11 Oct

Planning your wedding on a small budget? Like less than 10k? No problemo. Just be prepared to fall in love with glue, paint, ribbon, and late nights. That’s a good thing. And, that’s exactly how our bride, Jillian was able to knock out a romantic country wedding for 160 guests with a budget of $7,000. Before we share some of her secrets, let’s get to know these two lovebirds. Trevor, well, he’s an avid surfer and smarty pants Boston Grad + UCLA Masters Grad, offering aid and relief in Africa, Chile, Panama, and Mexico (high-five!). Jillian on the other hand, gets sea sick just being on a surfboard, has no training in science, and has never been out of the country. She is though, one talented hair stylist, a Julia Child in the making, and a bona fide creative cookie. He’s got the brains, she’s got the creativity – it works!

rustic farmhouse wedding

rustic farmhouse wedding

rustic farmhouse wedding

rustic farmhouse wedding

Jillian walked down the aisle to Miranda Lambert’s, Makin’ Plans. Listen to the sweet lyrics here:

rustic farmhouse wedding

rustic farmhouse wedding

rustic farmhouse wedding

All the decor you see, from candles to fabric, lace, burlap, ribbons, old shutters, etc – came out to $300. Items were bought either on clearance at Michael’s craft store, at Discount Fabrics, or Craigslist. The favors were wooden heart magnets that Jillian hand-painted. Some even had little photos of her and Trevor on them. For 200 hearts, paint, magnets and other materials included, the cost rounded out at $150.

rustic farmhouse wedding

The open fields, sky-high sunflowers, and surrounding rolling hills of the Julian Farmhouse Inn are photo perfect.  Jan & Jim, the owners, still do most of the work on their own, so they were the chefs of the night, helped decorate, and had their hands in just about everything.

rustic farmhouse wedding

rustic farmhouse wedding

I found some old wooden shutters on Craigslist at a truck yard for $10. I sanded them down, primed and painted them, then roughed them up again. The love note sign was made from left-over scraps of burlap, hand painted and then strung with pink ribbon and a taupe ruffle ribbon. A cute tin bucket with sunflowers on it held all the written notes. All for a small budget of $20!

rustic farmhouse wedding

Sweet words from Jillian that we just couldn’t keep to ourselves:

When we went out to take our photos it hit me. I thought, “Oh my gosh I’m married! This is crazy awesome and surreal!”. Just looking up at my best friend who had just become my hubby, with huge smiles on our faces, realizing that this is forever was the best feeling. No more having to go home at the end of the night, the image of waking up to him every morning, picturing him as a daddy someday, imagining our future together – it all flashed in front of me while he kissed my nose, held my hand, and twirled me around at sunset. I couldn’t help but think, “By the grace of God I have to be the luckiest girl alive”!

rustic farmhouse wedding

rustic farmhouse wedding

And, now for their sweet moving picture, shot by Matt Forrey!

Congrats Trevor + Jillian!

Photography: Gem Photo/ Videographer: Matt Forrey with Forrey Films / Venue & Food: Farm House Inn Julian / Flowers: Kat at Lula Mae Flowers / Cake: Julian Apple Pie Company / Beer: Ballast Point / Audio Visuals: Paul & Rebecca Olson with Fun Flicks / Favors: Craft Parts / Bride’s dress: Watters / Alterations: Lorraine Kimball / Hair piece: Mignonne Handmade / Hair: San Diego Wedding Hair by Jillian Rae / Bridesmaids dresses & Jewlery: Lulus  & Forever 21 / Groom’s suit: Theory / Groom shoes – Rainbows

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Comments

  1. lovely wedding but who married them? The officiants deserve as much credit as the pie……

    celia milton, Celebrant

  2. Great photos! I always tell my clients that if they want to save money, they better be willing to put in the time for the DIY projects or to find the gorgeous detail/decor items.

  3. Love these two!! Their hearts are just as sweet as their wedding and I was absolutely blessed to be a part of it. Thanks so much for sharing it! xoxo

  4. beautiful wedding, and images! congratulations EM on the beautiful feature!!

  5. so so beautiful….from a very proud granny.

  6. Stunning bride! Love all the details and the color palette! The bridesmaid dresses are gorgeous!

  7. Great pictures! I love the pretty bridesmaid dresses!

  8. Emily, this is AMAZING!!! Such gorgeous images!!

  9. The self made touches really shows the love put into the wedding.

  10. I literally cannot believe how beautiful these photo’s are! great stuff!

  11. Looks like such a lovely wedding, the photos are amazing.

  12. LOVE this wedding!!!!!!!! Jillian is an amazing wedding hair stylist and has worked with so many brides, so it is almost ironic now that she gets to celebrate her own beautiful wedding. I highly recommend her for wedding hair services. She is awesome! http://www.sandiegoweddinghairbyjillianrae.com/2011/01/myweddinghairsandiegocom-portfolio.html

  13. LOVE it all!!! Congrats, Em the Gem :)

  14. Love, love, love this post! Congratulations & thank you for sharing 100 Layer Cake :D

  15. This is a great wedding, and definitely don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but I took a quick peek at just the photographer and venue websites, and it looks like basic packages (not including food) from both total just about $7000, so I have to wonder how the $7000 budget was acheived, unless this bride was getting some industry discounts from people she knows and has worked with.

