Justin and Chelsea wanted their Iowa wedding to be personal, special, rustic, simple, memorable, whimsical, DIY, vintage, chic, casual, relaxing and most of all budget friendly. Even with a huge list of wants they ended up with their dream wedding. Chelsea shared all of her tips and tricks with us along with her complete wedding budget break down at the bottom of the page. As always you see more this handmade vintage wedding photographed by Jana Marie Photography in the full gallery here.
My two older flower girls wore tutus & a leotard tank top. The tutus were made by a mom of one of the flower girls. My youngest flower girl got her ruffled romper off of Etsy. Justin & I wanted the groomsmen to be comfortable (because we knew we’d be outside), so we wanted something light & spiffy! :) I hate suits & tuxes anyway! We bought the dress shirts at JCP, but because we had a specific color of blue we wanted – we had to dye the shirts! It was a crazy task & I wouldn’t advise doing it without quite a bit of practice (different fabric dyes different). My grandma, mom & mother-in-law dyed the shirts. I made the guys’ bow ties & boutonnieres & they got their jeans from Kohls & their suspenders from Hot Topic.
As special as first looks are between the bride and groom, we simply adore that Chelsea choose to do a first look with her father. Her Dad is often known for being a chatter box, and this was the only time Chelsea has ever seen him speechless. Making it one of her favorite moments of the day.
As we walked back up the aisle after we were pronounced husband & wife, we had people throw colored marshmallows at us! But some people forgot, so it wasn’t as amazing as it could have been!
We had a worship service during the ceremony & that was probably the best part of the whole day for me. Justin & I wanted our wedding to be focused mainly on the Lord & His love for us. We wanted our day to be filled with His presence & wanted people to know that while, yes they were there to celebrate us – we were there to praise Him for all that He’s done for us.
All of our dÃ©cor was handmade and/or collected from various thrift/antique stores throughout the years. We bought ZERO decorations. We had a candy table as a way of having a “favor”. We had hay bales at the reception and my father-in-law put them in the shape of a “C” all throughout the site for people to sit on. Similar to couches.
Our cake topper is a funny story! Justin made a stick figure of me out of cardboard a long time ago & I glued a veil to it & told him that maybe one day we would get married. Well, he held onto that stick figure & told his mom he wanted to use it as a cake topper. So she made a groom out of cardboard to match the bride.
Photographer: Jana Marie Photography
Dress Designer: Vintageous
Groom’s Attire: JC Penny & Bride made
Shoe Designer: Modcloth
Veil or Hair Accessories: Lynay Jewelry
Stationery & Florals: made by bride | Prop or Furniture Rentals: parents | Venue: Family farm in Floyd, Iowa | Cake: Family made | Caterer: Family made | Officiant: Friend
Handmade Vintage Wedding Budget
Overall – we spent about $2,000 – $2,500 – aside from our photographer. That is unheard of! (And our parents split it! That made my dad really happy. BONUS!) So we are living proof that it is possible to have your dream wedding (I had mine!) & not spend a fortune. You just have to get creative, call on the people you love most & who love you, & work hard! A wedding is meant to celebrate the marriage that is happening – not the fancy cake topper, not the pretty aisle decorations, not the gown (for goodness sake, you wear it once!). One thing I had to keep telling myself over & over again was that this celebration was for Justin and I, our families & friends who were present.
It wasn’t about anything else aside from the uniting of two people becoming one. Once the decorations get taken down, where do they go? Most of them go in the trash, to be honest…. (Fortunately the decorations we used I got to keep! And am using them in my house. Again, just think before you spend big bucks where it’s truly not needed! You can do a LOT with a little if you just get creative.
So before you go out & spend thousands of dollars on that dream dress (Kleinfelds is gonna hate me) & before you drop $2,000 on the location of your ceremony (ours was free) – think about all the options you have! Look on Pinterest & consult all your crafty friends – you have to have at least ONE! Good luck & happy wedding planning! Oh and one last tip: Invest in a good photographer. No matter the cost, they ARE worth it! And most photographers are willing to work out some deals with you – mine did. :) She’s the best! Look her up - Jana Marie Photography