Autumnal-Inspired Rustic Wedding With a Sparkler Send Off

A focus on fun was the order of the day at Chris and Kara’s wedding, with a relaxed vibe, limbo, a dinosaur dance party and a sparkler send off to celebrate. They chose The Wood Shed in Vista, California as their venue, featuring natural wood, a gorgeous pergola to say their vows, and strings of twinkling lights to dance under.

The couple chose an autumnal colour palette, with red and rust tones through the flowers and the bridesmaids in orange velvet. The colours matched the venue’s worn leather and wood theme perfectly, and fresh greenery and a neon sign added a pop to lift the palette. 

Kara and Chris’s $15,000 budget was mainly spent on the venue and photographer, with the couple taking on DIY projects to save money. Hand-crafted table numbers were made of old records, pampas grass was clipped from nearby fields and a bridesmaid/florist created some epic bouquets. Kara told us, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Almost everything was DIY, with the venue and photographer being the biggest expense – but those are the most important things! We also saved money on catering, as we had gourmet pizzas which were very affordable.”

With so much to think of and plan in the run up to the big day, some things are bound to be forgotten – even on the day itself. Kara told us, “There are so many little details that you forget about until the last minute. I forgot to wear my veil down the aisle! But I’d recommend having a back up plan for everything.” And in retrospect, she told us she’d plan a very different celebration, “I would have a small ceremony and then a reception later on – the ceremony was the most stressful part!”

The ceremony had the guests laughing with a mixed-up officiant speech and bridal vows stolen from Night at the Roxbury and Futurama. Music was a big deal to the couple, so they chose Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust as their exit song, and then played mostly punk and alternative music through the rest of the day. A sparkler-arch ended the day as the couple partied with their friends and family. They told us their best piece of advice would be, “Just remember, it’s a party. Also, they can’t start without you!”

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