Chrystal + Dan’s Summer Woodland Wedding

When I tell you that today’s wedding is rich in rustic details, it is the understatement of the year.  You have hit the DIY jackpot today!  Best part about it all, it’s an unintended DIY day.  With some of the most detailed DIY info I’ve ever seen since using the first DIY Bride book for my wedding, Chrystal hooked us up with all of her ideas, thoughts and creations.  Pulled together through fantastic friends and family, Chrystal and Dan’s awesome nuptials were way beyond a just a wonderful wedding celebration.  Joan Allen has brilliantly photographed this ethereal vintage meets woodsy, Lake Tahoe summer wedding into a gallery you’ll be pinning for days.

From the bride:

Daniel and I didn’t set out to do a DIY wedding, we intended more so to do “our” wedding. That meant our amazing group of friends and family would be largely involved. Without them, so many aspects of our wedding would not have happened. What came out of it was not just Daniel and I getting married, it was a celebration of and testament to community and love of which everyone was involved.   As with everything else, we couldn’t fathom paying someone wedding level costs for something we were certain we could take on ourselves plus 10 times more “us”.  The result: A concept to reality with just a little imagination.

As beautiful as every last lace covered branch on the manzanita altar is, or as amazing as the from scratch photobooth backdrop towers, my personal favorite idea of Chrystal and Dan’s was:

“the idea of asking our close friends to each take an apothecary jar and take on full direction of filling and decorating it. There were no rules, only that they knew they would be centerpieces. The creativity and enthusiasm that our friends applied to the task was amazing and breathtaking.”

Talk about personal and creative conversation starters.  The list could go on and on but I will simply say that you must lose yourself in this DIY dream gallery for a while.  A gallery that would not have been possible without the eye of Joan Allen Photography.  Thank you Joan Allen, and congratulations Chrystal and Daniel!


Vendor Information:

Photographer: Joan Allen Photo

Caterer:  The Cheeseboard

Floral Designer:  Not Just Flowers,San Francisco Flower District

Reception Venue:  Painted Rock Lodge
Dress Store:  SHADOWS
Other:  Flax Paper,Alpine Meadows Stables
DJ:  DJ Augustine
Makeup Artist:  The Decorated Bride
Jewelry:  Manika Jewelry,Dianne’s Old & New Estates
Dance Instructor:  Val Cunningham
Bakery:  Cake Works
Second Shooter:  Sarah Corbett Photography
Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Nicole + Greg’s Canada Cottage Wedding

Today’s wedding is not only an example of eco-friendly wedding inspiration, and wedding weekend fun; it sets a new bar for DIY.  Talk about making it your own!  Everything from the mini canoes and floral arrangements to the shirts on their backs and even down to the rings was handmade.  Nicole and Greg’s goal was to a summer camp, destination type weekend wedding where their guests could enjoy Greg’s family cottage on Otter Lake in Ontario, Canada.  The organic, woodsy wonderfulness was captured brilliantly by Teresa Rehmann who also shared all of the little details of this sweet and relaxed celebration of love.

From the photographer:

The weekend started with their sunrise ceremony on Friday morning, after the couple went for a canoe ride around the lake.  For Greg and Nicole, creating their own ceremony and rethinking the meaning of marriage and the purpose of the celebration was a crucial part of the weekend. They worked with Greg’s dad and uncle, both ministers, to create a ceremony that reflected their values and interpretation of life-long commitment.  This led to some DIY tradition creation!  They chose to include an old Celtic tradition of handfasting, performed by Greg’s brother and his partner, and for which they handmade a beautiful hemp rope.   Greg’s mom and brother collaborated to write and perform a song of the promises Greg and Nicole wrote, as a gift for the newlyweds.  Greg and Nicole also took a ring-making course and made their own wedding rings!

