Well, we’re back in Boston after four awesome days in Palm Beach. And, I’m kind of re-thinking this whole “we should move to Boston” thing because of the four seasons. Which basically translates to really cold, pretty wet days. It’s probably just a Palm Beach hangover but still. Leaving the sun was a tad challenging. Anyway, I’m padding the blow with this absolutely darling wedding sent our way by the beautiful bride, Jasmin, and her groom, Steve…who were all about the sweet but totally elegant DIY details. Love, love, love this little gem and I know you will too. Click here to see even more!

philadelphia wedding

diy wedding in philadelphia

diy wedding in philadelphia

diy wedding in philadelphia

diy wedding in philadelphia

diy wedding in philadelphia

click here to see the gallery and all of the super cute DIY details!

To wed or to elope? As self described scrooges…Steve and I wrestled with this question for a few months! In the end, we decided that it was important that we celebrate the day with our family and close friends. Once we went down this path, well, I went from “Monique Lhuillier who?” to owning a Monique Lhuillier dress! I obsessed about every detail of our wedding and spent my nights lurking on websites such as SMP looking for inspiration. Now that the planning is over, I’d like to contribute back to future brides!

There were several DIY components to our wedding; the most notable were all our paper items, our flowers, and our origami name cardholders. We DIY’ed as much as we could, not only because it was budget friendly but also because I had a lot of fun doing it. We knew we wanted to play with color and decided on green, yellow, and gray as our color palette. Our event ended up more yellow and gray with a touch of green but it definitely helped to have a color palette from the get-go so as not to be led astray by all the beautiful color choices out there!

The paper products were one area where we decided to save (splurging instead on our venue, caterer, and photographer). Three invaluable items which I used over and over again: my Xyron machine, paper cutter, and Fiskar corner punch. With an architect and a marketing professional as two of my three bridesmaids, I did not lack for creative talent and they helped create our bird logo. This was one of the best decisions to nail down early in the process because we were able to “brand” our wedding from start to finish in a consistent manner, from our website to our programs and menus.

My favorite component of the invitations was the envelopes! I had a crazy idea of sewing glassine inner envelopes with green thread around the borders. I purchased a $40 sewing machine on Amazon to test my project. The effect was pretty but I discovered that I couldn’t sew a straight line if my life depended on it. Using a pencil to lightly outline where to sew seemed to do the trick! I also fell in love with envelope liners; they were so easy to do and did not require a template or kit. If there’s only one DIY project that you do, this is it because it gave our invites extra oomph without taking up a lot of time.

Flowers…yes, logistically you CAN do your own flowers! And no formal training is required (I am a geeky number cruncher by profession)! I knew I wanted to have tons of flowers without breaking the bank but I was on the fence about this, worrying it would take away from time with friends and family. But with careful planning, I banged out table arrangements for 13 tables, 4 bouquets, 11 boutonnieres, and 4 corsages while still spending quality time with our wedding party. The trick is to have your flowers delivered on Tuesday or Wednesday assuming you have a Saturday wedding. You can then prepare your arrangements on Wednesday and Thursday (although corsages are best done on the day of). My other secret ingredients were the use of corsage picks to provide the bouts with a water source, a flower sealant spray to lock in moisture, and Oasis flower adhesive for the corsages. Make sure to do a couple of practice runs a few months or weeks before your wedding.

Our actual wedding day was so much fun and we felt so grateful that we could spend it with our closest friends and family. We chose to take pictures before our ceremony so that we could max out time with our guests. Our first look was just so precious; I’ll remember it always!Seeing each other before the ceremony had the added benefit of calming my nerves so that I was able to remember actually walking down the aisle! We drafted our own vows and we were able to inject some meaningful readings and humor into our ceremony. And the speeches during dinner…well, they were one of my favorite moments that day. We were touched by all the speeches (best man, matron of honor, my brother, Steve, and Steve’s mom), words cannot even describe.

For the Philly and NYC brides, I totally have to give a shout out to some of my vendors who made a big difference during the wedding planning process. Our photographers Margaret and Max from Unusually Fine, located in NYC, took amazing pictures and made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera. Stephanie at Robert Ryan Catering rocked! She took care of so many details and was always a step ahead. Tasha and Christina at cHill Weddings were our day-of coordinators; it was the best money I spent to make sure all went well during our wedding. Ann Hamilton, also in NYC was absolutely wonderful to work with and transformed my $250 dress (that’s right, you didn’t misread, I bought a Monique Lhuillier dress for $250 on sale!) into the vision I had in my head.

I had a lot of fun planning my wedding and I wish you ladies the same as you plan your special day!

Photography: Unusually Fine / Coordinator: cHill Weddings / Catering: Robert Ryan Catering / Alterations: Ann Hamilton / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Groom & Groomsmen Tuxes: Mens Wearhouse / Online Flowers: 2GRoses / Cupcakes: Brown Bettys / Makeup: Aleksandra Ambrozy / Hair: Calista Brides / String Quartet: Anamaria Achitei, Musicali Strings / DJ: Kim Walsh / Custom Hand Lettering: GalaFont / Custom Table Numbers: Blue Mountain Crafts / Hair flower: Twigs & Honey / Cupcake Toppers: Naked Peggies

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