VINTAGE WEDDING INSPIRATION ON A BUDGET | Once Upon a Wedding Shoot + Tips by Candice Benjamin

I’ve been so excited to share this shoot with you guys.  You don’t even know.  When Candice submitted it, I sort of leapt (a word?) out of my chair and spasmed a bit in a fit of glee (contrary to what you may be thinking, it wasn’t pretty).

Candice Benjamin is friggin’ awesome, super funny, has great ideas aaaaand takes a pretty ridiculously good photograph.  She’s also pretty well-spoken, so listen up as she walks us through this massive shoot better than I could ever do.  Hope you love, peeps!

P.S. – After checking out this shoot, we’d love to hear your own cost-saving ideas for a lovely wedding at an even lovelier cost!

About a month ago, I randomly sent out a message to about 6 other photographers that I could call friends. I wanted to get together before the wedding season started and have a fun day doing what we do best – taking photos. 10 million emails later… I realized I was styling/putting together a really large shoot.

While I was styling this shoot, I tried my hardest to find cute things that could inspire, but not cost a lot. It just takes a little thinking outside of the box to create something unique. And lots of goodwill shopping. Lots.

Instead of having paper table numbers (which are hard to photograph btw), maybe try wooden numbers? I found the #2 at Michael’s, and just spray painted it the color I wanted. Same thing with the wooden bird. For $1 it adds a little character to the table and ties in the teal birdcages (which I also found for a dollar at Michael’s).

Ever think of having your bouquet be a part of your table arrangement?

Ok. I love this cupcake stand. When I was gathering ideas I saw a cupcake stand just like this on Esty and fell in love. Luckily, Kym Vitar took it upon herself to make one. You can actually buy this cupcake stand here.

The lace fabric I bought for a $1 a yard in downtown la.

For the shoes below, I just added pink shoe-clips. Now those fab shoes have a little pop of color. The suitcases? Some are borrowed, others I found at goodwill for $6-9.

Ok, how inspiring is all that?!!  Aren’t these pretty cool ideas when you’re working within a budget?  Aren’t these great ideas IN GENERAL?

Also, do you have a favorite part of this massive out of control shoot that I love so much?

xoxo!  - Alison

Candice Benjamin and Tessa Kim are members of Vendor Love, The Knotty Bride’s Preferred Vendor Guide.  To view Candice Benjamin’s listing, click here.  To view Tessa Kim’s listing, click here.

Photography: Candice Benjamin / Makeup: Amy Clarke / Hair: Dianna Lopez / Wardrobe Stylist: Tashina Hunter / Florist: Rebecca Castilo of Bonne Fleur / Hair Accessories: Tessa Kim / Video: Jakfoto Productions / Cupcakes: Swurlz Cupcakes

Label(s): Beige/brown, Color, Multi, Pink, {Inspiration Shoot}

Love all of this...


  1. Mia on March 31, 2011

    Ummmm, I would totally go to Michael’s for a couple of things. But not from their wedding aisle.

    Just sayin….their wedding aisle is not my style. (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it.)

  2. Chelsea Patricia on March 31, 2011

    Absolutely LOVE this! :)

  3. Tania on March 31, 2011

    That cupcake stand is going to fly out of that shop. If I needed a stand I’d be the proud owner already. SO unique.

  4. Candice Benjamin on March 31, 2011

    Awww, thank you so much for the feature! You’re awesome, but you already know that!

    If you want to see a cool behind the scenes video of the day, you can find it here:

  5. Aubrey on March 31, 2011

    Love the photos this is so inspirational! Being cost conscious is on every brides mind these days. When planning my last two weddings we shopped at Micheal’s and fully took advantage of the 40% off coupons they give you with each purchase!

  6. Susannah VanDyke on March 31, 2011

    LOVE it!!! I especially love the shot of the girl in the white dress on the trunk in the field – so dreamy!

  7. Tessa Kim on March 31, 2011

    Thank you so much for the feature! I absolutely love this shoot and props to Candice for the gorgeous styling along with her awesome photography!

    Tessa Kim

  8. Alison on March 31, 2011

    Candice, Tessa – Bravo. :)

    Aubrey – those 40% off coupons are gold, and so readily available! Great thought. No one should go to Michael’s w/o a coupon.

    Mia – That’s what a lot of ppl are saying on Twitter. :) Seems eveyone loves Michael’s for weddings, except for their actual wedding aisle.

  9. Serena on March 31, 2011

    Great tips. I love the rustic vintage vibe throuhgout, but even more, I love that you can have a beautiful setup without spending too much. You don’t see tips like this often, especially from photogrpahers. Thanks :)

  10. Jessica on March 31, 2011

    All the bargain craft stores are gold mines for weddings! You can literally take the most ordinary of items and turn them into the chicest of the chic. The best tips I have are: don’t buy something *just* because it’s super super on sale, and think of ways to use items purchased beyond their original intent. Cool photo storage boxes in aisle three? Buy a few, turn them upside down, and you have small cake or cupcake stands.

  11. Glamour and Grace on March 31, 2011

    That seafoam dress is amazing! I seriously need it! Gorgeous shoot too!

  12. Lena on March 31, 2011

    I’m a woman obsessed-that short dress is divine! AThere are some amazing suggestions in here, and in the comments-you have some kick ass Knotty Brides ’round these parts!

  13. Christie O. {Hindsight Bride} on March 31, 2011

    Amazing finds! I love it when a random collection of crafty and thrift store items come together to made a gorgeous wedding or style shoot. In my experience you want to have a super solid plan/vision and start early collecting your wedding goodness.

  14. postcards and pretties on March 31, 2011

    gorgeous!! I’m dying over that blue dress!!
    great tips as well!

  15. Lauren Elise on April 1, 2011

    I love all the details here. Candice did an amazing job!

  16. lizzie on April 1, 2011

    adorable shoot! love the wooden table numbers :)

  17. Alyx on April 4, 2011

    The silk flower in the bride’s hair is absolutely gorgeous !!!:)

  18. Kristi on April 5, 2011

    Fabulous shoot with lots of inspiration! And all on a budget ~ gotta love that!!! I love all of the little details, the use of wood in the rounds on the table and that amazing cupcake stand, and the lace!! ANd like everyone else…that blue dress! However, the shot of the bride standing on the trunk is fabulous!


  19. Kate/MagnoliaRouge on April 12, 2011

    Oh my that mint green dress is stunning!!

  20. Camille B on April 13, 2011

    Where is the seafoam dress from? I’ve been dying for a non-jersey, floating full-length dress and this one is gorgeous.

  21. ok obsessed with this!! the green dress and shoes are amazing!! and absolutely in love with the cupcake stand. adorable!!

  22. Christine on May 22, 2011

    I love one of those last photos where it looks for all the world like the bride is carrying a picnic basket, like she and the groom are going to sneak away for their own private party.

  23. on January 11, 2013

    a Wedding Shoot + Tips by Candice Benjamin | The Knotty Bride™ Wedding
    Blog + Wedding Vendor Guide” was indeed a perfect posting.
    In case it possessed a lot more pix it would certainly be perhaps even much better.
    Thank u -Merle


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