We Crafted a Vintage Inspired 130 Person Austin Wedding for $6K… Then Rode Off into the Night

When all was said and done, it was the more the merrier

 Corinne, Student/Dance teacher & Derek, Accountant

sum-up of the wedding vibe: A DIY Texas backyard wedding that also happens to be vegetarian and kiddo friendly

Planned Budget: $6,000
Actual Budget: $6,000
Number of Guests: 130

Where we allocated the most funds

We allocated the most funds toward the photographer and photo booth, and the food truck. Devaki was amazing and sweet and delightful and I’d have her shoot my wedding a million times over. We chose to do a food truck because we had such limited space, love their food (it’s been a favorite of ours forever; we selected Soyrizo and brie, samosas, BBQ chopped beef, and green chile chicken served with truck salad and Stubb’s barbecue sauce), and it’s so simple. They drive up, feed everybody, and drive away!

Where we allocated the least funds

Pretty much everything in our wedding was done on the cheap, I sewed circles of paper together for behind the arch which we borrowed from a friend. I had a friend hand knit the mason jar covers for the centerpieces, I set up the ribbon back drop for the band, we made the photo booth backdrop and borrowed vintage hats from our grandmothers, for our party favors we bulk ordered vending machine babbles and filled them with mints and buttons of us making silly faces, and I hand embroidered my going away back patch for my denim jacket. We also bulk ordered flowers and arranged them the day before the wedding, which was a super fun way to relax with my bridesmaids before the wedding.

Corrine and Derek Wedding Photos-323

What was totally worth it

Having the wedding at my great-grandma’s house! When she passed away my grandma’s sister moved in, and the house has always been a stomping ground for our family (and there’s a lot of us!). The house itself backs up to a creek so all the kiddos got to get dirty and try to catch tadpoles after pictures were taken. It was a great way to introduce our extended families for the first time, and I love the grandma vibe in all the pictures.

Corrine and Derek Wedding Photos-719

What was totally not worth it

Stressing about the guest list, or anything at all really. We both have giant Texas families and our guest list started out INSANE. We tried to slim it down and kept feeling like we weren’t inviting everyone we wanted there. The house, however, is tiny with only two bathrooms so even the 130 we invited was pushing it. Once everyone was there though, I thought we could’ve had a hundred more! Also that summer there was a pretty bad flood in Austin and the creek flooded the backyard all the way up to the house and I was in a panic! The water went down pretty quickly, we fixed up the lawn, and of course it was over a hundred degrees on our wedding day and everything was fine.

I do wish that we had hired a wedding planner and a bartender; we forgot to do a lot of things we had planned like a mother-son, father-daughter dance with the perfect song picked out. The guests were fine serving themselves the drinks we provided, but it was hard to keep things iced (hundred-degree heat y’all!), and we ran out of beer and water and had to get some more—leave it up to the professionals people!
Corrine and Derek Wedding Photos-115Corrine and Derek Wedding Photos-524Corrine and Derek Wedding Photos-649

A few things that helped us along the way

You know how you read on APW all the time that you should ask for help from friends and family? They’re right! I pulled favors from every person who I could, a friend knitted mason jar covers, a bridesmaid’s sister-in-law baked our cake on the cheap, my maid of honor was in charge of all things bridesmaid—I just sent her the dresses and shoes and she took charge of the rest! Our wedding website was awesome because we could keep people updated on parking, which is terrible pretty much everywhere you go in Austin, and other tiny details that changed after we sent out the invites.

My best practical advice for my planning self

I would go back and tell wedding-planning-me, “Girl—you do you.” I was so worried about people getting upset that we weren’t doing a bouquet and garter toss, or that they wouldn’t enjoy themselves at a hot outdoor wedding, and what about bugs?? Spoiler alert: none of it matters!

Funny story: my Southern mother has a lot of ideas about what a wedding should look like, but she was very understanding and supportive in every decision that Derek and I made. However, the one thing that really set her over the edge? BLUE SHOES. “What do you mean you’re not wearing white shoes, are you trying to kill me?!”

Corrine and Derek Wedding Photos-567

Favorite thing about the wedding

Having two women I absolutely love serenade us throughout the entire evening! Haley Barnes (otherwise known as Dollie Barnes) did an acoustic cover of our song for our first dance, and a couple of other ditties to start out the night. Followed by the one and only Hailey Tuck, who flew all the way back home from London to be my bridesmaid and Jazz Chanteuse for the remainder of the evening. At the rehearsal dinner my mammoo and pops (my grandma’s sister and her husband) had told Hailey that their song was a jazz song, and she snuck a cellphone picture of the music on their piano, rehearsed it the day of the wedding, and surprised them with a rendition—I was so thrilled!!

Anything else

Fun fact: my wedding ring was my grandmother’s. She bought it at a jeweler here in Austin in 1953, and I went back to that same jeweler to have it cleaned and a matching wedding band made.

Also, if you’re going to do a bunch of DIY crafts for you wedding, get them all done way before the day! I had a crazy list of DIY’s because I’m a crazy crafting lady, but I promised myself to have everything done a month before the wedding and I pretty much did! That way the month of the wedding can just be crazy in its own right, without you getting burned by glue guns or pricked with embroidery needles.


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