Allison and Cameron’s Rustic Texas Barn Wedding

Despite what they say about everything being bigger in Texas, Allison and Cameron decided to keep things small when it came to their wedding day in the Lone Star State. With just their children, their families, and their closest friends in attendance, the couple exchanged their vows in a heartfelt outdoor ceremony before celebrating with a fun-filled barn reception. And while they may have gone small with the guest list, like true Texans, they went big on everything else!

Special thanks to Allison Jeffers for sharing their special day with us.

Texas barn wedding

Allison, 25 & Cameron, 37

Sisterdale, TX

Wedding Date: June 27, 2014

Number of Guests: 20

Wedding Cost: $17,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Sisterdale Dancehall, Sisterdale, TX

Wedding Reception Location: Sisterdale Dancehall, Sisterdale, TX

chalkboard wedding sign wedding coaster bride by the window colorful wedding bouquet ring bearer peeking through doors outdoor wedding ceremony chalkboard wedding sign

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

This was the second wedding for both of us and we both have children from our first marriages. We wanted it to be small and intimate and mostly just include the children and our close families and friends.

wedding dress hanging up outdoors wedding prep area bride's pearl earring bride's lace booties ring bearer taking photo ring bearer and flower girl bride lounging on chaise

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Finding vendors that will cater to smaller weddings; most say 50+ people and we weren’t even close to that. And how much money to spend – really how much do you need? We went back and forth on so many things.

bride and groomkissing bride and groom embracing

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, not at all. We knew who we wanted there all along.

wedding portrait groom dipping bride

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

No we didn’t. Everyone understood our reasons and if they didn’t, they didn’t express their opinions to us.

rustic wedding program rustic outdoor wedding ceremony doors wedding altar flowers fabric wrapped wedding ceremony chairs ring bearer and flower girl walking down aisle bride holding son's hand at wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

We wrote our own vows. It was very romantic and I don’t think there was a dry eye there! Also, the heel of one of my shoes broke as I was walking down the aisle. I had to balance myself on one foot the whole time! Then after the ceremony, my husband carried me back down the aisle.

outdoor wedding ceremony outdoor wedding ceremony rustic outdoor wedding ceremony bride and groom first kiss bride and groom walking down the aisle groom carrying bride

What were the highlights of the reception?

Cameron’s daughter Maci, 11, gave a speech about how happy she was to have a new stepmom like me! It was absolutely the sweetest thing ever and made me cry! Also, the chicken dance was a hit with everyone! I think everyone in attendance did that one!

barn wedding venue chalkboard wedding sign bride and groom chairs garden rose wedding centerpiece wedding flowers rose wedding centerpiece wedding napkins

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

It just felt more romantic and special having everyone you love and care about right there sharing your special moment.

barn wedding reception venue bride and groom dancing wedding cake bride and groom feeding each other cake

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Don’t stress about your guest list and who will or won’t be there. It’s about you two and your desires. Everything will work out in the end and will be so worth it!!

bride and groom kissing


Catering: Fritze’s BBQ and Catering

Flowers: The Rose Petal

Cake: Sophie’s Bakery

Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal

Venue: Sisterdale Dancehall

Photography: Allison Jeffers Wedding Photography

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The Masquerade Ball Wedding

If you’re looking for a sophisticated idea for a fall or Halloween wedding, then look no further. The masquerade ball with mysterious masks and a dark color palette is an elegant option. This mystical theme not only looks amazing, but also provides an abundance of fun for you and your guests. From guessing who is underneath the mask to impressive eerie decor.

For a vintage take on this theme, go for unusual masks teamed with a lace dress and light brown suit. Great for weddings in old warehouses or lofts. A candlelit reception will definitely up the scare-factor as well as providing some serious mood lighting. You can still use classic floral arrangements with this darker theme, such as whites and pinks. Gold and black are a stunning combo, especially for weddings around Halloween.

A scary yet grown up treat in the form of a delicious burger! Get creative with your menu and steer clear of the witches fingers and creepy eyes in favor of clever themed options like this.

A laser-cut black mask with a lace dress and Gibson Girl style hair has a vintage influence.

Capture the essence of the nostalgic smoke machine in a glass, with a spooky cocktail. A signature drink with a difference.

Another option for a masquerade themed table, is by going for a slightly cleaner approach. Team gold and black with white accents and mini gold pumpkins. If you’re going for wooden tables, this will work well; especially in a barn setting. Black candle holders were made for a masquerade ball and you can use any combination of candle colors to match with them. Glitter and feathers as cake decorations will complement the design of your masks.

