Jimmy and Andrea really wanted their wedding to be a celebration that reflected themselves along with their friends and families. They achieved this by including personalized and meaningful elements along with DIY projects that were created by people they were close to, ultimately creating a casual yet chic event.
Continue reading to hear so much more from Andrea about their special day; including things they would have done differently, advice for other brides and their budget breakdown. Don't forget — you can always see more details from this shabby chic DIY wedding in the full gallery here, all expertly captured by the amazing BRAUNphotography.
From the Bride:Aesthetically, we originally were searching desperately for a barn that would accommodate a wedding of 200+. For months we tried to make that work but it never worked out. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to use a yellow and gray color scheme, and originally in the barn location that would translate to a pretty casual, shabby chic event.
We then found out that the Mansfield Art Center could accommodate our group, but moving the reception to a fairly modern art gallery necessitated a change in the aesthetic. We weren’t hoping for a graphic, ultra modern yellow and gray scheme, so we knew we had to add another color to the palette to soften it. We ended up using plenty of blush and beige in the mix to soften the space and the event to a more romantic, organic feel.
I found all of the bridesmaid dresses through Target, H&M & Simply Vera by Vera Wang, all of them costing less than $40. I wanted them to be cohesive in color palette but personalized in style.
My mom and I made all the bouquets from fabric and mine had a pin that was my great grandmother’s. They were definitely a labor of love but we were really happy with how they turned out! I also made all the necklaces that the bridesmaids wore and each locket had a small piece of paper with the trait I most love about them. Our ring box was handcrafted by Jimmy’s Grandfather.
The other portion of the day that had been top priority for us from the day we got engaged was the ceremony. There seems to be a lot of emphasis placed on the reception at weddings, but for us the ceremony was by far the most important part of the day. Our college ministry was the most significant part of our years in college – it was where we met our best friends, our mentors and each other. We actually got engaged in the very front of the chapel, so it was incredibly significant for us to also get married there.
The actual setup of the ceremony was important to us and because we were working with a large stage we knew that we had to bring it in somehow. The doors were symbolic for us of moving into a new season – a door to a new stage in our lives. We included all our siblings in the ceremony. Jimmy’s brother was his best man, but I have four brothers and we couldn't have all of them in the wedding party. One stood up for Jimmy as a groomsman and representative of all the brothers, another played all the music and the other did a reading for us.
The goal for the reception was for it to feel simple and pretty. Everything was DIY, from the table runners, to the jars for flowers, to everything on the head table, to the seating chart, to every thing for the ceremony. In the end, we did feel like every piece of the day had the fingerprints of our family and friends and us. A friend made the suggestion to arrange the tables at the reception like we did so that it felt like a family meal. All the wood used for the stands for table numbers came from a tree in my family’s backyard.
The other moment that was incredibly significant for me was the father daughter dance. I’m the only girl in my family and my dad is a musician. When I was born he wrote me a song and videotaped himself playing the guitar and singing it. Unbeknownst to him, I stole that tape, converted it to digital format and edited the video to show clips of us while I was young and they played over top the song. He was completely caught off guard when the video started playing as we came onto the dance floor. We both cried. It’s a moment I’ll cherish forever.
From the Groom:My favorite memory from our wedding day was the ceremony. It was such as powerful moment, standing up in front of all of our friends and family, making a life-long commitment to my bride. My second favorite memory is from the reception. Our reception hall was at an art center that had two levels. The second level looked down onto the dance floor. About halfway through the reception, I went upstairs and looked down at all of our favorite people, together in one place, having a blast. I realized that it is probably the only time that we will get all of these people together in one place again; but that is what made it special.
Read on to hear what Andrea and Jimmy wished they done differently, advice from Andrea for other brides and how much this shabby chic 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.
What they would have done differently:
After the wedding was over what made us the most sad was that we had to leave everyone we loved. You only get them all in one place once in your life! If there was anything we'd change, we would have made some parts of the wedding less of a production so that we'd have more time with the people we like to call "our team." We would've planned more fun activities (I should've done a walk or hike with the girls in the morning!) since all of our college friends were in town for that weekend.
Advice from the Bride:
Make a priorities list! This saved us in so many ways, although I wish we had figured it out sooner in our planning process. We developed high priority, medium priority and low priority sections and then listed the different parts of the wedding in the appropriate place. Doing so gave us a framework for decision-making (because you will make about a million!) We knew that we weren’t compromising on the high priority things, a few of which were photography and a personalized, creative ceremony, and the videos used throughout the day. Other things that were lower on the list made it easier to both compromise on and hand off to other so that we had enough energy to devote to our high priority items.
About their budget:
It's hard to give you really accurate numbers on the budget because lots of it was split between families and so many people pitched in to make the wedding happen. I can give estimates though — my mom and I spent about $50 to make the fabric flower bouquets the girls and I carried. The groomsmen boutonnieres were literally made from leftovers. We spent about $300 on the very simple flowers we put on the tables at the reception, and less than $500 on everything that went on the tables. A lot of that was made by friends and family, borrowed or thrifted. We made all the table runners from a huge (and I mean huge — we had to clear a whole room to cut it) bolt of fabric that cost about $90. We splurged on photography (the Brauns are so worth it!). The groomsmen suits were purchased at a department store for about $100 each after lots of coupons. All of the bridesmaids' dresses were $35 or less. My dress was around $1200. Rentals of the church and reception location totaled $1500 I think. If there are any other specific things that you want to know the budget of, feel free to let me know. I didn't do the best at keeping track of all of it!