  16. It all looks so wonderfully happy

  17. A smart and determined couple, not to mention highly creative. The pictures are lovely and portray the sweet abounding love permeating the venue and family and friends. The crowd along with the couple exude love. Thanks all of you for making this day so special.

  18. it looks positively wonderful

  19. A beautiful and personal wedding! I love her dress.. and the photos are amazing!

  20. Hi All!! Thanks so much for all your encouraging words!! I can not tell you how much fun our wedding was. Working in the wedding industry as a wedding hairstylist has provided this amazing network of people who were kind enough to make our vision for our wedding come to life. All credit goes to God for some how orchastrating these vendors, friends, and family to plan in a 4month engagement! A lot of hard work, late nights, trades of service went into making this happen on such a tight budget! I am so thankful to be surrounded by such an amazing talented group of friends. Not to mention how our family turned into wedding decorators, coordinators, make-up artists, bar tenders, DJ’s, and clean up crew… haha! Make shift wedding forsure… that some how came together beautifully!

  21. The wedding looks lovely, but I don’t understand a couple of things. The blog says 160 people, but the venue says “max 100 guests” and $3500:

    http://www.farmhouseinnjulian.com/pricing.html

    The photogs say they charge between $3200 and $8000

    http://www.gem-photo.com/services.html

    Even just the venue cost + photog hits the $7000 budget.

    Everything about the wedding looks lovely and was certainly well planned in 4 months, and working hard on personal touches is great and looks wonderful but I feel like people will have unrealistic expectations for their budget weddings: given the total cost of feeding everyone and adding up all the other listed vendors, I don’t see how this wedding cost $7,000.

    Can you guys help me out?

  22. How sweet, and gorgeous!

  23. I’m really still wondering about how to bring down the cost of my wedding. By my guesstimate your wedding should have been around $20,000 or more, but you say that it was $7,000…

    I would like to perform a similar feat, perhaps you could provide some timps?

  24. Correction to what the post says, we actually invited 160 and ended up with 120, haha big difference and i think maybe the day of we had maybe 110 actually come. So to answer your question above and to give some advice… I think you have to go into the planning process having really low expectations. Everything that were “must haves” for us we even put those things on the table. We were ready to get married in a public park, cater in costco food, and have no flowers haha (I was mortified by the thought). So then we got really creative with who we knew, and worked out trades of service that brought our totals down significantly. I think the biggest thing was that we saved money on was the venue/food because it was all included and they just gave us a great deal. They had all the chairs, tables, table cloths, plates, silverware. Buffet style BBQ is pretty cheap too! No cake, just ordered sheets of apple pie which totaled at $120. I had all my invitations printed and designed at work, just ordered paper and envelopes in bulk. I also got an amazing deal on my dress, it was a sample dress and an old style so I talked them down on the price and it ended up being 60% off. I also was looking into buying a used dress online which is another thought. Trev’s suit was a gift so were my accessories. Our friends took over as day of coordinators, DJ’s, Bar tenders, Photo booth photographer, clean up crew. I made most of our decor. Get super creative and you will be amazed at what you can do when you don’t take no for an answer. Remember though that if you got your man, dress, location, and minister that’s all you need. Budget for that and then slowly add in what you can afford going from most important to least. Again we prayed and prayed and can really only give the credit to God for totally making this happen cuz it all was a mess and then just some how came together. Hope that helps :)

    - Jillian Rae

  25. A few more thoughts …. You can buy your flowers at wholesale. We have a place in San Diego off morena that supplys to Florists but still sells at wholesale to the public. You can order what you want weeks ahead of time and send someone to pick them up the day before your wedding and spend that night with your Bridesmaids putting them together. Just wrap some lace around it and call it a night!
    Also, as some extra help my mother in law has a group of close friends and she just asked them to do money instead of gifts so we could put that towards our honeymoon or any expenses after the wedding. That helped ALOT!

  26. I love all the details amazing! Does anyone know the name of the first song in the video?

  27. Well, that’s much more helpful advice, but what exactly do you mean by

    “we got really creative with who we knew, and worked out trades of service that brought our totals down significantly”

    Were you friends with some of the vendors? What services did you trade and for what value? These are the sorts of things that a lot of us really can’t get away with unfortunately!

