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North Carolina Farmhouse Wedding

DIY Weddings

If you like a good rustic wedding with all its beautiful simplicity, today you’re in for a treat. Shot by Nancy Ray Photography, Marshall and Kellie pulled off all of that and for under five thousand dollars no less! Proof that you can have a fun, creative fete without breaking the bank. Click here to view all the wedding goodies.

North Carolina DIY backyard wedding
creative wedding ideas on a small budget
North Carolina DIY backyard wedding

We wanted the day to feel creative, comfortable, fun and like us. We both love antiques and are creative people at home and at work, so we wanted something that was completely unique to us. Our color scheme was determined by the ties my husband picked out for his groomsmen. I knew I wanted my girls to have different colored dresses, so we decided to pick the ties first and that kind of set our feel as far as invitations and other decorations went.

North Carolina DIY backyard wedding
creative wedding ideas on a small budget
North Carolina DIY backyard wedding
North Carolina DIY backyard wedding
creative wedding ideas on a small budget
North Carolina DIY backyard wedding
creative wedding ideas on a small budget


Nancy Ray Photography, Marshall and Kellie pulled off all of that and for under five thousand dollars no less! Proof that you can have a fun, creative fete without breaking the bank. View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Plan and brainstorm with your groom! My groom was amazing. If I had ideas or something I wanted to have, he made it happen and he spent the morning of our wedding making sure all the things were set up perfectly so I could just relax and get ready. It was so, so, so great. Our wedding was definitely a shared vision….although sometimes I think he carried more than his fair share of the work!

Also, people may look at you weird when you tell them you are getting married in your friend’s backyard, or that you want banana pudding instead of a wedding cake but ultimately the day is about you and your soon-to-be-husband so do whatever makes your day the happiest for you two. Don’t worry about anyone else! Enjoy the day!

Wedding Songs:

Processional: “My Father’s Heart”- Rachel Lampa

Recessional: “Can’t Stop Thinking”- The War

Wedding Venue and Vendors (North Carolina):

Venue: An early 1900’s farmhouse the boys affectionately refer to as “Coyote Ranch” / Wedding Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Flowers: DIY by the bride / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Bride’s Shoes: TOMS shoes wedges / Jewelry: Borrowed from Mother-In-Law and Grandmother / Bridesmaid Jewelry: Liz’s Fineries / Groomsmen Suits: Express Men / Ceremony Musician: Gary Mitchell / Caterer: A family friend, Charles Harrison / Wedding invitations: DIY by the groom

Nancy Ray Photography is part of our vendor guide Blue Label, our worldwide directory for local vendors.

Photos by:

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Daily Pick

Kate Preftakes Photography

Kate Preftakes is a fine art wedding photographer in the New England region and available for travel worldwide. Her approach is soft and organic, and she shoots with a combination of editorial and fine art portraiture. Kate loves creating true photos that are filled with emotion and light. She uses a combination of film and digital, drawn to the soft look that it creates. She has her degree in fine art and uses that background to narrate stories in a beautiful way. The soft touch of a hand on a back, the look in her eye when she first sees him, the way her dress falls when he spins her around. These are the moments that make each wedding day special and inspire Kate to document in a timeless way. The details tell the story and Kate loves to capture them in the most romantic fashion. Kate is based out of New England and available for travel.

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Beaver Stadium Wedding

Vintage Weddings

I love me a wedding at an unconventional venue. So when this Beaver Stadium wedding shot by The Melideos fell on my lap, I couldn’t share it soon enough. Of course a stadium wedding wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for a ridiculously fashionable couple. Kristin’s wedding gown was a black and white Oscar de La Renta, paired with a pair of fuchsia booties by Christian Louboutin. She followed this up with her mother’s altered wedding dress which she used as a party dress. See the full monty here.

Vintage stadium wedding
Beaver Stadium wedding

When we chose Beaver Stadium’s Mt. Nittany Club at Penn State as the venue for our reception, I didn’t want to compete with it’s industrial feel. Were were at the 4th largest football stadium in the world, afterall, so there is NO covering that up. I needed designs to to enhance the space, so I came up with a vintage theme that would capture nostalgia and be soft and romantic, with a funky twist to incorporate an element of our personalities. The bar was served from the stadium’s concession stand, so I enhanced that by creating a Farmer’s Market with vintage fruit crates, vintage mason jars, veggies and floral. If you know us, no one expected tradition. Fashion and style is what guests were expecting. My favorite aspect, which shined through more than I originally thought it would, was the sentimentality in reception which really made the room warm with love. For instance- Jon’s mom had given me a colorful butterfly pin that Jon had given her when he was seven years old. I held on to it for years and surprised them both by having my florist pin it in my bouquet. Everytime I looked at it it drew present in my mind the love I have for his family and the beauty of Jon’s love for his mom.
Vintage stadium wedding
My mom had a boyfriend in high school that had collected apothecary medicine bottles from excavation digs he found for her. She of course saved them and we used them in little vignettes throughout the room. Our dear friend from Japan gave us a traditional Japanese wedding gift from his parents when they visited us (two small cups to share a drink from to symbolize the bond between a husband a wife)that we sat on our sweetheart table. The beauty was that no one but Jon and I knew about these meaningful additions, so it was as if we were sharing little secrets throughout the night.
Beaver Stadium wedding
Vintage stadium wedding
Beaver Stadium wedding
Vintage stadium wedding
My key words to get inspired were vintage, antique, fashion-forward and non-traditional. I eventually upped the ante with “rustic chic”. I have a lucky pair of yellow ballet flats that I was wearing when Jon and I decided on our venue. The moment that happened I knew I had to have yellow in our wedding. Besides, how can yellow not make you smile from ear to ear? I knew even a formal color scheme was too traditional for me, so in keeping with my vintage theme, I antiqued the yellow and ended up w/ mustard yellow as the common color throughout the look. This was also true for my flowers. I love the ethereal look of wildflowers, I wanted something carefree and whimsical- I think I have an inner hippie dying to come out.
Beaver Stadium wedding
Vintage stadium wedding
It was DIY projects galore! I collected, bargained and hoarded all things vintage. More was more. Each guest received a hand-selected vintage plate to take home as a memory of our day. My mom and I turned over every antique store in the area to find those plates! 120 mason jars, 125 vintage postcards (most with actual notes on the back, stamped and sent!) 33 Prohibition Era wine bottles, 8 vintage fruit crates, shutters, antique mailboxes… I collected ’em! It was a labor of love, that’s for sure, but it paid off.

