February 8, 2011

Real Wedding: Ariane and Ethan

There is something so lovely about a DIY backyard wedding. Today's is chock full of sweet rustic charm and darling details. The bride, Ariane, summed up planning a small budget wedding perfectly: "Even though our budget was small, I knew I had to pay attention to the details to make the event seem bigger than it was." This is exactly what you should do when planning a budget wedding. Even the smallest of details have a big impact on the overall look and on your guests.

From the lovely Ariane:
Ethan's Aunt and Uncle own a beautiful home in Swampscott, Massachusetts and offered to host the wedding in their backyard as soon as they heard about the engagement. We couldn't resist, since it is such a gorgeous space and the free price fit into our very small budget. Ethan and I had talked a lot about how we wanted the wedding day to go. We were uncomfortable with spending lots of money on just one day and we knew we could make it special in our own way without a large budget.  I'm a fairly crafty person and with the help of our talented friends and family, we were able to pull off the perfect vintage, backyard wedding on a tiny budget. The wedding day turned out to be more beautiful than I had imagined.

Our wedding was completely DIY.  My mom and I found Martha Stewart printable invitations at Michael's on sale - 100 invitations, envelopes, RSVP cards and envelopes for $20.00.  I designed the invitations and hand stamped a design on each one.  I also designed, the menus, programs, and save the date cards myself.  I made 100 tissue paper pom decorations thanks to a Martha Stewart craft idea, hand painted the table numbers, and hand stamped the tags on the mason jars we used for glasses.  Even though our budget was small, I knew I had to pay attention to the details to make the event seem bigger than it was.  The last thing I wanted was to make the day seem cheap.  Little details make your event special and memorable for everyone.  The rest of the decorations were things we found at yard sales or already owned.  Making everything myself got stressful at times and we jokingly called the wedding our "huge mistake."

It truly was a family affair.  Ethan's brother is a chef and cooked most of the food we served which revolved around a backyard cookout theme.  Ethan's mom baked all of our pies and desserts including gluten free and vegan options for our friends with food allergies.  We bought flowers at the whole sale flower show in Boston and my friend Rebecca made the flower arrangements using blue mason jars we bought at a vintage store.  My mom is an artist and quilter and hand sewed our chuppah, which meant so much to us since the chuppah represents the home the couple is building together.  

We had a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony and a not so traditional reception.  Our immediate families gathered around the chuppah with us as we said our vows.  It was such a joyous occasion and everyone was radiating love.   Our fantastic photographer, Lauren Piper, captured all of the wonderful moments of that day.  She really caught the mood and the vintage feel of the wedding.  We had all of our closest family and friends with us to celebrate as we became husband and wife.  It was a perfect day.  I think it was so special because we had all worked so hard to make it happen - I know I put in plenty of blood, sweat and tears into the day.

Photographer | Lauren Piper
Bouquets | Roses and Thistle
Gown | J. Crew
Earrings and Shoes | J. Crew
Belt | Little White Dresser
Bridesmaid Dress | Anthropologie
Make Up | Daniela Shappee
Groom/Groomsmen Suits | J. Crew
Cake Topper | Baumbirdy
Stamp | Paperwink
Chuppah | Mother of the Bride
Ketubah | Gallery Judaica


  1. We love the hand stamping on the programs. What a great use of a personal logo for your own wedding!

  2. Love the street shot with the chapel in the background. This is a lovely wedding!

  3. Ari's hair was done by Jeaneen Barletta. A truly gifted professional hair stylist. She has now done other weddings in our extended family.

  4. oh my gosh - too adorable, LOVE the pickles!!!!

  5. Oh my, this is lovely! I just adore the fact that there are so many handmade details!


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