There's DIY weddings and then there's this wedding. This super talented, not to mention, gorgeous bride literally did everything herself, with the help of a few close friends. Yup, that's right: the invitations, flowers, escort cards, banners, spiced pecan favors, even a painting of the venue so she and her new hubby can remember their special day forever and ever. Whew! I'm tired just listing all the creative work she put into her big day! But I can certainly stare at the pretty images by Ricky Stern Photography all day long. Join me, won't you?
From the Bride... We had our wedding at the Peacock Garden Cafe in Coconut Grove, Florida. I fell in love with it because it has a beautiful outdoor patio that looks like a tropical garden. I never wanted to have a traditional ballroom wedding, so it was perfect. The owners and staff were wonderful and did everything they could to make my vision come true. The food at the cafe was incredible! The other reason the cafe was perfect was the location. We were across the street from Biscayne Bay (perfect for our first look) and Peacock Park, which was full of gorgeous tropical trees and plants that bloomed just in time. The cafe was also right next door to a hotel, so our guests didn't need to walk far to get to the wedding. The ceremony was held in a grassy area behind the cafe. Originally we had thought we would get married outside under a tree, but it had been raining for two weeks (typical Miami summer!). The day before the wedding, my mom insisted on putting up a tent with a floor because the ground was so muddy. Initially I was bummed out about having to use the tent because it wasn't my original vision, but it actually ended up being amazing and adorable once it was decorated.
I have always been creative, so I wanted to do as much of our wedding myself as I could! The wedding was small, so I was able to personalize everything. My friend and I did all of our flowers, which came out so perfectly. I made all the invitations myself. I hand-painted flowers on cards for all the place settings, and I made the escort cards using formal names for our families and nicknames for our friends. I found fabric in the fabric stores in downtown Miami and made a fabric banner to hang in the tent to conceal a less-than-perfect view on one side. I brought in peacock feathers and hanging lights to decorate the tent. I also made a painting of the Peacock Garden Cafe so that we would always have it to remember the place where we had our wedding. For our favors, I made spiced pecans from a recipe that my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago. My mom and my friend made paper cranes to hang in the tent, which turned out beautifully. On the day of the wedding, my future husband, my family, friends and me all decorated the tent. When I went to get ready, they put the tables for the dinner together and put flowers all over the tent. When we walked in for the ceremony, it took my breath away! I couldn't believe how gorgeous everything turned out.
My future husband played squash with his friends the day of the wedding. Right after, he met me for our first look pictures by the water, and it was so wonderful. I was so happy to be getting married to him. Afterward, we walked to the ceremony together. It was so nice to have my best friend with me as we entered to get married! The look of love and sweetness on my husband's face during the ceremony is something I will never forget. The dinner was incredible, and afterward, we had key lime pie and wedding cake. Following dinner, I put on a red dress and we all hit the town in Coconut Grove for a very memorable night. After the wedding, we gave all our flowers to the restaurant since all of our guests were from out of town and could not bring them home. When we returned the next evening to pick up our things, the flowers were all our on the tables and the restaurant looked so pretty. I was so glad that other people got to enjoy them. We put the enclosed the paper cranes with the thank you notes so that everyone could have a piece of the wedding. We put a lot of work into planning the wedding, but it was all worth it! It was so beautiful and perfect, and all of our guests had a wonderful time. I was so touched by how much effort my friends and family put into it as well — it was a really beautiful experience.
Wedding Photography: Ricky Stern Photography / Wedding Venue: Peacock Garden Cafe in Coconut Grove, Florida / Event Design + Planning: The Bride / Flowers: Berkeley Florist Supply + Arranged by the Bride & A Friend / Wedding Invitations, Place Setting Flower Painting, Escort Cards, Fabric Banner + Venue Painting: DIY by the Bride / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller / Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka