We were SO inspired by Ben + Alicia's beautiful vintage-rustic-chic wedding that we photographed last year, and so we asked Alicia if she would give us some advice on planning a DIY rustic-chic wedding from her experience. This beautiful wedding was featured on the Rustic Wedding Chic blog, and made the list of the "Top Vintage Weddings of 2013". Prepare to be inspired brides + grooms... :)
"One of the great things about going for a rustic, antique, or vintage look at your wedding is not only the endless ideas and limitless ways to customize to your own personal style, but also this kind of wedding style is so budget-friendly! " - Alicia
Here are are 7 tips from Alicia for putting together your perfect rustic wedding design and keeping it thrifty:
1. Thrift stores are your best option for finding decor pieces for guest tables or food tables, centerpieces, and any other places you want to decorate. One of the things I really wanted at our wedding was real coffee mugs for guests to use to sip their coffee, and we totally lucked out by finding over two hundred adorable, vintage mugs at a local thrift store, priced for $.10 each! Plus, the store also gave us a bit of a discount because we were getting so many.
2. Don't expect to find all the items you want or need in a single trip. I made multiple trips to LOTS of thrift stores and flea markets and yard sales the months leading up to the wedding to collect enough decor. It was super fun, but make sure you give yourself enough time to get everything you need.
3. Enlist the help of family and friends to help you find the items you're looking for. Show them your ideas and make a list of everything you're hunting for and let them join the search! I had aunts and friends that found some great items for me when they were doing their own shopping, and it definitely helped. Don't forget to reimburse them for whatever they purchase for you, of course.
4. Borrow from others. People love weddings and I found that many of my family and friends were more than happy to let us use some of their antique or rustic items. I borrowed antique chairs, crates, reclaimed wood tables, bar tables, serving dishes, and even small decor items from people's houses. Just make sure to clearly label everything so that they for sure get returned to the right place!
5. One of my favorite features on our wedding day was the variety of things that my fiancé (now husband) built for us. He made a gorgeous doorway entrance for our ceremony, several bar tables, and even our big bridal reception table. We used mostly reclaimed wood for these projects, and actually ended up tearing down one of my grandma's old barns just so we could use the wood! If you have a fiancé or dad or brother or someone you know who enjoys building and crafting, you can easily create some beautiful items for your big day for a minimal price.
6. Get creative. There were several things that I really wanted to have but just couldn't seem to find the perfect thing. There were several things that I transformed into a similar look with a coat of paint or slight modifications. I found it helpful to print out photos of some of the styles and ideas that I liked and reference them when I was out shopping. Sometimes just seeing ideas in front of you could help you find a use for an item you found in the store!
7. And of course, make sure to have fun planning and shopping and creating! Staying organized really helps keep the stress levels down, as well as being willing to "go with the flow" when things don't work out just like you planned them. Make sure to take a minute or two on your wedding day to just stop and look around at all the people who are there to celebrate with you…it's an incredible day and enjoy every minute of it!
KEY TIP: One thing I tried to be conscious of during the wedding planning and even during the days before and of the wedding was to keep my focus on the person I was marrying. There are a million things going on and it's crazy and fun, but don't lose sight of the whole point of all the festivities: the one you are marrying. Sneak away for a few moments alone if you want too…flirt with each other…be intentional about staying connected even during all the busyness.
"Marriage is an incredible gift. Ben and I are coming up on our one-year anniversary, and it has been the best year of my life so far! One of the things to remember and stay focused on after marriage is this: be intentional. Be intentional about being friends with each other, staying connected, enjoying life together. A few years ago I had a random stranger on a plane give me this illustration and it has stuck with me ever since: whenever you are coasting, you're going downhill. This is true in any relationship, but especially in the most important one, marriage. Don't let yourself coast. Be intentional about loving and serving your spouse, because in doing so, you will not only get the wedding of your dreams, but also the marriage of your dreams." - Alicia