A DIY Lakeside Wedding: Michael & Sheena

Michael & Sheena were married in July on a shoestring budget. With just $5000 to spend they were able to pull together a truly personal and totally beautiful wedding. The day took place at Independence Lake Park by Whitmore Lake in Michigan.

“We met on an online dating site, plentyoffish.com and our relationship took off like wildfire”, began the bride. “This was the 2nd time around for both of us, and though we moved quickly, we knew what we wanted and every day we realize more and more how perfect we really are for each other. Our dream is to move out to the Pacific Northwest (Washington State, or Oregon) and start a small organic farm, raising veggies, dairy goats, egg chickens, and alpacas. We want to be self-sustained and raise our children to love nature and animals, and to help the environment.”

Describing their wedding as “A DIY, natural, outdoor, lakeside, rustic, upcycled & recycled”, the couple’s first aim was to spend as little as possible, “We wanted to do this cheap!” Sheena continued, “$5,000 or less, and we did it. Secondly, we wanted to do things ourselves – the decorations, the bouquets, the jewelry, we even wanted to rent a grill and make the food ourselves, but practicality of the big day forced us to finally hire a caterer – who totally rocked and did better than we could have. The things we made had to be from recycled or upcycled materials, and everything had to have a future home before we would buy it. After the wedding our plan was to sell our mason jars to a local organic farmer, our burlap to another bride and our recycled tissue paper decorations are being used as packaging supplies in our little business. The material for the fabric flowers came from unwearable wedding dresses bought from a local cancer charity.”

“The most important thing for our wedding was that people felt as if they were at a family reunion rather than a formal wedding”, she concluded. “We were pressured at first to rent ‘real’ tables and move all the picnic tables out from our rented space and to get a cake – to do all these traditional things… We finally put our foot down and said ‘Hell no!’. We kept the picnic tables, rented an ice cream cart instead of a cake, had the DJ play only fun, upbeat music all through the day, had outdoor games like croquet, and bocce ball, a corn hole (beanbag) toss and kept the ceremony (done by my minister uncle, Randy) to a short 10 minutes. There was bottled beer and wine, and the caterers served up local food like organic chicken, black bean burgers and corn on the cob – all straight from the grill. There were nature walks, swimming and boating available, along with a splash park for the kids. Our guests all said that it was the most laid back, fun wedding they had attended, and that was the best part of the whole day.”

Fabulous! Thank you so much to the gorgeous Michael & Sheena for sharing their laid back wedding with us today.