Jen Causey-Kidder
Jen Causey-Kidder September 18, 2013

DIY Wedding | Michael + Bri

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“Michael & Bri flew me up from Florida to Pennsylvania for their gorgeous wedding ceremony and reception in her parent’s backyard, and I’m so grateful! From the adorable blindfolded first-look, to the mismatched ivory bridesmaid dresses, to all the southern details – I fell in love with this wedding day! The light at the nearby park was purely magical for their couple portraits after the ceremony. My favorite details were the hand-painted wooden Mr. & Mrs. signs and the ‘Ring for a Kiss’ bell!” – Jillian Tree Photography

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I’m completely obsessed with Bri’s penmanship… or should I say ‘paint-manship’!? The bride painted all these gorgeous wooden signs by hand!!! Just adorable…


“Ahh.. this is so hard! I’d say just having everyone I loved all together in one place was one of the most amazing parts of it. I had family and friends from Pennsylvania, South Florida and North Florida so having all those people together was just magical! But of course, being pronounced husband and wife was pretty awesome!!! Making it back down the aisle alive was the most relieving parts – I’m more of a wallflower kind of gal, so having everyone stare at me for half an hour was what I was most nervous about! I still can’t believe I did it!


..Yes! I’m a graphic designer and a perfectionist, so almost my entire wedding was DIY! While planning, I hated myself for taking on so much, but luckily I had my awesome family and friends that were more than willing to help! My mom and I hit what seemed like MILLIONS of antique shops looking for beautiful lace tablecloths and other details like old windows and crates. I bought a ton of twine and ribbon and made my own garland by tying bits of ribbon onto the twine. This took AGES, but I’m so glad I did it because it really pulled the whole reception together!

We wrapped mason jars in lace and filled them with baby’s breath to line the aisle.

My husband and I both took ceramics classes in college (art majors, what what!!), so we “threw” lots of little pots on the pottery wheel, put our name and wedding date on the bottom of each one, had them fired, glazed them, and fired them again for our favors! I designed a little thank you note and tied it around each of these pots with twine and a paper flower. We then used these as center pieces during the reception!

I designed the wedding invitation suite, and then designed lots of little details (food labels, signs, favor tags, escort cards and place cards) to match. My mom, maid of honor and I took on the programs: I first designed, printed, and folded them. Then we had to cut pages of gorgeous scrapbook to size for the cover. Then we had to cut a scallop design out of burlap (a lot harder than it sounds) for on top of the cover page. THEN we put them all in order, and passed them on to my mom to sew together!

My dad is a landscape designer so he designed the “altar” – a beautiful white arch with A LOT of flowers to either side. He also worked on our backyard for months making sure he planted lots of flowers that would be blooming around the time of our wedding! It turned out to be stunning! He took me to the nursery to pick out what flowers I liked and so that I could pick out some wood pallets to use!

I also found an antique bird cage in our attic to use for cards – which we dressed up with the handmade garland and greenery.

One of my favorite details were the wooden directional signs I made from the wood pallets. There was “I do”, “We did”, “Games” and “Two families are becoming one, choose a seat not a side”. My dad loved the “games” one so much, I think it’s still in the yard today, a year later! I also painted “I’m his Mrs.” and “I’m her Mr.” signs to hang on the back of our chairs at the reception.

Another favorite was the cowbell we hung by the dessert table. I painted “ring for a kiss” on it! That’s what we used instead of the normal clinking of glasses. The kids especially loved it :)

My family and my maid of honor all pitched in to make homemade desserts! My grandmother made some of my favorite pies, my aunt made amazing cheesecake cupcakes, and my MOH, my mom, and myself all made cupcakes! Speaking of cake, the cupcake stand was handmade by one of my dad’s friends!

We also made our own photo booth with homemade props (imagine my bridesmaids still cutting them out while we were getting ready for the ceremony-yeah, that happened!), and I made all the table numbers. I scavenged my house to find as many vintage looking frames as I could, then printed the numbers to size!

We were so blessed to have an awesome event designer, Michelle Olson, who took all of our DIY elements and pulled them together! I’m also SUPER thankful for my mom who did SO much work for the wedding, especially since it was in my parent’s backyard in Pennsylvania, but I was living in Florida at the time! Everyone really pitched in and helped us get the job done!


..I feel like people say this a lot…but really, ENJOY the process! I know it can be really stressful and overwhelming at times, but in the end, it’s worth it! Once you get to your wedding day, slow down and really take in all that’s happening. The day goes by way too fast!” -Bri, the bride


photography: Jillian Tree Photography // invitations: the bride, Bri Cibene // dress: David’s Bridal // suits: JCPenney // Favors: handmade by the bride and groom // flowers: The Posey Patch in Macungie, PA // cake/desserts: all handmade by the family // bridesmaids dresses: various -they all found dresses that they felt comfortable in and truly loved! // event designer: Michelle Olson // venue: bride’s parents home

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