Michelle and Heart wanted to celebrate Davis, as they have fallen in love with the sweet, funky town in the two years they have been there. They used the vintage London style double-decker bus because it is such a UC Davis icon, hired the Davis Pedicab as their "getaway car" and in case that wasn't Davis-y enough, they had a mid-ceremony performance from the Cal Aggie Band-Uh! This wedding is bursting with DIYs, tips, and advice from the bride so don't stop here!
Feel more of the Davis love from this craft crazy wedding in the full gallery here, wonderfully captured by Vis-a-vis photography. And if you are curious, as we know you are...the full budget is bursting with details below!
DIY Projects From the Bride:
Lemonade Stand: Our officiant was a huge part of what made our day more special than words can describe. Fr. Paul was the chaplain at the school I attended from kindergarten through 8th grade, and we have always shared a very close bond. Originally, we had planned to marry in Carmel (my hometown) but then realized we wanted to celebrate our new hometown, Davis. Had Fr. Paul not been able to make the trip to Davis, we would have gone back to our original plans to marry in Carmel. His one request in agreeing to travel to Davis was that if it was hot, that we served lemonade. Hence, Heart built a custom lemonade stand for all of the guests to enjoy pre-ceremony in honor of Fr. Paul's special request.
Paper Goods: All of the paper goods came from NMI Creations. We used the tree motif from The Giving Tree to play off of the tree at the venue for all the paper goods. I took the programs and made them into fans for the guests to keep cool.
Floral Arrangements: I gathered cans for months and designed custom labels to act as flower vases (inspired by a post on the Rock & Roll Bride blog) and also scoured flea markets and thrift shops for picnic baskets to hold the flowers that decorated the aisles. Heart also built and stained all the wood boxes for the other floral arrangements.
Signature cocktails: For the groom’s signature cocktail we chose a "Dr. Dominguez" Greyhound Rescue and I bought little dog figurines and mounted them on sticks as drink stirrers. My signature drink was a Michellebration sparkling Sangria. For that I found Trivial Pursuit cards (Totally 80s version since I was born in the 80s) and clipped them to the drinks using miniature clothespins. Trivial Pursuit is an Arnold family tradition every Thanksgiving.
From day one of us talking about weddings, Heart had said he wanted a slideshow of us growing up and falling in love. I took every opportunity to tell him what an awful idea I thought that was- just so I could surprise him on the day of our actual wedding with one. When the ceremony was over and we recessed into the building, I got to surprise him with his slideshow, and used it as a vehicle to show pictures of us with our friends and family over the years. It served as a great conversation piece during the reception as guests got to talk about how they each knew us. We used my Gramma and Poppy's cake topper from 1946 on our wedding cake, which was a four tiered carrot cake with cream cheese frosting baked by a friend.
Read on to see advice from the bride and how much this craft crazy DIY wedding cost. Please note that costs change as the years go by, and prices are subject to change. This is just one couple’s breakdown to give you a rough estimate on how much a wedding like this may cost you.
Final Budget: Approximately $50,000
Dresses and Alterations: $2000
Invitations and Programs: $1600
Groom's Suit: $350
Hair and Makeup: $200
Wedding Planner: $2500
Insurance and Permits: $300
Reception (including rentals, caterer, bar and decor): $28,000
Advice from the Bride:
1. Identify with your partner what is most important to you and focus on those things- we picked food and music as our priorities and went wild with what we wanted, including a caterer who has just been asked to cook at the James Beard House and a seven piece custom band and also a DJ.
2. Add in as many personal touches as you can muster up. It is your day and should reflect who you and your partner are. People don't travel all the way to a wedding to see something generic.
3. Make sure you have a few bridesmaids who are already married. They are more understanding of your stress level and are great to have around!
4. The day of is a serious whirlwind, as any bride will tell you. If you don't have the budget for a videographer (we didn't) use a company like WedIt so you can relive the moments that went by too fast.
5. Having been a seasoned bridesmaid myself, I was used to hearing that constant echo of complaints about so many dresses and brides claiming "you can totally wear it again". When it was my turn, I wanted each maid to pick any dress she liked, especially since my co-maids of honor ranged in height from 5 ' 1'' in to 5' 11''. Much to my shock, apparently nobody else liked that idea, so in an attempt to please everyone, I ended up letting myself be talked in to picking dresses for them. In hindsight, I wish I'd have stuck to my guns and stayed true to what I had wanted initially, because while the girls all ended up looking very lovely, the process getting there was not fun and the dresses we picked would never have been my choice, nor theirs, had so many opinions not been in the mix. The moral of my story is that inevitably, some girls will complain about the dresses no matter what. It took me quite a long way into the wedding planning process to realize that it is truly impossible to please everyone else. Be clear, kind, and firm about what you want and move on.