This DIY heirloom wedding is filled with details that mean so much. Why? Well, this happens to be a wedding that I was highly involved in at The Aviary in Lynchburg Virginia. Family weddings always take on such a special tone, and get ready to bear with me as I share how special this day really was!
DIY Heirloom Wedding at The Aviary
You. Guys. Today is so special in so many ways. First, my blog has been down for a month. It’s a lengthy story, so I’ll spare you that, but today I am showcasing my first post in over a month…and it is the wedding of my daughter! Also, today is a very meaningful day. When I debuted my blog in 2010, I started it on June 19, which was the 45th anniversary of my parents. Today I feel as though it’s my second debut of sorts. And the date – November 26th – happens to be both my daughter’s one month anniversary and the 24th wedding anniversary of my husband and me. This blog centers around weddings, love, and celebrations and today is filled with all of that!
So, forgive me for giving too much detail. For going astray and going down rabbit trails. There are so many weddings that I look at and love, but this one I know and adore like no other in recent days. I hope you enjoy taking a peek at my daughter’s DIY heirloom wedding at The Aviary in Lynchburg Virginia!
The wedding was made into a family reunion weekend of sorts at The Lodge at Charlemont. Everyone stayed for two nights – pre and post-wedding. It was also where everyone got ready – the bridal party, parents, out of town guests. What a fun time!
Aubrey’s dress and overlay are from Church Street Bridal. My mother-of-the-bride dress is from the 1940s, and it was literally purchased at an estate sale the weekend before the wedding. Aubrey didn’t have a necklace to wear, so I let her wear mine, which was my mother’s. My father found a single diamond earring in a pool and had the necklace made for my mom. I was left without a necklace, so my mother lent me hers for the day. What a special touch of the generations each wearing their mother’s necklaces for this DIY heirloom wedding.
First Look with the Father of the Bride
Oh, the emotion of the first looks! As the father-of-the-bride, I knew my husband would cry. My daughter was emotional, too. I was able to witness their first look, and it was so special and sentimental. To have our first daughter getting married was definitely cause for reflection and tears of joy.
Aubrey and Jacob chose family members to be in their bridal party. Jacob chose his brother-in-law and my son, and Aubrey chose her sister, her cousin, and Jacob’s sister for her attendants. All of the flower girls and ring bearers were cousins of the groom.
The ties and pocket squares are handmade, and the jackets for the guys came from Goodwill – no joke! They looked fabulous while saving money. Notice the cute socks that the groom gifted his guys. Jacob subtly wore a few pieces of jewelry from both of his grandfathers who had passed away. There are so many family touches, which make their DIY heirloom wedding so memorable.
First Look with the Bride & Groom
A first look is always a good idea for having a few photos taken before the ceremony. As you can tell, it was a really emotional time. Jacob was tearful, and it’s evident that he loves Aubrey. She loves him, too, of course!
The girls looked SO beautiful! Their hair and makeup were done on site by Bodyworks Day Spa & Salon, and their dresses are from Church Street Bridal. The girls were each able to choose a dress that they loved within a color palette, which was determined by the invitations. Also – to match the ties of the groomsmen – each bridesmaid was gifted a pair of earrings made by Aubrey using the fabric. You can see them a bit more clearly on her above, but they were a sweet, sentimental gift, which added to the feel of her DIY heirloom wedding.
Their ceremony was done in the round and rented chairs added to the ambiance. The Aviary was utilized for both the wedding and the reception, so all of the reception flowers were in waiting lined up on the window sills. It added so much beauty and softness to an already gorgeous space. Violinists and a curated guest list added to the intimate feel of the day.
The Unity Painting
Sometimes it is a struggle to have something unique for the unity part of the wedding. Then an idea hit! Why not do a painting of The Aviary for the newlyweds to keep? Copeley Designs suggested that she complete the painting and have Aubrey and Jacob do gold leafing on top of the painting, which was fairly simple. The result is so lovely and is the perfect addition to a DIY heirloom wedding. What a keepsake!
After the Wedding
Everyone exited, and there was a lavender toss outside. It was raining the entire day, but you would never know it (thankfully!) from the gorgeous photos. While the bridal party was having their photos taken, two things were happening. First, the guests were being shuttled around Lynchburg to see historical sites. Second, the entire venue was being flipped from wedding to reception – it really took a crew to pull it off! Portraits were taken, and the last photo is of the snacks that that were waiting for each wedding guest on their shuttle seat. The snack mix was homemade and oh so yummy!
I may be a bit bias, but The Aviary has never looked so gorgeous. It was a huge risk to bring in farm tables, but there were only 80 guests…the result was stunning! Handmade table runners from Elegant and Royal ran the length of the farm tables. Aubrey picked out all of the fabrics, which were used for the table runners, ties, suspenders, pocket squares, napkins for the bride and groom, and the earrings for the bridesmaids. What a fun result!
