Rachel + Fernando’s Rainy Day Church Wedding

Hey DIY-ers!  Mindy, your new Real Weddings intern, here.  Sorry for the lapse in bringing you the real wedding goodness.  I’ve gone through the DIY Bride Real Wedding Posting 101 course and I’m now totally certified to bring all the crafty wedding prettiness straight to your eyeballs.

My first feature here could not be a better one.  Not only did Rachel and Fernando incorporate some of my favorite colors into their wedding day (corals and yellows and creams, oh my!), but the matching-but-slightly-mismatching bridesmaid dress trend might be my favorite wedding thing happening right now.  Oh, and do I spy flower girls wearing polka dots???  LOVE!   Speaking of love, you can really feel the love between Rachel and Fernando, and also the love and respect between their families.  The favors, a framed prayer card, were made by the groom’s family in Guatemala and brought all the way to Sacramento, CA.  The simple roses and candles that make up the centerpieces are perfect, and the bride’s vintage gown, altered to make it her own, is perhaps the ultimate in bridal DIY. 

More information about this wedding from the photographer, Teresa K Photography: Not too many brides expect rain for their June weddings in Sacramento. I know Fernando and Rachel didn’t plan for it, but you know what, that rain ending up being part of what made their day special and uniquely theirs. It was cold and rainy all morning, but it didn’t dampen either of these lovebirds excitement to be married. Both were surrounded by so much love and support it was practically tangible. Their wedding was at the always beautiful Saint Mary’s Church in Sacramento. It’s such an amazing place and their ceremony was laced with love and tradition. There were so many people there to support them, including many of Fernando’s relatives from Guatemala. After the ceremony we did a few umbrella pictures to mark the rain, and headed to the reception at the Sacramento Grand Ballroom. The building was originally the National Bank of D.O. Mills and Company, but has been converted into an event center.

Congrats to Rachel and Fernando!



Photographer:  Teresa K Photography

Ceremony Venue: Saint Mary’s Church

Reception Venue:  Sacramento Grand Ballroom (Event Architects, LLC)

Bridal Gown: Vintage

Amanda’s DIY Button Boutonniere Tutorial

Bridal Clutches

Hello all!  I’m Amanda, one of the new contributors, and this week I’ll be sharing my own DIY wedding and a tutorial, hope you enjoy it!

Justin + Amanda

In August 2012, my husband, Justin, and I wed in South Dakota.  Exactly one year before our wedding, Justin and I moved to Kansas so that I could attend graduate school; while this was an exciting adventure, it left us with little extra cash for our wedding.   As such, we needed a wedding that reflected us, but didn’t break the bank.  So, to save money, we got thrifty and did many things ourselves.

Button Bouquets
Table Numbers

Justin and I are both avid readers so, for our centerpieces, we collected old hard cover books and wrapped those that didn’t match our colors (lime green and dark teal) in coordinating fabric.  Instead of using real flowers, my mother sewed clutches for the bridesmaids to carry, I put together felt pomanders for the flower girls and purchased my bouquet from DSMeeBee on Etsy to match.  As an easy way to bring in some texture and pops of color, buttons were used on many things.  Even on our limited budget, we were able to have a fantastic wedding and put together many DIY additions.  The tutorial I’d like to share with you all today was my favorite to complete, our button boutonnieres.

Button Boutonniere Tutorial

Materials: 20-gauge floral or memory wire, buttons, and hemp rope


1. After deciding what order you’d like the buttons in, thread the wire through each button set and twist it tight.

2. Twist each wire set together and use a small amount of hot glue to hold the buttons where you’d like.

Step 2-3: Button Boutonniere

3. To finish off the boutonniere, cut a length of the rope and start wrapping from the bottom up.  Use the hot glue along the way to hold the rope in place.

Button Boutonniere


How do you plan to add some DIY flair?  Please share in the comments below!

Wedding photography by Jeff Sampson Photography


DIY Tissue Paper Leaf Backdrop

Need something to do with all that tissue paper you save from gifts (like from your bridal shower)? If you’re like me, you can’t bear to throw it all away and see it go to waste. This is a very easy tutorial to turn all that tissue paper into a pretty backdrop for your alter, welcome table, or photo booth!

