• Category Archives: summer

    {Real Wedding} Jennifer & Josh: Casual Wedding on the Family Farm

    DIY backyard wedding by Erin H Photography

    Ever since I saw Father of the Bride I’ve loved a good wedding at home.  And a wedding on a family farm?  Even better!  So when Erin H. Photography sent this wedding my way, it was pretty much a no-brainer that I’d love it.  I hope you do too. Read More »

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    {Real Wedding} Chelsea & Chris: Stunning Backyard DIY Wedding in British Columbia from Mikaela Ruth Photography

    stunning backyard DIY wedding in British Columbia by Mikaela Ruth

    Happy Monday, lovelies!  I hope you’re ready to start your week off with one fabulous wedding.  This is just the thing to wake you up and get you going – with the vibrant colors and stunning views, you won’t even need coffee.  Well, maybe just one cup.  But first… Read More »

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    {Real Wedding} Lauren & Robby: A Quirky + Relaxed Winery Wedding

    This couple wanted to keep things simple and relaxed and do most of their wedding themselves.  The florals were DIY, the decor and signs were DIY, the bride even made the groom’s tie, and the groom made all four types of beer served to the guests.  The bride even got a wedding day tattoo of the groom’s initials behind her ear.  That’s love!

    2 Comments

    {Real Wedding} Beki & Justin: Simple & Relaxed Outdoor Chicago Wedding

    I love the simplicity of this wedding.  So lovely, so chic, and so simple.  Also, super budget-friendly!  It’s one of those weddings that show you all the “stuff” isn’t necessary.  The “stuff” is just the decor on an already gorgeous cake called LOVE.  And I’m swooning over the gorgeous photos by The Duchess and the Rabbit.

    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    The first thing my mom said when she found out we were engaged was “I’ll make your wedding dress, just send me a picture of what you want.” The final result was a beautiful buttery soft, one-of-a kind dress that was exactly what I had envisioned. My mom had even embroidered a hidden quote in light blue on the inside of the bodice: “a wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies.”
    simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    I know it’s cliche but honestly, there were so many great moments during the wedding that I don’t think I could pick a favorite. I probably laughed the hardest when my husband (on a whim) decided to do the bouquet toss and one of our male friends did a dive from across the room to catch it. I got the most choked up when Justin’s best childhood friend read “The Tent” by Rumi. The moment that I most regret not documenting was when two of our friends played ukelele and sang a sweet rendition of the Magnetics Fields “The Book of Love.” 
    simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    I made as many things as I reasonably could find time for, including the save the dates and invitations, reception decor (flag garland, large framed initials, centerpieces) and the flowers for the ceremony. I thought the flag garland for the reception would be a quick and easy project but it actually ended up taking forever! Cutting all those triangles and ironing 50 feet of ribbon is way less fun than it sounds. Anything that I didn’t make, like the tablecloths, beverage dispensers, etc., I ordered online and resold or donated afterwards.
    simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    the bride's mother made her gown in this simple and lovely Chicago wedding | photo by the Dutchess and the Rabbit
    How did you make your wedding YOU?
    Our goal was to keep things simple, informal and budget friendly. It was important to us to emphasize the things that matter most to us: gathering around good food with good friends, and fun tunes. Early on in the planning my fiance said something that really stuck with me, he said that he wanted to avoid the “Us vs Them” feeling that he often experiences at weddings. So we really tried to incorporate our friends and family and make them feel that they were part of and included in the celebrations as much as possible. We were so grateful & honored to have so many friends step up and volunteer to demonstrate their various talents. One of my good friends made the oh-so-delicious cake, Justin’s best friend officiated and wrote the ceremony, two amazing friends played violin during the ceremony, and then during the reception our wedding party read poems, told stories and sang songs. In the end our wedding was a fun and relaxed affair which, in general, is how we roll.

    I so love this wedding, both because of everything the bride said about it, and because it is just so perfectly simple and lovely.  It feels like love – like everyone the couple loved participated in some way in the wedding.  Congrats Beki & Justin!

    {Vendors} Wedding Dresses: Bride’s Mother / Photographer: The Duchess and the Rabbit / Caterer:  Smoque BBQ and Whole Foods / Flowers: Bulk from Sam’s Club and Whole Foods, arranged by the bride / Save the Dates & Invitations: DIY / Venue: Lakeview Center, Gillson Park in Wilmette / Reception music: iPod / Ceremony Music, Officiant, Cake, Bouquets, Flowers & Decor, Emcee, Speakers, Advice, Good Times: Our amazing friends!

    9 Comments

    {Real Wedding} Mallory & Zach: Charming Budget-Friendly DIY Wedding

    Today’s wedding from (once like a spark) photography shows you that you can have a very budget-friendly event, while keeping it very personal and very lovely.  Plus, this bride’s BHLDN statement necklace is to die for!  The bride, along with her mother and aunt, made all of the floral arrangements, bouquets, and bouts themselves, and the couple also had personal DIY touches like chalkboard signage, a wish jar, and lots more.charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com

    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    I love the mismatched colors in the same style on the bridesmaids, and the bride’s simple chic gown – all from J.Crew.
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    The flags was one of several DIY projects done by the bride and groom. Guests waved them during the recessional of the couple.
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    The couple wanted to make sure their ceremony was the most meaningful part of their wedding.  “The foot washing was the most memorable part of the ceremony … and we promised to serve each other.”
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    “A special moment was when Zach and I walked together from the ceremony to the reception. It was a walk through the woods with just the two of us, and it gave us some time to reflect on the commitment we just made.”
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com
    charming budget-friendly DIY wedding | www.oncelikeaspark.com

    Some ways this couple made their wedding budget-friendly for them: they ordered their florals in bulk and made their own arrangements, they had a cocktail reception, they DIY’d most of the handmade details, they had friends do the girls’ hair and makeup, and kept the attire and decor simple and classic.

    What are your best tips for keeping a wedding budget-friendly?  Share them in the comments and I’ll do a post featuring the best ones!

    {Vendors} Venue: Graue Mill / Food: LaBelle Catering & Events / Bride’s gown: J.Crew / Bridesmaids’ dresses: J.Crew / Groom’s suit: J.Crew / Bride’s necklace: BHLDN / Makeup and hair: friends / Flowers: bought from fiftyflowers.com and arranged by bride and family / Photographer: (once like a spark) photography / Invitations: Invited Design on Etsy / Cake: Tipsycake 

    3 Comments
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