Today is a special day.
It’s our fourth wedding anniversary! It’s also a Thursday. And a “throwback Thursday” wedding anniversary = the best kind of wedding anniversary in my book.
Four years ago today, we pulled off a DIY wedding with 10 days’ notice… for around $1000…. Pre-Pinterest.
It seems like it should be a long story, but it really isn’t. We were tired of being engaged. We had been waiting for a job situation to sort itself out, and the pieces finally fell into place. Bryan called me and said: “I got the job. Do you want to get married next weekend?”
As most brides do, mere minutes after getting engaged, I was planning every detail of the wedding: red,white, and black; cherry blossoms; etc. Weeks later, I was giving up in tears. Somewhere between drama over choosing the perfect red heels, deciding on a location, and deciding how big the invitation list was going to be, I snapped.
You guys, I’m lucky Pinterest wasn’t around at the time.
If I had to scour thrift stores for charmingly mismatched china, commission hand-carved woodcuts for artisanal save-the-dates, bake a thousand French macarons in coordinating wedding colors, hand-bead my wedding dress, or stitch up heirloom underwear out of my grandmother’s hand-tatted lace as gifts for the bridesmaids, my wedding might have taken a rather Kill Bill turn…
P.S. Just kidding about the heirloom undies – that wasn’t a Pinterest idea. It came from my own founts of sarcasm and satire. But I can’t be sure it hasn’t been done…
So when Bryan proposed a last-minute, teeny tiny, homespun wedding, I was ready to go for it.
Here’s how we pulled it off:
The invitations: Phone calls and Facebook messages. (We keep it classy.) Our nearest and dearest friends cleared their schedules and came.
The venue: My parent’s house. They have a large farmhouse style home. We cleared all furniture out of the living room and set up rented white folding chairs with an aisle down the middle. We draped Christmas lights and tulle around the banister of the staircase, and I walked down the stairs before walking down the aisle.
The decorations: Tulle, Christmas lights, candles, white silk flowers, and black and white photographs set up on the sideboard in the dining room. I was able to pick almost everything up at the craft store and use crystal and candles my mom already had. Their beautiful home didn’t need much decorating to be the perfect “venue”!
The menu: Simple finger foods… and one explosive punch. (The crystal punchbowl spontaneously shattered in the kitchen, deluging everything nearby!) The cake came from a little local bakery.
The clothes: I actually already had my dream wedding dress sitting in my closet. It was a custom Etsy order, sewn in white satin and black lace from a vintage 1950’s cocktail dress pattern. It needed a few alterations once it arrived to fit perfectly, but I’m still happy with my choice – I just wish I could still fit in it! And Bryan had a spiffy new suite (courtesy of the recent job interviews). We shopped together for red shoes – heels for me, converse for him.
The wedding party: My sister was my maid of honor, and Bryan’s childhood best friend was his best man.
The ceremony: Our dear friend David was able to perform the ceremony. He only snuck in one corny joke. We love you David!
The music: Another dear friend played Pachelbel’s canon for me as I came down the stairs, and then played hymns and sang during the ceremony.
Afterwards, we “walked out” to this song, our favorite love song – “The Weight” by Thrice.
The photos: We hired our dear friend Andy (are you seeing a pattern of friends pitching in, here?) to take our photos, and he did such a wonderful job, didn’t he? Sadly he didn’t make it in any of the pictures because he was behind the camera the whole time!
That was our DIY Wedding…
We didn’t want to break the bank. (We didn’t even want to shake it up a little bit.)
It was day about family and friends pitching in and coming together.
It was mildly stressful, as most wedding days are, but casual, relaxed and homey.
After the ceremony, greeting friends and family, cutting the cake and taking photos, Bryan was starving so I was able to duck into the kitchen and made him a sandwich. He insists this was the absolute best part of the day – signing the marriage certificate, and eating a sandwich that his new bride made him in her wedding dress:
Thinking back, going over these old photos, and reflecting on our wedding day, I honestly would not change much. I know that an at-home wedding with a 1k budget isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was perfect for us. We are at-home people. And I firmly believe that you can have a wonderful, beautiful wedding day no matter what your budget is!
If I could change anything, I would have ordered adorable chocolate-dipped fortune cookies with custom fortunes inside featuring our names & wedding date that I found online (all by myself! Pre-Pinterest, remember!). And I would have focused a little more on the food-side of the wedding. And I would have given our friends a little more notice than 10 days 😉
If Bryan could change anything, there would have been baby ducks waddling around everywhere. In tuxes.
This is who we are.
Julia Konya says
You two are just adorable. Love the shoes and the shoe photo. So personal, different and you.
Happy anniversary! Oh and you looked gorgeous!
Thank you Julia 🙂 *blushes*
Cassie @ Primitive & Proper says
oh i love the ensembles- you guys are too cute!
Thanks Cassie! My primary reaction when I look at the pictures is: omg, we were such BABIES! 🙂
Run To Radiance says
Girl! This is impressive. I love the shoes! I am also glad I got married pre-pinterest!! So much worrkkkk! Happy four years!! xoxo
Aw, thanks Tania! Woohoo to Pre-Pinterest weddings – it is so crazy to me just how much Pinterest changed wedding planning!