Also, the kerosene lanterns belonged to my father, and we used those to remember the loved ones who had passed on. It was both a sentimental and lovely (and subtle) way to incorporate their presence into their wedding, and the mirror that says “In Memory” belonged to my grandmother. My dad’s lanterns also adorned the tables, blooms were placed in vintage bottles, and geometric holders were used to add impact to the tables. The silverware was also hand tied with vintage sari silk ribbon to add in a different element. All of this added to Aubrey and Jacob’s DIY heirloom wedding. What a special day!
The bride and groom didn’t want to sit at a sweetheart table, so they decided that mingling with their bridal party was best. Setting a table for seven was just perfect, and they had extra fun elements like lovely water bottles and a gauze runner. Aubrey and Jacob also had different plates, glasses, bowls, and napkins than anyone else did to make their place settings unique. The event designer, Max & Dexter, arranged all of the flowers, and she did an amazing job with extra blooms from FiftyFlowers. Be sure to look at the gorgeous centerpiece on the head table!
A quick tip – perfect for a DIY heirloom wedding – is that we ordered a custom “H” stamp. It was used to stamp custom napkins, and they turned out so cute! You will also see the same “H” on the lavender sachets and the bags that everyone received on the trolleys as they were taken around to the historic sites.
The round mirror below hung in my grandmother’s house, and the one that lists the table assignments was a yard sale find the week before the wedding. Guests received two favors – lavender lemonade lollipops (yum!) and a lavender filled sachet. They were waiting for everyone at each place setting as was a fresh, delicious salad! The cake – by Love Is in the Air – was lavender in color, but it had a lemon flavor with strawberries. Of course, fresh flowers adorned the cake, too.
Time was spent laughing, toasting, dancing, and just having a great time. A conga line broke out during “Sweet Caroline’ which was random but fun and memorable. My daughter, Hadley, rose to the occasion (as a 15-year-old) and gave a lovely toast to her sister and her new husband. Aubrey and Jacob opted for an upscale pizza bar along with ice cream creations for dessert – be sure to check out the mini Belgian waffles!
Guests were entertained with the classic “shoe game” along with a photo booth in a cute trailer outside. The bouquet was tossed, a foot-washing took the place of a garter toss (so sweet – Jacob surprised Aubrey with that at the reception!), and the newlyweds left with a sparkler exit. Enjoy the good times below!
Love you both!
Aubrey, I love you so much, and I am proud of you. I’m also excited that you brought Jacob into our lives – he loves you (and our family) so much. He’s blended into our lives seamlessly, and as your mother, I am grateful for you and am looking forward to all that the future holds as you spend a lifetime together. XO!
DIY Heirloom Wedding Vendor Team
- Photography – Amanda Martin
- Planning, Event Design, Floral Design, Some Accessories – Max & Dexter Event Design
- Planning, Day of Coordination – A Little Party Events
- Flowers – Fiftyflowers
- Invitations, Menus, Programs, Table Numbers, Snack Tags – Minted
- Bridal Gown, Bridesmaids’ Dresses, Wedding and Reception Dress Overlays for Bride – Church Street Bridal
- Hair and Makeup for Bride and Bridesmaids – Bodyworks Day Spa & Salon
- Ties, Bowties, Suspenders, Pocket Squares, Table Runners, Napkins for Bride & Groom – Elegant & Royal
- Videography – Amative Creative
- Getting Ready Venue – The Lodge at Charlemont
- X Backed Chairs – Overstreet Hardware
- Aviary Painting – Copeley Designs
- Groom and Groomsmen Jackets, Groom’s Vest – Goodwill (Pants & Shoes provided by each groomsman)
- Mother of the Bride Dress – Estates & Consignments Estate Sale
- Father of the Bride Jacket – Low Vintage
- Bride and Bridesmaid Earrings – DIY by the Bride (supplies from Perfect Pendants Plus)
- Lavender Toss Cones – Eco Wood Decor
Reception Vendor Team at The Aviary
- Reception Setup, Pizza, Drinks, Ice Cream Desserts, Farm Tables, Trolley Service, Geometric Holders – Entwined Events
- Calligraphy, Cake, Easels, Geometric Holders, Menu Holders, Vintage Bottles – Love Is in the Air Events
- Bowls, Plates, Cups, and Carafes for Bride and Groom at Head Table – Amici Home
- DJ – Barry Tosh
- Photo Booth – Shutter Nomad
- Ice Cream – Homestead Creamery
- Kerosene Lanterns – Belonged to Paternal Grandfather of the Bride
- In Memory and Adventure Mirrors – Belonged to Maternal Great-Grandmother of the Bride
- Bride’s Engagement Ring – Bowen Jewelry Company
- Bride’s Wedding Band – L Oppleman
- Groom’s Ring – Lynchburg Pawn Shop
- Lollipop Favors – Leccare Lollipops
- Lavender Sachet Favors – Lavender: Wreaths for Door, Bags: Bedlington Supplies
- “H” Stamp – Saya Bell Samps
- Silk Sari Ribbon for Silverware – Golden One Too
- Bags for Trolley Treats – Christian Hats and More
- Purple Napkins – Party City
- Vintage Bottles, Memory Table – It’s FOUND Vintage
Want to see her invitations? Take a peek at this post on our experience with Minted!