Planning a wedding from the other side of the country while keeping in mind a budget is definitely a challenge. But, this DIY bride rose to the occasion and created the wedding of her dreams. From the personalized cornhole board to the hand-drawn signage, this gorgeous bride did it all (with the help of friends and family, of course!). The result is a truly one-of-a-kind affair captured by Mary Dougherty Photography. See all the proof that DIY details are a major wedding “Do” in the gallery.
From the beautiful Bride… Having spent my summers on Skaneateles Lake since childhood and seeing all the beautiful weddings in the quaint village as we would dock our boat and get our ice cream, I knew then, as a little girl, that I would someday be that Bride with her Groom having their wedding portraits taken in that perfect, picturesque village on the lake.
When my husband proposed, we were on the water (surprise!) but on the other side of the country in Seattle, Washington. We knew without a doubt that we both wanted a summertime Skaneateles wedding. Planning a budget-friendly New York wedding from Seattle, I knew was going to be a challenge, but one that I was excited to do! My husband and I are both pretty laid-back and fun-loving, so we envisioned our wedding to be a reflection of that. We knew that we wanted an indoor-outdoor reception that was somewhat like a back yard party, that wasn’t too rustic and had a touch of elegance to it. After an extensive Google search in our initial planning stages, we stumbled upon the Frog Pond Bed and Breakfast and we both knew right away it was going to be the perfect setting. Besides its beautiful carriage house, gardens and sprawling lawns, the Frog Pond was a blank canvas. We were able to bring in all the vendors of our choice and it allowed me to have the creative freedom in designing a wedding that was truly personal and “ours”.
When designing and dreaming up the feel and decoration for our wedding, I was most inspired by the lake and wanted it to have a hint of a nautical feel (without being too “theme-y”) paired with soft touches of coral, peach and blush pink. Since we were on a pretty tight budget, I knew that I was going to be doing a lot of the do-it-yourself decor myself. From the coral ombre pillow covers on the lawn, to hand drawn signage and paper fans on the walls, it was all done by yours truly.
My husband and I are both from New York, but we fell in love and currently live in Seattle, so incorporating some personal touches from our new home was very important to us. The table numbers were postcards from a favorite vendor in Pike Place Market. The driftwood that held the watercolor ombre place cards was gathered from Discovery Park Beach where my husband proposed to me. And of course we had so serve all of our guests craft beer and wine that was local to Seattle and the pacific northwest.
Since I was planning our wedding long distance and most of it was DIY, it required the help from a lot of family and friends. My crafty mom took on the challenge and made all the striped tablecloths on the patio and the runners that lined the head table in the tent and the dessert tables in the carriage house since I could not find a navy and white striped table cloth from any rental company in the area. My best friend’s fiance made the awesome cornhole boards from which we applied custom vinyl decals I had made from a shop on Etsy. My good friend who is an event planner in New York City offered to design and arrange all of the flowers and bouquets. From the assortment of bud vases overflowing with huge dahlia blossoms to my bridesmaids’ perfect coral bouquets tied up with navy and white grosgrain ribbon, she took my vision and blew away all of my expectations. Last but not least, my talented girlfriend that I went to design school with designed all of our invitations, logo, menus and programs. We loved that so many of our family and friends came together to make our wedding day so personal and special, along with the help of our month-of coordinator, we would not have been able to pull it off without them!
The morning of our wedding day, my girls and I relaxed and sipped mimosas as we got our makeup applied and hair done at my parents’ cottage on the lake, while my Groom and his Groomsmen buttoned up their suits and chilled out before the ceremony at the historic Sherwood Inn in the village of Skaneateles.
We arrived to the small Catholic church that I had grown up going to every summer, and while I was nervous and excited to have my Groom see me for the first time, I could feel the energy and love from all of our family and friends that filled the little church and I had a sense of calm while I waited with my dad before the doors opened to walk down the aisle. Our ceremony was personal and intimate and filled with laughter here and there, but what made it even more special was that my cousin was able to marry us and bless us as we became Husband and Wife.
As we arrived to the Frog Pond I remember gasping with excited and happiness as I saw all of the details that I had planned come to life. It was everything that I had envisioned and more. As guests arrived, we mingled, played corn hole and drank the signature cocktails on patio under the trees strung with cafe lights and bunting banners. Dinner was held under the tent in the back lawn where my husband and I were introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs! We toasted champagne and ate delicious seasonal food made by a local cafe that had catered many weddings at the Frog Pond before us (which was very helpful!).
Following dinner, we were interrupted with the most beautiful, golden sunset where our amazing photographer, Mary Dougherty, and videographer, Zach Cullen, ushered us to the front lawn for some impromptu and very special portraits. In that moment, my new Husband and I were able to take a breath, be present and just enjoy each other. The pictures and footage they captured are some of our favorites from the day and a moment we will never forget. We were then introduced for a second time as we entered the carriage house to have our first dance as Mr. and Mrs., enjoy dessert and cocktails with our guests and dance the night away with our family and closest friends.
Our wedding was all we had hoped for and more. Even with the unpredictable weather upstate NY experienced that summer (and it was forecasted to be storming all day!), it did not rain a drop and we were blessed with the most perfect day and and even more perfect sunset. I couldn’t have asked for anything else on the day we became Husband and Wife.
Photography: Mary Dougherty Photography | Videography: Cullen Wedding Studio | Floral Design: Emily Reid Driscoll Events | Wedding Dress: Heart to Heart Bridal | Invitations: Courtney Nader | Ceremony Venue: St. Ann's Church | Reception Venue: Frog Pond Bed And Breakfast | Shoes: J.Crew | Jewelry: Nadri | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Catering: Kendra's Cafe | Makeup: Erica Abdo | Hair: Bijou Salon | Ties: The Tie Bar | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Bridemaids' Clutches: Oatmeal Lace | Event Planning and Design: The Bride | Groomsmen Attire: Express Men | Month-of Coordination: Danielle Fleck Events