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Our DIY Dream Wedding

 

Hey guys! I am so excited to share with you something I have been waiting to share for months now…Our wedding! I wish I could go back and re-live every moment of that day. It was such a magical night, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I’d like to mention that I was extremely nervous about how the day was going to turn out. A week before the wedding, you would find me in my living room crying my eyes out frantically checking all of the weather updates for May 20th. 98% chance of rain and thunderstorms. ALL DAY. Normally, for a wedding, this would be an easy fix. Just move the wedding inside. Well of course I planned a DIY wedding and chose a venue with no indoor option. Oh yeah, and I also didn’t order a tent! I was so set on the fact that I wanted our wedding to be under the stars. The anxiety of that whole week working up to May 20th was overwhelming. Finally, I just let go, and let God take it in his hands. On May 20th, I don’t think there was a single cloud in the sky all day. It was the most beautiful day and night to have a wedding on the beach. I truly feel like God was on our side that day!

So anyways! Here is a little Q&A about our DIY Dream Wedding…

We met online. We don’t really tell too many people about how we met! It was on the site Plenty of Fish. Jesse was helping his cousin try to find a girl to hang out with. (since his cousin had just moved to FL after getting out of the military) I had made a profile that morning. I was moving to FL without knowing anyone so I figured I’d see if I could meet someone to show me around. Jesse and his cousin saw my profile and decided to message me. We exchanged Facebook information, numbers, and skyped every single night for a month until I moved. We pretty much became best friends before even meeting. The night I flew in, Jesse picked me up and brought me to the beach where he had set up a big blanket with wine and snacks. We talked for hours. At the end of our date Jesse went and got a chinese fire lanterns from his car. We lit them off and since you’re supposed to make a wish, of course I wished that I would marry this man. Then as the lantern disappeared, Jesse asked if he could kiss me. I swear I saw fireworks. It was the best night of my life (up until our wedding of course!)

It was a few days before my birthday and I was feeling really overwhelmed. It was just one of those days. I was in the dining room feeding our son Cal when Jesse came home from work. He was in such a great mood and saw that I was having a bad day. He asked, “Do you want an early birthday present?!” I totally thought I was getting candy since he knows how bad my sweet tooth is! He had me close my eyes while I sat there with Cal, anticipating a bag of sea salt caramel dark chocolates. (I swear those will instantly cure any bad day I am having) He said, “Okay, open your eyes!” When I did he was on one knee with a rose gold ring in his hand and said, “Will you marry me?” Instant sobbing. I kept asking, “Is this real life? You swear?” I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was definitely not expecting that! We always talked about getting engaged, we knew we wanted to be together forever but we just had a baby 6 months prior so I figured, it will happen when the time is right. He sure did surprise me!

