Our DIY Backyard Rustic Wedding

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To all of my wonderful readers, customers, clients, fans, and people who have just stumbled upon this blog randomly, I want to apologize for being MIA. There has been ALOT going on around here. On top of creating more fun products, and blog ideas for you, I was in the midst of planning a wedding. My husband and I got married June 28th, 2015. (Yeah, I know, we’re a little behind in posting.)

I wanted to relive the day, and post about what an amazing time we had, so you all can get to know me a little more.


So a little background:

It was really important to me that I had a “backyard” wedding. My whole life, I’ve always envisioned this small, intimate wedding. When I met Josh and the rest of his family, I knew that would never be possible. Josh’s side contained 185 MUST INVITES alone. That included none of our friends, or any of my family. As you can imagine my dreams of a small intimate wedding was starting to look dashed to hell.

Josh and I knew we wanted to be married in Lake Tahoe, CA. I had spent 6 years living in the area, and it easily became my favorite place in the world. Josh had spent many summers and Christmas’s there with his family and it too held a special place in his heart. Not to mention, our very first vacation together was to the beautiful lake.

We had spent the entire weekend looking for a venue and everything was insanely overpriced. I consider myself to be a frugal person. I’m always looking for a bargain. I’m the absolute worst at “The Price is Right” because when I see a blender, and they say it retails for $675, I’m always confused, because who the heck would pay THAT MUCH for a blender? “What is it? Made of Gold? Does it blend the Elixir of life? Why is that much?!”

Sorry for the rant, but you could imagine how impossible it seemed for me to find a place to get married. Most places wanted $6000, just for being on their land. Never mind all the things that had to go with it.

After spending all day looking around the lake and feeling utterly defeated, we stopped at a small restaurant called “The Bridge Tender” (Delicious food by the way) . Across the street we noticed a bunch of people, all dressed quite dapper, and thought we would see what the commotion was about.

We realized that right across the street was The Gatekeeper’s Museum and it happened to be a wedding venue. Everything had been set up and ready to go and we knew it was fate. It was nestled into the woods, and could definitely accommodate all the people we planned to have at this wedding. We ended up booking a couple weeks later.

Nothing came with our venue, so we had to do/outsource everything that came with it. I pride myself on my ability to DIY, but weddings are NO JOKE.

First up was the decor: I was quoted over 4k on flowers. Ahem. What? So I quickly came up with a different solution. My husband and I met through Theater. I had bought neutral shades of paper and printed off sheet music from a show we had been in together. I then proceeded to make paper flowers out of them, added some fake flowers, a mason jar, and some ribbon. BAM. Our 4k quickly became $200.00 and we had all of our centerpieces & decor done, bridesmaid’s bouquets, and a TON of extras. Josh is quite the romancer and had gotten me a lot of flowers over the course of our engagement. I made it a point to save and dry each bouquet and reused them in our centerpieces.




As stated before we really wanted a low key, BBQ type feel for our wedding so we tried to emulate that with lawn games like “Giant Jenga”, Hula Hoops, and “Cornhole”. That way, if people wanted to take a break from the festivities and do something else, they would have things to keep them occupied.

When we looked into Giant Jenga and Cornhole online, we were shocked at how much it was going to cost to get a set. Giant Jenga was priced at almost $250 bucks. I pride myself on being a bargain shopper and when I see something that I think is outrageously overpriced I get this overwhelming sense of self confidence and say “Pushhhaa… I can make that.” I definitely had that moment with everything about this wedding.

My husband and I trotted our little butt’s to Lowes and managed to get supplies for both the Jenga and the Cornhole. We even got Lowes to cut just about everything for us. We then commissioned a friend to help us with the plans and putting it together. What would have been almost $800 in lawn games turned into $75. Can’t beat that, and the kids were VERY excited to have things to play with.



We aren’t super traditional. The attire was pretty simplistic. I didn’t want the girls stressing about what to wear as all of them had very different body types (pregnancy and all) so the only thing I felt should unite us was our shoes, lace, and the neutral color pallet. I got lucky because Delia’s was having an “everything must go sale” and we picked a coral color shoe for only $21. I chose converse because I’ve never been great in heels and grew up a tomboy so really, the only thing ever on my feet are flip flips or converse sneakers. Everyone was a great sport about it. Even my aunt had a pair of converse that was high heels.

Josh is always 100 degrees hotter than the rest of the world, so he’s never been a suit person. Not to mention, an outdoor BBQ isn’t really all that fancy. We settled on grey slacks, suspenders, and white shirts for the groom’s side. We added cute little newsboy caps for our little guys.







We chose to do a “first duet” instead of a first dance. We both sang to each other.


It rained, and I feel like I may be the only bride in the world who was so happy to have rain on her wedding day. It happened during our ceremony, at all the right parts, as if a higher power was all “Yeesssss, I approve of this” during what is probably the worst drought California has ever had.

I designed our wedding programs. Again, with the theme of us meeting through theater we wanted to add our little pieces of love wherever we could, so we went with a playbill theme to explain our Jewish ceremony.






Our food was amazing. We went with Dish Café in Reno. Joe was amazing, the food was probably the best food I ever had and the only complaint I have was that I couldn’t have more of it after the wedding.

We chose not to do a wedding cake but a wedding pie. We were quoted outrageous amounts for a tiered cake and so we decided to make a tiered pie instead. My bridesmaids did all the work however and had the pies made the night before even though I was supposed to be baking it.

We got a lot of candy and treats from Costco for our dessert bar, as well as a sheet cake for any of those who wanted cake.



Our photographers really made the day. They were the coolest people to work with and really captured how much fun everyone had. I will forever want to use them to capture all amazing walks of life because they were seriously that cool. They moved everything along, kept us all on schedule, and took amazing shots.

I’m not fantastic about talking about myself, so feel free to ask questions if I missed anything.

















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