Our DIY Wedding & How You Can Do It Too

Firstly, I want to start off by saying how EXPENSIVE weddings are and how unrealistic some venues/options can be. It’s a shame that almost every venue/florist/limo company/DJ/etc. sky rockets their prices through the roof once they hear the word “wedding”. Of course you could save longer, save more, yada yada but in our case, we didn’t want to wait. So we didn’t. Moving up our wedding a whole year and getting everything together in less than six months wasn’t easy, wasn’t stress free (as weddings never are) but definitely worth it. Continue reading if you’d like to know all about how we pulled it off!

The ceremony took place at Iron Pier Beach in Jamesport. We rented the beach for a few hours from the town and the rest was up to us. My tent company (TGIF Rentals) gave us extra chairs to set up and Lucas’ best man bought us a beautiful arch to say our vows under and tie the knot. Everything was perfectly beautiful and the weather could not be more perfect for a late September afternoon!dsc_8400

Our officiant or as we like to call him – Richie, was/is my step-mothers bestfriend’s husband, who got ordained just for the fun of it, little did he know he would actually be marrying two people…and those two people were us! Which made for such a special and one of a kind ceremony – everything happens for a reason! I’m not sure how much it actually costs to get an officiant because we didn’t have to look but it’s just another cost we avoided (completely by chance may I add).


    Something that wasn’t exactly necessary, but “pinterest-y” was the cute sign that says something about guests sitting anywhere they’d like because after we’re married we’re all one big family. Which if bought on Etsy – would cost around $50-$100+ depending on the size. So I had a vision and went with it. Lucas cut out pieces of pallet wood (free, from our brother in laws job that was scrap), nailed them all together and I drew on them the cute saying with a paint pen from Michaels ($5).


    Since me and Lucas decided not to do a “first look” and see each other for the first time when I’m walking down the isle to meet him (might’ve been the only traditional thing we did our whole wedding…oops) we had to take separate ways to the beach. The whole wedding party arrived in a limo. While I arrived in my grandfather’s Ford Pickup truck driven by my Uncle. This was such a special and emotional moment for me, having my Nanny’s diamond set into my own wedding ring and being driven in my Pa’s old Ford really made me feel like they were there with me through my wedding day, although I know they were watching from Heaven the whole time. And also saved us money on having to get second transportation, thanks Pa 😉


    When we decided we didn’t want to pay over price for a traditional hall or venue that everyone else has gotten married at, my mother proposed that we could have it in the backyard of our brand new house in Jamesport. Now, this was not by any means FREE especially for my mom, but a backyard wedding could cut your costs in half, or at least save you what you would’ve spent on another venue. Plus no one will ever have our wedding venue! We used a tent company, mentioned above, for the tent, tables, dance floor, etc. and got it catered out by Old World Catering, who did an amazing job – food and staff wise. Side note: we also didn’t want to do any bouquet tosses or garter tosses – so we simply didn’t. It’s your day, you make the rules!
    One of my close friends had gotten us the most adorable woven board wall decor at my bridal shower so instead of waiting to hang it in our house, we used it for the seating chart (we wanted to do something different than the usual placement cards). I bought some cardstock from Michaels which was about $3 and printed the table numbers and guests who’d be sitting there, cut them out and pinned them to the board with pins from Michaels which were about $4. Easy as one-two-three!


    When we were brainstorming card box ideas of course I went to pinterest to find the cutest rustic card box I could find. I saw the most adorable one! The link took me to Etsy and to my surprise that card box was $500. I so desperately wanted it and didn’t think I’d find anything better. Lucas suggested we try to make it ourselves out of extra pallet wood. And that’s just what he and my father in law did. Added some rope handles from rope they had laying around and made my wildest dreams come true. They only thing that was difficult was adding the lettering. At first I tried painting it on with stencils by hand but quickly realized I wasn’t doing the best job. Long story short we used a vinyl printer, that one of our close friends had, to cut out a stencil that was exactly what we wanted and spray painted the letters on (which you could totally do without and just paint the letters on yourself).dsc_9130
    This is something that you see at most weddings and is really fun! Since our wedding was in a backyard and rustic themed we didn’t want a huge photobooth taking away from the party. I’m also not sure how much these cost to have for a few hours, but I’m sure it isn’t cheap. Once again, here is another DIY made out of pallet wood by Lucas and my father in law. AMAZING. I used the paint marker to write “Finally the Fuscos” at the top and added some fake leaves on the side for about $25 from Michaels.
    The bases were cut from a tree (you guessed it, by Lucas and his dad) and smoothly sanded down. The mason jars and lanterns came from Hobby Lobby, I got sunflowers from a local farmers market (Helen’s Flower Farm) which was much cheaper than any florist could offer. The table numbers are from Michaels which were on sale for about $10 in the wedding section, I got dowels, cut them to size, spray painted them black and hot glued them to the backs so they would stand in the mason jars. I impressed myself with this one!
    DSC_9164 (1).jpg
    Although I wouldn’t really consider this a DIY, I’ll add it in anyway. We purchased cookie bags from Etsy and packaged big costco cookies inside (Yum! Who doesn’t like an edible favor?) and also got 200 white and navy stadium cups to have our beer, wine and signature drinks (Apple of My Eye = apple margarita and I Love You Bunch Punch – malibu, mango juice and cranberry) poured in all night. We opted out of having a full bar and just ordered kegs of 4 different beers, wine and our signature drinks to be served all night, which in itself saved a little bit of money as well.shannen&lucas_-422.jpgshannen&lucas-200.jpg
  • CAKE
    Us being not so traditional, went for a cupcake tower instead of a cake! We also had a mini 7 inch cake that we were supposed to cut…never did because well, having too much fun dancing, oops! All together this cost us $150 where some cakes can cost up to and over $400 depending on what you want.
    My most talented maid of honor made me the most beautiful bottles of wine as a special gift on my wedding day. Check her out! @EMMYLADS
    My also very talented husband made me a beautiful sign to hang in our home one day xox (yes, pallet wood)
    My cousin made me stunning sunflower toasting glasses for my entire wedding party for the morning of my wedding (including the flower girl for a virgin mimosa)

Of course none of this would have been possible without my hair stylist – Hair by Nicole V. She did an amazing job on all my girls and myself, took her time and really perfected it all. http://www.facebook.com/hairbynicolevillorente

My CLEARLY AMAZING photographers, Darien Maginn and Laura Huertas.

and of course my absolutely patient, caring, loving family and friends that helped us along this crazy ride! I love each and every one of you more than you know. Thank you to everyone who truly made this the best day ever.



3 thoughts on “Our DIY Wedding & How You Can Do It Too”

  1. We are so proud of you both in preparing a beautiful wedding. All the small and big creative details were so impressive and well thought out. It was a beautiful day in celebrating the love you share and we wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!
    Love Forever,
    Aunt Brenda & Uncle Peter😘

    Liked by 1 person

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