Travis & Chesni's Rustic DIY Prohibition Small Wedding!

March 27, 2018

This DIY Wedding is fun, creative and full of the 1920's and 1930's stylish ideas for the couple who wants to replicate this era.


The details and color scheme are gorgeous and full of inspiration for the DIY couple wanting to save and do it on your own. Here's the can be done and it will be FABULOUS!


Dawn from Degrees North Images shares the wedding breakdown. While this is a DIY Wedding, remember it takes a village and of course Travis and Chesni had help putting this altogether.


Chesni and Travis didn't want to spend a fortune on a big white wedding in a fancy ballroom only to be left starting their marriage financially challenged. They also knew they didn't want to have a long engagement. Shortly after their wedding date their apartment lease was expiring and they were planning to move into an RV so they could start their married adventures. So they brainstormed some locations and themes so they could start nailing down the details.

They were originally considering a pick your own adventure themed wedding which they loved the idea of, but soon realized it would put them over their budget. They were planning to do EVERYTHING themselves from making decorations all the way to setting up the venue.


Eventually they settled on a 1920's/1930's themed wedding. The Jazz Age! And the age of Prohibition... and bootlegging which famously took place in the backwoods of many southern states including Texas. This worked perfect with what they chose to be their venue. On a trip out to Austin, the couple visited McKinney Falls State Park and fell in love with the area. The park has a recreation hall with a kitchen which was just the right size for their 40 guests and they could easily prepare and cook all the food. With a venue rental fee of just $225 per day, they rented out the building for 2 days so they could set everything up the day before the wedding. 


Once the venue and theme were decided they jumped into high gear. Chesni hand wrote all the invitations and posted them to their guests. Next she got to work on centerpieces. She took a variety of glass bottles including wine bottles, liquor bottles and even pickle jars and spray painted them matte gold and rose gold. The jazz age was famously black and gold and sparkly and Chesni was running with that theme. She ordered feathers and various other decorative pieces to put in the bottles, along with long strands of faux pearls run down the center of some of the tables. To add in the Texas prohibition touches she added some greenery and cotton throughout.


The tables were decked out with black table clothes and the basic rec center chairs were dressed up with black chair covers and gold colored sashes. Dishes and utensils were disposable plastic (plastic has come a long way in the last few years, you would never know unless you touched it!) bought on clearance after New Years. Chesni made place cards for each guest and each place setting was topped off with a mini bottle of liquor! 


Chesni's step grandmother made the wedding cake which was decorated with caketopper made by the bride. Travis (the groom) made the macrame piece that hung on the wall and played backdrop for the cake.







The ceremony was planned to take place outside at the Upper Falls at the park...out in nature with the sound of the falls in the background. Unfortunately on the day of the wedding, the temperature in Austin was only 27 degrees! While the bride and groom were still happy to have their ceremony outside, then ended up holding it inside their reception venue at the behest of their guests. After the ceremony we went over to the falls to capture some romantic portraits of the newlyweds.


At the reception guests dined on bbq chicken, potatoes, fruit salad and more prohibition, backwoods fair. Cheese boards, chocolate dipped and glittered strawberries, candies and cupcakes make great snacks as guests danced, conversed and took photos with the newlyweds.


Halfway into the reception, right before the cake cutting, Chesni slipped into the ladies room for a wardrobe change out of her wedding gown and into a flapper era themed party dress complete with gold sequins! The rest of the night was spent dancing to a mix of old school jazz and some Justin Timberlake...of course!


From the Bride: Three months prior to our wedding date, Travis and I took a trip to Austin to scout out venue locations. We choose Austin, because it's one of my favorite places in Texas and we wanted to make a honeymoon destination out of our time there. On our last couple days in Austin, we found McKinney Falls State Park and after seeing the Upper Falls, we fell in love and decided right away that we had found our venue.

Our theme was chosen randomly mostly due to having a January wedding, we knew the decor would be easiest to find during the new year!










Here's their love story...


Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day? 


A: Because Travis and I decided to have a Winter wedding at a state park out in nature, we knew we wanted our wedding to be fun themed but also with a touch of nature and magic. Pink Peonies being my favorite flower, I knew I had to have them in our wedding decor somehow. So, we decided to make our theme mismatch with our Prohibition theme by adding in some rustic/ floral arrangements that would compliment our original Prohibition theme. We stuck with the golds, blacks, off whites and peony pinks as our color theme. For our ceremony we did communion as our "tying the knot"unity. We made our communion our own, we took communion after praying together over our marriage then resumed with our exchange of rings. 


Q: Let's talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY? 


