Hi everyone! I wanted to write a blog about our wedding, because we planned and created the entire event ourselves. I want to inspire others to do a DIY wedding as well! Planning a wedding takes a lot of time, budgeting, and organization, but it can be done! We got engaged on Christmas Eve of 2014 and got married in October of 2015, so we had a little over 10 months to plan it. It was overwhelming at first, but we were organized and conscious of the timeline.
Location & Date
The first thing that we did was look for the location, which depicted our date. We knew that our wedding was going to be small, with around 60 guests and we were going to be paying for the majority of it ourselves. A typical wedding venue would not allow us to book with them unless we could guarantee 100+ guests. This left us with limited options. We could either rent out a hall and have it catered, or have a backyard-style wedding. Since we chose our favorite season (fall) for the wedding, an outdoor wedding was just not ideal for October. We ended up renting out an old colonial building in Connecticut (The Washington Club in Washington, CT). It is a beautiful place for a wedding, but we had to do all of the setting up and decorating ourselves. Luckily they provided tables, chairs, dinnerware, glassware, and flatware, but we had to bring in everything else. Luckily, The Washington Club had a few Saturday’s open in October, so we were able to choose. I wanted mid-month, as it would be peak foliage here in New England.
The next step after securing the venue, was to start looking for vendors. The manager of our venue gave us a list of vendors that had done weddings there in the past, which was helpful. I also looked on The Knot and other wedding websites for ideas and reviews. Ultimately the ones that we ended up choosing were mostly referrals. I would say that this is the best way to find vendors, because you’ve either experienced them at other people’s weddings, or you’ve heard honest reviews of them from other couples. We made our vendor decisions pretty easily. We found the ones that we liked based on reviews, and ended up booking the first vendor that we found in each category (caterer, florist, etc.). I will have a list of our vendors at the end of this post!
We designed and decorated the whole wedding ourselves. The first thing that we did was choose a color palette. My husband let me do this for the most part. I’ve always loved J. Crew colors, which were what I ended up choosing – Bright Coral and Misty Rose. These aren’t necessarily fall colors, but they were what I wanted and we made it work. Along with the coral and blush colors, I also wanted gold and wood accents. We decided that the flowers would hold the majority of the décor color, so we went with neutral (light tan) tablecloths and coral napkins. The amount of color and texture in our tablescape was perfect. I added a gold sequin overlay to the welcome table, and our sweetheart table to make them stand out from the rest. We also added a lot of gold mercury glass candle holders on each table and some lanterns throughout the wedding. The building had very high ceilings with beams, so we hung paper lanterns and string lights across the room. We had a limited budget, so I ended up making some of the items as well. I framed some of our engagement photos to go on the welcome table. I also bought a wooden box from Michael’s Crafts and stained it to use as our card box. Since it was the fall season, I included some small white pumpkins in the reception area, and decorated a large pumpkin with our wedding date to go outside. I also ordered a lot of things from Etsy, such as our Welcome sign. For our favors, we chose bottles of maple syrup. It was the perfect seasonal wedding favor, and the bottles looked beautiful on the tables. The last item that we purchased was an arbor to get married in front of. It made a perfect background for our ceremony, and then later behind us at our sweetheart table. This is a special piece that we will have in our backyard for years to come.
Since we rented a building, the set up and cleanup had to be done by us. We extended the rental to the day before so we could bring in and set up everything. We had free reign as far as decorating, as long as we took down every piece. The ceremony and reception took place in the same room, so we set up the tables around the perimeter of the room and made a ceremony and aisle area in the middle. When the ceremony was over, the catering staff placed all of the ceremony chairs around the tables. This took a lot of coordinating, but worked out perfectly. We had the building all night and until 12:00pm the next day to clean up. Luckily our caterer put away all of the dishes, glasses, tables, chairs, etc. The set up and clean up was a lot of work, but our family and friends pitched in to help us out.
Our DIY wedding was a success and turned out beautifully with the help of our vendors. The only part that was difficult on the wedding day was coordinating the event. We didn’t hire a wedding planner, so our vendors had to work together to make everything run smoothly. I highly recommend doing a DIY wedding, as it is more budget friendly and can be as personalized as you would like. Planning and creating a wedding yourself is a lot of work, but it can be done! See some of our wedding photos, below!
Here is a list of things that made our wedding unique! There are separate blog posts about them under the Wedding menu on the main page!
- First Look
- Ad Libs instead of a Guestbook
- DIY Photo Booth
- Pie Table (Instead of Cake)
- Sparkler Send Off
Wedding Hall: The Washington Club – http://www.washingtonclub.net/
Caterer: Catering by Christine – http://cateringbychristine.com/
Dessert (Pies): American Pie Company – http://www.americanpiecompany.com/home.html
Table Linens: http://www.durantsparty.com/
Invitations & Place Cards: Minted – http://www.minted.com/
Table Numbers & Decor: Alexis Mattox Designs – http://alexismattoxdesign.com/
Candle Holders & Décor: Bhldn – https://www.bhldn.com/
Wedding Favors: Mount Mansfield Maple Products – http://www.mapleweddingfavors.com/
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero from Stylish Impressions – http://stylishimpressions.net/
Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew – www.jcrew.com
Hair: Julie Canepa – Graziella’s Salon (Carmel, NY)
Makeup: Sharyn Scully – A Touch of Color Makeup – http://atouchofcolormakeup.com/
Suits: Men’s Warehouse: http://www.menswearhouse.com/
I hope you enjoyed reading about my DIY wedding! Please contact me with any questions or comments!