  22. Cute couple. I love the picture of the groom wiping away the bride’s tears. Precious!

  23. Love the idea of the nails + pins for the table numbers! Been thinking about something like that since I saw the EAT sign you made on here :) Gorgeous photos too!!

  24. Steph {bubblerock} on:

    Yes Jen… The photos are absolutely amazing, that’s true and the wedding looks like it was a totally amazing day… I can only agree to that…
    And the couple is super gorgeous…
    I think we definitely all agree to that :D

  25. Oh wow, these are truly spectacular!

  26. That last photo is GORGEOUS!

  27. WOW! This wedding… Wow – all of it. Each detail, those white blooms, the bartending, Clayton, dying!

  28. Fantastico! What an absolutely lovely wedding.

    And that last photograph of you two is simply superb.

  29. The blue is rich and beautiful. This venue looks amazing.

  30. Hi!:
    I am follower from Spain….
    I really love the site but never had seen a wedding as fantastic as this one.
    Mostly, how they receive the guests!! So original and fun!!!!

  31. this is amazing. i love the brides hair! and her dress is gorgeous!

  32. I love the details of this wedding! and I love how Clayton captured the couple shots- so beautiful!

  33. god i love this wedding, those table numbers are incredible! beautifully styled.

  34. Thanks for all the nice comments everyone, props to Clayton for capturing it so beautifully!
    Aimee: I would highly recommend doing your own flowers! Especially if you have a friend or family member that will sort of “head up” the arranging. My good friend did it for me and it was a HUGE help, definitely couldn’t have done it without her! When you buy your flowers really depends on the types you are buying, ones that are a little more hearty and need some time to open up (tulips, ranunculus, etc) I bought about 3 days before. More delicate flowers like hydrangea and delphinium are better to buy as close to your wedding day as possible. I bought mine the morning before. FYI, Trader Joe’s was cheaper than wholesale, I just had them hold all the white/cream flowers for me the two days before my wedding. They held them in the cooler until I was ready to pick them up, this way they didn’t get warm and open up too much or wilt. Also, check with local sellers at your farmers markets…they will sometimes cut you a deal! Hope that helps, good luck!

    Kate: I am all for DIY-ing and going wedding planner-less if you can swing it! It worked out really well for me, though I would really suggest having someone other than yourself be in charge of day of coordination. I had a friend help me out with this and it was a huge relief and helped put my mind at ease just knowing that there was another “go-to” person other than myself. :)

  35. The handmade stuff is amazing.Love the natural decor and the invites look fantastic. Bride and groom look great together…Congratulations!!!

  36. I love the bride’s blue earrings! Where did she get them?

  37. Amazing looking wedding. i love the detail shots and the bride looks gorgeous

  38. Oh my goodness! This is the exact dress that Margaux Wanger (photographer Max Wanger’s wife) wore at her wedding. Did you had it tailored to have a modified sweetheart neckline as well or did it come like this? It is probably my favorite dress EVER! Would definitely look for this dress if I could redo my wedding!

  39. Stephanie: the earrings were a gift, not sure where from, but they are carved turquoise roses :)
    Viv: The neckline was altered, but was not sweet-hearted (haha?) any more than it originally was. It’s the most fun dress, I wore it a couple days later for a reception party we had, and I am trying to find any excuse to wear it again! Considering just cleaning the house in it for fun… :)

  40. What a lovely gown. its simple yet so sophisticated. Love everything about this.

  41. Dana,
    Who is the designer of your wedding dress?
    I love it. :) I’m looking for a wedding dress right now…

  42. Carly – Dana’s dress is by Melissa Sweet, called Fiesole. As a heads up we list all the vendors and fashion credits at the end of each real wedding post. Thanks so much! :)

  43. What a gorgeous wedding and very close to what I want for my own wedding. I absolutely love the invitations, any possible way to see any more photos of them? I would love to use the idea and would love to see the rest of them.

  44. The couples are a fresh as the lemon. Very inspiring wedding.

  45. This is so cute, absolutely adore this wedding, what a super cute couple.

  46. I love the lemon orchard, adding the sour to the sweet day – sorry :) Looked very beautiful . Would have loved to see how you did the photobooth


  1. […] to this link from Green Wedding Shoes to see a featured wedding at the barn……. Share this:FacebookEmailPrintMoreTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Tagged Barn, […]

  2. […] voir l’intégralité du mariage de Dana et Jake c’est ici ou sur le site du photographe Clayton […]

  3. […] Credits (Top to bottom, left to right): Clayton Austin via Green Wedding Shoes, Sarah Yates Photography via Style Me Pretty, Adeline and Grace Photography via Style Me Pretty, […]


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