Backyard Texas wedding: Sarah + Steve

Categories   Real Weddings

The secret to staying within a 9k budget for a 60 guest wedding, based off what we’ve seen in this wedding, is DIY, DIY, DIY, and weekly craft nights with friends and fam! Sarah + Steve made it work for them and walked away with only the best things to say. Like how the small size allowed their day to feel like a homegrown, cozy backyard celebration. Or like how all the decorations were so special they looked like they could have been pulled out of your grandmother’s china cabinet. Read on for more of their pretty budget secrets!

Badgley Mischka shoes

paloma's nest ring holder

diy wedding invites

We saved money on our invitations by making our own pocketfolds out of card stock instead of buying them pre-made. I decorated them with ribbon and a logo I had created. Inside I featured my hand lettered text (calligraphy ink and I are now besties), some folk art inspired illustrations of succulents (a la my sister) and a banner of tiny fabric flags up at the top. We had the main card printed professionally, but the cost was manageable since we provided the paper and did the trimming (and embellishment) ourselves. The rest was printed at home – cards detailing travel information, details on our website and a postcard response card. (Loved the postcards – you save on paper and postage! Win!)

aqua bridesmaid dresses

earthy brides bouquet

My bouquet was really something. I had told Erin I wanted it to look a little wild. Like we had picked flowers and foraged in the woods to pull it together. Her creation was beautiful – some smaller succulents mixed with fluffy light flowers and vines – all wrapped up in beautiful eyelet ribbon. Absolutely perfect.

festive ceremony programs

collage family wedding photos

collage family wedding photos

wedding signage

mason jar chandelier

This mason jar chandelier was also a DIY project that Steve took on. Came out amazing!

rustic reception decor

vintage rustic reception decor

vintage rustic reception decor

jam jar wedding favors

backyard texas wedding

backyard texas wedding

Some lasting DIY wise words from Sarah: I held a few weekly craft nights where my sisters and girlfriends would come over and drink wine and help me tackle every project on my list. We made banners and flags, napkin ring placecards, paper fans that acted as programs – even hairpins for the bridesmaids! Every DIY bride needs help! I was incredibly fortunate to have a crafting army to back me up every step of the way! I even had help from far away – my mom made patchwork mats for the centerpieces in Florida, my youngest sister made little mustaches for beer bottles and wine glasses in her college apartment and out in Santa Cruz, my friend Amy made little fabric hankies for the ceremony! Steve jumped in anytime he saw an opportunity to make something I had my eye on that wasn’t in the budget – from that incredible photo booth to a chandelier made of mason jars. That’s amore!

It’s so nice to hear how much everyone pitched in. Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that friends and family are more than happy to help when it comes to your wedding. Most of them at least!

Congratulations Sarah + Steve!

Photography: Nathan Russell Photography / Venue: 12 Oaks Ranch / Hair Stylist: Lauren DeWalt of RoarSalon / Makeup artist: Maris Malone Calderon / Floral Designer: Rosehip Flora / Officiant: Rev. Kim Session / Custom Ring Bowl: Paloma’s Nest / Catering: 12 Oaks Ranch (Bert’s BBQ) / CentralMarket / Cupcakes: Lick It Bite It or Both / Custom Cake Topper: Together Forever / Rentals and Bartender Service: Whim Event Rentals (formerly DS Rentals) / Bride’s dress: BHLDN / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hairpiece: Which Goose

Social Love

DC Wedding Photographer on May 24, 2012

Phenomenal wedding!

Caribbean Wedding events on May 24, 2012

DIY weddings are the best way to express the couples passions, loves and creativitiy. I l just love DIY weddings and this one rocks it all the way!

Valerie (Pieceful Wedding) on May 24, 2012

The DIY elements are so amazing....such a beautiful wedding!!!

Erin S on May 24, 2012

Beautiful! Where are the lace overlays on the tables from?

kristi wright on May 24, 2012

12 Oaks is a great spot for DIY brides! A blank canvas! Great work, Nathan.

Mary Helen (@MaryHelenOrama) on May 24, 2012

Such a beautiful wedding!

Kim {Petal Pixie} on May 24, 2012

That bouquet is AMAZING! Such a beautiful wedding!

Kate on May 24, 2012

How did the iPod DJ work? Did you like it? DJs are so incredibly expensive.

Jacquelyn {Jacquelyn Jackson Photography} on May 24, 2012

Phenomenal DIY projects!

Sarah on May 24, 2012

Thanks for all the kind words. :-) @Erin S - the lace overlays came from the rental place (Whim Event Rentals) and were actually included in the price of our venue rental (they included linens in the package price). We really lucked out - I loved the way they looked and didn't have to pay any extra! @Kate - we loved the iPod DJ! We rented an"iPod/laptop" sound system setup from Rock n Roll Rentals here in Austin and it cost around $75. Now - the playlists were a labor of love and we did have a couple of moments of doubt in the weeks leading up to the wedding. We started to worry that the logistics would be too much to manage. Luckily for us, at that point we had no choice but to go along with our plan. :-) We put a friend in charge of the music (he was our emcee too - what a guy!) and didn't have a worry about it all day. Went off without a hitch and we received a lot of compliments on our music selection. Just another way we felt like our big day really represented who we are - reeeeally glad we went with the iPod!

chicago wedding photography on May 24, 2012

This was truly a lovely affair, Sarah. Thanks for sharing it : D

Lacey on May 25, 2012

Hi beautiful wedding!!! I wondering if you will be selling your IKEA chalkboard table Number?

