Today's real wedding is classic and stunning with a modern twist! Emma and Andrew had a beautiful wedding despite that it rained the entire day. Emma and her Mom collected all sorts of decor items over the years which made their way into this gorgeous wedding. We especially love the antique details made with different vintage materials! Enjoy this Vintage Colorful Wedding on a $25K Budget!Xoxo, Jessica
Emma + Andrew
March 24th, 2018
Knoxville, TN | Private Barn
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
- Venue: Well, the venue was “free” but we had to wire it prior to the wedding and add the chandeliers (I found them on Craigslist–they were brass, and we spray painted them).
- Invitations: $895
- Attire: Andrew's suit and shoes $570, dress $800'ish
- Flowers: $4000
- Cakes/pies: $700
- Photographer: $3000
- DJ: Can't remember exact cost here.
- Rental company/Wedding planner: $9000
- Catering: $2000
- Decor: This is hard to even guesstimate because it was bought over the years (and still brings joy)—so does it count?
- Restroom trailer: $1000
Total budget: Roughly $25,000
How many guests did you have?
We had about 220 guests.
How did you meet?
Andrew and I met in 2009 when we were in college at Tennessee Tech. Our mutual friend, Dana, was having a 21st birthday dinner at the local Mexican restaurant El Tap. I noticed he quietly observed everyone throughout the night and didn't really say too much. Afterward, he said he needed to leave to go “work on his research paper” so I was even more intrigued—Nerd alert. We both ended up asking Dana about one another, and she helped set up our first date.
What is your proposal story?
I adore the Avett Brothers, and Andrew does not—So I traveled with my cousin to Mexico for a week to see their shows. Andrew picked me up at the airport in Nashville and proposed in the baggage claim area. I was over the moon happy but after spending the entire day in airports, I was also hangry—So we enjoyed a late night post-proposal Waffle House breakfast.
Tell us about your wedding vision.
I've been planning my wedding for such a long time. I've always loved attending weddings and seeing how everything comes together. During high school, I made a three-ring binder that was filled with ideas—Fall flowers, spring flowers, cakes, dresses (this was pre-Pinterest, people).. I also spent a lot of time with my mom at auctions and estate sales and traveled to large antique/flea markets on the weekends—Collecting things has always been a passion. During college, I began collecting vases, tissue paper bells, bridal baskets, linens, hankies, etc.
I've been called an “old soul” by several people, and my style tends to reflect my love of all things vintage. I wanted the wedding to be colorful, mismatched and a little kitsch. My family's property has a large barn, and it seemed like the perfect space to have our wedding and reception.
Tell us about your attire choices.
All of my previous formal dresses were tea length, and I thought I wanted a shorter 50's inspired wedding dress. I actually purchased a tea length dress from Europe but ended up changing my mind a few months before the wedding. My mom and I went to the Gilded Gown and found a dress with 3/4 length sleeves and a beautiful train that I fell in love with. I wanted a bouffant veil and kitten heels, and I found both on Amazon.
The bridesmaids had similar style dresses in all different colors—I used their dress colors to help pull in all the rest of the decor and floral arrangements.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Andrew is a laid back person AND knew how much I was looking forward to planning the wedding so he really took a hands off approach for most of the decisions…. except the food. He helped pick out our breakfast for dinner menu and enjoyed the cake tastings with Eva at Ramble Creek.
My splurge for the wedding was our flower budget—and I have no regrets.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
We refer to my mom's friends as the Ya-Ya's. They are party planning, vintage loving stand-in moms and have all played a part in raising me. They were all involved with the wedding (and our amazing wedding shower!) from the very beginning—-cleaning, organizing, bringing over more “junk” to decorate with, setting up, and even catering. One of my favorites parts of the day was seeing the finished reception area inside the barn—It was beautiful and exactly what I had imagined. All of my favorite things—mismatched china and milk glass, vintage head vases, old linen tablecloths, a ceiling filled with tissue paper bells, Victorian screen doors re-purposed into chalkboards, old quilts on the ladders that belonged to Andrew's granddad, and breakfast for dinner prepared and served by the Ya-Ya's.
Everyone told me before that the day would go by very quickly, and it did. It also feels a bit chaotic, and I remember the quiet moments best—My mom helping me get dressed, the short time I spent sitting with my dad in the car before the wedding started, riding on the back of the golf cart in the pouring rain with Andrew while all our guests were entering the reception area.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
Flowers are one of my favorite things. Growing up (and let's be honest—even now), I visit my grandmothers and “steal” their daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. I picked the month of March because all of these flowers are in season. Lesley sat down with me and mom (and my wedding notebook of ideas) and TOTALLY got it. Our arch was absolutely amazing! The arch included the tissue paper bells that we used on the ceiling at the reception, and she even added tiny tissue paper pom poms to the boutonnieres. My bouquet was BIG and colorful. The bridesmaids had smaller versions of my bouquet. Lesley and her team filled the bridal baskets and head vases at the reception with baby's breath.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
I still think about our cakes—because they were so delicious. We met with Eva at Ramble Creek Cakes and decided to order a smaller cake for cutting. The cake was vanilla with white icing and was decorated to look like hobnail milk glass. We used a tiny head vase that belonged to Andrew's grand mom as the topper.
Andrew's cake was the favorite of the night. He chose a chocolate chip cookie dough cake, and it had pieces of chocolate chip cookies around the edges. It. Was. Awesome.
We also had a pie bar that included all of my favorites from Lambert's, the local pie shop in Maryville.
What did you do for favors?
I found an old wrought iron tea cart when I was at an antique show in Ohio, and Andrew's mom made a new pink topper with pom pom trim for the wedding. We used the cart to display our favors—-I used vintage hankies to wrap local honey and homemade apple butter, jam, and peanut butter spread.
Describe any handmade, DIY, or personal items.
Prior to the wedding, I found brass chandeliers on Craigslist. We spray painted them and used them inside the barn.
One of our friends did all of our chalkboards—We re-purposed Victorian screen doors to use as our seating chart and to provide a timeline for our guests.
A few of our friends made homemade jam, peanut butter spread and apple butter for favors.
Assembling the tissue paper bells required lots of help. Several family members and friends helped us open up all the bells, and then we used fishing line to tie the bells to chicken wire. My dad, brother, and Andrew balanced precariously on scaffolding to suspend the bells from the ceiling—Thankfully no one was injured.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
There are SO. many. details. Find a take-charge wedding coordinator. Just breathe!
In the end, the day is about marrying the love you've waited for and sharing the day with all of your favorite people.
Photography: Erin Morrison Photography | Floral: LB Floral | Stationery: Minted | DJ: Music in Motion Mobile Entertainment | Hair: Alchemy Salon | Makeup: Alchemy Salon | Wedding Cake: ramble creek cakes | Desserts: Lambert's Southern Pies and Bake Shop | Rentals: Anderson Party Rentals | Wedding Dress: The Gilded Gown | Groom's Attire: Joseph a. Bank | 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 resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.