“Nicole and Jeremy both live out of state so planning a wedding from far away is a bit of a challenge, especially a heavily DIY-ed wedding. Fortunately Nicole’s family lives local to their wedding venue so that made a lot of the DIY projects for their wedding a little easier. They decided to get married at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, home to the world famous Portland Headlight. The park opens it’s dates for Maine residents first and then for out of state couples – this worked in Nicole & Jeremy’s favor tremendously. We were having one of the hottest spells in a very long time that week – but it thankfully broke for Sunday morning. Had they gotten the Saturday date they originally wanted we would have been hit with 90-100 degree temps!
Almost all of their details were DIY so it made their entire wedding really personal. Everything from the invitations, flowers, the cake pops, decorations all the way to the favors were lovingly handmade. One of the standouts from the day were the doors & platform for her ceremony. Even though they were having an outdoor ceremony, Nicole still wanted that feeling of walking through doors and down the aisle. Another one of the DIY highlights were the flowers. Nicole bought buckets of flowers from a local garden and all the girls, the night before the wedding, went through all the flowers and each created their own handmade bouquet. Lovely!” – Brittany Rae Photography
“We really enjoyed the entire wedding journey! My husband and I agree we really enjoyed the ceremony and taking sunset pictures together after the reception was over. It was a quiet moment in a busy day where we could really soak in the reality of the day. We also really appreciated how each of our friends and family contributed something unique and important! We could not have managed such a wonderful wedding without their support, guidance, assistance and expertise…
..We did as much DIY as possible for a few reasons: I really enjoy crafting and creating things, to save money and because we wanted everything to be very meaningful and intentional. It was so rewarding to watch all our time and effort come together on the wedding day to create a simple but beautiful presentation.
- Invitations: Thankfully, my now husband is a very talented graphic designer, so we created, printed and assembled all our invitations, which were a huge hit!
- Centerpieces: My mom and I collected and assembled all the candles with the twigs and moss. I made some of the twig balls and bought the others. I wrapped and hot glued all the vases with the brown roping (this took the longest). We cut the table runners from a giant piece of burlap we ordered online. Some of my favorite memories are of my mom and I calling each other to a report a special find or a good deal at a store.
- Flowers: After one very frustrating session at the florist where I was feeling very anxious about which flowers to pick (there are so many options!), my mom found a lady down the road who sells wildflowers for a few dollars a pail and I said, “That’s it! Everyone makes their own bouquet with whatever flowers they want!” And we did. We ordered 15 pails of wildflowers she cut the night before the wedding and each bridesmaid was able to customize their flowers how they wanted. They also helped make the wildflower bunches to put in the vases as centerpieces. We also made the boutonnières for the guys out of leaves left over from the wildflowers. Lovely and extremely inexpensive!
- Background for ceremony: We collected wooden boxes, the ladder and chest at yard sales throughout the spring and early summer! I remember one woman cried when I told her I was going to use the boxes in my wedding because they belonged to her grandfather, who had recently passed, and she was overjoyed they were being put to such special use. My husband’s father and brother (both in carpentry/building) created the stand alone doors for us to walk through from scratch! My dad and I made the wedding signs to tell people where to go out of an old wooden pallet we found at the dump yard. He pulled all the boards off and I stencil painted them. I remember when my dad and I were driving one day and I said, “I really want some old wood that already looks worn,” and my dad came through.
- Favors: My husband and I also designed, printed and created our favors. We wanted something lasting that would be really special, so we donated the cost of favors to missionary friends and created cards to remind people to pray for them.
- Appetizer Food tables: My mom and I collected plates, platters and items from family, friends and yard sales and spent hours figuring out how to place everything on the table. We took pictures of how we wanted it set up so people would know the day of. We bought all the food/drinks as things went on sale and had friends lay it out that day.
- Cake pops: My friend/bridesmaid Sam Tate owns a cake pop business in Pennsylvania, who made all the cake pops and brought them special delivery to Maine for the wedding even though she was in a wedding in Pennsylvania the night before (she and her husband drove through the night to get to Maine for the wedding the next morning)! My mom found the baskets at a local store for really cheap and we put styrofoam blocks in the baskets (weighed down by rocks) and then put moss over top to create a “flower bed” look. The baskets were propped up by cardboard blocks from the basement we used to play with as kids and strategically covered by tablecloths!
..Looking back at the entire wedding experience, some of my favorite memories and fondest moments were actually before the wedding even happened! I remember keeping a weekly countdown chart and writing down what I did for the 25 Sundays leading up to the wedding. I really enjoyed bonding with family and friends, planning with my fiancé, completing a Bridal Workbook called “The Conscious Bride,” compiling things for the wedding and silly things like calling my mom over another 50% off coupon at the craft store. I highly recommend keeping a journal, chart or scrap book of the planning, preparation and wedding because it goes by so fast. Take the time to close your eyes and treasure the moments leading up to the wedding and of course, the wedding day itself! Also, keep discontentment at bay by remembering what you are thankful for and letting go of unreasonable expectations. Your wedding is unique and cannot be compared to any other wedding! Make it your own. Enjoy the journey!” – Nicole, the bride
Photography: Brittany Rae Photography // Venue: Fort Williams Pavilion, Maine // Dress + Bridesmaid Dresses (picked their own – in clover): David’s Bridal // Veil: Etsy // Shoes: Tom’s Bridal // Necklace: customized with the brides birthstones and initials via Etsy // Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse // Rings: custom by Don Basch Jewelers // cake pops: Pint Size Pops // catering: Dandelion Catering