Tissue Paper Leaf Backdrop


  • Tissue paper (chances are you have a ton of it for free, but if not, you can buy a pack at the dollar store)
  • String (I used white elastic because I had some left over from another project, but you can use any kind of string or heavy thread)
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors (Let’s assume you already own a pair!)

Estimated cost: $5



Step 1: Cut several strands of string to your desired length. For this project I cut six strands of string that were five feet long. You’ll need to decide the right amount and length for your space.

Step 1: Cut several strands of string to desired length

Step 2: Fold your tissue paper several times over so you can cut a bunch of leaves at once. I cut my leaf by freehand but feel free to use some kind of template or use a pencil to draw it out. Don’t worry – as you can see from my example, they don’t have to be perfectly shaped! In fact, I think it looks better when they are all a little different.

Step 2: Cut leaves out of tissue paper

Step 3: Measure about a foot from the top of the string to leave bare. This will allow you to tie your string to whatever you are using. Again, you will have to judge the best length for this based on your needs.

Step 4: Take two leaves of the same color, and preferably from the same batch you cut out so that they match. Carefully apply glue to one side of one leaf, place the string on top, then apply glue to the other leaf, and place it on top of the first leaf and string, lining them up the best you can. Be very careful and gentle with the glue, so you don’t rip your leaves. Also, don’t forget to put down some newspaper or cloth to protect whatever surface you are working on.

Note: Position the leaves differently on the string to for a more natural look, or position all leaves in the same direction for a very modern, symmetrical style.

Step 4: Glue leaves to the string

Step 5: Repeat Step 4 as often as desired! For mine, I did six leaves per string, about six inches apart.

Step 5: Glue several leaves onto the string, leaving space in between

Step 6: Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for each string!

Step 7: Put your leaf strands somewhere safe to dry. Once they are dry, you can use scissors to trim away any imperfections on the leaves (or just leave the imperfections – it adds character!).

Step 8: Hang your leaf stands as desired. Ta-da! Almost instant backdrop!

Finished! Paper leaf backdrop

The leaves are perfect for fall, but you could do this with any shape, like flowers for spring or snowflakes for winter.  What shape would you choose for your wedding?  It’s an easy and cheap project that makes a huge statement. If you try this DIY, be sure to send us pictures!


DIY Bouquet Photo Charm

My DIY post this week continues the theme of using pictures in your wedding. Creating a photo resin charm is a great way to remember an extra-special someone on your big day, but, for some people (me), resin can be tricky to work with. So, instead, I’ve detailed below how to achieve that resin look without any of the hassle.

What you’ll need:

  • Small frame (found in the bead section of craft stores)
  • A picture
  • Mod Podge (regular or satin)
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
  • Craft paint brush

Estimated cost: $15


1. The first thing you’ll need to do is cut the picture to fit inside the frame. If you like a picture that’s too big, scan it to your computer, shrink it and then print it out.

2. Using the craft brush, apply a small layer of Mod Podge to the inside of the frame and attach the picture. Then, apply another thin layer over the picture to seal it in. Let dry.

Attach picture with Mod Podge

3. After the Mod Podge has dried, use the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic and fill in on top of the picture. Let dry. Note: Make sure to get the air out of the bottle first (squeeze it onto paper) to prevent bubbles from showing up once it hardens. If you do notice bubbles, use a sharp needle to pop them before it dries.

4. Repeat step three, letting it dry between coats, until you reach the desired height. For mine, I used three.

First layer of dimensional magic

5. Once the charm is dry, use a jump ring or ribbon to attach it to a bouquet.

Completed photo charm

See? A relatively simple, painless, and, most importantly, mess-free way to get that cool resin look without all the work.

Mindy’s Fairy Tale DIY Wedding + Ribbon Veil Tutorial

Hi, my name is Mindy and I’m your new Real Weddings intern! I felt it wouldn’t be proper to take this position without also sharing the story of our own real wedding.


