DIY Wedding Family Style
March 31, 2010

This wedding is a bit more intimate than many of our other features. A small, but absolutely sweet, totally unpretentious family affair. I just knew I had to feature it. Plus, today's weddings are ALL about the personality and the charm, so it totally fit the bill. Oh and did I mention that I love every bit of it? To see lots more pictures from the day, click here.

diy wedding

diy wedding

diy wedding

{to see the full wedding, click here}

Thomas is German and I’m a Jersey girl born and bred.  We met while working for BMW and got engaged at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse while visiting my parents in Maine.  From the beginning, we both knew that we wanted to get married during the summer in Maine.  We decided to celebrate with only our immediate families and create a week-long event that would allow us to spend quality time with the people who matter most.  We were fortunate to be able to rent out the entire Maine Stay Inn, one of Maine’s best B&Bs, for the three days surrounding the wedding. The owners, Claudio and Roberta, were generous enough to let us have our dinner reception in their gardens.  We also used the Inn’s Chef for all our catering which worked out perfectly.

Our wedding had a lot of DIY touches starting with the Welcome Bag. We had L.L. Bean bags embroidered with each family’s name and stuffed them with Maine goodies: Stonewall Kitchen Blueberry Jam, Moxie, Avena Botanicals Bug Repellant, Walking Maps, Lupine Seeds, Lobster Pops, and handmade Balsam Pillows.  I used vintage dishtowels to sew envelopes for the welcome letter and included blank cards with the words “Love Is / Liebe Ist” printed on the top.  We asked each guest (kids included) to write down their thoughts and them share during the ceremony.

The ceremony took place at the Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel in Rockport, Maine.  The location of the open-air chapel is just spectacular.  It sits on top of beautifully manicured gardens and overlooks the ocean.  While we were reciting our vows Windjammers were slicing back and forth across the water. The program / wedding CD holder and tissue covers were sewn from dishtowels and tablecloths and edged with bias tape.  I used more dishtowels to create bunting for the front and the back of the chapel. Because we weren’t allowed to have birdseed at the chapel, we used vintage noisemakers we found on Ebay.  Our guests used them during our kiss and our exit. The kids loved that!

The Love Is / Liebe Ist cards turned out to be the sweetest part of the ceremony - tears and laughter all around.  My mother, who was battling cancer and has since passed wrote – “Love is having a hand to hold when you are happy and arms to hold you when you are sad.” My six-year old niece wrote – “Love is amotsanal cous if your writing a love letter it makes you want to kry but then you feel sad but happy at the same tim.” I love these cards because they capture exactly who each person was at that moment in time.  I also love that I could have each of my nieces and nephews participate in the ceremony.  My oldest nephew did a reading from Kurt Vonnegut, another nephew was the ring bearer, two nieces were flower girls and the other two nieces played a duet of Ode to Joy.

For the dinner reception, I wanted a slightly retro/vintage feel with lots of reds, blues and yellows. I ordered retro tablecloths choosing a floral motif since we’d be outside in the amazing garden of the Inn.  Instead of renting napkins, we used more dishtowels (it was actually cheaper) which my niece spent hours ironing into a pretty shape. After the wedding, I gave the tablecloths to my mother, mother-in-law and sister, along with a set of napkins, as a thank you for all their help. To finish the tables, I used vintage salt & pepper shakers purchased on Ebay : a bride and groom, love birds, German beer steins and a cute little German couple we used as a cake topper. I also loved our impromptu cupcake tier. I hit two Goodwill stores before the wedding and got a bunch of plates, bowls and glass candle sticks that my brother-in-law (and a little silicon glue) transformed into a cupcake tier.  Total cost $9.  And the best part, I pulled it all apart afterward and brought it all right back to Goodwill.

For our flowers we visited Endless Summer Flower Farm a few days before the wedding and picked out the dahlias we wanted for our flowers.  They have hundreds of varieties in the most amazing color variations.  We picked up the cut flowers the morning of the wedding and my sister arranged the flowers in mismatched vintage vases scored on Ebay. My sister, a jewelry designer, also made my wedding necklace from a piece of blue Maine sea glass.

Photographer: Audra Medunitza / Wedding Location: Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel, Rockport, Maine / Reception Location: The Maine Stay Inn, Camden, Maine