As you gear up for your Thanksgiving feasts and as you watch the big parade, I hope that your appetite is just as ready for beautiful images from The 2654 Project as it is for turkey, because this wedding at Lyceum Hall - which just so happens to be as historical as it is gorgeous - is the perfect inspiration for budget-friendly and exquisitely creative weddings alike. Hands down, my most favorite part of the day would have to be the darling first look that expresses so truly these lovebirds and their love for each other. And you can see every bit in the gallery right here.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Carey and I met in 2007 back when he owned a coffee and juice bar named Fuel in the heart of downtown Salem. My girlfriends and I would go in for lunch and lattes, and I thought he was so handsome and sweet but that he was married. After frequenting Fuel for about a year, I learned that the woman who I thought was his wife was actually one of his business partners. One of my friends convinced him to come out with us for drinks over Memorial Day weekend, and I guess you can say the rest is history. Carey proposed in June 2011 after four years together, and we were both excited to plan a wedding day that reflected who we are while keeping it simple and sticking to a budget. First item on the list: finding a venue that matched our style. I didn’t want a space where the decor dictated what colors or style would look good, so when we decided on Lyceum Hall, an event space upstairs from a popular restaurant in Salem. I felt like we hit the jackpot — an absolutely gorgeous space that was filled to the brim with charm and history, that was beautiful on its own, and was also crazy budget friendly. The rental fee to have our ceremony and reception there was only $500 — yes, you read that correctly!

Once the venue and date was set (8/11/12), I got right to work on all of the DIY projects that I had in mind. My wedding dress was all lace, and we chose blush pink and gray as our wedding colors, so I wanted to carry all three of those throughout the decor. My bridesmaids and I decorated mason jars with yarn wraps and ribbon bows for floral arrangements in the main room, wrapped mason jars with lace to burn candles in, and glued hand-cut flags to paper straws to be placed at the bar. I designed our guest book using the photos from our engagement shoot that our guests wrote words of wisdom and advice in, and we had a candle printed to honor my father who passed away when I was a little girl. I loved working on all of the little details and then getting to see everything come together — it was truly a labor of love.

Continuing with our DIY theme, my uncle applied for a one day solemnizer license, and he married us. Having someone who really knows us perform our wedding ceremony was so amazing. He included personal stories about me as a kid and some of his own memories of Carey and me, and it made the ceremony that much more heartfelt. Standing there holding Carey’s hand and listening to my uncles advice about how to have a lasting marriage is one of my favorite memories of the day. The best piece of advice that I got was “Just remember, you don’t HAVE to do anything.” I didn’t do a bouquet toss or a garter toss, and we had cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake — just a few of the things that some people thought were weird. Keep it simple: focus on the things that are important to the two of you and everything else will fall into place.

Wedding Photography: The 2654 Project / Wedding Venue + Catering: Lyceum Hall at 43 Church in Salem, Massachusetts / Floral Design: Karla Cassidy Designs / Wedding Cake + Cupcakes: Amanda Oakleaf Cakes / Ceremony + Reception Music: DJ JT Stevens / Mr. & Mrs. Chair Signs: Always in Season on Etsy / Lace Bunting Cake Topper and Lace Flag Cupcake Picks: Jaden Rain Inspired on Etsy / “I Do” Cupcake Picks: Vintage Twee / Wedding Dress: Watters via Madeleine’s Daughter / Bride’s Veil: Borrowed from Her Sister-in-Law / Bride’s Earrings: Carolee via Macy’s / Bride’s Shoes: Lulu Townsend via DSW / Hair + Makeup: From Hair to Eternity: Special Day by Carolina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters via Blushing Bride / Men’s Tuxedos: Ralph Lauren via J. Gibley Tuxedos

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