  28. Yes, we happened to know two of our vendors, but it was really more just having our family and close friends fill in for things we couldn’t afford, like I listed above. Is someone good at baking? have them make cookie favors! Is someone a good artist? Ask them to make your invites. Is one of your friends an aspiring photographer? Is someone a former bartender back in the day? you get the picture. It might not be so professional and a little makeshift, but weddings are molding into “Do what you want/can afford” now a days. If your wedding is already pretty casual and just a big party then it’s not imposing. These are people that love you and should be happy to help. Drop your invite list down, or do a morning wedding and just have appetizer foods. Lower your expectations and work with what you got and it will all fall into place beautifully. Hope that helps :)

  29. lovely wedding but who married them? The officiants deserve as much credit as the pie……

  30. sooo adorable! the bride is breath taking…and i love her tat

  31. Gorgeous take on a rustic countryside wedding!!

  32. I love, love, love the bridemaids dresses! I think my fav part was the casual elegance all the pictures evoke and I adore the seating chart idea!

  33. I love the flower in her hair! its so sweet and matched her dress and hair so perfectly!

  34. LOVE her dress and the theme of the wedding!

  35. Hello, I absolutely love everything about this wedding!! They’re a lovely couple! I especially enjoyed the video and the music in it. Could anyone tell me the name of the first song, though?

  36. Loved the “Sparkler Send Off”! Great photos, Bella

  37. Jillian, thanks for taking the time to break down what you spent the money on and how you did it all within your budget. It looks like it was amazing!

  38. Thanks Mariam and everyone for your kind words. I still can’t help coming back to look at our wedding pictures every now and then :)

  39. Gorgeous images, they look so happy together. I love the images of the couple as the sun is going down, beautiful xxx

  40. Hi Jillian,

    I had tears in my eyes when I watched the video, and can’t believe how gorgeous the whole day was. I can only imagine what it was like to be there!!

    Huge congratulations, and thank you for sharing your plans! xxx

  41. Jillian, I found this wedding when it was first posted and bookmarked it right then and there as my ideal wedding. Now I’m engaged, planning a budget wedding, and using EVERYTHING in yours as inspiration!

    I hope you still check this board because I am DESPERATE to find your dress somewhere. It says you found it at a sample sale for Watters. Do you happen to know the name? I am DETERMINED! So perfect, effortless, and gorgeous.

    -Deirdre

  42. Lovely rustic themed wedding. Loved the short movie!

  43. Thanks Ciara, that is so sweet! It was such a special day! We were so blessed to be able to get it on video.

  44. I’m interested in finding this dress as well! I can’t find it anywhere, please help Jillian

  45. Jillian is there any way you can give me the name of your dress? It’s absolutely beautiful and would love to see if I could find it.

    Thank you!!

  46. Hi girls! It is by Watters and Watters the Wtoo line and it is called “Regina”. Good luck and congrats

  47. One of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen! I am planning a very similar one for next June. I MUST know where you got the bridesmaid dresses!

  48. Wow these pictures just paint one of the best of times. And it wasn’t very expensive either. Job well done. I would be jealous, but my wedding is coming soon!

  49. I am in love with everything about this wedding. I have been trying to find that dress! What is the dress style number? Oh if you could tell me where to find it I would be so happy! I’ve been looking like a dress like yours since I said yes to my fiancé!

  50. Hi Jillian, first, your wedding was absolutely beautiful and you looked gorgeous! Great job with all of the detail, it turned out amazing. Secondly, I was wondering where you got the two white looking bridesmaid dresses? I think they are so pretty and I am in love with them!!

    Thank you!!

  51. Beautiful! one of your bridesmaids is wearing an amazing dress with macramé detail….what is that dress?! i have to know!

  52. Hey girls, thanks so much! I got all the bridesmaids dresses from Lulus.com super cheap and cute. They got to pick them out and just follow the color/style theme. Congrats to you all on your weddings, you will love every second :) xo

  53. Hi Jillian,
    Congrats on your beautiful wedding. I absolutely adore your wedding dress. Please can you tell me the style name I would love to find it for myself.

    Thanks!!! :)

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  56. Jillian,
    Your wedding was absolutely gorgeous and an inspiration. I love the song Makin’ Plans by Miranda and am also thinking of using it to walk down the aisle. Did you use the song with lyrics or instrumental? I would love to hear of your other music selections as well. Congrats to you and your Mr.!!

  57. it’s very interesting article, i love the frame house and like your ideas :) thank you

  58. very cool , i love how it is so different from every thing else you see, thanks a lot

  59. So whimsical and romantic! ♥

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