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Hindsight Bride Podcast | A DIY Wedding for Under $1000

A Laid Back DIY Picnic Wedding on a Mountaintop

bride and groom under a tree

Today I have a very special treat for you. An amazing DIY mountain bride, who planned a amazing wedding on and amazing budget. Can I say amazing any more times? But seriously…

Imagine having a gorgeous picnic wedding atop a mountain with 360 degree views of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park? Imagine holding a bountiful bouquet of wildflowers while live guitar music accompanies you down the aisle. Imagine having your reception a historic home, with a live sting band, delicious local foods, and a beautiful three tiered strawberry wedding cake. Now imaging paying less that $1,000

I had a chance to sit down with the Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Budget Bride, Jess Torrence Shacklefield to talk about how she planned her gorgeous mountaintop wedding for under $1,000. Jess shares tips on marshaling the talents of family and friends, ideas for cutting costs, and how to stay sane and grounded during a whirlwind 6-month engagement.

A Few Details and some Hindsight Advice:

In choosing wedding party gifts, Jess says, "Many [couples] think when they have people in their wedding party, [the couple] has to spend a lot of money, because [their attendants] are giving their time [and spending money.] But the best gift is something that means a lot or that helps them out." Jess bought her four groomsmen their shirts for the wedding and sought out meaningful gifts for her brides maids.

Jess is an independent, out-of-the-box thinker. She

  • eschewed tradition and had an uneven bridal party (two bridesmaids and four groomsmen)
  • picked fresh wild flowers for her bouquet
  • asked numerous family members to help with cake baking, flower arrangement, photography, and food
  • scoured thrift stores for everything from vases to her bridal gown
  • had a laid-back pot luck reception; and made her ceremony her own by having her kids walk her partway down the aisle and having her husband meet her half way and walk her the rest of the way down the aisle, symbolizing the different stages in her life
  • stayed faithful to creating a ceremony and reception that would meant the most to her, her future husband, and their children

The Crew: Photography by Torrence Photography (Bride's Brother) | Ceremony Music by Groom's Father and friends of the Family | Jewelry by Mother of teh Bride | Flowers by Bride, Aunt of tech Bride, Mother of the Bride, and Grandmother | Cake by Groom's Sister | Reception Food by Guests

☛ Listen to all the details of Jess and Aaron's DIY picnic wedding on the Hindsight Bride Podcast. Don't miss an episode! Subscribe via iTunes

☛ See more pictures of Jess and Aaron's Cataloochee Wedding

♥♥♥ If you’re a recently married bride or groom, or a wedding professional based in a mountain region, and have some of your own hindsight advice to share, please email me at hindsightbride {at} gmail {dot} com ♥♥♥