Katie & Joey | DIY California Ranch Wedding

Instead of a do-it-yourself wedding, Katie and Joey had a do-it-together wedding, with friends and family pitching in to make the day beautiful and special. Which is really one of the most special things about being engaged and getting married: loved ones coming together to support you and celebrate you. And it’s extra wonderful when it results in a lovely wedding like this!

Joey shared a bit about the ceremony venue: “We knew that we wanted to get married outside in a large, open space – we love being outdoors, surrounded by rolling hills, the large blue sky, sunshine and the beauty of nature. So with Katie’s mom, we spent an afternoon driving through the hills of Redlands, going in and out of ranches. When we found ourselves at Jeffries Heartland Stables, it had just what we wanted. We asked the ranch owner if she’d had a wedding there before and she said, no, but she was willing to.”

I love this little detail from Katie: “Joey and I didn’t want to do a first look because we wanted see each other for first time in our wedding attire as I was walking down the aisle. Instead, we had breakfast together on the morning of our wedding. Many brides are conflicted because they want to see their spouse for more than a few hours on this huge day that so much time, effort, and money has been put into, but are conflicted because they don’t want to do a first look. I think this was a great alternative because we woke up early, got breakfast, exchanged gifts, talked about the day ahead of us, and were able to find peace in each other’s presence.”

Katie and Joey’s wedding was full of DIY details. Says Katie, “Our families baked their best desserts for our dessert bar. Joey made all the table numbers. And my dear friend Brittany (and our photographer’s wife) made our seating arrangement chalkboards – the list goes on and on. With the help of our friends and family, the wedding was full of personal touches.”

Katie and Joey answered some questions for us about their wedding:

Do you have any budget tips for other couples?  Katie: Budget – practically the theme of our wedding! We had a budget of about $12,000 and I can proudly say that we were able to plan our entire wedding for 170 guests within this amount. There was not a single thing that I wished we had at our wedding that we didn’t. We were able to have our “dream” everything, even with this budget. One of my favorite things at our wedding was the food. We had In-N-Out for dinner and then we had our families bake the desserts that they are known for. It was small things like this that led to a lower-budget. My advice for planning a wedding on a low-budget goes on and on so I would encourage any brides with questions to get in contact with me through my blog, Buttons, Lace & Love.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Katie: My favorite part of the day was when we had communion at our ceremony. Joey and I just got to stand back and take it all in. We stepped to the side and stood over by our bridesmaids and flower girls and just watched all of our friends and family walk up to the line. It was so great because it gave us some time to reflect and smile and wave at all the people at our wedding. Oh, and of course, the dancing!

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  Joey: Katie and I incorporated traditions into our ceremony by putting a twist on them and making them special to us. For example, instead of a unity candle or pouring sand, we tied three cords of rope together to represent the unity between us and God. Another tradition, one that was one of the most special aspects of our ceremony for us, was the taking of the Eucharist, or communion. Often in a wedding, communion is only between the two getting married, but we opened it up tradition for all who wished to partake. It was the first act we did as a couple after being pronounced husband and wife, and it was a very special time in the ceremony for Katie and me.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Katie: I think the best advice I received, and my advice to other brides, is that when the day comes, nothing else matters except that you and your spouse are together. You know all those little details you are stressing about? None of it will matter – I promise! Do what you need to get by, and don’t stress on the stuff that no one will notice. Another thing I suggest is only surrounding yourself with the people who will make you feel loved and relaxed on the day of your wedding.



Photographer: Michael Radford Photography / Ceremony Venue: Jeffries Heartland Stables in Redlands, California / Reception Venue: The Mitten Building / Bride’s Dress: Tara Keely / Groom’s Bow Tie: Nordstrom / Stationery: Underwood Letterpress / Floral Design: Art With Nature / Catering: In-N-Out Burger / Cake: Some Crust Bakery


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