In celebration of our 3rd anniversary was yesterday, we watched our wedding video (again). Memories flooded back from that incredibly fun day/night. I also was reminiscing about how much time went into all the DIYs that I did for that one day. Most of it I did weeks and months in advance, but my bridesmaids came to my rescue the days leading up to the wedding when my procrastination caught up to me. I thought I’d share a few of these DIY projects and wedding details/vendors.
The decorative theme for the wedding was Parisian-inspired, since that was our first stop on our honeymoon…so lots of lace, damask designs, pearls, script handwriting and vintage pieces. The color scheme was royal purple/plum, gold and black.
First I must credit Ashley LaBonde, owner of Wide Eyed Studios, for shooting our wedding. Her photography skills are incredible.
The Dress– Pronovias in NY. I fell in love with this dress immediately from the neckline to the multiple layers of detailed lace and the elegant hem. At first I thought about having a ceremony and reception dress…then I got the idea to make this one dress convertible. For the ceremony, I kept my makeup natural, went with just earrings and had them add removable straps for a simple look. For the reception, I removed the straps, bustled the train, added a sash, some pearls and changed my lip color to a deep plum for an entirely different look.
The Shoes– I’ve always loved Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic blue Manolos from her wedding in Sex in the City. However…I’m not on a Manolo budget. However, I did splurge for these royal blue Badgely Mishkas, justifying that I would wear them again (which I did). I did write on the bottom, which some might crucify me for, but it made it more personal.
Makeup– My talented friend Shenoa Nicole is an incredible make-up artist. She can really transform you from bland to Beyonce with a few strokes of a brush. If you are looking for an artist in the DMV area, she is your girl!
Flowers– I used Rick’s Flowers for our ceremony and reception floral decor. He has a great eye for color combinations and sophistication. I loved that he was able to use some of the ceremony decor for the cocktail table and ballroom centerpieces. Money saved!
Cake- The cake was designed by Edibles Incredible. We decided to go with the tiered cake and cupcakes, and we were able to have a different flavor for every layer. They even executed my unique design my groom’s cake for my husband with absolutely perfection. The big hits: Sublime and Red Velvet
Signs are now a staple in most modern-day wedding. You’ve got signs for where to sit, where to eat, where to pee etc. My cousin and I went through a lot of spray paint cans and paint pens for these babies.
I didn’t want to go with the traditional guestbook that I would never read. So I saw an idea to do a thumbprint tree. My best friend and MOH Mary has a natural gift with the paintbrush and created this beautiful masterpiece. Each guest chose a color to make “leaves” and signed their name on it. It now sits in our family dining area for everyone to see who enters our home.
I also used a vendor on Etsy to create these vintage-Parisian stationary cards stating “The key to a successful marriage is…” We read them when we came back to our honeymoon to gain some insight and tips from our loving guests.
Love Lives Here
My brother and cousin painted this cute bird house and lovebirds. It added warm, cute decor for the front hall of the venue.
I knew it was going to be hot as hades for our outdoor ceremony at 4PM in June. And let me tell you, our guests were roasting and sweating the entire 20 minutes. I’m glad I went with the idea to create program fans like those you use in church. I made the design on microsoft word, printed at staples, and then my friends helped glue them together with the stick and the ribbon.
This was a symbolic tradition that I was really looking forward to seeing. My mother and mother-in-law each had a taper with our first initial on it, and they lit the unity candle with our last name initial. I took a basic white column candle, secured the ribbon with pearl pins and pinned the design that I had printed out from a word document. Believe it or not, I made this one on my lunch break with the help of my coworker.
I found these cute stamps to designate meal choice on the name place cards (cow for steak, fish for crab cakes, carrot for vegetarian option). Shoutout to all of my bridesmaids for literally sitting on the floor of my home office printing out these place cards and stamping them the NIGHT before and DAY of the wedding. That was my one SNAFU to wait so long to do. No wedding goes smoothly!! In the ballroom, each table was designated a city in which my husband and I had visited together. We included a photo of us in each city to tie that theme together. Cheesy/cute…maybe a little bit of both.
For a little flare I decided to create menus (via Word again) so that each guest was aware of the options. On the reverse side was a fun crossword about the two of us. Since weddings can be awkward when you’re sitting at a table with a bunch of strangers, I figured the crossword would be a good ice-breaker and conversation-starter. My friend Christine did a great job generating the crossword Q&A.
To go with the Parisian theme, our wedding favors were votive candle holders with customized ribbon. The cocktail napkins weren’t a party favor, but I wanted to include them in the customized products that we got from Oriental Trading Company. They are always a solid option for getting massive amounts of customized items for weddings or parties. The sight of all these little candles lit up on each table was also really romantic.
My mother-in-law made her DELICIOUS Jamaican black cake for all of the wedding guests as a parting gift as well. I definitely witnessed some guests collecting up more than just one box from their table 😉
A Parents Tribute
A final DIY wasn’t really a DIY. Both of our parents have been happily married for 30+ years, which these days is very rare. I wanted to honor their unions by having their wedding photos displayed in the front hall for guests to see our marriage inspiration. We were blessed to have all four of them present at our wedding and hope that our marital bond stays as steadfast as theirs.