Originally, I envisioned our wedding to be super bohemian. I’ve always loved that style. As the planning went on, the wedding seemed to take on my own personality rather than something I just really liked or wanted it to look like. It kind of transformed into a vintage Florida theme. My dress was very decorative with all the beading down the back so that kind of the inspired the rest of the wedding. I individually picked out unique tropical flowers with the florist. All of the decor was pretty much gold. The bridesmaid dresses were sage green. (I ordered them when I was still in the bohemian planning stage but they ended up going really nice with the rest of the wedding.) To tie everything in, I designed all of the little details to be sage green. (water bottle labels, welcome bags, koozies, programs, etc.) With the tropical setting and all the greenery around the venue, everything just seemed to fit perfect together!
We had around 100 guests. We wish we could have had more but our venue was pretty strict about having a maximum of 100. Almost all guests traveled from Massachusetts and Maryland, so for 100 people to fly all that way was incredible! We really felt the love!
I did a lot of research on wedding venues. I wanted something that wasn’t going to deliver a cookie cutter wedding and didn’t just want to choose from a list of options. I’ve always dreamed of having a DIY wedding. Having a wedding planner never even crossed my mind. I went to school for Design and Fine Arts, so I figured I could do it myself. Wright By The Sea was the perfect place where I could design my own wedding. The staff was so nice and helpful and not to mention the grounds are just gorgeous! We loved the idea of having a beach wedding underneath the stars. Once we saw it in person, we knew it was the spot. It was actually the first and last venue we went to visit on site. It also helped that their pricing was extremely reasonable. Definitely a hidden gem!
We put the entire ceremony together ourselves. It was special because my God Father was the officiant who married us. All the signs, programs, personalized water bottles, etc. were made by yours truly. Another thing that was pretty cool that we did was we bought church pews off of craigslist for the ceremony seating. Jesse and my Father put a lot of work into them to clean them up and refinish them. We also wrote our own vows which was a total tear jerker. I don’t think there was a dry eye on that beach! You could totally feel all of the love surrounding us!
The reception music playlist was also completely put together by Jesse and I. We pretty much had a hand in everything that took place. Every single piece of decor was made by me with the help of my master spray painting father! He was a lifesaver that week! Each and every sign was hand done by me as well. We really put a lot into the look and feel of our wedding and that definitely made it feel so intimate. As the sun went down, we had a clear sky of stars above us with bistro lighting strung across the trees. The royal table (The table that Jesse and I, our parents, and whole wedding party sat at) was a long gold sequin tablecloth with displays of tropical flower displays and golden pineapples. Our Maid of Honor and Best Man came out with some really great speeches (Even a parody to Eye of the Tiger! By my Maid of Honor, Grace!) Near the end of the reception, my wonderful new Sister in Law (Check out her awesome blog!) gave me the courage and big push to surprise Jesse with singing Dear Future Husband (turned into Dear My New Husband). I am NOT one to sing in front of people, but I had been planning to do so at our wedding. I was SO nervous that I told her and my bridesmaids that I wasn’t going to do it. (I couldn’t even do it in front of my friends!) Well, she handed me the mic and I saw her whisper to the DJ and I knew it was about to go down. I couldn’t be more thankful that she made me do it because the look of Jesse’s face was complete shock along with everyone else’s! Also, I will let everyone who witnessed it continue to think it sounded amazing. (thanks to the alcohol!) Thank the lord we didn’t hire a videographer!
We chose unique tropical flowers. We went through my florists catalog and picked out all of the flowers individually. We wanted to go fourth with the tropical theme for all of the florals without picking out too “cliche” tropical wedding flowers. Here is what my incredible florist put together for us to put our visions into reality. For my bouquet we featured hanging heliconia to provide the “cascade” or  “teardrop” shape. From there, Dynamic Destinations infused a variety of tropical floral & fauna such as red ginger, stick heliconia, dendrobium orchids and tropical foliage. For the Bridesmaids, we wanted their bouquets to tie together, however keeping the bride’s unique, so we designed them a bit more structured, and dropped the hanging heliconia. Their bouquets featured red ginger, stick heliconia, miniature pineapples (2” tall!) firecrackers (miniature heliconia) & again a variety of tropical foliage. When designing a wedding, Dale from Dynamic Destinations tries to give the bride & groom their signature flower, and in this case it was white dendrobium orchids, so for the groom, they designed a boutonniere of three dendrobium blossoms. For the rest of the male bridal party, we took the miniature pineapple (my favorite!) and custom designed boutonnieres (they thought I was crazy when I said I wanted tiny pineapples!!). Our desire was to be married directly on the beach with the grand ocean as backdrop, and the weather delivered! Dale took their bamboo arch and designed two large creations tying all the flowers from all the bridal party together perfectly. They wanted to design something a bit more unique than your run-of-the-mill chair end flower pieces, so they took actual tiki torches & removed the wick canister and placed small tropical creations within which tied the entire ceremony together perfectly. I honestly was so sad when our wedding was over and I didn’t get to continue planning with Dale. It was such a pleasure to design our wedding with someone who really had as much of a passion for it as we did. He pretty much took over the roll as my wedding organizer and I will forever be grateful that I found him.
We basically wanted it to be Delicious. We also wanted it to be very simple and white. My florist put some of our beautiful flowers on the top and side to tie it in with our theme. We ordered our cake from Publix because of their reputation for delicious cakes! Everyone loved it! 
We bought personalized drink koozies from Wedding Favors and More that we found on Etsy. We also ordered personalized stemless wine glasses with our wedding logo on them from here. From Amazon, we bought these sunglasses in bulk that were a total hit! Everyone, including us, still wear their sunglasses. Another thing we did for our guests were welcome bags. After traveling, we wanted them to have a little gift that would make their stay a little more comfortable. We ordered most of the filler items off of Amazon in bulk. Some of the items we ordered in bulk were tylenol, Packs of Orbit Gum, and SPF 30+ Sunscreen. Along with that, we included sodas, personalized water bottles, maps of the area, candy, and snacks. On the front of the bags, we put a little personalized note with our wedding logo and a note thanking them for traveling all the way to our wedding weekend. It definitely showed our guests we appreciated them taking the time to come to our wedding!
We bought my wedding dress at Bellisima Bride in Deerfield Beach, Florida. I had just come from another bridal boutique in Boca Raton that turned their nose at our budget and really discouraged me. We went on Black Friday weekend to go dress shopping knowing there was some good deals going on and it was a mad house! The owner greeted us and said although he didn’t have any spots open that day, I could come in on Sunday morning. He told my mother that he already knew what dress I was going to pick and showed us a photo of the dress. It had just come in and was absolutely beautiful however he didn’t even know my style so I took what he said with a grain of salt. Well guess what? On Sunday, I finally gave in and tried on that dress after trying on quite a few and that was it. I said yes to the dress. It felt like it was made for me! Because I had chosen the off white version of the dress (Come on, who am I kidding? We already have a one year old!) we were in shock at the price! It was so under our budget (Under 1,000!) and we truly were taken off guard, especially because of the detail and beading on the entire back. The designer of the dress is Tarik Ediz, and he makes extremely affordable gorgeous wedding gowns! We also got my veil and headband at Bellisima Bride, but I don’t know the designer of either. For my shoes, since it was a beach wedding, I wanted to wear the barefoot sandals. I ordered them from an Etsy shop named Deformatas. Her business is based in Lithuania, and despite the long haul the sandals had to make, they were at my doorstep within a week of ordering! Not to mention they were even more beautiful and detailed in person! For jewlrey, I had a beautiful pair of diamont earrings that I have had forever, so I wore those as well! No necklace needed. You’ll understand when you see the detail of the dress.
Jesse wanted a tan or beige suit since it was going to be a beach wedding. He got his Pronto Uomo suit at Mens Warehouse, however, I probably wouldn’t recommend going through Mens Warehouse for purchasing or renting a suit. We didn’t have the best experience with them. For Jesse and his groomsmen’s ties, we ordered them through Cheap-Neckties.com. Although they had a little issue with the shipping, we got them in plenty of time for the wedding and they were actually really nice quality and matched the bridesmaids dresses to a T! I would absolutely recommend using Cheap Neckties! For the shoes, all of the groomsmen wore brown sandals. I must say, they all looked dashing! For my son and ring bearer, we had them in beige matching shorts with white shirts. They were the cutest!