Other DIY elements included the chalkboard signs and glasses, outdoor seating on hay bales, a “memory tree” guestbook, and log stump seating.  The little canoes on tables were made by hand and Greg’s mom crocheted little butterflies for favors.  The flowers and boutonniere were made by a friend from wildflowers and twine.  Nicole’s parents hand weaved Greg’s shirt, and as well!) and Nicole’s mom made her blue shawl.  Thank you Teresa Rehmann Photography for capturing the fantastically laid back, budget-friendly, beautiful details of this woodland wedding.  Congratulations Nicole and Greg!  Thank you for sharing your sustainable and attainable DIY ideas!

Vendor Information:

Photography: Teresa Rehmann Photography


Robin + Paul’s Breathtaking Beach Wedding

Part two of today’s bonus holiday DIY wedding inspiration is sure to get you in the mood for some summer lovin’.  Full of romance and adventures in DIY, Robin and Paul’s St. Simon’s Island, Georgia destination wedding is the kind of wedding you that needs a hyperventilation warning.  Trust me, you’ll be gasping so much at the gorgeous photos of April Lambert Photography that capture such simple and modern holy-moly-beach-beauty there’s a good chance this wedding could truly take your breath away.

There’s just something about this one.  Maybe it’s the simplicity of the easy, breezy style of raffia and starfish and thinking of sinking my toes into the sand. Maybe it’s the way adoring, arbor building Paul looks at Robin that shows you how special their connection is.  It could be Robin’s handsome guitar playing son who broke a pick and caused an pre-ceremony treasure hunt across the island for a new one.  Or maybe it’s Robin’s screen siren style complete with beach curls and shell adorned gown that’s grabbing my attention?


Ultimately, I think it’s the fact that April Lambert Photography captured the relaxed and equally sophisticated style of a couple that is so very in love.  The kind of love that just takes your breath away and has remembering those summer nights forever.  Thank you April Lambert Photography for sharing this, and congratulations Robin and Paul!

Vendor Information:

Photography: April Lambert Photography

Event Venue: St. Simon’s Island, Georgia

Submitted via Two Bright Lights


Kelly + Anthony’s Classic Coastal Wedding

Summer is here!  Oh! Happy Day!  Grab your bikes and head to the boardwalk.  But, if I could recommend just one thing first.  Grab your favorite coffee mug (soon to be your second favorite since you’ll be lusting after these favors) and warm up for your summer lovin’ fun with this first wedding sent over by Damian at Junai Photography.  (Oh yeah.  Your in for a holiday two-fer today.)  Kelly and Anthony’s day was so impeccably decorated, that Junai had a hard time believing it was a DIY day.

From the pretty eyelet lace leaves on the hand-painted trees and the fabric flowers decorating the vintage bicycle, Kelly and Anthony’s wedding blended whimsical, classic and vintage details together so perfectly it should be poured into a mug and enjoyed with a fine dessert.  Well, would you look at that, Kelly and Anthony have already taken care of that for us.  You will be sure to be singing “Oh Happy Day”  as you sip in this amazing gallery full of good times and DIY.

Thank you Junai Photography for snapping this stunning soiree and making my happy day.  Congratulations  Kelly and Anthony, may you many happy days to come!

Vendor information:

Photographer:  Junai Photography

Event Venue:  Lido Isle Yacht Club

Submitted via Two Bright Lights


Lorel + Sean’s Whimsy Just Because Engagement

Happy holiday weekend crafters!  Whether you will be roasting your hot dogs and s’mores on the beach or in the woods, set up camp here this morning for some amazing inspiration.  Lorel and Sean decided to do a just for funsies couple shoot which is full of whimsical, movie themed details that bring you somewhere back to being a kid in your basement and watching the dancing popcorn concession trailer at the drive-in.  Who says you have to have a ring to show off your couple cuteness factor?

Even though these two acting students may be comfortable in front of audience, there’s no doubt that the magic between these two lovebirds is like the combinations of popcorn and Raisinettes: 100% pure goodness.  Sweetly shot by Emmy Lou Virginia Photography, we can’t thank you enough for this sneak-peek.