My husband Tim and I were married at the Disneyland Hotel in May 2012. I had always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding day at Disneyland but was scared of the price tag. I knew if we were going to make it happen, I would have to get very creative and do a lot of DIY projects. Projects we (yes, my husband helped out a ton!) did ourselves for the wedding include making almost all of the floral ourselves out of fabric (the only real floral we had was the floral Disney used to decorate the ceremony gazebo and rose petals on the aisle), our stationery, card box, vases, confetti, and photo booth props. I even DIY’d my earrings, shoes, and veil. The veil was my first DIY idea and also the one thing I was most concerned about, because it’s a bit untraditional. I was pleasantly surprised at how many compliments I received on my veil during our reception!



Some of our fabric flower centerpieces and vases made from spray painted glass bottles

I loved my ribbon veil so much, and it was so easy and cheap to make, I thought I would share my tutorial with you all.  First I have to give credit to the inspiration behind this project, which is Ariel from Offbeat Bride. She wore a ribbon veil on her wedding day and I fell in love with the look, but she wore hers with buns and I wanted my hair to look a little more traditional. So I decided to make mine with a hair comb.


Ribbon Veil Tutorial

Project cost – $30 (but only because I used some fancy ribbon. This can easily be a $10 veil and still look great.)

First decide on your colors. Our wedding colors were pink and orange, so I chose various ribbons in shades of these colors, along with ivory to match my wedding gown. (side note – Get a swatch of your gown color from the bridal shop, or if you are getting your gown altered see if they can snip off a piece to carry around with you. I kept a little piece of my gown in my wallet so I always had it with me when I went to craft stores.)

Decide on the length you want your ribbons. I wanted mine to my waist, so my husband helped me measure the approximate length. Double up on the length you want and then cut the ribbon. Repeat as many times as you need to cover the comb.

Next, find the midpoint of your ribbon strand and tie it in a knot between the teeth of the comb. I wanted a really full veil so I tied a ribbon between each tooth of my comb.

Flip the ribbon over the comb so it covers up the actual comb. That’s it! If you want, you can vary the lengths of the ribbon to create a bit of texture. And the nice part is, if you cut too short and aren’t happy with it, it’s easy to replace the ribbon strand.

(All wedding day photos by Root Photography)


I really loved my ribbon veil and it might just be my favorite part of my entire wedding day ensemble.  What do you think?  Would you rock a ribbon veil on your wedding day?

Diana + Jimmy (and a note from Whitney)

Before we get down to the colorful fabulousness that is today’s Real Wedding, I want to take this time to let our readers know that today will be my last post for DIY Bride. Sharing weddings with you for the past year, reading your wonderful feedback, and being a part of the DIY Bride team has been inspirational and wonderful. While I don’t know where I will be settling on the internet yet, I do know it will be heavily influenced and made possible by my time here. Thank you so much for all the love, and let’s get on with what you came here for – today’s Real Wedding!

We’ve all seen dogs at weddings. As ring bearers, flower girls (I’m still waiting for a dog to show as an officiant, FYI), and guests. Diana and Jimmy’s dog was also present at their wedding – along with their pet rabbit! This is just as epic and personal as having bagpipers. Diana also showed off her dancing skills during the reception, and Jimmy showed off his pipes after the couple’s backyard nuptials. Filled with bright colors and a final dip in the pool, Diana + Jimmy’s wedding was person through and through.




Location: California

Photography: Figlewicz Photography

Catering: Liquid Bliss Catering

Hair Dresser: Jena Yanez

Make-up Artist: Jya Tao

Videographer: Lucid Tactics

Graphic Designer (favors): Christopher Brizuela


Recycled Paper Bead Bracelet

Out of all the things I make, my favorite in paper bead jewelry. I love being able to use any paper product to make my beads. As a bride, you might want to make a paper bead bracelet out of vows, lyrics to a song, or that love letter your future husband wrote to you when he realized you were the one he wanted to be with forever. I do recommend making a copy of these priceless things before making them into beads. And the best thing about this jewelry is you can wear it always, keeping it close to your heart.


  • 1- memory wire (4 loops)
  • 21 crystals (any color)
  • 40- 4-mm pearls (any color)
  • 20 oval paper beads

Estimated cost: $15 + paper beads (make with recycled paper for free!)


