Jennifer + Jeff

jagger photography1

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


Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding. 

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