Good luck Lorel and Sean on your sure to be prosperous endeavors!  We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s show and have healthy, happy holiday weekend!


Vendor Information:

Photographer: Emmy Lou Virginia

Event Venue: Stanley Park

Ju + Derrick’s Modern Beach Engagement

Engagement sessions just keep surprising me in the best way possible.  What’s better than a beach, a balloon, and cute pup for an engagement session?  How about several wardrobe changes, a photographer like Mike L Photography, and a totally B.A. couple willing to capture their love and romance in a fun and whimsical way?

 Ju and Derrick seem to have combined their crazy-fun spirits with romance and mystique at the beach, the Griffith Observatory, and Chinatown.  I love the modern shots and poses that give you a hint of their bright personalities.  You just know these two are a blast to be around!

Thank you Mike L Photography for sharing this fantastic shoot! To Ju and Derrick who are hopefully reveling in marital bliss and just returning from a bomb diggity honeymoon, congratulations!!!

Vendor Information:

Photographer: Mike L Photography

Event Venues: Huntington Beach

Griffith Observatory

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Tara + Justin’s Country Chic Wedding

This is a special week for me.  I’m feeling very connected to our Real Weddings this week.  Let’s see, we’ve had a baby and today I get the share the culmination of the love shoot that changed my whole outlook on engagement sessions.  Remember these country cuties?  (In case you missed it, be sure to check out the Seriously Sabrina E-sesh here.) For Tara and Justin, their big day has finally come and Seriously Sabrina has once again detailed all of the DIY details so beautifully I can’t help but grin from ear to ear like a proud DIY Mama.

This wedding truly is a barn burner, because the decorations are DY-NO-MITE!!!  I just can’t get over how the Red Orchard Barn feels so cozy with its country touches yet stays so classy with the elegant draping and twinkling lights.  (Have I mentioned that  I think burlap and denim is my new favorite color combination?  Yep, I said color… When something works you just go with it man!)  And that altar!!!!!  The hay bales, and garland curtain, and roses- Oh My!  It can’t get any better!  Unless of course it doubles as the dessert table backdrop too.  Please excuse me as I faint with delight.

Seriously Sabrina has captured every little elegant rustic nuance from Tara’ s romantically ruffled gown and bubbled burlap wreath centerpieces, to the calendar guest book and Tara and Justin’s romantic tractor getaway.  I am so thankful that this team has shared this amazing day with us!  Congrats Tara + Justin!

Vendor Information:

Photographer: Seriously Sabrina 

Event Venue: Red Orchard Barn

Submitted via Two Bright Lights


Thalia + Andy’s Rural Barn Wedding

One of the cool parts about this job is that fantastic artists like Teddi Yeager Photography make you feel like a virtual guest at some happy couple’s big day.  Every once in a while, we need to be nosy and pick the brains of our creative couples.  An email here, a thank you there, and we have the all of the details our bandwidth can handle.  But today’s wedding is a little special for me.  I actually got to speak, well, text, with the bride herself and get to share some great news.  As if you needed a reason to love barn weddings more, we have Thalia and Andy’s wedding which is chock  full of big smiles and dripping in DIY gorgeousness.  Even better, it’s a wedding with a really happy ending!

From Thalia’s brilliantly beaded princess gown and the mismatched multi-color ribbons, to the twig and floral archway and hay bale seating, Thalia and Andy have achieved a perfect union of classic rustic details.  DIY’ing everything from invites and centerpieces to hair and make up.  And yep, they even wrote their own vows. I’m also starting to get convinced that a country style wedding isn’t truly complete without horses, chickens and a few donkeys.  You simply must view the entire gallery to make sure you enjoy the scrumptious dessert buffet and wedding cake masterfully crafted by the groom’s sister.

