There’s something really special about summer weddings – relaxed, out of doors, sunshiny. Though they live in New York, Alice and Nick were married in June, at the groom’s family’s farm in Virginia, and it’s full of all those wonderful summer things – even a barbecue dinner! Working with a tight budget, they created a day that was laid back and beautiful by getting creative, doing a lot of things themselves, and employing the help of talented friends and family. Alice shares some of the DIY projects they took on:

My mother sewed table runners, arranged flowers, baked pies, made jam for favors and even had her college typewriter tuned up for a guest book! I did my own hair, one of my bridesmaids is a makeup artist, the whole family helped set up everything, and guests brought pies for the dessert buffet. A friend illustrated the invitations. Nick’s father made the arch out of a cattle feeder and grapevines found on the farm.

The couple’s friend, Nancy Cuervo, designed the invitations, including the mason jar bouquet illustration, and then Alice and Nick letterpressed them at a friend’s studio.

Women from Alice’s and Nick’s families did all of the centerpieces with flowers from their own gardens, supplemented with blooms from a local farmer. Alice’s mother scoured every antique store in New England until she found enough blue ball jars!

Guests went home with jars of homemade jam.

Says Alice, “Having the wedding in a place with so much family meaning made us feel like a part of something old and beautiful.”

Photography: Sarah Cramer

Venue: Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Virginia

Invitation design: Nancy Cuervo

Bride’s dress: J.Crew

Groom’s suit: Brooks Brothers

Tent rental: Skyline Tents

Cake: Albemarle Baking Co.

Bunny-head cake topper: Melabo

Alice has another budget tip for you: I’m a photographer, so we splurged on photography, which was worth every penny. We hired Sarah Cramer to shoot getting ready, ceremony and portraits and then saved by asking friends to send us their reception photos.

Thanks so much, Alice and Nick, for sharing your wedding with us!

19 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: DIY, Real Weddings
  1. Diana Hulme

    I can't believe how beautiful that arch is! Gorgeous wedding all around. P.S. it was nice to meet you at jordan's craft night last week. :)

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  2. Kathryn

    Oh my gosh Diana – wasn't the craft night fun! So nice meeting you, too!

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  3. Brettan

    Alice, Such beautiful details. I LOVE the wedding arch, it's gorgeous. I'm actually looking for real couples' weddings that were $10k and under to feature in a new book on weddings with budgets in mind — could you please email me at if yours fits the bill? I think it would be very inspirational for other brides. Thanks!~Brettan

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  4. a thousand mason jars

    i'm a sucker for mason jars! : ) we scoured ebay for the blue ball jars we used at our wedding…also the typewriter, very cute touch!

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  5. Luna and Chloe

    Adore the arch! So fitting for a wedding! I just LOVE the flags on top of the tent…the perfect little detail! So pretty.xoxokristi

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  6. Jillian

    I would love to buy those blue jars. Do you know if they are for sale?Jillian

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  7. diatom

    The jars are being used again at a wedding in August. I am planning to sell them afterward.

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  8. Danielle

    Is this arch located at your venue or did you rent it from a local vendor. That is exactly what I am looking for. My venue is a vineyard in Austin, TX. I love it.

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  9. Cardstore

    I love the jam and the pie selection. Very cute touches.

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  10. Wrinkle in Time Photography

    Absolutely stunning! The little wedding rabbits are soooo precious!

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  11. Stephanie

    Where did they find that arch!?! i must know. I would love one for my wedding!

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  12. Leah

    I love these photos! They are so fun and really show the rest of us what the wedding was like! Thanks for sharing!!

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  13. diatom

    The arch was built at the farm by Nick's dad, from heavy farm wire and grapevines.

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  14. CRAMER

    so honored to be posted about. thank you! – cramer photo

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  15. Ashleigh

    What a lovely wedding! The photography is amazing. Great work, Sarah!

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  16. Jillian

    I would be interested in buying the jars for a wedding in October. Let me know how you plan on selling them!

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  17. diatom

    Jars are being used in an August wedding. Once they are returned to me, I will want to move them on. You would definitely have them in time for an October wedding.

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  18. Jillian

    Great! Please email me about them:

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  19. Alice

    Thanks for your sweet comments everyone! Nick’s dad made the arch from a cattle feeder cut in half, with wooden blocks on the bottom. He collected grape vines on the farm and wove them onto the frame. He was so worried that we wouldn’t like it, and it turned out to be one of our favorite things at the wedding!

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