A: 99% of our wedding decor and all the little projects involved were DIY. We didn't go ALL out with spending for our wedding, we just wanted it to be fun and becoming. We had a rustic mixed with Prohibition themed wedding and everything looked just like that. The whole space was decked out in either a modern gatsby/prohibition kind of way or I added my own little rustic theme to it. 











Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding? 


A: We used a handful or different fake flowers and different winter like branches and decor to fill up gold painted wine bottles that lined the center of each table. I also had a bouquet made for me by a family friend, which I helped in making and designed it all on my own, this was also a fake flower arrangement so that I could keep it forever. Of coarse they added to the rustic theme, but all in all everything was made as an equal role to play in the wedding. I actually forgot to grab my bouquet when I walked down the aisle because of nerves, but it made it in some beautiful images! Thanks to Dawn! 


Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding? 


A: Not really, we keep it short and sweet. The food, alcohol, and fellowship were our only entertainment. I loved all the dancing and mingling of family at our wedding...that's honestly all I can remember. 


Q: Let's talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail. 


A: Honestly, I wanted to feel beautiful, I didn't have a specific "style" I wanted to shoot for as long as I felt beautiful that is all that mattered to me. I had natural bridal makeup, hair that I decided how it would look the morning of my wedding, although the curls were a MUST because Travis loves them. My dress I found before I ever had a theme for our wedding and it just so happened to vibe. My fur coat I decided would give me a more Prohibition timeless look and my shoes were very 20s which I just liked. My jewelry was apart of my something old something new tradition, along with my handkerchief that was my GrandMoms before she passed 2 months prior to our wedding.Travis wanted to go for the dapper look, but also wanted to stick with colors of nature. Nature is our thing so I also made his boutonniere out of moss and small pinecone with wintery decor entangled in it. We found most of Travis' attire a resale shops which was very cost effective for us. 




Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal. 


A: Travis and I met on an interesting basis. I worked with Travis' sister at a winery, she wanted us to meet because of our personality simularity. I wasn't interested at first, but that didn't stop her from trying. I finally budged and decided to meet him after she showed me his picture and talked to me more about him. We met at his place of work, which was a country saloon in Galveston, TX. He was working when we met, so our first meet wasn't special really, he was busy and I was a bit discouraged. Then that following weekend his sister set up a BBQ at her place and invited both Travis and I. From then on we've been inseparable. For our engagement, Travis and Dawn actually teamed up and put together a styled shoot, which I was under the impression that Travis and I were models for Dawn's Spring styled shoot. They totally got me good, they choose my favorite location under a huge oak tree on the bayou near Galveston island. I call it my " Thinking Tree" because it is so blissful out there. Travis choose sunset because that's my favorite time of the day and Dawn added pineapples to the bohemian theme because I have a thing for pineapples and my vI be is very bohemian. This photo shoot sounded like a dream, so in my mind I was ALL about being her model and Travis was "just along for the ride"...but boy did they surprise me. Half way through our photoshoot while we were doing Dirty Dancing dance poses and my back was facing Travis, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride for forever. I was in complete shock and after a few seconds finally realized that this wasn't apart of the photoshoot and after saying yes and having a waterfall fall from my face (all while Dawn is still taking pictures) I came back down to Earth and realized that they had both planned this out for me and I was SO thankful I didn't catch on! It was perfect in every way! 


Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day? 


A: The most special moment was when Dawn took us out to The Upper Falls (where we originally wanted our ceremony to be had) immediately after our ceremony for photos. It was the moment I had wanted all just be us together without an audience. It was when all the perfect feelings hit me, the ones I had dreamt about feeling as a young girl. I felt unstoppable out there with my now HUSBAND! It didn't matter how cold it was, we had so much fun together out there! 


Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day? 


A: Let others help financially if they want to, but make sure their intentions aren't to make you feel guilty about it later or to make you feel like you owe them BIG time, it's a true buzz kill. Also, make your own decisions on the things that really matter to you no matter what those around you say. Do the first look if you want to do the first's the one thing I regret not doing. 







Photographer: Degress North Images

Location: McKinney Fall State Park

Wedding DressJill's Fashions & Bridals

Gold Party Dress: Ordered off Amazon

JewelrySam Moon & Antique Stores

1920's headpiece: Sam Moon

White fur shrug: Ordered off Amazon

Travis' Suit: Thrift Stores and Goodwill

Flowers for bouquet/bout: Hobby Lobby

Feathers, greenery in the centerpieces: Hobby Lobby & Michael's 

Chair covers & sashes: Ordered online

Tableclothes: Ordered Online

Napkins: Ordered Online

Dishes: Hobby Lobby

Wedding Cake: Step Grandparent



Happy Wedding Planning!



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