Beaver Stadium wedding
Vintage stadium wedding

As a student at Penn State I would walk by the All-Faith Chapel on campus and think to myself, “I am going to get married there one day”. Well who knew, seven years later, it would all come true with the boy (Jon!) I pined away for all.four.years. of college! So fast-forward to 2011…being that we are an inter-faith couple, we wanted a ceremony location that was nondenominational. We didn’t religion so much as we wanted tradition. It all just fit. As for the football stadium reception, I had searched high and low between New York and Philadelphia for a reception location that was original and significant to both of us. The last thing we wanted was a venue that hosted multiple weddings on any given day, insert bride and groom here. In the beginning, as a HUGE sports fan and Penn State grad, Jon had asked me as a joke “how about Beaver Stadium??” knowing my immediate response would be “not with THIS bride”! But after months of venue searching to no avail, I decided to throw him a bone and find out if Beaver Stadium does weddings. To our surprise they do about 4-5 weddings a year (perfect for my non-insert bride/groom here criteria) and to our (read: MY) even bigger surprise the venue was UH-mayzing. Views for days of Mt. Nittany on one side and access to the stadium on the other. Almost like a wedding mullet- business in the front, party in the back. And who am I told hold my man back from his dreams of getting married in Beaver Stadium?? So I said let’s do it!…and at that very moment I think I won fiancee of the year.
Beaver Stadium wedding
Beaver Stadium wedding

Sweet Little Photographs fell on my lap, I couldn’t share it soon enough. Of course a stadium wedding wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for a ridiculously fashionable couple. Kristin’s wedding gown was a black and white Oscar de La Renta, paired with a pair of fuchsia booties by Christian Louboutin. She followed this up with her mother’s altered wedding dress which she used as a party dress.


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Songs:

The processional music is the ONE thing I went traditional on. Seasons played Canon in D. Spiced it up for the recessional and all danced back down the aisle to Jennifer Hudson’s “All Dressed Up in Love” blasting from my iPod. First dance was “Little Moments” by Brad Paisley.

Wedding Venue and Vendors (University Park, PA + New York, NY):

Ceremony: Eisenhower All Faith Chapel / Reception: Beaver Stadium / Florist: Daniel Vaughn / Photographer: The Melideos / Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta from Spring 2010 / Wedding Shoes: fuschia suede Christian Louboutin booties / Reception dress: bride’s mom’s altered wedding dress bloused out over a vintage black beaded belt / Veil: black birdcage veil / Hair and Makeup: Billie Jo at J. Stephens Salon / Bridesmaid Dresses: Quail Bridal / Groom’s suit: Brooks Brothers / Musicians: Seasons by Mary Kate Spring Lee / Caterer: The Penn State Hospitality Services / Wedding Cake: Chevron print fondant cake, The Penn State Hospitality Services / Wedding invitations: handmade/ Transportation: Penn State blue and white school buses

Photos by:

The Melideos

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Weekly Wrap Up + Our Shop on Daily Candy!

Weekly Wrap Ups

We’re blushing! We couldn’t be leaving for the weekend on a better note than with a mention on Daily Candy! Our shop was one of their picks this week, and we’re beyond thrilled with the news. See the feature here. Photo by the one and only Elizabeth Messina.

Ruffled Shop vintage wedding dresses

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Since we’re heading out for Bridal Market this weekend, I thought I’d share a few links for the pros…

Speaking of Elizabeth Messina, she is launching a book next year sharing all the little secrets about her iconic photographs. The Luminous Portrait can be pre-ordered now and is a must-have for all photographers.

Across the pond, Mark Niermierko is hosting another session of his Wedding Academy in Dorchester in 2012 and it’s open for everyone in the industry. Click here for more info.

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In case you missed this week:

Beautiful Rhode Island wedding filled with DIY details
DIY Confetti garland seating chart
Apothecary-inspired wedding at an antique Pharmacy!
Woodsy Oregon wedding inspired by whimsical book covers
Retro wedding in West Sussex and a gorgeous wedding dress!
Fern + branches centerpieces guest post by Sarah Winward
Glamorous Australian wedding with an intimate setting

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