When it comes to selecting masks, there are many references to help inspire you. Venetian, 18th Century and Mardi Gras are fun styles to choose from. Or you can design and customize them yourself. Black bridesmaid dresses will complete the look especially when paired with deep plum bouquets.


Photo one: selectstudiosphoto.comPhoto two: brookelynphotography.comPhoto three: bradleyjamesphotography.comPhoto four: stylemepretty.comPhoto five: meghansavage.comPhoto six: mathieuphoto.comPhoto seven: jophotoonline.comPhoto eight: toa.stPhoto nine: rusticwhite.comPhoto ten: carmensantorellistudio.comPhoto eleven:;

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Burgundy might seem like a bit of a throwback to the early 90’s, but with the recent popularity of jewel tones, the deep red shade is making a comeback in a serious way. Rich and dark in tone, burgundy is a perfect addition to any fall or winter color palette, but used sparingly it can also work for more daring spring and summer palettes as well. Here are 5 ways we think you should use it on your wedding day.

If you’re all about the jewel tones then burgundy is the perfect wedding color for you. Throw in some crimson red and a plummy purple and you’re good to go!

Burgundy color palette

Just because burgundy is such a heavy shade doesn’t mean it can’t be paired with a soft color like blush pink to make for a pretty and delicate color scheme. We love the contrast it creates in this palette.

burgundy color palette

If you want to add a little oomph to the above palette, throw a little bright reddish pink and purple into the mix for a color scheme that clashes ever so slightly and in the most perfect way possible.

burgundy color palette

Dusty shades are perfect for a fall wedding, but can look a little drab on their own. Burgundy adds a richness to the color palette giving it that little bit of life it needs to keep it from becoming boring.

burgundy color palette

This is a great color palette for a late summer or early fall wedding when the trees are still green and the days are warm, but the nights are cool. The blues scream summer while the dusty purple and burgundy hint at autumn’s imminent arrival.

burgundy color palette

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10 Fall Wedding Faves

Fall seems to be everyone’s favourite season. The reasons why could possibly be due to the the stunning autumnal colors, delicious treats, and the cosiest of clothing. This makes a fall wedding a very enviable affair indeed when some of these seasonal ideas are incorporated. If you’re not a fan of big bright pumpkins and Halloween ephemera then there’s many ways for you to be inspired by the season in a subtle way. We’ve picked 10 of our fall faves for you to use in your wedding.

1. Mini Pumpkin Vases

You can use a selection of mini pumpkins, squash and gourds to create these unique floral centerpieces. They are ideal for the season without being too obvious. It’s a great DIY project that can also double up as favors for your guests.

2. Long-Sleeved Wedding Dress

Use the colder weather as an excuse to wear a gorgeous long-sleeved dress. Wedding dresses with sleeves are a contemporary  and on trend look for your fall nuptials. We love sheer lace details that are both feminine and fashion forward. This also saves you from thinking about a cover up.

long sleeves gown

3. White Pumpkin Centerpiece 

Pumpkins are synonymous with the season for a plethora of reasons. From Halloween to pumpkin spice mania, there are pumpkins everywhere at this time of the year. To make them more wedding appropriate, white pumpkins are a perfect choice. They have more of an elegant and classic look and can be hollowed out to hold your floral arrangements.

4. Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses 

Merge the colors of fall by having your bridesmaids wear mismatched dresses in the same palette.

5. Apple Cider Treats

If you could bottle the taste of the season, surely it would taste like apple cider? If you agree, then apple cider and apple cider donuts will go down as a treat with your guests.

6. Gourd Candles

Little pumpkins and gourds can be easily transformed into candle holders with this nifty DIY.

7. Monogrammed Plaid Blankets 

Wrap up in style with these plaid blankets, that also look great as chair back decor.

8. Painted Leaves

Dried leaves are a great project for the autumn months, they look even better when they are painted in bold or metallic hues. You can use these leaves as escort cards, table numbers or just scattered on your tables.

9. Bonfire Reception

If you’re having an outdoor reception, or if there’s an outdoor space available then a bonfire will keep your guests warm. Plus, bonfires just go hand in hand with hot chocolate and s’mores... so there’s your excuse.

10. Fall Bouquet 

Deep red dahlias, red anemones and garden roses help to make up this stunning fall bouquet. Dark and moody blooms make these floral arrangements such a lovely option for the season.

