There are so many delightful things about Macy and Ben’s DIY winter wedding at Dallas Heritage Village. I mean what a venue! It’s a 20-acre museum made up of historical buildings from around Texas, and guests were able to wander around and explore during the reception. So fun! The couple opted for an afternoon reception with coffee and pie, there was a retro camper/photo booth, and the newlyweds’ entrance into the reception? Hilarious! If this playful wedding doesn’t brighten up your day, I don’t know what will.
“Ben and I leaned toward weddings with vintage, rustic, hipster vibes,” says Macy. “I think our wedding had lots of different style inspirations combined! We were also inspired by using decor and services that represented our loved ones’ unique talents. Most decorations, the food, drinks, flowers, and even attire were all things chosen because it would remind us of our loved ones. For example, most of our centerpieces incorporated my grandmother’s glassware and handkerchiefs. My mom made my veil. Our good friend Megan did all of the flowers. I could go on and on! We have so many talented loved ones who were willing to contribute in various ways to our day. We were really grateful to feel like our wedding was full of personal touches.”
Macy found her Allure Bridals dress at a trunk sale. She also wore her mother’s necklace and a floral crown made by a friend. She did her own makeup (“But I splurged for a fancy MAC lipstick,” she says), and her sister did her hair.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Don’t feel obligated to go by budget templates online. I looked at the three “top priority” areas we wanted to spend money on (photography, my dress, and our venue) and broke down the rest of our budget afterwards. Since we had our wedding on a Sunday afternoon, we got a great price for the venue which helped a lot. We also didn’t serve a full meal and used a lot of our friends and family to help us make decorations (each little thing adds up – try to DIY if you’ve got a group of crafty bridesmaids). Our total budget was $11,000 and we came in just under that.
“Dallas Heritage Village had so many gorgeous options for us to choose from for our ceremony, but we chose the Browder Springs building because we loved that it was a bright, open space. It also happened to be a smaller building that was the perfect size for our private ceremony!”
Your ceremony in three words. Personal, silly, heartfelt.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Ben and I kept toying with the idea of an elopement because we really wanted our ceremony to feel like the most important part of our day. We didn’t want to get caught up in planning a traditional ceremony and reception that would just feel like we were going through the wedding motions, so to speak. But we also knew an elopement wouldn’t feel right for us either because we wanted our closest family and friends there to support us. So, we ended up concocting a faux elopement (“felopement,” if you will) with our immediate families and about 10 other friends, which made up our bridal party. Then immediately afterwards, we held a larger reception with about 80 more guests. It wasn’t a traditional wedding and certainly didn’t follow a template, but we loved it and had no regrets!
Who officiated your ceremony? One of our best friends married us! He’s a friend from college who has seen us grow as a couple, and we’d wanted him to be our officiant for several years.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We loosely followed some traditions of a typical ceremony. We had bridesmaids and groomsmen, but it was really important to me that we could look out during the ceremony and see our friends faces rather than have them stand behind each of us. So our bridal party sat down with our families in the “audience.” My dad walked me down the aisle, but instead of my dad giving me away, we had our officiant bring up both sets of parents and he read a really sweet statement asking each parent to support the marriage and to love their new daughter- or son-in-law as their own. Ben and I are both really close with our parents, and I think this was one of my favorite parts of our ceremony.
What were your vows like? We wrote our vows using bits and pieces of modern templates we searched through online. We picked parts that felt the most personal to our relationship.
What was your ceremony music? You know how something goes wrong on everyone’s wedding day? Apparently our music didn’t work. I didn’t even realize that until later, but we were supposed to walk in to “Big Red Machine” by Justin Vernon & Aaron Dessner and walk out to “Deep Blue Sea” by Grizzly Bear.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Having each of my closest family members and friends there – it was such a meaningful time spent with the people who helped us grow in our relationship together. Also, I loved my wedding backdrop. With the help of my mom, sisters, and friends, I made about a hundred paper flowers using food coloring and coffee filters. Then I ran into issues with how to make them into the backdrop I had in mind. After nearly giving up on the whole idea, my sweet brother-in-law built a frame to house all of them the exact way I wanted in just a few days. That backdrop and other DIY details made with family or friends were things that I loved being surrounded by all day!
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? My something borrowed and something blue was a sapphire and diamond necklace that my dad gave to my mom before I was born. I had two something old’s wrapped around the stem of my bouquet: a lace trim of my Nana’s pinned with a gold brooch of my grandmother’s.
“Our reception was laid-back and full of goofy moments! We had a larger afternoon reception following the private ceremony in the Pavilion at Dallas Heritage Village. Our guests were given admission to explore the rest of the museum before the reception began, so I think that was a fun piece because it’s such a unique museum! We had the Photo Wagon come, we served fancy pie and coffee instead of a meal, we had a trail mix bar, we used an iPod and portable speaker for music, and a couple of our friends were brave enough to sing karaoke! It was relaxed and full of fun moments.”
Why did you choose this location for your reception? We chose a a larger building of the museum to accommodate dancing and the large number of people.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? At one point, “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham came on and the dance floor cleared as all of the groomsmen started circling around me and dancing/singing. It was pretty hilarious and typical of our friend group. I thought they had planned and choreographed it, but apparently it was completely impromptu!
What was your wedding menu? We had a trail mix bar and Cultivar Coffee and pies from Emporium Pies – another personal touch! Ben managed the two shops when we lived in Dallas. We chose to serve the chocolate silk pie, cranberry walnut pie, and bourbon pecan pie. DELISH.
What was your first dance song? Ben and I danced to “I Will” by The Beatles, and we danced with my dad and his mom to “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)” by Billy Joel.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? When we were considering a private ceremony and being nervous about upsetting extended family and friends, I actually had a friend (who would not be part of the private ceremony) tell me to go for it. She basically said if it wasn’t going to hurt Ben’s feelings and it wasn’t going to hurt my feelings, then we should have the wedding day we actually want to have. I think that was really important – if something isn’t going to feel genuine for your wedding, don’t force it!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Be mindful of taking the same amount of time to prepare for your marriage as you are preparing for your wedding day. Enjoy time with your fiancé by having a “no wedding talk” time set aside every single day!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I would have been nicer to my mom and sisters each time something stressful happened! Brides! Whatever it is, it is NOT important enough to snap at your family or friends! At the end of the day you’re going to be married, no matter what little thing goes wrong!