Get ready to be blown away by how this creative couple planned a stunning wedding, full of charm, for only $20,000!! Rachel + Nate are all about designing and crafting together, so for them, it was a no-brainer that their wedding day at Hemlock Springs would be filled with handmade details. They designed their own wedding invitations, R completely remade a Goodwill wedding dress that she fell in love with, family and friends brought in a potluck meal of soups and desserts, and they stayed environmentally friendly by using compostable plastic ware and bamboo plates. When sustainability, DIY, budget-friendly, and breathtaking combine, how can you not love it?!
R shared this about their inspiration for the day:
Nate and I wanted our wedding to be uniquely about our story and the two of us. We didn’t mind to throw out traditional things such as wedding parties, large catered meals, or hiring vendors to help with all aspects of the wedding to achieve that. We instead got to incorporate family into a lot of our wedding. As creatives ourselves, we also got to have a hand in designing things like our table decorations, invitation suite, and reception decor. We spent time together designing these elements which provided an even deeper experience on the wedding day getting to see all of our hard work turn into something so beautiful.
Let’s take a peek at all of the pretty through the lens of Katch Silva!
One tip that R + N swear by if you’re looking to reduce wedding costs is to design and print your own papergoods. You can get really creative and make them 100% you! Nathan has his own design company, Nathan Faulls, so you know he was all about this DIY!
Designing your own invitations is a fun and personal way to add in your own style. Nathan and I personally wanted very minimal and font-focused designs with attention to color and negative space. However, we also wanted to add in an organic element to our design, so while Nathan worked on designing the font choices and layout, I got to hand draw a wedding logo we incorporated into our save the dates and design suites. We included a sheet of vellum in our invitations with our logo across it featuring a feather and an amaranth flower.
Thrifted Bridal Gown
HOLD UP! This stunning dress came from Goodwill?! We’re loving the layers of lace and the ruffle details on the neckline and hem. R shared this about how she snagged her dream dress and made it the ultimate handmade detail at her wedding:
After shopping around for wedding dresses forever, I was exhausted with the budget and a huge amount of choices. I wanted something that I would have no doubts about. Very early on in our wedding planning process, I came across a dress in goodwill I was in love with but knew needed some tweaking. I had some experience with fibers and sewing and could see the bones beneath all of the excess fluff and lace. I ended up working side by side with a local seamstress/wedding dress alterations-guru (Darling Sew Shop) to create a unique dress catered specifically to my dream and design.
One recent trend we’ve loved seeing is couples having a private moment to share their vows. So sweet!!
Wedding Budget Breakdown
We asked R + N to dive into their wedding budget and give us all the details. Here’s what they shared!
$20,000 was our original budget and we knew our biggest expenses would be our photographer and venue. Our venue total including all of our rentals that were included as well as adding on a day of coordination package was close to $10,000. Our photographer was the one thing I begged on hands and knees for, and boy are we glad about our decision. For our photographer, we spent around $5,000. We also hired a florist for around $1,900 and a videographer who was a dear friend of ours for around $1,500. On top of that, we worked to make almost everything from home. This saved us so much money and was a unique gift from all the family members who participated. We also REALLY cared about our wedding being environmentally friendly. We ended up capping out at about $20,300 staying very close to our intended budget!
Jumping for joy!
How sweet is R’s greenery crown? Can you believe her sister and her great-aunt did her hair and makeup??
Woodsy Ceremony Space
Tall trees + An aisle of pampas grass = Perfection in Simplicity!
Our ceremony. The space, the weather, the time of year, it all made for such a breathtaking moment. We didn't do a first look, so that was also our first reveal to each other of just how wonderful the other one looked. We also had the privilege of Nathan's dad being our minister, which was just so special to us both. Our venue's outdoor ceremony location also had ideal seating for our guests so that we could look out from the front and see everyone we loved so close to us. It all felt so intimate.
Sunkissed Blooms did the wedding flowers for R + N and we love how they incorporated a vintage color palette of mustard, orange and rust into the designs. That, along with touches of dried flowers, went perfectly with the overall handmade wedding theme!
Processional: My Eyes by The Lumineers, Patience by The Lumineers
Recessional: Coming Home by Leon Bridges
First Dance: Inside Your Mind by The 1975
Handmade Wedding Reception
The handmade details continued into R + N’s wedding reception. Their farm tables and chairs were made and supplied by the venue, while the couple themselves styled the centerpieces.
These compostable bamboo tableware pieces are so rad! Eco-friendly for the win!
Loving the lush smilax vine on the tables!
Want to tackle your own handmade details on wedding day? A sweet sign like this is a great place to start! Check out some more DIY decor ideas here!
Dreamy Dessert Table
R + N shared all about their potluck dinner and how it not only helped to save them money, but also gave everyone a chance to be involved in the wedding magic!
My grandmother made our wedding cake, Nathan’s mom brought Burgoo all the way across the state from our favorite restaurant, and my mom made my favorite green chili chicken soup. We wanted to enjoy our day by having some of our favorites there, not just the caterer everyone told us we needed, so we decided to run with that idea! Planning a pot luck was so fun and really made our guests feel like we were just eating a big family dinner and not a fancy buffet of the same things you’ve eaten at the last 3 weddings you attended. If you love pizza, serve pizza. If you want a coffee truck that also serves donuts, FIND ONE. Settle for nothing less than what YOU want because there are very few other times in life you’ll have the room to make your own demands and wishes!
If there is something you feel like you're doing out of obligation that "everyone does at a wedding" don't do it. Make it YOUR wedding and not just what you think a wedding should be.
Rachel + Nate, thank you for inspiring us with your handmade wedding details! We LOVE your creativity! Congratulations from the GWS team!
Check out some more sweet wedding day moments in this Frame Visuals trailer!
photography: Katch Silva // venue name: Hemlock Springs, Red River Gorge, Kentucky, USA // event design: Lizabeth Pullman with Hemlock Springs // planning: Lizabeth Pullman with Hemlock Springs // florals: Sunkissed Blooms // wedding dress: Thrifted // hair stylist: Bride's sister and great aunt // makeup artist: Bride's sister and great aunt // groom attire: Macy's // videography: Frame Visuals // paper goods: Nathan (groom) // catering: Bride's family // cake: The bride's Nana // dress tailoring: Darling Sew Shop