Emily @ DavenportDIY says
Happy Anniversary!! I love this- this is how weddings should be. Not these $20K+ over inflated fancy shmancy deals that they are now. It's ridiculous!! I love everything about your wedding (although it definitely would have been better with tiny ducks wearing tuxes, just sayin'- ha!!) Cheers to 4 years! 🙂
Thank you Emily – I so agree! It's so easy to turn a wedding into a monstrous production, which is fine, I guess, if that's what the couple wants… but personally, I didn't want the "big picture" to get lost in the details!
P.S. Bryan loves that you agreed with his ducks idea 🙂
Megan Poletti says
This is so adorable. I love Bryan's story about his new bride making him a sandwich 🙂 So cute! I love all of the decorations! Oh and also, Happy Anniversary!
Thank you Megan! That was definitely his highlight of the day, especially since when we first met I once jokingly declared I would never make him a sandwich 😉
Patricia Goins says
Love it! I've been married three times. The first time was a small-ish wedding, the second was a $40,000 lavish affair, but the third wedding was $200 and in a garden. Happy to report that I have been married for 14 years and that it was the best $200 we ever spent! Your dress is just lovely and I adore the red shoes for both of you!
Thank you Patricia! That's so sweet that that's the best $200 you ever spent 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
Your dress is absolutely stunning! Your whole wedding is so encouraging that the day doesn't require oddles of money to be classy, beautiful and perfect to the couple. So glad friends and family were able to pitch in and help make your day perfect!
Love those red shoes!
Thanks girl! You hit it right on the head – that's exactly what I wanted to get across 🙂
Stephanie White says
Your wedding look amazing! I love the red shoes.
Happy Anniversary! Your wedding looks like it cost much more than $1000. I agree that a wedding day should just be about the couple. We got married in Vegas and we would not change a thing. We aren't high stress people. And I also agree that we were both lucky Pinterest was not around! I have even created a fake dream wedding board! Ugh! So easy to get sucked in! : )
Congratulations on four years! Hope you had a great day!
Thank you Jenni! We did have a wonderful anniversary 🙂 I love that you two got married in Vegas!
Jazmin Rode says
I love your wedding! It was so beautiful and way better than anything you'll see on Pinterest! Your dress was killer. 🙂
Thank you Jazmin! 🙂 You're so sweet!
Kelsa Brinker says
LOOOOOVE!!!!!!! How did your parents feel about it all? I want a wedding just like this–homey. But my mother isn't thrilled. At.All. How did you handle this? Or was it already a non-issue?
Thank you Kelsa! I super hope you come back to check this reply, because I know exactly how you feel!
I didn't get into this in the blog post, but initially my parents and I had some… friction… about my wedding plans being too non-traditional (this was before the 10-days'-notice wedding we actually had). It was very stressful, and I was seriously considering just not having a wedding at all.
Thankfully, over the next few months they came to be much more understanding and accepting of our "style" (or we just wore them down – I may have threatened to elope). By the time we gave them a mere 10 days' notice and announced that we wanted to get married in their living room, they got really excited about it and were absolutely amazing helping us to pull everything together!
I sincerely hope you're able to talk this through with your mother and that she comes around – I know family + wedding plans can be incredibly stressful! I wish you the best 🙂
Miss Charming says
You both look so sweet in the photos. Love the touch with the red shoes!
(And a definite yes to the tuxedo-wearing ducklings!)
Thank you 🙂 I'll let Bryan know that the internet is vindicating his duckling obsession! He'll be so pleased 🙂
I LOVE this! This is so my kind of wedding… simple yet meaningful. I love the way you decorated- so beautiful! Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby! I hope it's wonderful.
xo Always, Abby
Thank you Abby! We had a lovely anniversary 🙂
Jelli B. says
I think my first comment got deleted. Oops. Anyway, my husband and I DIYd our entire wedding too. We loved seeing friends and family come together to help us make it a special day for much much less than what other couples were spending. Yours looks like it was beautiful! I'd have never guessed it was put together so quickly.
Oh, thank you for taking the time to make sure your comment came through 🙂 I love hearing about other DIY weddings – the support of family and friends was truly what made our day so special! Thank you for your kind words!
stephanie, sandpaper & glue says
love it!! our wedding was super tiny as well, 22 people, and I did everything as simple as possible- including getting a dress at a store in the mall so I wouldn't have to deal with wedding shops, and having no wedding party at all. your looks lovely- I love the red. And I love Thrice- their live shows are awesome Dustin Kensrue solo is lovelyyyyyy. 🙂
Eve Butler-Melton says
I love it! Such a beautiful day! Happy anniversary.
You really got the point of a wedding, family friends and love! Captured beautifully.
Tanya from Dans le Townhouse says
I love your wedding! I had a low-key one too (only a few thousand). City hall ceremony and brunch for a small group of family. I had my dress made (peach silk and black lace). Your dress was beautiful. Isn't it sweet entering a marriage without a whopping wedding debt?? Congrats!
Low key weddings are my favorite – both for my own and weddings we attend! Your dress sounds so pretty – I'd love to see it!