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.