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Real Weddings: Nicole & Michael – North Carolina

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{Featured in Vol. 18}
Photographer:  Gambol Photography
Event Venue: Allison’s Woods Events // Invitation Designer: DollFace Design // Shoes: H&M // Reception Dress: Lucky Strike Vintages // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Macy’s // Dress Designer: Ragavon // Cake Designer: Sweet Thing Bakery // Floral Designer: Yang’s Fresh Cut Flowers // Submitted via Two Bright Lights


What inspired your wedding theme?
Our wedding theme was a North Carolina picnic in the woods.  We decided to do a picnic wedding because when we were first dating one of our favorite things to do was throw some bread, cheese and fruit in a basket and go on a picnic!  We really got stuck on the idea of a picnic wedding because it inspired so many happy memories. Also, it lent itself to the rustic, laid back vintage vibe we were going for.  As a nod to the state we’d both come to love, we had BBQ (of course!) and used local strawberries, wines, cheeses and beer for the reception.  Also, all of the flowers were grown in Statesville and bought from a vendor at the farmer’s market.

What inspired your wedding color palette?
We did not have a wedding color palette per se.  The bridesmaids wore mint because it’s my favorite color, and everything else was a mix of pastel floral patterns because we were having a spring wedding.

What was special about where you got married?
We got married at Allison’s Woods in Statesville NC, which is a homestead that has been in the Allison family since the 1700s.  The site is purely magical – set back in the woods, complete with a 100 year old rock barn and a large covered area where we could hold our reception rain or shine.  Also, Allison’s Woods is a non-profit organization , and we knew the site fees went into preserving an important piece of North Carolina history.

What do-it-yourself projects did you do?
Our wedding was almost an entirely a DIY affair, with the exception of catering, cakes, flowers and photography. My first project was collecting vintage fabric for months to make over 400 feet of bunting flags to decorate the site. I re-purposed old thrift store frames to make menu chalkboards which I designed and drew myself, and Michael tore old shipping pallets apart for rustic signs to direct people around the wedding site. I made the boutonnieres from dried flowers and feathers. Michael painted tin cans that we planted with succulents for wall hangings and centerpieces. For our guestbook, I got the idea to use a mailbox and a collection of vintage and reproduction postcards (to represent all those letters and postcards sent back and forth from our long distance days) on which our guests wrote “advice for the newlyweds”. We also created our own playlists for the ceremony and reception that we played on a portable stereo. Looking back, I definitely got a little carried away with the DIY bug – even hand stamping all of our wooden cutlery with lovebirds and our initials. I must also say that we couldn’t have done it without our friends and family. Craft nights with girlfriends who folded dozens of vintage handkerchiefs for guests’ “tears of joy”, bridesmaids who hand-painted all the wine bottles with wedding messages and helped me make all the sweet potato quiches for our vegetarian guests. My mother made birdseed heart shaped favors and wedding cookies, and my father who spent countless hours making the picnic benches for our ceremony seating. One of my sisters-in-law helped me to make my veil, and a good friend made my floral headpiece. And everyone chipped in to help us set the site up the day before the wedding, and to take it down the day after while Michael and I flew off on our honeymoon.


As a DIY bride, chances are there will be more projects than you have time to complete. Don’t fret about it. On the day of the wedding, those handmade details you spent months making won’t matter to you nearly as much as pledging your life to the one you love in front of all your nearest and dearest, many of whom have traveled hundreds of miles to share your special day with you.


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