This Lakewood bride caught the planning bug during her engagement and, after seeing all of her remarkable DIY projects, I say more power to her!  The invitations, flowers, photo booth wall, favors…yep, you got it…all made by the hands of this creative bride and groom.  And, by the look of it, they had a great time cutting, arranging and crafting !  Almost as great of a time as they and their guests must have had at what looks like a blast of a wedding photographed by Swept Away StudiosClick here to see even more!

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From the Bride… As a sometimes overly-organized, stickler for plans, detail-oriented math teacher, I’m pretty sure my friends and family worried that I would be uptight and anxious on our wedding day. With eighteen full months to plan our homemade affair, Dustin and I spent countless hours researching, crafting, planning, creating, revising and envisioning what we wanted our wedding to look like, taste like and feel like for us and our guests. Up to the day before and even the morning of our wedding, we were cutting, arranging and crafting details.  My promise to myself was to not let anything that may, or would, go off kilter get to me on our wedding day. By keeping that promise to myself, those little mishaps turned into funny anecdotes and there wasn’t a minute I didn’t feel like my smile would rupture from overuse.

Sure, there were tears that moment before my dad walked me down the aisle when I held the locket in my hand that dangled from my bouquet as a reminder that my little brother was watching us from heaven or when Dustin and his mom danced to “In My Life” and his dad and my mom both stood there with tears over what the song also meant to them in their lives. Those tears, though, were out of sentiment and love.

Dustin and I met about six years prior to our wedding at a friend’s wedding, but living across the country from each other prevented us from beginning a relationship. After two years, Dustin returned to our home state of Florida and our chemistry bonded us together. We were the perfect pair and found ourselves inseparable. When Dustin applied for Optometry school in Memphis, Tennessee, we decided to make the move together. We became engaged while living the Tennessee life, but knew our wedding would be in our hometown in Florida. Planning a wedding from another state has its own set of challenges, but we made it work. We painted the vision of our day in golds, creams and pear greens and infused details of pears here and there.

With a limited budget and an overabundant desire for the day to be our kind of perfect, we took on all the details of the day ourselves. From the very first Save the Date card to the flowers, program fans, ceremony wording, seating postcards, table arrangements, boutonnieres, pear butter favors, thumb print guest tree, cut-out photo wall and beyond, we made each and every part ourselves. I can remember spinning around during our first dance and focusing in on my parents’ glass lanterns in the center of each table with all of our ideas arranged around them and thinking, “we actually pulled this off and it is so beautiful to me.”

My favorite detail would have to be our seating cards that mimicked vintage post-cards with our own travel adventures on the front and a message to our guests regarding our journey of love bringing us to this point on the back, each addressed with their name. Dustin built the huge boards where we strung the cards and I can only hope that our friends and family enjoyed finding Cozumel or the Ocoee River as they meandered to their tables.

After dancing through the night, our guests chose a vintage matchbook from a vase reading “find your perfect match” that they used to send us off from a sparkler lined balcony. For me, I found my perfect match in planning and now I’m itching for a reason to plan someone’s shower, a party, anything! Even more so, I knew that the happiness I felt that entire day was the kind of happiness that comes from somewhere deeper than perfect cupcakes and starting the ceremony on time…it was from my love for Dustin.

Photography: Swept Away Studios / Event Design & Coordination: DIY, The Bride & Groom / Floral Design: DIY, The Bride & Groom / Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: Hollis Gardens / Wedding Invitations & Paper Goods: DIY, The Bride & Groom / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Photo Wall: DIY, The Bride & Groom / Thumb Print Guest Tree: DIY, The Bride & Groom / Favors: DIY, The Bride & Groom