This real wedding is absolutely stunning. Rachel and James are each others first loves! Their wedding is almost 100% DIY. All of the florals are DIY by the bride and her family. The bride even made her own wedding cake and cupcakes the night before her wedding! You will love this Beautiful Shabby Chic DIY Wedding for $7K!Xoxo, Jessica
Rachel + James
September 29th, 2018
Oliver Springs, TN | The Barn at Williams Manor
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Venue: $2,500.
- Attire: $1000.
- Flowers: $300.
- Photographer: $1,400.
- Decor: $300.
- Caterer: $1000.
- Hair/Makeup: $150.
Total Budget: $7,000
How did you meet?
James and I met working our first jobs at a local grocery store. He was 17 and I was 16. Only 4 days after we met he asked me to be his girlfriend. 2 Years later he popped the question and a year after that we were married! We just celebrated our 1 Year Wedding Anniversary on Sept. 28th.
What is your proposal story?
James asked me to marry him in our local park under a tree after a picnic. The park has always meant so much to me. My mother worked there when I was growing up and I felt like it was my second home. For him to ask me to marry him in such a sentimental place made it even more special. The proposal itself was simple and perfect.
Tell us about your wedding vision.
We loved anything vintage. Burlap, Lace, distressed wood, all of that good stuff. Our venue was gorgeous and didn’t need much work, but all that we added, put the day over the top! The venue was a beautiful white-washed barn with chandeliers and string lights. Pretty as a picture!
Tell us about your attire choices.
I wore a lace ballgown with some beading. It’s funny, it wasn’t exactly the style of dress I envisioned myself wearing, but I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect gown. I added a jeweled belt that I got offline as well as a jeweled hair clip.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
I think it was very important for us to know that just because something was “traditional” didn’t mean we had to have it, or not have it, at our wedding. We made sure not to feel pressured by common wedding standards and only incorporated things we loved. James and I eliminated some things lots of other weddings have, like a DJ or a bouquet toss, and by doing so we just made our day more unique and special to us.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
I loved the moments right after James and I got married before we were whisked off for photos we had a few quiet moments without anyone else around to just look each other up and down and realize that we had just begun the rest of our lives.
I remember thinking how crazy it was that James was in a tuxedo because the nicest thing I had seen him in at that point was khaki pants for Sunday church service!
Another one of my most fond memories is knowing that aside from a few things, the day was entirely brought to life by my amazing family and friends. Two of my favorite people who weren’t in the bridal party even stepped up and coordinated the whole day which took so much stress off of me! I had an A-Team!
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
To say that my aunt is talented would be an understatement. She created all of the floral arrangements and bouquets used for the entire wedding all by herself. We used lots of soft pink roses, eucalyptus, babies breath, and more. She even created a gorgeous flower backdrop that we hung on the fireplace right behind where we said: “I do”. She really outdid herself.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
The day before my wedding, I went to my grandmothers’ house to take advantage of her stand mixer and baked 100 cupcakes and a three-tiered wedding cake using our family cake recipe that my grandmother perfected a long time ago. I put the cake together and iced all of the cupcakes the next day at the venue just moments before stepping into my gown!
What did you do for favors?
We planned on having a bonfire and handing out s’mores kits for everyone but after a long day of venue decorating and the clock ticking down on ceremony time, that element did not happen. All of our guests left with a full belly of dinner, and I figured that was good enough! That is just part of DIYing almost all of the wedding elements, sometimes things just can’t happen, and it’s not the end of the world!
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
I have the enormous blessing to be able to say that my perfect day was created by my closest family and friends. I know a lot of people have wedding planners, coordinators, florists, designers, and that’s wonderful for some people. However, paid strangers could have never created a day so perfect for James and I. This was a family affair, and you can see it in every little detail. They put their hearts into every flower they cut, every bow they tied, every candle they lit, and every piece of twine they wrapped. We began decorating when the sun came up and I loved being so involved. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
Well, lots of elements in the decor of the wedding were collected by my family prior to the wedding. One thing I loved was being able to use dozens of my grandmother’s vintage doilies that she has collected over the years. They looked amazing. Her, my mother, and my aunt were collecting wedding decor for months from thrift stores and antique malls looking for things they didn’t already have.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Treasure every stressful moment! Run with the issues. Some things will go exactly how you planned, some things won’t, and some things won’t happen at all. No matter what happens or doesn’t happen, just enjoy that time with each other and know that you two surrounded by the ones you love is what makes a wedding special, and nothing else.
Photography: Jyn Allen Photography | Ceremony Venue: The Barn at Williams Manor | Reception Venue: The Barn at Williams Manor | Floral: DIY | Videography: Lions Creative Media | Wedding Cake: DIY | Hair: Beth Goodman | Makeup: Beth Goodman | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Trinkets and Treasures | Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal | Submitted via: Matchology
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.