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Bérénice and Mike’s North Carolina Courthouse Wedding

Being a grad student from France, Bérénice couldn’t see herself having the time or the desire to plan a huge wedding. Still wanting to celebrate with those closest to them, however, she and Mike didn’t feel eloping was the right option for them either. Instead, the couple opted for a low-key courthouse wedding in Raleigh, North Carolina where they live, inviting only immediate family and a few close friends. They followed up their sweet civil ceremony with a photo session around town with their talented photographer Carolyn Scott, and finished off the day with dinner at their favorite Lebanese restaurant.

North Carolina elopement

Bérénice, 26 & Michael, 34 

Raleigh, NC

Wedding Date: July 31, 2014

Number of Guests: 8

Wedding Cost: We never actually wrote everything down, but from what I calculated it was about $6,750 including wedding bands, but not the engagement ring.

Wedding Ceremony Location: Wake County Courthouse, Raleigh, NC

Wedding Reception Location: Our family went to a bar while we had our pictures taken and we met them there for drinks before dinner; then we went to a great Lebanese restaurant in downtown Raleigh for dinner.

wedding rings North Carolina groom bride walking through raleigh park bride and groom walking through raleigh elopement portrait bride and groom waiting at courthouse bride and groom portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

I am French, Mike is from Massachusetts, and we currently live in North Carolina. So it was difficult to plan a big wedding because everybody would have had to travel. I am also in grad school, so I am super busy and I didn’t see myself planning a wedding! But most of all, we didn’t want anything big because it is not us: we are more comfortable in small groups. On the other end, it was important for us to celebrate that day with our closest family rather than just elope. So we decided on a very small – immediate family only – wedding.

casual groom groom in khakis and navy blazer back of bride's dress bride's fascinator bride portrait

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

For a little bit, we considered having a wedding in Massachusetts or in France and both options were challenging in their own right. However, once we decided that we would go with an intimate wedding in Raleigh with only our immediate family, there was no challenge anymore! This is one of the reasons why we wanted a small wedding.

elopement portrait elopement portrait bride and groom walking through Raleigh intimate bride and groom portrait wedding portrait in front of car bride and groom walking through the city urban wedding portrait bride and groom walking through the city elopement portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, we invited only our parents, siblings, grand parents, and a couple of close friends that live in Raleigh so they didn’t have to travel. Unfortunately, our grandparents couldn’t travel from Massachusetts and France. We would have liked to share the day with more people, but this is the compromise you have to make when you decide to have a small wedding!

Raleigh North Carolina wedding party at courthouse wedding party at courthouse wedding party in lobby

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

No we didn’t have any issues. We told our family and close friends that it was immediate family only and they understood. We sent wedding announcements with pictures of the wedding to everybody afterwards.

bride and groom at the courthouse courthouse elopement

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

I was getting ready with my family at our house and Mike was getting ready with his family at their hotel. Mike picked me up at our house to go to the courthouse and when he got there with his family, my dad walked me down the stairs of the front porch to “Ghosts that We Knew” by Mumford and Sons. It was like being walked down the aisle and it was very emotional!

courthouse wedding ceremony courthouse wedding Raleigh courthouse wedding bride and groom eloping at courthouse groom putting ring on bride's finger first kiss courthouse wedding ceremony groom kissing bride at courthouse

What were the highlights of the reception?

We had dinner at our favorite restaurant in Raleigh called Sitti. It was great to be at the same table as all of our guests! We were able to talk to everybody and enjoy our great food!

wedding guests with rose petals

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The very light amount of planning and the small bill that goes with it!

maid of honor with rose petals rose petal wedding exit

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Do what makes you feel comfortable! It is your wedding and it should represent who you are! Also, get photographers to document the day for you and the people you didn’t invite.

elopement portrait


Wedding Dress: Kookaï

Bride’s Shoes: SJP Bobbie Nordstrom

Bride’s Jewelery: J. Crew

Headpiece: Dahlia Blusher from BHLDN

Groom’s Sport Coat and Shirt: Macy’s

Groom’s Jeans: J. Crew

Groom’s Shoes: Clarks

Photographers: Carolyn Scott Photography

Cake: The Cheesecake Factory

Make-Up and Hair: I did my own make-up and hair as well as my mom’s.

Flowers: My mom made my bouquet with flowers from Fresh Market.

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2 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Elopements, Real Weddings
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