Sometimes I’m not sure how I get so lucky, getting to feature the most creative, amazing couples who bring in so many personal details and DIY elements into their weddings. Laren and Sam’s wedding on a bright, sunny day at Las Vegas’s Gilcrease Orchard, photographed by Dennis Dayrit, is no exception.
Be wowed again and again by the bright pops of apple red, the gorgeous setting and the emotional moments at this rustic orchard wedding! Almost every detail of their wedding was handmade by themselves or by loved ones. As Laren, the bride, wrote: “It’s like that saying, it takes a village to raise a child, well it took a village to plan this wedding. We had so much help from our friends and family. People came out to help set up, cook, clean, prep, and design. I have the best friends and family.” If you want to see more of Laren’s creativity, be sure to check out her blog, The Little Lion Girl!
Gilcrease Orchard was an amazing setting for the ceremony and a Godsend. We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding but we were having a lot of trouble finding a venue. I had thought that I could use a picnic site from a camping venue only to find out that it wouldn’t be possible only a month before the wedding. That was my mini-wedding meltdown. I think everyone has one. So we emailed a few places, the lodge at Mt. Charleston, Springs Preserve, The Farm, and Floyd Lamb Park to name a few. We knew right away that Gilcrease was it.
Mark, the director, gave us a tour and when he walked us down that aisle through the apple trees it was like magic. We somehow found this little piece of heaven a few miles from home. Everything happens for a reason I suppose.
My mother passed away almost six years ago and before she died we talked about if I ever got married and how we would style it. She was an artist, which is where I got my Photoshop skills from, and told me that if I ever got married it needed to be really unique. She advised that I have no flowers and just do something out of the ordinary but fun. So when I was planning my wedding I kept thinking back to that.
Instead of flowers, and my bridesmaids and I carried umbrellas. Tablescapes had handpainted and dyed bottles and vintage tins from my mother-in-law’s home, filled with an assortment of different plants and feathers. We covered the tables in butcher paper and put pencils everywhere so people would draw on them.
I made my own dress and it cost less than $150, with a red striped belt that was a ribbon from Jo-anns. I designed all the invitations on Photoshop, printed them out on card stock and hand addressed them myself. The music was also all done by me just using good old iTunes and different playlists.
My husband and I built the wedding arch and wrapped it with twigs from a tree that had fallen down in a storm in my in-laws backyard. We also built the keg stand/bar with the help of my father-in-law. All of the candles and soy melt favors came from my dad and stepmom’s candle company, Collective Scents.
All the food was of course homemade. My amazing aunt cooked tons of chili a few nights before and we reheated it in big pots on portable burners. My sweet mother-in-law baked cornbread and after our disaster with the desserts threw together some batches of cookies and chocolate dipped strawberries and even had one of her friends make some cakes in jars, which got rave reviews.
The drinking jars were all ordered online and covered with chalkboard heart stickers that I cut out myself and the plates were all old pie tins that we collected over a year and a half with the help of friends. My in-laws built the photo booth area with the vintage doors and supplied all the dress-up items for the photos from their antique booth at Charleston Antique Mall. When our guests showed up they took photos with an Instamax and that turned into our guestbook. The day was such a success and my friends and family still talk about how much fun it was. I’ve even had requests for a repeat night!
I have so many amazing memories that its hard to pick just one. My 3-year-old niece who was my flower girl calling me a princess. Our groomsman Joe pulling out a unicorn mask and taking shots through it. One of my best friends surprising us with a floating candle ceremony where we lit candles for each other and the people we love and placed them in the pool. Being surprised with our cake. The funny butt picture of all the guys.
Two nights before the wedding my best friend, her fiancé, and brother all came over to help make desserts. It was a nightmare. The only dessert that survived to the wedding was the candied apples. We even tried to put together a cake and it was so poorly done that it ended up falling over. I laughed to tears. Some things are just better saved for the professionals. In the end her mom and dad, who are very much like my own parents surprised us with an adorable two layer cake from Albertsons that looked like a much better version of the cake that fell over. We topped it with a paper cut-out cake topper that was an homage to the haunted mansion. I had to have Disney thrown in my wedding somewhere.
But I think my all time favorite memory was the way my husband had to stop and take a moment just to cry as he was saying his vows, it was the most touching and overwhelming thing I’ve ever been a part of. I hope that everyone gets a chance to feel that loved. This was definitely a wedding put together with love.
Angie Kelly of Peachy Keen Unions was our officiant and she was such a pleasure to work with. She was quick to respond, showed up on time and helped pull everything together and she delivered such a beautiful ceremony. I would recommend her to anyone looking for an officiant. And I can’t forget my photographer! The amazing Dennis Dayrit. His pictures were exactly what we were looking for, and his prices were insane. This guy can’t be beat.
Laren + Sam’s Budget and Guestlist
We were on a very strict budget. We were expecting around 200 people and had to stay under $10,000 for everything including the honeymoon, but I wasn’t willing to compromise on what I wanted for price so I made almost everything by hand.
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Dennis Dayrit Photography // Ceremony + Reception Venue: Gilcrease Orchard, Las Vegas // Wedding Dress: DIY by the Bride // Hair: Friend of the Bride // Makeup: By the Bride // Catering: Homemade, Alcohol from Costco, Total Wine & More // Cake: Albertsons // Celebrant: Angie Kelly of Peachy Keen Unions // Stationery: Designed by the Bride // Chair and Table Rentals: RSVP Party Rentals // Vintage Furniture: Charleston Antique Mall // Portapotties: All American Waste Services // Candles: Collective Scents // Umbrellas: eBay // Suspenders: eBay