An intimate park ceremony, a trip to a cupcakery and a wedding that’s an unpretentious as they get. With just $4000, Tyler & Revonna were wed at Council Crest Park in Portland, OR with just their two best friends in attendance. Their low key ‘reception’ was at Jake’s Grill, a local restaurant which they both love. The bride even made her own wedding dress, headpiece and the dress that her bridesmaid wore.
“I saw the inspiration for my dress two years before I made it, in a store-front in Portland”, began the bride. “I found a bustier that fit me well and built the dress around it. My mother was concerned that the champagne color would ‘wash me out’, because of my fair complexion, but I reminded her that there was plenty of color on this body to counteract the beige. I made several veils, in vain, before deciding on a fascinator instead. I made it, but Autumn (my BFF) designed it.”
“I made Autumn’s dress and fascinator first, using a corset as its base. I’m glad it fit, because we live 750 miles away from each other! I made our belts from the same pattern, to keep something similar. I found DIY tutorials for the boutonnière and bouquet online. I was pleased at how they all turned out although in retrospect I would have ommited my bouquet. I wanted to hold his hands, not my flowers. Plus, making them that morning stressed me out.”
I didn’t think people like this existed in real life. When I first laid eyes on Erik & Caitlin’s wedding images I was convinced it was a styled shoot with models. This couldn’t be an actual wedding, surely? But I was wrong and my heart whooped with joy.
The wedding took place in September at the bride’s parent’s home. The entire wedding cost less than $5000. (I know! As if it wasn’t amazing enough already, right?!) Caitlin designed her own dress (which was made by the mother of the groom and ended up costing only $190, including the veil!), wore $20 shoes (which she customised) and her floral headpiece was made by one of her bridesmaids an hour before the ceremony. The cakes were homemade, the flowers were grown and collected by friends and family and the invitations were hand painted and wax sealed by the bride. All the catering was done by the mother of the bride and the bride’s brother Matt acted as bartender. As you can probably imagine the couple also decorated the entire space themselves.
Yep, you read that right – Carla & Nicholas spent just $800 on their intimate fiesta elopement. In fact I had to double check they didn’t mean $8000 when I received their submission and that it wasn’t just a typo!
The elopement took place on 28th December at Madison County Courthouse. After they got engaged, the couple immediately started planning a big wedding, but after some time decided to instead elope the weekend after Christmas. All their family was in town for the holidays so it meant they could all be there to celebrate with a big family meal afterwards. The bride’s sister-in-law, Melanie, secretly hired wedding photographer Ashley Vaughn of White Rabbit Studios as a gift to capture their day. Everything else came in under the $800 budget.
“Our family gathering after our ceremony was inspired by fiesta with a kick of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)”, Carla explained. “When we decided to do a courthouse wedding with a small family reception, I knew exactly where I wanted the reception. I love the look, the colors, the details, and atmosphere at Rosie’s Mexican Cantina. A fiesta theme just fit perfectly. Nick and are a little off the beaten path when it comes to what we enjoy and love in life and I have always been intrigued by and enjoyed the Mexican celebration Dia de los Muertos. We already had the family gathering together so why not honor loved ones who had passed on while we were at it?”
Before I even saw these photographs I knew I wanted to blog this wedding. Wedding photographer, Adam Lowe, described the event to me as ‘a mega super awesome gay punk dude wedding’ and I instantly knew it would be amazing… and oh boy how right I was!
Josh & Scott were married in October at 400 West Rich, a 100,000 sq foot warehouse in Columbus, Ohio. They did pretty much everything themselves and spent just $3000 making their wedding perfect. “We met through a gay social networking and just got to talking”, they began. “About three months later we were taking turns visiting each other and three months after that Josh moved to Columbus. Josh is a huge Disney fan and we planned a trip to Disney and Scotty ordered an engagement ring. He proposed to Josh in front of Cinderella’s Castle.”
“We wanted a very organically flowing wedding. The ceremony was short but personal with personal vows”, they continued. “The space we used for our wedding was an old factory that is being converted into artist studios. Being so DIY minded, it just made sense to use it and create a warm welcoming environment on our own. Being vegans and experiencing some bad catered vegan food options at weddings we knew we did not want to depend on a caterer to make the food. Instead we did it all ourselves with help of friends. We are talking 400 tamales, 100 ‘chicken’ wings, 300 cake pops… We also had the majority of our friends and wedding party involved in doing something to help out. We know people in bands, people who are DJs and bartenders. Everyone volunteered their time and took turns helping out and partying!”
Casey & Caitlin were married at Dos Picos Park in Ramona, CA. They wanted their wedding to be laid back, fun, but most of all very ‘them’.
“My inspiration was to keep things very us”, began the bride. “Well actually, our theme was 100% Caitlin, with a splash of Casey thrown in here and there! I have been to weddings that are gorgeous and looked at hundreds on blogs and in magazines when looking for inspiration for our wedding. I have liked many of the things I’ve seen, but none of them were really right.”
“I am never one to follow a crowd, and neither is my husband. When I think about what I love and what I like, I don’t want to compromise for tradition or because someone tells me it can not be done. I want things to mean something to me, just like my tattoos. I don’t pick something out of the air because it looks cool.”
What could be more fun than a backyard BBQ, a ceremony in Central Park and a pizza party?! Well that’s exactly what Jared & Nakia chose to do for their New York wedding. Unusually though, this couple opted for their casual BBQ reception to take place the night before their ceremony, in the groom’s brother’s back garden. Then the following day, after the ceremony, they went off – just the two of them – for portraits and pizza!
The bride explains, “We decided to have a big family grill out for our reception for two reasons. First of all, we were very concerned with the traffic and parking issues with getting everyone to Central Park for the wedding, let alone then asking everyone to drive and try to park again at an NYC restaurant for a formal reception. Secondly, after looking into renting out a whole restaurant, or even just a large room at a restaurant, in the city on a Saturday, we realised the prices were astronomical. After talking it over, we instead decided that having a big family grill out as it was more reasonable in price and much more relaxed for our family and friends.”
“Then the next day, after the ceremony, we did a photo shoot in Central Park. It was amazing! After the photo shoot I was really hungry, so we got in the limo and found a pizzeria. And no I didn’t go back to the hotel to change beforehand. I went in my beautiful wedding dress and Jared went in his tuxedo. We sat down at a pizza shop on a corner and we enjoyed pizza while talking about how beautiful the wedding was. A couple in wedding attire sitting in a pizzeria draws a lot of attention but we didn’t mind because as New Yorkers not much surprises you!”
“We didn’t really have a traditional ‘theme’ as you can probably tell”, Nakia chuckled. “I guess if anything we had a family reunion sort of theme. Jared and I grew up together so both our families know each other already.”