A $30K Perfect Fall Wedding With A Classic Train

Plus major Goddess vibes

Katharine, Office Administrator at Art Studio & Jeremiah, Brewer

sum-up of the wedding vibe: Lovingly crafted eclectic ranch party.

Planned Budget: $25,000
Actual Budget: $30,000
Number of Guests: 100
Location: San Luis Obispo, California

Where we allocated the most funds:

Venue, food, and drinks. Hotel accommodations for us and friends who provided services for the wedding.

Where we allocated the least funds:

We had a dear friend take care of our day-of coordination. Our friend from home was our DJ and was able to offer a discounted rate. One of my best friends took care of that. We only got bridal bouquets and boutonnières; the rest was decorative greenery. A family friend decorated the barn for us at a reduce cost. We got a tiny cutting cake for pictures mostly, but we got delicious pies from Linn’s Fruit Bin that were cost effective and a huge hit with everybody. Our rings were family heirlooms, mine being my great grandmother’s Art Deco ring that we only altered by adding small emeralds, and Jeremiah’s being from his grandfather. He had no idea that we would receive that ring so the look on his face when our officiant told him was priceless!

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What was totally worth it:

The venue truly made the event. It was stunning and made the day feel way more relaxed. People felt free to wander, as the entire ranch was ours for the day. Our DJ was phenomenal as well. Once the formalities were over I couldn’t stay off the dance floor!

What was totally not worth it:

Honestly we received so many things at such a good rate it’s hard to say. I might have changed our food situation to something more relaxed to fit the vibe of the ranch. A fun food truck would have been nice!

A few things that helped us along the way:

We planned this wedding in five months so if we didn’t have friends and family to help us get it together it could have easily gone downhill fast. We had already been to Santa Margarita Ranch and knew that we loved the space and the area. Having a few places in your back pocket that you already know you love might help narrow things down. Find out who you already know that have skills that may apply and ask for help! We were so lucky to have such talented friends. Treat those people exceptionally well and don’t take them for granted.

My best practical advice for my planning self:

I felt a lot of pressure because we had such a short time to plan. I think everyone who plans a wedding would tell their planning self not to stress as much. That and to reach out for suggestions when it comes to vendors especially if you are going to be away from home. It is really difficult to do a broad search on the internet and just trust that people you have no experience with will be a good fit. Luckily it worked out for us, but it could have saved a lot of time and worries if we had been working off of recommendations.

Favorite thing about the wedding:

We had a vintage Disney train car running for a few hours around the property. People really seemed to enjoy that, and it also was special because my dad is a big train guy and worked for Disney, so it was cool to incorporate something that was fun for him and his friends.

Something else We’d like to share:

The whole process just showed me how truly lucky we are to have such supportive friends and family. They were there every step of the way, and even when we felt utterly confused and crazed, they got us through.


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