Kristen and Kyle came down from Virginia to Milton, FL to get married in Kyle’s mothers beautiful backyard. The house faced the gorgeous Blackwater river which was perfect for their close knit family ceremony. We love so many of their details from their faux flowers to their DIY arbor! Enjoy this Intimate Lakeside Backyard Wedding in Florida for $3K
Kristen + Kyle
October 19th, 2019
Milton, FL | Private Residence Backyard
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Venue: $0 – We were married in Kyle’s parents’ backyard.
- Hair & Makeup: $0 – My sister did my hair and I did my makeup.
- Officiant: $0 – Kyle’s parents’ lovely neighbors officiated us.
- Bride attire (including veil & alterations): $600 – gift from my parents.
- Bride shoes: $60
- Groom attire: $100
- Food/Drinks: $975 – gift from both of our parents.
- Cake: $170
- Flowers: $70
- Bouquets (2 – Bridal & Maid of Honor) & Boutonnieres (3): $200
- Decor (including the arbor & other handmade items): $250 – My in-laws’ neighbors also allowed us to use many of their decor pieces from their daughter’s wedding.
- Linens: $60 – gift from my parents.
- Photography: $500 – gift from my parents.
Total Budget: $2,985 (including gifted items)
How did you meet?
Kyle and I met at a mutual friend’s house during a game night. It was crazy because we both felt so familiar to each other, almost like we had already met. We were inseparable ever since, so I guess you could say the rest is history!
What is your proposal story?
So in order to really appreciate it, you have to know that I’m absolutely obsessed with elephants and it had always been my dream to be up close and personal with one!
Kyle and I planned a weekend getaway to Lexington, VA at The House Mountain Inn. I was so excited to go to Natural Bridge Zoo to see the elephants, and little did I know, Kyle had booked a one-on-one hour session for us with an elephant! Also unbeknownst to me, the zoo owner had my engagement ring all day long! He handed it to the elephant (the ring box was wrapped in a scarf) and before I knew it, she used her trunk to give me this cute little scarf with some kind of box inside. I turned around completely confused, and there Kyle was, down on one knee. I was losing my mind. My best friend just asked me to spend forever with him AND I was hanging out an elephant. It was unbelievable!!
Tell us about your wedding vision.
Our main goal was to have a small, intimate wedding. Our style was casual, rustic, and coastal, and our color scheme included blush, blue, and maroon colors. We decided to get married at Kyle’s parents’ beautiful home in Milton, FL. This is actually where his parents were married as well, so that made it even more special to us!
Tell us about your attire choices.
I really wanted a dress that was simple, but elegant, and not pure white. Kyle went with a grey tux and a blush/berry colored tie to complement the overall color scheme.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Keeping the wedding small was the most important to us because we really wanted to spend time with everyone throughout the day and the days leading up to the wedding.
We also knew that we wanted to splurge more on our honeymoon in Mexico than we wanted to spend on the ceremony and reception. We decided to skip hiring a DJ, event planner, and caterer. We used a playlist from Amazon Music, our family helped us set up everything that we needed, and our parents and my in-laws’ neighbors cooked all of the food!
What were your favorite parts of the day?
My family and I have always associated butterflies with Grammie (my mom’s mom) and we were hoping that they would make an appearance. While I was getting ready with my mom and sister, a butterfly continuously flew into the window right beside us. After the ceremony, the most beautiful butterflies were flying all around us, and this was in the middle of a passing tropical storm! They even let me get close enough to pick them up with my finger. Grammie was definitely making her presence known! It was breathtaking and I am so grateful to Autumn for capturing these moments on camera.
Spending the day with my Dad and having our first dance was immeasurably special to me. He was so emotional and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. He taught me everything there is to know about what a genuinely good man looks like, and I’m able to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams because I loved him first.
Because our wedding was so small, we were all able to sit at the same dinner table together – laughing, joking, and celebrating. We truly had the most perfect day.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
My bouquet was made completely out of faux flowers by Olga Tsiuk. I found her on Facebook after seeing the beautiful bouquets that she made for other brides. I told her about my vision and color scheme, and she updated me with pictures throughout the process until it was even better than what I had envisioned! My bouquet is now a centerpiece in our home and I get to keep it forever!
I purchased all of the other flowers at Michael’s while they were on sale because they’re so much cheaper than buying a ton of flower arrangements. Our families helped us arrange them and they looked absolutely beautiful. You would never know that they’re all fake!
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We knew that we wanted a two-tier white cake with buttercream frosting. The bottom tier was strawberry shortcake and the top tier was banana cream pie. Oh Snap Cupcakes did a wonderful job, everyone loved it!
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
We built the arbor together after looking at a million of them on Pinterest, and it was so easy! You wouldn’t believe how cheap it was to make ourselves in comparison to how much it costs to rent an arbor for a couple of hours (especially if you have some scrap wood lying around). I bought the fabric at a local fabric store and found the flowers at Michael’s for 70% off.
We also bought wood crates from Lowes to add a rustic feel, and built the picture display out of shiplap.
I have a vinyl cutting machine and used that to make many of the decor items, including my dress hanger, the wood cake stand, and the “First Day, Yes Day, Best Day” wood sign. My in-laws’ neighbors also allowed us to use decor from their daughter’s wedding.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
I wore my Grammie’s necklace that my mom wore on her wedding day and attached a butterfly pin that Grammie gave me many years ago to my bouquet. I don’t have a shadow of a doubt that she was there with me. My mother in law gifted us beautifully engraved flutes as that is her wedding tradition.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Have the kind of wedding that the two of you want, whatever that may be; huge wedding, small wedding, elopement, you can’t go wrong if it’s true to who you are as a couple. It all goes by so fast, so take in every moment. Your wedding day is all about celebrating the love you have for each other, so don’t sweat the small stuff if something doesn’t go as planned!
Photography: The Wright Perpective | Wedding Cake: Oh Snap! Cupcakes & Gourmet Bakery | Floral: All flowers (besides bouquet) were purchased at Michael’s craft store and arranged by the bride and family | Wedding Ring: Diamonds Direct Virginia Beach | Non-Floral Bouquet: Olga Tsiuk | Decor Items: Alyssa’s Antique Store | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: JCPenny | Veil: David’s Bridal | Earrings: JCPenny | Submitted via: Matchology
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Learn more here.