I’m just going to go ahead and say it: handmade weddings are my favorite. When families and friends come together to help create a special day for one couple, there is always something magical. The details are so sweet and meaningful. Today’s garden themed DIY wedding is no different. I love the paper heart garlands, the vintage seed pack escort cards, and the stunning florals!

The beautiful bride Shawn shares:

For Alex and me the most important thing in planning our wedding was to have an unforgettable day with our closest family and friends. We decided on our venue first, which has a very rustic feel. After scouring wedding blogs for inspiration, I decided on a garden theme with some rustic and vintage details. Most every kind of decor or detail was handmade, and I’m not exaggerating. The list is extensive, so I’ll point out a few of my favorites. I decided on vintage flower seed packets instead of table numbers, so my sister-in-law spent hours gluing the seating cards together while I wrote out the names with a calligraphy pen. She also put together the flower petal cones (from dollar store doilies) which were later stuffed with flower petals by Alex’s mom, and tossed in the air following our ceremony. My mom spent hours on end sewing together heart garlands which were used all over the place for decor, and she also put together the handkerchief garlands to wrap around the tables. Most of those handkerchiefs were made by my grandmother and great aunt! Finally, Alex along with his mom and step-dad created a gorgeous ceremony backdrop that looked like two large windows to create a beautiful entryway to the aisle.

Given our tight budget, our wedding wouldn’t have been nearly as beautiful without the helping hands of family and friends. We really put thought into what we wanted to spend more or less money on, and discussed it together before making major decisions. It was important to me that we have a GREAT photographer, so we hired the sweet and amazing Melissa Brandman. She worked with our budget and gave us beautiful images to look back on forever.

When I asked him, Alex said his favorite part was during the reception. Just looking around and seeing everyone together having a great time made him really happy. At that point we were relaxed and could really enjoy the moment. My favorite part of the wedding was our first dance to 311’s “Two Drops in the Ocean”. One of the first big things we did as a couple was to go to a 311 concert, but also the lyrics really remind me how amazing it is that two people can somehow find each other in this world because it was truly meant to be all along. That’s what went through my mind while we danced, and I’ll never forget that moment.

Photography | Melissa Brandman Photography

Venue | Monterey Country Club

Cake | Dot’s Cakes

Band | Freeze Frame

Hair | Kara Muir

Make Up | Nicoletta Skarlatos

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  1. Jennie - Duryea Place Designs
    November 1, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Very pretty wedding with great details! I just love the invites, florals and the paper heart garland!
  2. Sara {Burnett's Boards}
    November 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Your tweet was right - that heart garland is amazing!
  3. naomi
    November 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    So pretty and they did a great job with the DIYs!
  4. NC Wedding Planner- Orangerie Events
    November 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I love the pops of vibrant color! It adds a whimsical touch! Thanks for sharing!
  5. Lora
    February 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I love the boutonnieres. Do you have the instructions on how to make them by chance. My daughter LOVES these for her wedding.