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When it came time for lovebirds Megan and Adam to plan their Texas wedding, traditional pomp and circumstance was not a concern. “We knew that the day goes by quickly and we didn’t want to waste any time doing things that weren’t important to us,” explains the bride. “We wanted a big, fun, easygoing party with a long cocktail hour and lots of dancing!”   

After upping their initial budget of $10,000 (a number the bride describes as “sadly, wildly unrealistic”), the duo set about planning a laid-back Thursday wedding for 95 people. While we love this wedding for its carefree spirit and the minimalist-boho-chic vibes, what we love most is how personal the details are. The couple’s network of friends and family came together to add magic to the day—from donated succulents to a DIY dessert bar to the epic, all-important dance party. Here’s how this low-key couple planned the party of a lifetime on a budget of $20,000.

RELATED: This Couple Had a $2,000 Wedding and Good God Was It Gorgeous 

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

VENUE

For their venue, the couple chose Prospect House, an airy, modern event space with stunning views of Texas Hill Country. After learning that it cost over twice as much on Saturdays, they happily embraced a Thursday wedding, planning a weekend of uber-casual events for family and friends following the nuptials.

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

RENTALS

Another reason the couple selected Prospect House? They loved the existing furnishings and didn’t have to ship anything in on the rentals front. All tables and chairs were included in the site fee—as well as preexisting architectural features, like an indoor flower wall ripe for the decorating, and the dramatic ceremony frame outdoors.

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

FLORALS

Megan’s florals were a genius budgeting maneuver: For the nine months leading up to her wedding, she worked as a part-time shop hand for a talented florist friend, earning a $1,000 credit toward her blooms. (So smart.) As an added benefit, her friend crafted and gifted her a beautiful bridal bouquet.

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

DECOR

Megan wanted to keep the space feeling airy and minimalist on the decor front—but she did order some tabletop garnishing online: votives, vases and geometric sculptures, all of which she spray painted copper to match her color scheme. Another genius savings-generator? She resold everything afterwards to a wedding consignment store.

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

DETAILS

Early on in the planning process, Megan decided she wanted succulents and air plants to be a focal point of her decor. In what only can be described as kismet, a close family friend of the groom’s parents owns a nursery in Florida—and she gifted the couple boxes upon boxes of gorgeous greenery. How chic is this focal wall?

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

DRESS

Megan tried on no fewer than 35 dresses when searching for a comfy ivory frock with a bohemian feel. Finally, she found her dream dress on Free People, but it was completely sold out. After checking eBay for the style on a whim, she miraculously found the dress in her size—which she purchased on the spot for $400.

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

BRIDESMAIDS

Megan wanted each bridesmaid to work in a hue from her wedding palette: sage green, mustard yellow, gray and dusty pink, respectively. So she tasked each of her best friends with finding a dress in their hue that they felt comfortable in (which she then vetted, of course).

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

FOOD

When it came to catering, the couple knew they didn’t want a formal, seated meal—they wanted guests to graze (and dance!) freely. So in a nod to their hometown of Austin, they hired East Side King, their favorite Japanese street food truck.

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

DESSERT

The couple’s dessert bar was another example of loved ones coming together to make things special and affordable. Their moms made their favorite desserts (hers: sour cream twists; his: banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies), and additional sweets were brought in, potluck-style, by friends.

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

MUSIC

Initially, the couple entertained the idea of simply plugging in an iPod and keeping their dance party super casual. Luckily, at the 11th hour, a DJ friend of the couple stepped in and offered them 50 percent off his services.

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

ADVICE

“It feels harder to do this than it should but seriously, follow your heart when it comes to making decisions about your wedding,” the couple says. “Lots of people will have opinions, so keep in mind that they are usually coming from a good place—but ultimately it’s best if you do what sounds best to you. The day will feel supremely genuine if you can achieve this and everyone will benefit from and enjoy an event that is so perfectly you. Also remember that it’s OK if something goes wrong; surround yourself with people who will handle any mishaps so that you won’t have to. Most importantly, soak in every last moment. I was never a fan of the phrase ‘it’s the best day of your life’ before my wedding, but I wholeheartedly understand it now.”

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Adam Kealing International Wedding Photography

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