First, visit my personal blog to learn how to make paper beads. Once you’ve made your beads, you’re ready to begin.

Step 1: With your round nose pliers make a loop at one end of the wire.

Step 2: Begin inserting your paper beads, crystals and pearls. The pattern that I chose was:

Crystal (A), pearl (B), paper bead (C), pearl (B), crystal (A). A, B, C, B, A continue this pattern for twenty sets of A, B, C, B, A.


Step 3: When you are done inserting all your beads, you will have ¼ inch left at the end. With your round nose pliers make a loop at the end. You can add a charm to the loop to give it that special touch.


Paper beads are very cool, and a lot of people are just learning about them.  A bracelet like this is truly one-of-a-kind!

If you have any questions about the paper bead tutorial (linked above), don’t hesitate to email me: martha@diybride.com.



Tara + Frank

Sometimes the best DIY element of all is a rockin’ party. Tara and Frank had that and more at their oceanside wedding, with pops of brightly colored oranges and white hydrangeas. Tara crafted the seating chart, bouquets, and bouts, and the couple was sure to incorporate a cigar bar for a relaxed vibe of vintage Florida and Cuba for their guests. Plus, there were puppies and bagpipers. This wedding is AWESOME.




Location: Delray Beach, FL

Photography: The Big Day Photography

Venue: Colony Hotel & Cabana Club

Dress: J.Crew

Megan + Wil

I love a good romantic wedding. Give me a photo gallery of soft rustic charm, warmth, and swoon-worthy details, and I’m a happy girl. When Megan and Wil decided to make their long-distance love permanent, they settled on a gorgeous venue near her family’s home in Washington for their special day. They used pinks, peaches, oranges, and creams to create their beautiful color palette, and the rustic setting of the day highlights the juxtaposition of textures and DIY details.




Location: Woodinville, WA

Photography: O’Malley Photographers

Video: Branded Films

Venue: Crystal Lake Lodge

Caterer: Twelve Baskets Catering

Florals: Denney Designs

DJ: DJ Romo

Mindy’s 3D Wedding Escort Card DIY Tutorial

Today we are featuring an easy DIY project that will add some pop to your escort cards!

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Cardstock
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Glitter Scrapbook Paper
  • Paper Punch in a shape of your choice
  • Paper Cutting Tool
  • 3D Foam Squares (for scrapbooking)

Estimated cost: $57 for 100 cards
(Note: You can easily make more with additional glitter paper and foam squares for approx. $7 per 100 cards.)

First I found an escort card template at LCIPaper.com. I downloaded the template and then changed the names using a pretty font (I used Dancing Script from Font Squirrel).

Once your seating cards are printed out on cardstock, use your paper trimmer to trim half an inch off each side. Then measure out the half way point on both sides and make the cuts, so you end up with four escort cards.

Turn the seating card over and measure the halfway point where you will eventually bend the card, and draw a line from left to right in pencil.

Next, use a round object as a template to draw a half circle. I used an empty iced coffee bottle and it seemed to be the perfect size. Check the front side of the card before you draw, to make sure you are drawing on the correct side. The half circle should be “above” where the text is.

After tracing the half circle, use the cutting tool to slice through the card stock along the half circle only. Be careful not to cut below the left-to-right pencil line or it will diminish the effect.

Once the half circle is cut, you can bend the paper back to create the escort card tent. You can also use a pair of scissors to carefully trim away any rough edges along the half circle.

Next, use the punch to punch out one shape for each card.

Place a foam square on the back of each shape, then remove the paper backing and stick on to your escort card, in the middle of the half circle.


You can stop here if you want, or you can use a marker to add a bit of flourish to the corners of the card.

You can use the same color or a corresponding wedding color. Or, you can use different colors to signal to the wait staff who gets what meal. For example – use blue for steak, purple for chicken, and green for vegetarian. Or you could even use different color glitter paper or different punch shapes to correspond to the guest tables (the Purple table, the Pink table, or, the Castle table, the Heart table, etc). There are a lot of different possibilities with this DIY project. Have fun!

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