Ultimately, Teddi Yeager Photography has allowed us to share the fun and festivities with Thalia and Andy on their big day.  It’s the guilty pleasure part of wedding gawking that a great photog shares to make you feel like a member of the family.  Speaking of family members, not only do we thank Teddi Yeager Photography for adding us to the guest list, but we would like to congratulate Thalia and Andy on their new addition!  Yep the happy ending to this tale is a new bundle of joy whose girly nursery is surely decked out in some sweet DIY.  Congrats on your wedding and the best wishes with the baby Thalia and Andy!  Thank you for taking the time to chat!

Vendor Information:

Photography: Teddi Yeager Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Ashley + Sean’s Budget Friendly Backyard Wedding

Weddings are a team sport.  They require all the main player to reach a level of synchronicity and synergy that professional sports teams strive for through grueling hours of practice, practice, practice.  And when you’re on a budget, a good team is what can make or break your big day.  Ashley + Sean’s wedding is proof of how championship teams are often right in our own backyards.  Today’s flower filled fete had a terrifically talented pool of friends and fam to pick from including a chef, a songstress and an incredibly creative and skilled Dad.   MickoPhotos has beautifully documented the day and the DIY deets and vintage touches (like Ashley’s amazing gown) that make this backyard beauty a winner!

From the bride:

Our whole wedding was DIY, creative and personal. It was done with the help and talents of so many of our friends and family. I designed and we hand printed all of our invitations. My maids of honor wrote and performed an original song during our ceremony that all of our wedding party and then all of our guests chimed in on.  My sister in law wrote and recited a poem, my father designed and built our chuppah. My brother, a chef, created the menu and prepped all the food with our friend. A family friend made our delicious carrot cakes and designed our beautiful dessert buffet. Friends and family contributed flowers from their gardens and helped us arrange the flowers and bouquets. Another of my friends did my hair and make up. I could go on and on, we have amazingly talented friends and family and they all contributed in their own way with every aspect of the wedding which made it so personal, special and memorable.

Part of what makes a great team work is trusting each other and giving credit where credit is due.  Well, Dad, amazing hustle on that chuppah!  It’s so pretty I would want to hang out under it all day, every day.  And bro-man, a menu that good deserves an end-zone dance.  Get the high fives and butt-pats going after all the contributions every line made to this wedding.  This goes for MVP’s Ashley and Sean too! A great team follows a great couple; which is easy to spot in the emotion and fun captured by Martina at MickoPhotos.  Congratulations Ashley and Sean!  Thanks Martina at MickoPhoto for submitting the best kind of championship ring ceremony.

Vendor Information:

Photography: MickoPhoto

Tent and rentals: Green Mountain Tent Rentals

Band: Will Patton

Food: Zachary Corbin

Desserts: Patricia Johnson

Dress: Palm Beach Vintage

Bridal Bouquet: Windham Flowers

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Cierra + Martin’s Playful Engagement

Sometimes, no matter how good our intentions are to be offbeat and original, we can easily get lost the inspiration of all things wedding and suddenly find ourselves walking through the woods to get that gorgeous shot when the closest thing we get to the outdoors in our everyday lives is trekking through the jungle in the new Tomb Raider game.  Lucky for us, our DIY bride couples never lose sight of what’s important- YOU!  Kimberly at Hand in Hand Photography has sent us Cierra and Martin’s offbeat love shoot that proves just that.

From the photographer:

Cierra and Martin are amazing. and fun. and ridiculously in love.  For their engagement they wanted something totally fun and offbeat and went to the Family Fun Center in Edmonds, WA.  They wanted to have a not only a kick butt session but a great EXPERIENCE.

And kick-butt it was! (I just hope Cierra’s not kicking my butt in those fantastic mint heels.)  A perfectly playful and posh shoot that proves all you need is some real romance to ooze off the photos.  Thanks Hand in Hand Photography capturing that, and congratulations Cierra and Martin!


Vendor Information:

Photgrapher:  Hand in Hand Photography

Venue:  Family Fun Center

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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