This wedding is going to blow your minds! First off, the bride designed her own dress and had a seamstress make it for her (Whaaa????). Second, you will never ever ever believe that this wedding was a DIY affair…from the invites to the flowers to the food! This couple’s entire family came together to help make their dream wedding possible (talk about a talented bunch of relatives!)
I can’t do the entire story justice, so I’m going to let the beautiful bride, Anna, tell you all about it! Very special thanks to photographer Janelle Stephanie for sharing these stunning images! Oh…and as much as this looks like a fall wedding (are you getting in the mood yet…or is the beach still calling you?) this wedding is actually a full on midsummer wedding. Historical records said it had never rained in Santa Ynez on that day. Ever. Until June 4th, 2011. Everything was moved indoors last minute, but you’d never know. So a little lesson, weather worried brides…you can still make it work if the unexpected happens!
Without further ado, here’s how to throw a DIY barn wedding (on a private property…boo!) that is still glamorous, classic, and timeless (all the things I love!).
From the bride, Anna:
A couple of details that are special to me: my father hand-wrote each invitation. We’re on such a tight budget, but I really don’t care for cheap paper and cheap-looking invitations and so my father graciously offered to write each invitation by hand. There were 175 invitations. Another calligraphist friend addressed each one beautifully. And another friend sat with me for hours and we embossed each return envelope. Those were each an act of love.
I designed my dress (as well as the bridesmaids and flower girls) and had a local seamstress (Patti and Perfect Fit in Montecito) make it. It was a fun process and I just had to trust that the idea in my head was going to come out right in the end. Much to my mother’s dismay, we never went wedding dress shopping and the veil was a last minute thought – I’m glad I wore it now, but in the beginning I didn’t plan on it.
All the flowers were down by my sisters – we have had a family of florist for generations – and I had specifically asked for an over-the-top bridal bouquet. I was tired of all those small tightly packed bouquets that have been popular for so long. Well, my sister listened and came up with THAT. It was so heavy and amazing. My other sister (I have three) wrote our first dance song to be sung with the band. It was a jazz-ish, old-world song about how I feel about my now husband – a couple of lines are “when I’m with you, I feel like I’m coming home” and “like a fine whiskey, you grow better with time”. Let’s just say, it was awesome.
We made most of the food and had a friend come and BBQ tri-tip and stuffed bell peppers (that my fiance and I had made the that week). We made the lemon sorbet ourselves and a friend made the Chocolates. My aunt cooked up the salad bar and a friend made Alton Brown’s mac & Cheese and roasted potatoes. It was really an all-out family/friend affair with everyone making something. We didn’t want to be limited to just beer and wine for drinks, so we asked some of our groomsmen to make up a special punch for our “punch bar”. We had a tequila punch, a gin punch, a vodka punch, and my personal favorite – a whiskey punch with orange and cinnamon infused whiskey and ginger ale (taste like Christmas).
My new father-in-law even made the dance floor. We didn’t want to ruin and pay for a rented one with all the rain, so they just whipped up a wood one. Good thing too, because originally our wedding was set all outside under the beautiful vast sky – but given the sideways rain and wind that morning, we had to switch it to a barn on the property and completely reconfigure all the tables and the dance floor. It was quite an effort with all the wedding party and family making it possible. My sister turned to me at one point and said “Uh Anna, the photographer is coming in 45 minutes, you might want to think about doing your hair and makeup”. Let’s just say we were forced to keep it relaxed and casual.
So, as you can see, we have a very supportive family and one that is willing to work hard to pull of an amazing party. We’re blessed beyond belief and want to encourage other couples that it doesn’t take a lot of money to make an awesome and fun wedding.