Real Weddings: California Backyard Bliss

This is such a lovely wedding and the taco truck may or may not be my most favorite reception food idea ever. Ok, it definitely is my favorite. Amanda and Erik tied the knot in the bride’s parent’s back yard in May with 70 of their closest friends and family there to be a part of their celebration.


Real Weddings

Real Weddings: California Backyard

Real Weddings: California Backyard

Real Weddings: California Backyard

Real Weddings: California Backyard



Real Budget Weddings:

Amanda & Erik

Oakdale, California

May 15, 2015


What was your budget?

Our budget was $10,000 and we came in just above $8,000, not including rings

Venue: Free, Bride’s parents’ backyard

Save the Dates and Invitations: $125 Amanda found a template online and her mom printed them.

The Dress: $700 Mori Lee, Bianca’s Bridal

Hair and makeup: $250 Sherri Stall, Pinups Salon 

Grooms Apparel: $180 for Tux Rental

Catering: $1,000 Taco Truck, Taqueria El Maguey

Alcohol: $500 from BevMo

Table and chair rental: $40

Photography: $2,500 Dawn Kelly Photography

Flowers: $650 Oakdale Flowers

Music and Photobooth: $1,600 DJ TNG Digital 

Decorations: $300

Cake: $150 Creative Cakes by Debra

Cake Pops and Cookies $225    Delectable Cake PopsMoss Rose Bakery 

Bridal Party Gifts: $200

What personal or creative aspects did you incorporate into your wedding?
Chalk boards made by my sister-in-law and centerpieces done by one of my bridesmaids.

What areas did you save the most money in?
Our venue was free because it was in my parents’ backyard, and my mom was our wedding coordinator!

What was your biggest splurge, and why?
My biggest splurge was our photographer, I know it is important to choose a person that will capture what you want. Dawn Kelly provides a unique quality that most other don’t, real film photography. She also knew how to work with us and the double exposure is amazing, artistic and more than I could have dreamed of.

What was your favorite detail?
Being surrounded by friends and family, in the comfort of my parents’ backyard.

What’s your one A-HA moment or takeaway tip for brides in the planning process?
There are great ways to save money while planning. Decorations can be made for a lot less than buying them already made. We also had people donate their time to help set up and take down the decorations. For our catering we had a taco truck which people raved about and it was less expensive than plain BBQ. We also had a dessert table that had cake pops, cookies and a small wedding cake which was less expensive than a big cake and more convenient. One area not to skimp on is the music and the photography. These two components of the wedding will ensure things go as planned and on schedule, and you will not have to worry about a thing. A good photographer will capture every moment of your day so when you look back at them you can feel the day all over again. A good DJ will help you choose songs that are right for you, and we sat down with ours for a couple of hours just to make sure it was right. And a good DJ will keep your guests on the dance floor, and ours did!