2/28 Real Wedding: Dana & Sheldon’s Outdoor Southern Fete Full Of Whimsical Handmade Details!

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Are you ready for a glorious Southern DIY wedding?  Many many thanks goes to Dana from the deliciously fun blog, Crafty Minx. This is her and her love’s absolutely whimsical wedding with so many crafty details that will tickle your fancy.  Without further ado, read on!

Our wedding was an outdoor wedding at my parents’ ranch in Indianola, Oklahoma.  We invited around 150 people and there were about 130 guests at the wedding. We decided to go with what we had for seating and talked my dad into baling enough hay for the wedding. The quits were collected from both sides of our families and some friends. It was so special having so many family heirlooms be a part of our big day. I also talked my dad into letting us use some of his trees to make stumps for the aisle runners.

The whole wedding was a DIY extravaganza. I made everything; all of our stationery (save the dates, invitations, thank you cards), the centerpieces, buntings, (cup)cake toppers, my dress, our bridesmaids’ dresses, boutonnières, guest book love notes, our photobooth, button favors and packaging, an activity table and handmade coloring books for the kids and the napkins. My dad and the men in our family built our dance floor, cut logs for aisle runners, made rustic wedding signs to have in a few places on the highway to lead to the wedding, and turned my parents’ ranch into a beautiful place for a wedding. A family friend made all of our flower arrangements for us. The week of the wedding was insane with everyone we know helping out with some kind of project.

We chose to try and spend the least amount possible and still have an amazing wedding because we didn’t understand why weddings are so expensive. Why spend $50,000 or more on one day? We saw this as a challenge and I think we succeeded. All of our guests said it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to and I believe that is because we put having fun and thinking of our guests in front of spending money and thinking of ourselves.

We didn’t really “splurge” anywhere, but there were a few things that we had to buy and not make ourselves. We rented a few items that we needed and hired an affordable professional photographer.  We chose to serve a full meal and have drinks, which were probably the most expensive parts of the wedding, but doing it ourselves saved a lot of money. We also bought as many things as we could for our wedding party as a thank you to them for all of the help they provided us preparing for the wedding.

We had a fairly casual wedding so we decided to have Oklahoma comfort food; Smoked brisket and chicken, Mac and Cheese, Baked Beans, and coleslaw. We also had a BBQ sauce fountain, which was very popular with our guests. There was a cupcake buffet with 7 flavors of cupcakes and pecan pie (my husband’s favorite). Our family made all of the food; my dad smoked all the meat the day before the wedding and our moms and aunts made everything else. I even helped frost cupcakes the day before the wedding. For drinks, we had tea and lemonade, two kegs of beer, two cases of wine, and a couple of bottles of champagne for the wedding party.

My absolute favorite moment was leaving the reception after the speeches and dances and taking pictures at sundown with my new husband. Having 30 minutes away from everything was perfection. This was the photographer’s idea and I will love her forever for it.

When asked what they would have done differently, if anything? Dana responded, “Since I didn’t have a wedding planner, all of my ideas and timelines were in my head. I would have written down more of my plans for the actual day of and shared even more with my friends than I did so they wouldn’t have been stressing about getting everything right.”

Dana’s advice for those in wedding planning mode right now:

A wedding is just one day in your life and you probably won’t remember most of it, so don’t stress out if something doesn’t go right. Your guests won’t realize something is out of place if you don’t make a big deal about it. Have fun and enjoy the day that you put so much work into!

Google documents is your friend! I used it for the guest lists and keeping track of our budget. I shared the docs with my fiancé, best friend, and mother so we could have access to them at any time and update them as needed. It kept me from having to worry about sending updated information and doing everything myself. If my mom wanted me to invite someone, she would add them to the list.

Dana and Sheldon kindly shared their wedding budget with us with this amazing breakdown.  As well as this information:

We spent about $6000 total.

The following items were free!:

  • Venue – Having a beautiful location for the ceremony really cut decoration costs too.
  • Tent – A friend of the family, the owner of a local car dealership, loaned us the tent for the reception.
  • Officiant – A mutual friend, she did an amazing job!
  • Tables – Borrowed from my mom’s church
  • Back up location in case of rain– Mom’s church, thankfully we didn’t have to use it, but we were so glad we had it just in case and it was less than 3 minutes away from the wedding location.
  • Seating at the ceremony – Since the ceremony and reception were in two different parts of the ranch, we used the rented chairs at the reception and opted for hay bales from my dad’s ranch covered in vintage quilts for the ceremony.

Congratulations again to Dana and Sheldon!  Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful day with us.  Thanks also go to Juniper Photography for all the images.  An incredibly amazing job of capturing the day of love!


Lydia from Ever Ours

  • Tisha

    I was at this wedding (Hi, Dana!!!) and let me tell you, it was as amazing as it looks in the photos. Everyone involved did such a wonderful job. I was planning my wedding at the same time (and I've known Dana since she was born) and it was great being able to bounce ideas off of her. She's an inspiration for sure.

  • Thanks for featuring our wedding! It was super fun breaking down our budget 🙂

  • I love every detail of this wedding – kudos to you guys for crafting such a lovely ceremony!

  • What a great wedding! DIY and tasteful!

  • oh man, beautiful! they are such a cute couple and i love their vibe!

  • As a displaced Okie, I've got to admit the BBQ sauce fountain detail totally made me smile. The location is gorgeous, I love the lock and key tattoos, the button-centered flowers, the cupcakes, the quilts, the background cattle, everything! Congratulations to a beautiful couple!

  • You all are so sweet thank you! 🙂

  • Jessica

    I love how you posted the break down of the wedding costs. This is really going to help me plan mine, thanks so much!

  • great stuff & thanks so much for the cost breakdown!

  • Elaine

    Thank you, this is wonderful! I'd love to see a photo of the BBQ sauce fountain! Is it a chocolate fountain filled with BBQ sauce? My son and his fiance are planning nearly the same wedding (outdoors, tent on the grass, hay bail seating, BBQ food–ok that is a caterer, but really affordable, pastor who is a cousin, DIY everything!) for mid-August far to the North – near Duluth Minnesota. With the addition of a bon fire, s'mores with homemade marshmallows, and fireworks. Only her parents don't have any cows. Congratulations!

    • Elaine, here's a link to the fountain: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyminx/508914528…. It's a chocolate fountain filled with barbecue sauce thinned down with apple juice. It makes a huge mess, and it's hard to clean the fountain afterward so you'll want to get special permission to do it if you're renting the fountain, but it was still a huge hit at our wedding!

      • Elaine

        Thanks Dana,
        I didn't see this reply until today, but the wedding is this coming weekend – so if my son and my dtr-in-law to be (MyDadsGotAGuy.wordpress.com), Kelly, want to do it, I have the fountain! What messy fun, seems like it might be right up our alley!

  • The blankey covered benches were awesome! I love every detail that was put into their wedding day. Proves you don't have to spend a lot to have the perfect wedding day! Thanks for sharing! Very inspirational.

  • K L

    Love the wedding budget pie chart! An at-a-glance breakdown is so helpful.

  • Roxanne

    In LOVE with this wedding! Love love love.

  • Karen

    I absolutely adored the bride & groom cupcakes!! Everyone looked like they were having a super great time and that's what it's all about! Congratulations!

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  • Kayron

    Hi, since the wedding seems to be in a field, what did you do about bathrooms?

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  • Springflower

    This wedding was so country I just love it to bits and pieces xoxoxoxo 🙂

  • princesslollie

    how did u make the diy flowers? i wont have money for a florist

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  • miseed a typo lol!

  • Cute ideas…love them

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