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Sunflower and Red Rose DIY Autumn Wedding

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It was all about the rustic fall vibes for Mary and Ethan’s intimate DIY wedding. Though their wedding was small, they made sure to make it special by including all of the things they love like sunflowers, red roses, their truck, and their dog!

Mary + Ethan

Burlington, Connecticut
- 11/14/2020
Total wedding budget $4,500

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Attire
  • Catering
  • Flowers
  • Photography
  • Rentals
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Stationery
  • Total wedding budget

Tell us about your wedding vision.

Our theme was rustic/fall country. I have always loved roses but saw some inspiration photos from a local floral art school that incorporated roses & sunflowers and loved it! Our private wedding was exactly what we hoped it would be, and allowed us to get married in the middle of a pandemic to start our lives together!

What is your proposal story?

We both enjoy kayaking and live in an area that is known for having garnets in the river. So we kayaked up a river and pulled over with some pans to try panning for garnets in the river. A couple of tries later, he “finds” my ring and kneels in the river to propose!

Tell us about your attire choices.

Our attire was based on the overall color scheme with the sunflowers and roses, the farm setting, and my desire for a 50s vintage feel.

My Maid of Honor’s dress was chosen to complement the length of my gown and to match the red roses of our floral arrangements. The men of the wedding party were in fitted navy suits (although the photo edits show them mostly as grey!) and deep red ties/bowties.

I wanted to bring together a country-feel with the navy, and the red was again to match the flowers. We felt gray suits may have been too monochrome for the setting. My dress was a very lucky find while browsing David’s bridal online. It had every vintage feel feature I was looking for! The lace was beautiful, the tea-length skirt is very 50’s in style, the sleeves were perfect for the cooler day and for comfort, and the full skirt was just right to make me feel like a princess. My sister actually custom decorated a plain pair of T-strap heels to match the lace and pearl accents of the dress.

What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?

The most important thing to us while planning was keeping it small and intimate for my husband, but still getting all the class and “fancy” factor I was hoping for. The three things I think we splurged on were the food (worth it and so very yummy! definitely a highlight for everyone), having real flowers and multiple centerpieces of real flowers, and the attire for the wedding party (we all appreciated the opportunity to dress up for the day).

Truthfully, I don’t think we “skipped” anything, besides having the entire extended family and friends there for a party. Hopefully, that larger reception will happen soon. But for our wedding ceremony itself, we didn’t have to skip a thing-besides debt!

What were your favorite parts of the day?

I loved that my groom’s aunt and cousin did my hair and makeup so we had a wonderful relaxing morning. The DIY flowers meant everyone had a personal touch in the ceremony space too. We also took photos with my beloved dog, Baloo, and with a very special truck that Ethan inherited from his late grandfather.

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

Our main flowers were red roses and sunflowers, and others to mimic that theme. Red roses are my favorite flower and the sunflowers brought in the rustic farm feel plus some warmth.

We DIY’d all of the flowers with the help of Blooms by the Box and my maid of honor and mother of the groom & bride.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

If you are planning your wedding now, I would say don’t be afraid to go small. I knew my husband wanted a smaller, more intimate ceremony-and the pandemic was the perfect excuse to make it happen. Our wedding was quiet, relaxed, intimate, and everything I could have asked for without all the stress of a larger wedding. It meant I could rely on my family to help, and ultimately spend the day truly enjoying the special occasion! You can still get every facet of a larger wedding, with the cake, dress, makeup, decor, flowers, etc., but have more time to truly enjoy it!

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