Rustic loveliness on a budget: a potluck wedding with oodles of style

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Photos by Carter Extreme Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Tameisha, Law Student and Paralegal

Her offbeat partner: Phillip, Warehouse Associate

Date and location of wedding: Jacobson Park in Lexington, KY — May 28, 2015

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

Our potluck wedding was a DIY, non-traditional, private ceremony. We had sort of rustic theme with lots of burlap, lace, and pearl accents, and our colors were dark purple, gold, and ivory. We were on a tight budget (less than $5000) chose to stray away from your traditional dress and tuxedo.

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I made most of the decorations myself with some help from my friends and my mother. The ceremony was held at a big beautiful park in Lexington, KY where we had a little over 30 guests attend. We decided against a big reception that day and had a potluck and barbecue after the ceremony.

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Tell us about the ceremony:

I didn't wear a dress — I wore an ivory jumpsuit with sheer lace and pearl details on the top and a lace corset-style long-line bra underneath. I also chose to wear flats and happened to find some awesome gold jelly shoes that were perfect for the occasion. Phillip wore a paisley print, ivory-colored shirt with a purple and gold paisley double tie.

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I carried a ribbon bouquet that I made myself and I sang Whitney Houston's "I Believe In You and Me" as I walked myself down the aisle with my grandfather waiting at the end to give me away. We chose to honor our heritage as African-Americans by jumping the broom after we kissed. I decorated the broom myself as well as created the burlap aisle runner. My mother helped me with the ribbons we had placed throughout and was a huge help in getting everything set up. I was actually an hour late because I DIYed my hairstyle too and didn't finish until 30 mins before showtime.

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Tell us about your reception:

We didn't really have a reception per se. We are planning a reception party for all of our family and friends that we weren't able to invite. We provided main courses of BBQ ribs and chicken for the adults, and hot dogs and hamburgers for the kids. We asked the guests to bring sides instead of gifts and had a potluck-style meal.

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We rented a shelter close to the ceremony area and decorated it with fake lace tablecloths and my friends and I made the centerpieces ourselves. There was a small cake table in the middle of the shelter with our DIY toss-bouquet, garter, a centerpiece or two. We took our pictures around the park while the meat cooked and the kids played. Then we all ate together and Phillip and I cut the cake for dessert. It was a very warm and intimate affair with a nice "summer-time in Kentucky" feel to it.

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What was your most important lesson learned?

DIY may save you money, but it will definitely cost you lots of time and energy. I personally love crafts and had a blast doing everything, but I am also a control freak who was working over 40 hours a week and still trying to make everything myself so that it was just the way I wanted it. That lead to a lot of unnecessary stress and rushing once it got down to crunch time.

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  1. This wedding is so gorgeous in every way! You both look so beautiful and happy.

    16 agree
  2. things that made my jaw drop: burlap heaven! (those cushions, the cake stand, the AISLE RUNNER!!!), the flowergirls gorgeous outfits! love love love! the goosebumps i got from the photo where hubby is looking down at you, and only you – beautiful!

    i loved the fact that you chose not to wear heels to look taller. a totally practical decision given the fact that it was a stunning outdoors function. some brides would have forced the heels (wedges or something) to work, but you were you. love that!!!

    both your gorgous locks! *sigh* i cant get enough of the dreadlocks. *swoon*

    your cake! perfection. simple. beautiful.

    the pantsuit. you killed it!

    congratulations!!!!! 😀

    13 agree
  3. This wedding is just. So. Cool! I love the purple, gold, and burlap combination, and girl. You rock the hell out of that pantsuit!

    8 agree
  4. I love all the details!
    The color scheme is gorgeous and the intimacy of it all is just so lovely!
    I wish I could get away with doing something similar for my own upcoming wedding!
    You rocked this and truly made your wedding day your own!
    Simply divine!

    4 agree
  5. Wow. Everyone and everything look absolutely stunning. I love so much about this from the hair and clothes to the colors and details.

    3 agree
  6. I will never not love a bride who goes on a swing! The love just shines out of those photos, and the effort that went into the DIY certainly paid off- the whole day and all the details are beautiful!
    Also those flower girls are SUPER adorable and making me clucky.

    7 agree
    • I adore the swingset photos too <3 What a classy, fabulous couple and intimate/lovely wedding.

      Totally THIS to all the DIY too! Heck yeah.

      5 agree
  7. OMG, BBQ reception?!!! Why could I NOT be a guest at this wedding??? I love the colors, and I am absolutely LOVING that jumpsuit on the bride. Congratulations

    3 agree
  8. Wow. I don't know if this is an appropriate comment to make, but you two are just *so attractive*, both individually but especially with your powers combined. When I first saw the page image, I assumed this was a styled wedding shoot with models, you guys are so hot.
    Your wedding was just lovely; simple, stylish, and without an ounce of pretension. Masterfully done.
    Have a wonderful life together, you obscenely photogenic pair. 🙂

    5 agree
  9. Yes, I am loving this wedding: the groom's pretty tie, vows on a bridge, the bride's cute top, cookout food & a small budget! Very heartfelt, fun & lovely!

    3 agree

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