Heather on May 25, 2012

I love your wedding. It looks like a blast! Wondering if you have any song suggestions, or tips on how to make those programs - they're gorgeous - did you design them yourselves? Beautiful!

Sarah on May 25, 2012

@Lacey - Yes! I've actually been making a list of all the goodies we still have and I'm planning on listing them on my blog for sale. We're about to leave for a trip, but I'll post everything in a couple of weeks when we're back. :-) Check out my blog ( in 2 or 3 weeks and I'll have all the deets there. Thanks!

Sarah on May 25, 2012

@Heather - Thank you! You know, I've been thinking about posting our playlists since so many of our guests commented on the music. Thank you for the reminder! I think I'll put them up on the blog sometime this weekend. :) As for the programs, I did design them! I drew the Hooray logo with a calligraphy pen and acrylic ink and scanned it into Photoshop. We used it all over the wedding stationery and decor. The programs were made of two pieces of cardstock we printed at home (the front was pearly and textured - the back was matte). We glued them together - with a popsicle stick in the middle - and used a paper punch to round the edges. We finished each off by binding the edges with a piece of Japanese washi tape! Hope that helps!

Lacey on May 25, 2012

Perfect thanks!!!

Wedding Photographers on May 26, 2012

Happy wedding & beautiful picture.

Shelby on May 27, 2012

Sarah- your attention to detail was so wonderful! I love your invites. I'm actually getting married at a similar venue in Dallas and I'm hoping to do my own invites. Can you tell me what kind of printer you used? Thanks!!

Sarah on May 28, 2012

@Shelby - Thanks! We had the main card printed at a local print shop (gave them the file and they printed on a color copier actually - very inexpensive!) and everything else was printed at home on an Epson Workforce 60. Good luck with your invitations! making ours was probably my favorite DIY project. :-)

Calie Rose on May 29, 2012 all the succulents! Adore the bridal bouquet with it's wild, organic feel...very pretty! Beautiful wedding!

Susan S. on May 30, 2012

Sarah, Your wedding was just a dream! Loved it. I had to ask where you got your necklace. It's so unique and beautiful.

Carisa on May 30, 2012

Sarah, I would LOVE to know where your reception dress is from in the last photo. I've been looking for a cute lace type of dress for my reception and that one might be perfect!! :)

U Me Us Studios on May 30, 2012

Mason jar chandelier... what a clever idea! Absolutely beautiful!

Tim Duncan on May 31, 2012

Love love love the "And I'm still in love with you" little signs! They're way too adorable! :) And that venue is GORGEOUS!

Kelly on Jun 11, 2012

I love the "Hooray" touch and the programs too! So cute!

Sarah on Jun 12, 2012

Thanks again for all the warm words, everyone! @Susan - I picked up that necklace at a J. Crew Factory Outlet for $25 believe it or not! :-) @Carisa - My reception dress came from the sale rack at Anthropologie. :-) It's no longer available there, but here is the link in case it helps you track one down! I love that dress - beautiful and comfortable! Easy to wear after the wedding, too.

Catrina on Jun 29, 2012

Sara, you have created an amazing and beautiful wedding. Do you have any suggestions on how Steve connected the mason jars to the wood circles for the gorgeous chandelier he made?? We fell in love with it and would like to make one for a wedding coming up. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas and talent.

Joy Stanley on Jul 7, 2012

Hi Sara, My fiance and I absolutely love your invitations! You created a beautiful wedding. We are in the process of creating our own invitations and before moving forward we would like your permission to do a similar idea to your own invitations. Feel free to email me at [email protected] to chat about this. Would love to hear from you and see if this is something you wouldn't mind. Sending Love, Joy Stanley

theressa on Jul 18, 2012

hi sara, I love the look of your jam favors! Can you tell me how or what you used to label the body of the jars? And was there an easier way to tie the strings and not have it slide around while tying?? We have the compote made, but still gathering ideas on how we would like to package them and yours is the one i like most! thanks! theressa

Sarah on Sep 3, 2012

Sorry for the delayed response to your questions! @Catrina - One of my favorite items from the reception! Steve attached the lids to the wooden circles by drilling a hole through the lid and circle and then attaching with an eye hook and washer and nut. :-) The lids remain attached to the wooden circles and the jars screw right into the lids. Hope that makes sense! @Joy - sure thing, I'll email you. @Theressa - I printed the design out on sticker paper on our home printer and then (a bit painstakingly) cut out each label for the jars. :-) And just FYI, I did list the mason jar chandelier, as well as my dress, here on 100 Layer Cake for sale. More to come when I have a little time. Thanks again everyone for your kind words!

Anna D on Sep 8, 2012

Wow - amazing detail. Absolutely love your bridesmaids dresses - been hunting high low for a similar style and colour - where did you get them from?

Laura on Sep 18, 2012

Hi! I absolutely love the style and feel of your wedding invites and am planning to do something similar. Can you give any more information on how you folded the cardstock and what kind of envelopes you used?

Margaret on Dec 19, 2012

The DIY projects for this wedding are so special. Love them!

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