Angi & Erik's upcycled country barn wedding

August 14 |
Set 1 1585
Photos by Carolyn Ann Barry

The offbeat bride: Angi, Social Worker

Her offbeat partner: Erik, Machinist

Date and location of wedding: Holy Hill Art Farm, Hubertus, WI — June 24, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: After being together and committed for over seven years, we finally started seriously thinking about marriage. When we got engaged in March of this year, we decided that we were going to go for it, and that it didn't make sense to wait anymore. The result is that we ended up planning a wedding in about three months!

Wedding Sign

Not only did we have a short time frame, but we also didn't want to blow our savings, so we decided to keep things small. We picked a small venue, an Art Farm in a beautiful part of Wisconsin that fit our small group.

Mismatched China

Hay Bale Pews
Hay bale seats with old sheets as covers.
Seating List
Upcycled windows + paint pens = seating chart!

We enlisted friends and family to help plan and create all of our decorations ourselves. It also allowed us to use eco-friendly options, like use mismatched dishes and seed bombs!

Rings Close-up

Erik made our rings. Mine has three stones: a ruby, an emerald, and a sapphire. Erik chose those colors as they are the colors that make up a prism. He also made his ring, which is reminiscent of a bolt.

Banners and Love

ring warming

Tell us about the ceremony: Our officiant was Erik's father, we had family members do opening and closing prayers, and friends do readings for us. Both Erik and I consider ourselves spiritual, so we wanted to include a ring warming to give our friends and family a way to participate in a blessing.

Accordion

We picked all of our own music and had my sister learn to play Modest Mouse's "Interlude (Milo)" on the accordion for my walk down the aisle. She also managed to learn Zelda's Theme for our walk back down the aisle.

First steps

My favorite moment: My dress was made from my mother's old wedding dress, which both she and my aunt wore. Granted, I had some major alterations done by Amanda Rose (plus an awesome sash!), but we had the photo of the original dress at the wedding to honor my mother's and aunt's wedding.

Bouquet

Amanda Rose also made my mixed-media bouquet to match my dress. It is made of fabric, lace, and vintage pins.

Badminton

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Neither of us are big into dancing, so we asked guests to bring outdoor games to play instead of dancing. We had a few games on hand, but not enough for everyone, so we were really counting on people bringing them. I was afraid that our guests would not get into it, but I was amazed — we had people bringing badminton equipment and setting up nets. It sparked some friendly competition between family members and friends.

Bocce Ball

My advice for Offbeat Brides: Don't get caught up in the hype. I was amazed that once I started planning a wedding, I started to get sucked into all sorts of strange articles about the "best flowers decorations" or "bridal bootcamp," things I never would have been interested in before. Even though I still thought the articles were silly, I began thinking that simple flowers would be "tacky" or maybe I need to buff up for my wedding pictures. Even my caterer gave me some slack for using mismatched china. Forget it! You don't need to change who you are or your style to get married. Rock whatever you want.

Fix-in's
Fixins for the mimosa bar.
Brunch
Brunch included pancakes, muffins, fruit, and an omelet bar!

Empty Tables

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I couldn't imagine planning a wedding alone. We had so much fun making terrariums, wedding banners, and doing it all together. As part of that, we both needed to let some things go. Like, no matter how much he wanted, I was not going to ride a tractor down an aisle and he was going to have no part in doing a choreographed dance. Either way, we found the perfect balance for both of us.

Cupcakes!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. What a beautiful and fun celebration!
    I love your program fans. Any tips on making those? (Specifically, did you trace and then hand cut the paper into that great shape?)

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    • They were waaaay easy to make, which is how I like to do DIY. I just took a piece of card stock about the size I wanted and than folded it in half, and cut out the rounded edges, tapering towards the middle. This gave us the middle indent and had both sides looking even. We than just traced and cut the rest out of 2 sided scrapbook paper and glued on the tongue depressers. Tie on some ribbon or jute for added effect. Super easy.

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  2. Whoa! I am also having a short 3 month engagement, a dress made by amandarose on etsy, haybale seating, ringwarming, games….the biggest differences are it being in an urban backyard and being more autumn inspired. I really enjoyed your photos! It looked like a fun low stress, magical time!

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    • What are the chances?! Maybe secret soul sisters? ;) Can't wait to see your pics on the site following the wedding, including your awesome Amanda Rose Dress!!

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  3. Lovely! I love the dress, the garden stakes, and especially the idea of having guests bring their games!

    Also, mismatched dishes is ALWAYS better than boring plain dishes in my book.

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  4. What a beautiful wedding. I love how this is so simple, and yet so beautiful. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful event.

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  5. I really love this! Especially the rings, the straw bale covers and the window seating plan. Congrats on having such a personal, authentic and beautiful wedding.

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  6. I am desperate to find someone to play the accordion at my wedding! You are so lucky to have a sis that plays! Lovely wedding!

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    • Ik! She's great- not sure where you're located but she's based in Cali, and does weddings :)

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  7. Hey Angi, great wedding pics! My fiance and I are getting married there next September and I am UBER excited, especially after seeing your pics! Any tips or tricks to know that would help me? I have a couple of questions offhand if you get a chance to reply! What caterer did you use? And I love the mismatched plates. Did the caterer help collect those after dinner even though they weren't there dishes or how did you work all that out? Did you wash them on site?

    Thanks!

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    • Hi Rachael,

      I'm so stoked for you and your finance- the Art Farm is great and Kristine REALLY bent over backwards for us! We used Extra Touch Catering, which was good food, they were able to do a great brunch for us. They struggled with doing things a little unsually, but followed exactly what I asked for them ( I think they just about keeled over when I said we didn't want the tables skirted!) and they were reasonable in price. We bought all the dishes from thrift stores and had rubbermaid tuppers. the caterer ended up clearing the tables and rinsing them, but we had planned on just dumping the dishes back in the rubbermaid containers and taking them home with us. We ended up using my parents dish washer for all the plates! The farm has a lot of cool decorations that I would use around the site, (or as cool photo props). I would suggest when you do a tour close to your date that you ask to rummage around, we ended up using some old steamer trunks to put programs and flowers in that they just happened to have laying around. Hope this helps, feel free if you have more questions to let me know!

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      • I seriously cannot thank you enough for your response!! It's SO helpful, you have no idea, I was a bit like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out if we had to use paper plates etc. One more question if you have a sec…what rental company did you use for your chairs and tables? I know Kristine has given us a list of 3 in the area but curious to see who you used. Thanks again Angi!!

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        • No problem. This is the site we used for equipment rentals: http://www.eqrents.com/ They allowed us to rent the chairs and tables for three days so we could set up friday and take down on sunday, which made things less stressful for us all around. Good luck!

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    • Hey Rachael!

      My fiancé and I are thinking about getting married at Holy Hill Art Farm this coming fall! If you ended up using different vendors from Angi, I'd love to know who you went with and how you liked them!

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