Featured Wedding Real Weddings

Real Weddings: Victoria & Ian | Private Residence, IN

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{Featured in Vol. 22}

Photographer:  Natalie Kunkel Photography
Submitted via Two Bright Lights


Thankfully for me, I married a very handy man! Ian built an amazing stage and arbor for our ceremony using reclaimed wood, pallets, and other recycled materials. He also built a cowbell stand, so people could ring the cowbell instead of clinking glasses for the bride and groom to kiss during the reception. I took some old windows, with the help of one of my cousins, and painted several different quotes on the windows to be used as decoration at our reception. I was also able to incorporate my love of books into our wedding decor! I collected a mass of old books and then Ian drilled a large hole in the center of a stack of books in order to create a place for a pot of flowers, and these comprised our centerpieces. We also used pages from the old books to create table runners. For each of my bridesmaids, I selected a different dress that was chosen with their body type in mind, each one similar but different and also something that they would be able to wear after the wedding was over. Lastly, I was able to incorporate a few peonies into my bouquet that were from a bush that was my deceased great grandmother’s. Honestly, it is hard to pinpoint what wasn’t creative or personal to our wedding.

The music. Both my husband and I are heavily involved in music, so this was a very important detail that we did not want to overlook. We sought out our friend Ross Stratton to run sound for the ceremony and we asked Ian’s band mates, Mike Lee and Landon Bailey, to play music before and during the ceremony. After we had been pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Dunno, all of our guests clapped along as we all but skipped down the aisle to “Great Day For Marrying You” by Dave Barnes. We also chose the Dave Barnes song, “I Have And I Always Will” for our first dance. The music could not have been more perfect, and it truly set the tone for our entire day.

Sharing our vows. We had actually written our vows before we were even engaged! It was so special to be able to stand in front of our loved ones and share our hearts as we made a lifetime commitment to each other. I honestly thought I would be much more emotional when delivering my vows, but it was all I could do not to bust at the seams – I was smiling so hard! Throughout the exchange of our vows we laughed a lot and the joy that we share together was very apparent. During our vows we stood underneath a sign that I hand-painted for our arbor that read “And the Two shall become One …” from Mark 10:8 – this verse was the staple of our pre-marital counseling and one that we felt was an important foundation for our vows.

We were married on our 7 year anniversary! The love and joy that we shared that day was palpable.
Aside from that, I think it is pretty cool how we happened upon Marian Hills Farm – my sister found it on a wedding blog and when I looked up the location, I realized that we drove past the farm every. single. time. I went over to Ian’s house … and we NEVER knew it was there!

LET PEOPLE HELP YOU! I cannot say enough how thankful I am for all of the friends and family that seriously pitched in to help make our big day happen, and it would not have been the spectacle that it was without their help. As a DIY bride, I know that it can be hard to let other people take on a project when you have a specific vision in mind, but your life will be so much easier and stress-free if you just sit down and try to clearly communicate what you want and then leave the project in their hands … you will be SO surprised at how often things will end up better than what you had dreamed up in your mind! One other piece of advice that I would offer to brides would be not to worry about the hiccups – everyone has things they will look back and want to change or do differently, but ultimately those won’t be the things you remember most. Cherish everything about your day!

My husband’s advice to brides (and their groomsmen) – Start early! With a DIY wedding, you should always account for issues and time to problem solve. If you have projects that may be time consuming or even expensive, allow yourself more time to slowly chip away at the work and the cost of the finished product. It was also really helpful to scavenge different items and pieces from online garage sales (check Facebook for a local online wedding garage sale) and friends who had been married recently. We were really blessed by some generous friends!

And if I could offer one last piece of advice to brides everywhere it would be this: don’t get discouraged. If you know what you want, don’t settle – dress, venue, food, etc. – compromise is good though.

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