Jennifer + Jeff

The lovely Heather and Grayson from Jagger Photography recently sent over this delightful DIY wedding. I was surprised to find out that the whole thing was planned in less than 2 months! The bride was kind enough to share their story, along with some of the details and projects from the wedding…



Jeff and I are high school sweethearts from a small town called Morris in Illinois.  We’ve spent the last eight years growing up together, learning from each other about life and love.  We were always moving around, trading comfort zones for unfamiliar cities but home has always been where we are together.  We’ve seen each other through just about everything life could throw at a couple of young people.



We had recently found our way back to our home town after having lived on the West coast for a few years. We were settling in, reconnecting with family and friends, when we decided to finally check ‘get married’ off of our to do list. We planned our wedding in a month and a half!  The ceremony was held in a beautiful park that we had both always loved as kids. We had the reception in Jeff’s aunt’s backyard. We’re a do-it-yourself kind of couple and were determined to cut cost wherever possible.  We wanted our wedding to be casually intimate with an honest and personal twist on everything.

We marched into our favorite craft store, wiped out a few colors of their card stock and spent a sleepless night designing and printing and cutting and gluing…our invitations were out just a couple days after we set the date.  My mom and I handmade about 150 fabric flowers that we attached to twine as garlands for the tent.  We saved time and money by hanging a chalk board (that we ended up making with chalk board paint because it was surprisingly hard to find one) as our program and then as our menu instead of making dozens and dozens of the paper version.





We love to browse thrift stores and antique shops so, of course, we were on the look out for all things unique and vintage to incorporate into our day. Our cake topper is from the mid 1950s. I glued feathers to the little bride to match the ones on my headband. I bought our glass candy jars one at a time as I’d find them in the thrift shop and never paid more than two dollars a piece. Instead of a post-ceremony getaway car (and since the ceremony and reception were about a 1/4 mile apart) we rode our vintage bicycles. Jeff’s bike was actually his Grandfathers. They were complete with ‘Just Married’ signs and cans on string.




Instead of picking a color palette we let things get colorful.  When shopping for paper and fabric and other supplies we picked what we liked without limiting ourselves to any one theme.   A lot of our wedding wasn’t planned so much as it evolved.  We didn’t let ourselves over think or worry.  We just went for it and knew it’d work out.  We even took a risk by including a note in our invitations, encouraging our guest to dress in 1920s themed clothing if they liked.  Almost everyone dressed up!  It really added a fun element to the look and feel of our day.




It was indeed our dream wedding, the one we had always imagined having.  The most amazing part of it all was how much our loved ones got involved.  Probably a third of all of our guests didn’t just show up, they made it happen.  The morning of wedding the house was buzzing with chatter and smiles and “what can I do?”  There were guys climbing latters and girls ironing table clothes.  The countless laughs and cups of tea Mom and I shared while stitching flowers are priceless.  Our wedding truly brought us closer to the ones we love.  What more could a bride ask for?



Photography: Jagger Photography

Flowers: Allison Graham

Cake: Becky Hanson

Event Design + Handmade Items: Eventcetera

Groom’s suit: Banana Republic

Wedding dress: J.Crew

Violinist: Colleen Lawrence

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38 Responses to “Jennifer + Jeff”

  1. nicole b.

    Wow. I love this wedding… it looks and feels effortless, even though it sounds like a lot of work went into it. Congrats to the bride and groom — I’ve already “heart-ed” the bride’s Etsy page — loving the fabric garland! Did the bride make her headband, as well? It’s lovely.

  2. bethany

    a month and a half… WOW!! that timeline is absolutely crazy. most brides we see featured spent months and months of time on trials, prototypes, research….. awesome to see what was really important because that’s all they had time to think about!

  3. Tovah

    Wow, this wedding made me want to get married all over again. What a wonderful story and it sounds much less stressful then the wedding I planned. Mine was lovely in its own way but this one just sounds like a good time. Love it!

  4. Michele

    This wedding makes me want to forget about a huge expensive affair and just do something small, personal and less stressful. So lovely!

  5. Ms. Awesome

    Wowzers! This wedding is totally my cup o’tea. Downright amazing details, super cute couple, and it all looks effortless! So many of the weddings we aspire to are seriously overproduced. They are beautiful & perfect photoshoots with stylists, but they don’t have the same heart this little wedding does. LOVE IT! And that headpiece is so awesome…

  6. Sara

    This wedding just made me smile! The feel of this wedding is exactly what I’ve been trying to describe to my friends and family that I am hoping to have. I know my FI will appreciate the visuals to understand what I’m talking about now. Thank you for this post!

  7. Jen

    Hi there! Thank you for the wonderful compliments. I just loved wearing that headband..and I completely forgot to include where I got it from. I bought it from a seller on called Boringsidney. I did end up adding a little more beading to it. They sell amazing head pieces!
    I have to give credit to my groom for having thought of the “For the willing bachelorette” idea. Brilliant, no!? I couldn’t see myself doing the toss. We also hung the garter for a “willing bachelor.” Our guests liked it..plenty of teasing over who should take them.

  8. Shelley

    This wedding is wonderful. Congrats on creating such a relaxed and intimate environment. I love it! I also love the wedding ring – any chance of sharing where you go it from Jen?

  9. Megan

    I agree with all of the above! Please share where you got your lovely wedding band and cake topper! You are a very lucky girl!

  10. zee

    An awesomely inspiring wedding. Sounds like you guys had a ton of fun putting it together, and it shows.

    I, too, LOVE Jen’s wedding band. Please do share where you got it from, Jen! Thanks :)

  11. dena

    Stunning. This is what a wedding should be….elegant, romantic, intimate. I too am aiming for the same feel next weekend for my own wedding. Hopefully our weather in Texas will be in our favor. Thank you for sharing such a lovely day!

  12. Jen

    My ring was a great find…meant to be. We took a trip to Santa Fe right before the wedding and we found it at a Zales Outlet store. Ended up getting it for 70% off!
    Megan, our cake topper came from an antique store in our small town here. Circa 1950s..i think we paid 10 dollars for it.

  13. Aunt Kathy

    Wonderful, fun wedding for the entire family. We truly enjoyed all the themed ideas throughout the day. We love you both and wish you years of happiness.

  14. Shaema

    I absolutely love your wedding band and haven’t been able to find one similar. Please let me know where you found it or the name of the design so I can search for one. Thank you!

  15. Emily Cobb

    fantabulous! i’m not sure what is more inspiring about this wedding – the hand picked details or the fact it was pulled off in record timing. way to go with your creative intuition while staying relaxed and focused – major props.
    i’m in the process of planing my very d.i.y. backyard wedding in illinois as well. jen, you are quite the inspiration – thanks for sharing!

  16. Clem T

    Amazing wedding! Could someone tell where to find those incredible wedding cake toppers?


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