Last week we spoke to Matt about planning he and Sarah’s DIY wedding and this week we’ve got Sarah’s perspective on planning their wedding. Check out her advice below!
BG: How long did it take you to plan your wedding?
Sarah: We started planning in October 2012 and tried to nail down the big stuff first (catering, photography, dress) and continued all the way up until the wedding with the small details and creating things.
BG: When you guys sat down to initially start talking about your wedding, what was the most important part of the wedding to you? For instance, did you immediately know you wanted it in the backyard, or was it an idea that evolved over time.
S: We knew as soon as we purchased our house Summer 2012 that we were going to have the wedding in our backyard. It just felt right and we thought it was the perfect venue! That decision sort of drove all the rest of the decisions—we would have to rent a tent and everything else to have it at our house (tables, chairs, linens, etc.).
Our two big things (what we budgeted most for) were catering and photography. We wanted great food and good, quality photojournalistic pictures.
Matt already had a vision of what he wanted to wear and what he wanted his groomsmen to wear and I bought my dress pretty early, so we knew the whole wedding would sort of match our vintage style. Matt also cared a lot about music. He was determined to find someone who could play a very specific song for when I walked down the aisle.
We also knew wanted to use all of our house decor out in the yard but how it came together didn’t happen until the day before/day of the wedding when I had everyone bring everything out and I arranged it.
Some ideas evolved over time as we found more stuff at our local flea market–the menu chalkboards for example. I made one out of an old window. The week before the wedding I decided to design them in a style to match our wedding invitations.
Some ideas happened by accident…for example when we were power washing the porch the week before the wedding, we took all the wicker furniture off and set it in our front yard. Then I just decided that we were going to keep it there and borrow some more from our families to set up extra seating areas out under our trees during cocktail hour.
BG: What would you say was your biggest resource while planning the wedding?
S: Besides each other and my trusty glue gun, our caterer was a huge help in executing the wedding…the head chef, more specifically. He was involved in a lot of things behind the scenes, not just the food. He coordinated all the rentals, gave us ideas about setting things up and helped with some of the decor as well.
BG: Were you both equally involved in the planning (and execution)?
S: We were both 100% equally involved in the planning. I would say execution was more 80% me, 20% Matt! HAHA. We would both get ideas for different things, and then I would make them (i.e. dog bow tie, cake toppers, etc.) Matt was a huge help in making a lot of the phone calls/emails to book vendors.
BG: There are a lot of DIY weddings out there, but I think what stood out to me was that you guys added details that were uniquely yours. Did you think of those details on your own? Did you find them somewhere?
S: Haha…yeah, Matt is a huge comic book nerd and is super proud of those things [super hero boutonnieres]. He knew he wanted to somehow incorporate that into the wedding without taking away from the vintage feel by having “tacky” superheroes. We actually got the idea for the boutonnieres from a friend of mine who sent us a picture she’d found of similar ones with the message “Saw these and thought of Matt!”
Ideas we came up with on our own were the mandolin as a guest book with the sign, dog rescue donation poem/picture, bridesmaids hair pieces, dog bow tie, cake toppers, yard signs, centerpieces/table numbers, escort cards, card box, our outfits. I’m sure all of this was done before in some form by other people but the way we did it was the way we envisioned it.
BG: Was planning a DIY wedding overwhelming? Was there any part of the process where you thought about scaling back your plans? Was there anything you had to nix because it was too overwhelming/stressful/you ran out of time?
S: It was so much fun and not at all overwhelming! I just really like to make things, I always have, so everything was like a fun little craft project for me to do (over time, of course). I’m sure if we had all of these ideas but then waited until the last minute, we wouldn’t have been able to do them and would have been stressed. We did everything we thought of and didn’t nix anything that I can remember.
BG: What do you think your number one piece of advice is to couples planning their weddings, DIY or otherwise?
S: My only piece of advice to other couples planning a DIY wedding is don’t do it unless you are passionate about creating. If you’re not into creating stuff on your own and willing to put the time it’s going to take to make it right, it probably won’t turn out as you envision.
As far as advice for any couple, just make it totally about the two of you and what you love and don’t listen to anyone else’s advice or skepticism about your seemingly crazy ideas. Instead say, “That’s a good suggestion, but this is what we were thinking…” I know a lot of couples get pressured by family members into decisions they didn’t want to make and it’s a fine line to walk between shutting down their ideas while not offending them. Whatever it ends up being, just make sure it is yours.
We’ve seen in all of our interviews discussing how to make your wedding your own that one of the most important parts is making sure you do what you want to do for your wedding. What are you planning to make your wedding uniquely yours?