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Gorgeous & Elegant DIY Wedding

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white shabby chic wedding cake

Today’s wedding is filled to the brim with beautiful blush, lavender and white details! Although Amy and Matt didn’t undertake dozens of DIY projects for their wedding, the ones they chose to do pack a big punch on their big day. I love that Amy, with the help of her family and friends, did all of the flowers for their wedding. It’s amazing how far your floral budget can go when you’re willing to do some of the work yourself! And how perfect are the bridesmaids’ mismatched dresses? I love how classy and chic the look is! Enjoy this elegant DIY wedding! xoxo, Jessica

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May 20, 2016

Dublin, OH  | Scioto Reserve Country Club


What was your budget?

We didn’t actually have a set budget! I’m a pretty savvy shopper and I worked for a caterer in Columbus (where we got married) when I was in college, which gave me a good idea of how much things should cost. My BS meter functions pretty well, so I wasn’t going to let anyone take us for a ride.

All of these amounts are approximate:

Dress (with tax): $2500

Reception venue (cost includes tableware, linens, DJ, rehearsal): $12,400

Ceremony venue: $200

Makeup (myself and three bridesmaids): $400

Photographer: $2500

Videographer: $1500

Flowers: $1100

Cake (venue actually included the cost of a cake, but I hated their baker): $500

Alterations (bride and groom): $1000

How many guests did you have?

We had 80 guests.

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

Absolutely everything in the wedding was creative or personal. We stuck to many of the usual traditions but we did it all our way. My maternal grandfather performed the ceremony for us. It was so much more special to have someone we both knew and loved guiding us into marriage. We spent many evenings on the phone crafting the ceremony and he still managed to keep his words a secret from us.

Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?

The flowers were one of the biggest DIY projects. I’m kind of in love with flowers to begin with, and I was definitely not going to compromise on the kinds I wanted. Unfortunately, the flowers I really love are really expensive and traditional florists were way out of budget (there was one who pushed me so hard for information and I kept telling her she was out of our budget, so when I finally informed her how much we wanted to spend she totally “noped” her way out of the conversation).

Luckily, I stumbled onto a nontraditional florist in Columbus through a Facebook ad. The Flowerman offers a DIY option where they order all the flowers and keep them stored and prepped at their warehouse. The day before the wedding, a revolving cast of bridesmaids, my fiancé, and my brother-in-law, came together bright and early with about seven other wedding groups and put together absolutely everything. Centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, accent pieces – we made every single one of them. Honestly, it was one of everyone’s favorite activities for the wedding. It was so wonderful to slow all the way down and focus on one task that didn’t require deep thought and time management. Hours spent handling beautiful flowers are never wasted.

We also crafted our arch out of ½” copper piping and that was a trial and a half. We couldn’t get it to hold itself up in all of the test runs and we had extra pieces that we couldn’t remember the purpose of. In the end, soldering really changed everything except that my fiancé and his brother (despite my warnings) soldered it together so that the curtains ended up having to be safety-pinned in place rather than threaded onto the pipe. Our ceremony venue is a park amphitheater and there were no steps where we needed a center aisle, only knee-high seating that necessitated the construction of five giant “steps.” Matt and I built them early on in the week and they are living their post-wedding life as planters for his brother.


What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my wonderful sister and everything she did to help us out. She is a professional cosmetologist and did all the girls’ hair for free. Although I didn’t do it to save money (more because I couldn’t find anything I liked), I made all of the stationery myself. I didn’t even bother calculating the cost of the paper goods until after the deed was done and I was shocked at the difference. The DIY florist also cost only a third of traditional florists.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

The best advice was actually given to me by another bride who planned her wedding the exact same way as me (we both live in RI and got married in OH). “Go ahead and control everything you can or want to up until the day of the wedding. On your wedding day, you have to just let the little things go and trust that the people you’ve surrounded yourself with want to and will help out.”

You hear over and over and over again as a bride in planning that this is “your day” and it definitely is. Don’t let anyone push you into doing something you don’t want and your priorities are 1000% more important than your parents’, friends’, etc. One last piece of advice: don’t leave the dance floor. Everyone wants to talk to the bride and if you go to the bar to get yourself a drink then you are exposed and you will be sucked into conversations! Send someone to fetch things for you and only leave if you intend to stay away for a while. It goes so quickly and before you know it you’re home watching your wedding video and realizing that you missed out on dancing more with your husband or with your grandfather and you didn’t see your drunk brother-in-law steal greenery for a Bacchus-style crown.


What was your biggest splurge?

The videographer. At the beginning, I thought getting one was silly, but then my photographer posted a video that was taken at a wedding she shot and by the end of it I was a blubbering mess, so I told my fiance we were getting one. I’m so glad we did.


What was your favorite detail?

I don’t think it’s possible to pick one favorite. Everything came together so perfectly. The weather was exactly the way I wanted it. The drink recipes we developed were perfectly executed by the bartenders. The food was delicious (people are still talking about the mashed potato martini bar). My bridesmaids were beautiful. My husband was beaming. It was the one and only day of my life that was spent absolutely surrounded by everyone that we love and they were all celebrating my husband and I.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

I had been ordering/begging Matt not to smash cake in my face for months and he kept giving me the “Suuure. Wink-Wink.” response until finally he declared that if I cried during the ceremony and ruined my makeup, then he would be allowed to smash cake on my face. I did not agree to these terms and I knew I would probably be pretty emotional during the ceremony, so I was worried that I would in fact cry and have to deck my new husband during the cake-cutting to keep him from smashing cake in my face. Amazingly, I was so unbelievably, stupidly elated throughout the whole ceremony that I didn’t shed a tear, but he did!


Photography: Asteria Photography • Ceremony Venue: Scioto Amphitheater at Scioto Park • Reception Venue and Catering: Scioto Reserve Golf Club • Flowers: The Flowerman Columbus • Videography: Columbus Wedding Videos • Bakery: Short North Piece of Cake • Hair Stylist: Katy Minner at Final Touch Salon • Makeup Artist: State of Face • Tailoring: Pochue’s Sewing Room (Providence, RI) • Wedding Gown Designer: Rosa Clara Soft • Bridal Salon: Lovely Bride NYC • Shoes: INC via Macy’s • Groom’s Suit: Combatant Gentleman • Ties: The Tie Bar • Bride’s Belt: Sheeta Design via Etsy



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