So I knew that there was going to be some crazy deals on Black Friday, and our wedding was definitely on a budget. I wanted to buy the bridesmaid dresses for my bridesmaids but I didn’t have the funds to spend $100 on each dress. I loved the dresses I saw on Lulu’s (Use that link for $10 off PLUS Free Shipping on Orders $100+) and knew I was most likely going to get the dresses from there. Not only are they affordable, but they have so many color options which makes it great for personalizing to wedding colors! So on Black Friday, they had a bunch of dresses on sale that I was interested in. Then I saw these ones that were going out of stock soon and had an insane price tag! They were sage green and super flowy and beautiful. Perfect for a beach wedding and for my original bohemian theme. I HAD to buy them! So I did, and luckily, they all fit perfectly and looked absolutely gorgeous flowing on the beach. HOME RUN! For the bridesmaids and flower girl, I wanted to get them something really special  for coming all the way down here for our wedding and for putting together my bridal shower. I finally found the perfect gift from Layered and Long‘s Etsy site. I got them a 24k Gold-Dipped Shark Tooth Necklace. I thought it would be the perfect gift because we were having a beach wedding and so so much gold in the wedding. Beach+Gold= Gold shark tooth necklace. Duh! For the flower girl dress, I found the perfect off white dress and headband for my beautiful flower girl to match me and my dress. Of course I forgot to get extra flower petals so my quick thinking Sister in Law found a colorful tropical plant nearby and ripped up the pieces for her to throw. You would have never known!
We had our Hair and Makeup done by the amazing Jade and Nicole from Asteria Beauty Studio. I was so nervous that my hair and makeup were both going to get messed up by all of my crying and wind from the beach, but i literally woke up the next day and it had barely moved. They are hair and makeup magicians, I swear! Before the wedding, I wanted to give Jesse a little gift from me so I contacted my former cheerleading coach after seeing a bunch of her work online. I was looking for a guitar pick in rose gold, since Jesse is an amazing guitar player. A keepsake he could always have to remember how special our wedding day was! Her shop is called Udderly Charmed and makes tons of different hand stamped items. She also made a keychain for my dad in rose gold. It said, “You’ll always be my first love. Love, The Beast” Yes, he and I and everyone in the room cried like babies right before we were about to walk down the aisle! (He has called me “The Beast” since I was born.) All of our beautiful photography was taken by the talented Beca C Photography. Her and her assistant did a wonderful job capturing our day perfectly! Our sequin Tablecloths for the royal table and the guest book table and cake table were rented by Ultrapom Rentals. They have the most beautiful and affordable tablecloths and decor for any occasion! The Guestbook was designed by me and printed through Blurb. (My go-to place to get all of my books printed! They have amazing customer service too!) Use coupon code GIVE5 to get $5 off your first Blurb order of $20+! 

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Comments (17)

  • Absolutely gorgeous wedding!!!! Makes me want to have a DIY wedding

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  • Ahhhhh, I love this post! It’s like reliving that unbelievably gorgeous day all over again. I think you’re a 5 star wedding planner. Every single detail from beginning to end was so well thought out. Your wedding goes down in history as one of the most beautiful I’ve ever attended!

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    • Awwww, so glad to have shared it with you guys! I couldn’t have pulled it off without your help in the end though!

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  • What a beautiful day and a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing on Your Inspired Design.

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    • Thank you so much Carol!

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  • I just got married myself so I am loving seeing other people’s weddings. Absolutely stunning!

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    • Thank you Sarah!! I bet it was absolutely beautiful! Have you posted it on your blog?

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  • Your wedding was ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!

    I love all the details and it definitely looks like a dream wedding!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    • Thank you so much Jennifer! Such a great linkup, thank YOU for hosting! Have a wonderful week 🙂

      Reply
  • […] Our DIY Dream Wedding – Messy Haired Mom […]

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  • […] Our DIY Dream Wedding – Messy Haired Mom […]

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  • what a stunning wedding! Gorgeous photos – congrats!

    stop by and chat with me ♥ http://StorybookApothecary.com

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    • Thank you Tianna!! Absolutely!

      Reply
  • Looks beautiful! Congratulations, and thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  • Love the dress! Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday.

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    • Thank you Sherry! And thank you for hosting!!

      Reply

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