Wednesday, August 10, 2011

real life: diy extravaganza

Meet Chelsea...a fellow former Flagstaff girl (go Lumberjacks!)...who recently married her best friend, in the most lovely way.  She has some fantastic tips for brides-to-be... and she included some of the beautiful pictures from their magical day.  (She affectionately referred to their wedding as a " major DIY/budget extravaganza" love that!  )

Thank you so much for sharing your special day (and your solid insight!) Chelsea.  Congratulations on your new marriage!
Our wedding was an absolute blast and an absolute blur. What I would tell brides-to-be is:

1. Make your DIY projects very personal to you and a family effort. We made our own centerpieces (succulent planter boxes made by my husband and planted by my sister and mother in law), table cloths and ring pillow (by grandma), invitations and signage (made by mom, a graphic designer), photo booth (assembled by my sister, back drop by my husband), I-pod playlist (by hubby), ceremony (by my dad), and ice cream sandwiches (made by a whole team). It meant that our wedding day truly reflected us as a couple. 

2. Pick any theme that speaks to you, even if it is unconventional. Our theme was "fun" and we built the whole event with that in mind from the build-your-own gourmet burger bar and ice cream sandwiches, to the lawn games, and literally smokin' dance party (yes, we had a fog machine).

3. If you don't want to do something, don't do it.

4. Instruct those around you to keep anything that goes wrong to themselves, at least until the next day. I had no idea that our directional signs blew away and that our video camera (that we bought for the wedding) broke. The day after, you won't even care anyway because you'll be married to the one you love.

5. Get a great photographer because the entire day will feel like 5 minutes and you will feel like you need proof that you were even there at all!

6. Think less-is-more when you plan your honeymoon. We slept for 12 hours the first night after we arrived in St. John on the red-eye flight. We didn't pre-pay or commit to any kind of excursion and the freedom to sleep in and do nothing if we chose was pure luxury!

I could go on and on. Nothing is better than a big party to celebrate love!

We chose not to have a bridal party because it was just to hard to decide (especially for Peter who has two brothers). In the end, it really simplified things and saved us big bucks. And those who would have been in the wedding party were still a huge part of the day for us!

Also, I bought my dress from a dress maker in China via ebay. I know it sounds sketchy but it only cost me $200 (including shipping)!!!! It arrived two-weeks later and was perfect! I got the dress altered because I fudged up on the measurements just in case and made a sash from white rosettes I bought from The entire thing cost $300 and it was gorgeous!!!! I would recommend it to anyone who has enough time to have a plan B if something doesn't work out. Just make sure to read the comment on ebay about the seller.
All photography by Charleton Churchill of Charleton Churchill Photography


  1. Amazing hindsight advice. What a grounded bride. Oh, and a burger bar? Outstanding idea!

  2. Hands down to you and your fam bam for making your wedding more personal and special!

  3. A build-your-own gourmet burger bar! That is awesome!

    Also - I like that you opted to not have a bridal party. Kudos to you for sticking to your preferences - even if they weren't the status quo!



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