Today's darling couple, Julianne and Matt, followed one of our favorite tips for planning a wedding on a tight budget: Get married at a venue that needs little decoration. The South is blessed with lots of amazing places to choose from, and while Julianne and Matt did add a few charming DIY details, they recall that Classic Oaks Ranch would have been just as beautiful had they done nothing at all. Another benefit of not spending too much time and effort and money beautifying their venue? It let Julianne and Matt focus on what really mattered: writing personal vows, spending sweet time with guests, and soaking in their first day as a married couple!

Thank you so much to Brant Smith for sharing this lovely wedding with us!


I had searched online for wedding dresses and finally found one that I loved on Pinterest. I called a few of my friends and we all drove out to see the dress. When we got to the store, I told them the dress I was looking for and was confused when they directed me toward the bridesmaid section. I was even more surprised when the dress they brought out was cobalt blue with a black belt! I tried it on and instantly knew it was the dress. My friends loved it, and although my mom was a little hesitant, she knew if my heart was set that she couldn't change it. I was able to custom-order the dress in the colors I wanted and it turned out to be my dream wedding dress!


Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were perfect! My bouquet had peach garden roses, peonies, coral anemones, white freesia, Queen Anne's lace, succulents, peach hypericum berries, and dusty miller. My bridesmaids carried baby's breath bouquets accented with dusty miller.


Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse, or line? We did write our own vows, because we wanted them to be unique and special to us! My favorite part was "I get to laugh with you and cry with you, care for you and share with you. I get to run with you and walk with you, build with you and live with you. I will always be your lover, companion, and friend; your ally in conflict, your partner in life, your comrade in adventure, your student and your teacher, your greatest fan and consolation in disappointment, and your accomplice in mischief." Matt's favorite part was "I can't wait for this adventure through life with you. I promise that no matter where life takes us, where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay."


We probably could have gone without decorating and still had a beautiful wedding, because the venue has so much character! We loved that there was a separate area for everything--an outdoor chapel, a covered porch for cocktail hour, a beautiful reception area, and a smaller room for dessert.


What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable part of our wedding day was the reception. It was amazing to have so many people there to celebrate us. We had so much fun walking around, taking pictures, laughing, and catching up with old friends. We didn't want the reception to end because we were having so much fun with all of our loved ones in one place.


Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I wanted a simple and rustic wedding cake. One of our good friends volunteered to make our cake as a wedding gift, and she did an amazing job! It was a five-tiered cake with chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, and she included my flowers up the side of it. Matt does not like cake, so he asked for pies. We found an amazing pie place in Mansfield called Our Place and offered all kinds of flavors, including apple, banana pudding, almond joy, and chocolate. They were definitely a hit!


How did y'all meet? Tell us your love story. When I moved away to college, my parents decided to go to a new church. When I came home to visit, I went to the new church with them, and the first thing that caught my eye was Matt. I was introduced to a sweet older lady at the church who informed me that her grandson would be a perfect match. I was pleasantly surprised to meet him, but we were both super shy. That summer, our moms both tried to get the two of us to hang out, but it wasn't until we both moved back to school in the fall that we began to date.

Tell us all about the proposal! Matt called me one morning and told me that I should dress nicely, and someone would be at my house at 3:30. My best friend from high school, Ben, picked me up and drove me to the Dallas Arboretum. We walked out into a private area, where I found Matt standing by a fountain. He told me he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and before I knew it, he was down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring! I said yes, of course, and then we went to dinner at a really nice restaurant. He had even called ahead to have flowers put on the table. When it came time to order dessert, Ben said I had to wait until we got home, because he had prepared something for us. When we got to his house, all of our friends and family were there waiting to surprise me!

When did y'all get married? June 6, 2014

How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 215

If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My dress was a bridesmaid dress, and I bought my shoes on clearance at Target. Matt already had his suit and shoes from his medical school interviews. I made all of our signage and most of our decorations. Our invitations were free thanks to coupons on Vista Print. A friend made our cake, which saved us a ton. I designed and printed our programs. I also worked hard to make sure we were getting the best deals on all of the big expenses.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I am so happy that we decided to have a videographer. We really had to stretch the budget to fit that in, but I knew we would not regret it. I could not have been happier with the result, and I would recommend Dominique Anderson to anyone! She is so caring and personable, and she really does amazing work!

What's next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Matt is starting medical school, and I am getting my classroom ready for 20 first-graders! We really hit the ground running, and we are so excited for each other and to watch how we grow as individuals and as a couple with these new life adventures.

Photographer: Brant Smith / Videographer: Dominique Anderson / Venue: Classic Oaks Ranch / Florist: House of Petals / Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Anna Hammonds / Caterer: Oliver's Fine Foods / Paper Products: Vista Print / Bride's Gown: "Coriander" by Watters / Bridal Salon: Stardust Celebration / Bride's Earrings: Kate Spade / Hair Stylist: Carrie Johnson of Olive the Beauty Lounge / Makeup Artist: Sara Pipes of Olive the Beauty Lounge / Bride's Shoes: Target / Bridesmaids' Dresses: Anthropologie / Groom's Attire: J. Crew

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