Ted and I got married on September 18, 2010. We spent the year before DIYing our little hearts out in preparation for the big day.

This was long before I ever joined Pinterest…and for that I am actually happy because I can’t image how big my ideas would have gotten if I had that many amazing DIY ideas coming at me from all angles (haha).

We were excited to have our wedding and engagement session featured on La Belle Bride.

You can read all about our featured wedding below if you wish….


$5,000 Vintage Wedding with DIY Details

A $5,000 wedding. In this decade. AND with adorable DIY style!!!
Spending $5,ooo for a wedding is practically unheard of, right?  Which is why this vintage wedding is so crazy awesome.  Audrey and Ted worked at their day from every angle to keep their budget in place.  They wheeled, dealed but never compromised on style. AND we get to hear all their dirty little DIY secrets (more on this later).  Their Kansas wedding photographer, Rusty Wright, was yet another perfect piece of their vintage wedding puzzle.   As you’ll see from these wedding photos, he captured all the juicy DIY details in perfect vintage composition.
Some tips from our dear DIY bride, Audrey:
  • I designed, printed, and made our own cupcake toppers and candy bar print materials.
  • I made our nine bridal bouquets and 12 boutonnieres.
  • We made our own large cupcake stand out of thrift store plates and platters.
  • I built my own “guest book” area. It consisted of a vintage desk passed down from my great aunt, a typewriter, and other cool vintage props that I also inherited or purchased at antique and thrift stores. Instead of a guest book I had my guests ink their fingerprints onto a picture of a dead tree with various fall colored inks and then sign that.  
  • Ted and I built our photo booth from scratch and had a friend take and print the photos for our guests…these photos served as our favors. You can read more about our DIY photo booth here.
  • I collected all of my own antiques/vintage finds plus I am using all of the vases, glassware, vintage props, etc. that have been passed down to me from family members and purchased at thrift and antique stores.
  • We got our DJ (valued at  $1000) for free because I did some design projects for him.
  • We got our officiant for free (valued at $300) for design trade of service as well.
  • We got our day-of event planner for free (valued at $300) b/c I did a design trade of service for her.
  • I designed our own invites, save the dates, thanks you cards, programs, cupcake toppers, pennant flag, signage and all other print materials (got almost everything printed for free at a local printer).
  • My friend, Sarah hand drew our  guest book  tree at the entrance to the barn as a wedding gift.
  • We had a fully stocked bar and a bartender. We purchased our own alcohol, which saved money.
  • I designed/created my own centerpieces and had friends help me set them up on the day of. they consisted of a mix of flowers, vintage vases, birdcages, vintage postcards, etc.  
  • I designed our candy and dessert bar to accompany our cupcakes (using vintage cake stands inherited from my grandma).
  • I printed and mounted old family photos to hang from string near the entrance to play along the vintage theme.
  • My sister-in-law made me paper cranes in various papers, which were placed around the venue.
  • I got my corseted fit and flare dress for only $600 since I bought the “floor model” and added a vintage brooch to the chest to make it feel more personal.
  • My dad wrote and recorded the song that we walked down the aisle to, which made it feelmore personal.
We had to rent a U-haul truck to get all of our decor and other items to and from the venue. It was kind of crazy, but very effective.
Our wedding was easily worth $13,000-15,000, but with my designing, bargaining and trades of service we are paid only $4,800-5,000 .
If you are a creative, I suggest seeing if any potential wedding vendors would be interested in any trades of services. You never know until you ask. 🙂
Venue: Historic Lackman-Thompson Barn (Lenexa, Kansas) | DJ: Mike Westerman,Michael Lauren Weddings | Dinner and Cupcakes: Hy-Vee | Photographer: RJ Stills | Bartender: Erin Cook


Our Vintage Picnic Engagement Session

From LaBelle Bride:Get a load of this adorable couple!  Graphic designer plus photographer equals artsy, romantic couple.  Drop them into a picnic setting and it’s almost like a movie.  Rusty from RJ Stills sent me over these pretty little pictures of Ted and Audrey’s Kansas engagement shoot and they have me so excited for their wedding!  Incidentally, Ted and Audrey are a DIY-ing their entire wedding. ALL for under 5k!  WOW, right?  Now I bet you’re excited to see their wedding too!
Photography by RJ Stills

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