Anna Lee & Jeremy’s Vintage-Inspired DIY Wedding

March 15, 2011

Anna Lee & Jeremy were engaged and married within 3 1/2 months. After Anna Lee moved away to teach in Rwanda, the couple realised they couldn’t live without each other and set a wedding date before she’d even come back. Even though they we’re technically already engaged, when Anna Lee returned after 10 months, Jeremy proposed properly and did so in the car park of their favourite restaurant because he couldn’t wait one second longer!

Anna Lee told me all about their vintage-inspired DIY wedding. “I think I would describe our wedding as DIY vintage and it wouldn’t have been possible to put together a wedding on a budget in 3 months without the help of my awesome family and friends. The only “vendors” we hired were the DJ and photographer. I hit up every craft store, thrift shop, and dollar store in the area.  My Mom, sister, and I made everything: the invitations and programs, bridesmaid’s bouquets, boutonnieres, and decorations. I created the mothers wrist corsages out of fabric hair pieces from Forever21. The only flowers used were babies breath, purchased from a local grocery store. Instead of large floral arrangements at the reception, I bought manzanita branches online, spray painted them black, and attached tissue paper flowers and moss. A local landscaping nursery let us borrow two small trees we set up inside to soften the reception hall area. We saved a ton of money on flowers this way!”

“Each of our centerpieces featured old wedding photos of our family members and it was very special to be able to include them in this way. My Dad built a wall covering to go over an ugly door at the entrance of the reception and we attached old mirrors and white cabinet doors to it for a unique backdrop. I painted several old chairs from my great-grandparents house and placed them around the reception hall to add to the “vintage” feel. My Dad also built the ceremony arch and enlisted the help of several family friends to help us set up everything on the wedding day. Our beautiful event lighting was a gift from family friends that have a business in landscape lighting and it completely transformed the reception area!”

With time not on their side, getting a dress custom-made was out of the question for Anna Lee. Instead she found one on sale and customised it herself. ” I wanted a dress that was different from any dress I’d ever seen, but since we were engaged and married within only 3 1/2 months, ordering something specially made for me was out of the question. After searching a million bridal shops, I found a last season 2BeBride dress that was half price! I made the black sash out of ribbon and netting that had actually been tied around one of my shower gifts – it was exactly what I was looking for and it was FREE!”

Anna Lee & Jeremy planned the perfect wedding for them and they wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. Just goes to show that a little bit of imagination and a whole lotta love and you can create the wedding of your dreams in no time at all! “During the wedding planning, it was easy to feel stressed out about completing all the DIY projects and stay within the budget,” Anna Lee concluded. “Wedding blogs like Rock n Roll Bride were such a inspiration in trying to pull everything together! We didn’t want “the norm” for weddings in our area and several people who heard some of our ideas before the wedding seemed a little shocked because it wasn’t what they were used to. But I’m so glad we didn’t change anything because it was perfect for us, and after the wedding many of our guests couldn’t stop talking about how unique and special the ceremony was.”

“A DIY wedding is a whole lot of work, but completely worth it! Our wedding really felt like a personal event, not put together by random vendors but truly a time of celebration with family and sweet friends.”

Huge thanks to the gorgeous Anna Lee & Jeremy for sharing their beautiful day with us today

Photography Credit: Charo Donohue
Venue: Julian Smith Casino, Augusta, GA
Bride’s Dress: 2BeBride
Bride’s veil: Elegant Bridals
Bride’s Hair Flower: Forever 21
Bride’s Necklace: H&M
Groom’s outfit: Express Men
Event Lighting: Outdoor Lighting Perspectives
Caterer: The Food Dudes catering