Brides on a budget, take note. Actually all Brides should take note. Because this wedding is the perfect example of DIY done oh-so-right. And what makes it even better is that it’s oh-so-personal too. Add a gorgeous Bride, a so-in-love Groom and some stunning images from It’s Beautiful Here, and we have a winner on our hands. See it all here.

From the Bride… When we started planning our wedding, we first checked the average cost of weddings and were a bit surprised. If we had this kind of money, we’d rather save it for our future…so we decided to have a small scale, but intimate wedding. By having a “Hand-made” wedding, we could also save a bit of money!

Our priorities were the guests’ food and photography, so we did a lot of research about these two areas. Our guests really loved the food and, as you can see, the photos by our talented photographers Kat and Scout were really wonderful – we’re so happy with the choices we made!

All the other things, like invitations, decorations, seating charts, place cards, the ring holder, guest book, table numbers and seat decorations, we did by ourselves. “Hand-made” weddings are a great way to save money and are becoming more popular, but Allie had heard of some brides who had to make everything on their own.

Fortunately Paul was a person who liked crafts and he was very enthusiastic, even if he was also very ham-handed. So Allie collected all the ideas from wedding blogs and we both chose and made what we wanted together…The 8 months preparation was such a precious time for us.

We also made a wedding blog, which only our guests could see. We updated our hand making projects, wedding info, easy Japanese lessons etc. Our guests could also post their profiles, so that other guests could get to know them before the wedding day. Everyone said they got more excited about our wedding by reading all these posts, so we recommend this for other couples too.

The 8 months passed very quickly and suddenly it was our wedding day! It started with the Groom and Bride’s tears – Paul started crying even before Allie came down the aisle and, seeing his crying face, Allie couldn’t help crying too. Then Allie’s dad started crying and so did everyone else, we just couldn’t contain our happiness.

We had our wedding ceremony at Sts Peter and Paul, which is also the church where Allie got baptized after we decided to marry. The celebrant was our close friend, Br Dean, who supported us through Allie’s baptism and our wedding preparation – every part of the ceremony was personal and emotional, with our family and closest friends there to share it with us.

The reception was also full of fun and tears. We had guests from Japan too, so everything was translated for them. We also wanted to help everyone mingle by doing something fun. The quiz about us was a hit, enjoyed by the adults as much as the kids! Some of the answers to the questions were only known by particular people, so to get all the answers correct, everyone had to ask each other.

Another fun part of our wedding was the bridal dance. Allie’s dad is a professor of Irish Literature in Japan and Paul’s family has Irish background, so we decided to do an “Irish Dance”. Soon after the engagement, we found this Irish Set Dancing Class…it was also very cheap! Irish Set Dancing requires 8 people to make a “set”, so Paul’s parents and two other couples, our close friends, joined in our practices.

At the start we had no idea about Irish Set Dancing and didn’t think we could ever master it, but with the support of the lovely club members, we managed to master two set of dances and perform them at the wedding. Everyone loved it, and we could also learn something new, while making lots of great friends.

We discovered that learning something new and making friends was a huge part of our wedding experience. We started the “hand-made wedding” idea in part to minimize the cost, but we ended up with things that were worth more than anything we could have bought. Somehow, everyone we met was full of positivity – Kat and Scout, the team at The Point, everyone became so special for us. Our wedding wasn’t just a wonderful day that we’ll remember forever, but a personal experience that we could share with everyone involved.

Photography: It’s Beautiful Here | Hair + Makeup: Lady Day | Floral Design: Sakura Flowers | Wedding Dress: Saja | Groom’s Shirt + Tie: P. Johnson Taylor | Wedding Venue: Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church, South Melbourne | Reception Venue: The Point / Wedding Cake: Chez Dre

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