Design The Perfect Event With The Home Outside Palette App

One of the most stressful parts of DIY wedding planning, as I’m sure those of you without a venue manager or event planner know, is working out the design/layout of your venues. How long should the aisle be? How many seats can you fit in a row? How many tables can you fit in the courtyard? How do you mask the ugly fence that divides the property? What do you do about that one awesome (but awkwardly placed) tree in the garden?

These kinds of decisions can be maddening because there aren’t a lot of space planning resources for DIYers. Many of us do-it-yourselfers just wing it when it comes to laying out our spaces and, goodness, does that ever yield costly mistakes. Budgets are tight, yo! Nobody’s got cash to waste on errors.

(Confession: I crammed too many people into the tiny rose garden amphitheater where I held my own wedding. Not a fun experience for my guests and it could’ve been avoided with better planning. Learn from my mistake!)

All this leads me to introduce you to the Home Outside Palette app (with the $2.99 Weddings and Events add-on) that allows you to mock-up indoor or outdoor spaces. You can add tables, chairs, tents, runners, dance floors, photo booth, and common decor items. The wedding planning app makes it so easy to map out exactly what needs to go where and to share your design ideas with vendors, your wedding party, or your partner via email or social media so you can collaborate on the best layout for your needs. I LOVE THIS!

The Home Outside Palette app is the brainchild of award-winning landscape designer and gardening expert, Julie Moir Messervy of the Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio. Pride of workmanship and solid industry expertise make this a quality app that has its roots in solving real-world design dilemmas.

From a blank event hall to a beautifully designed reception

So, here’s how it works:

1. From the Home screen, click “new” to create a layout.


2. A blank palette will appear; this is the canvas upon which you’ll create your masterpiece. You have the option of changing the background color, adding grids and rulers (very helpful), and using actual photos or maps in your background.  So, you can snap a picture of your venue and add elements right on top of it.

3. The fun begins when you start adding design elements (Palettes) to the canvas: tables, chairs, aisle runners, trees, shrubs, chuppahs, etc.


4. For my test run of the app, I did a simple ceremony layout. It took just a few minutes to get the hang of it.

It’s all drag ‘n’ drop tech, so no worries about figuring out how to use the app. You already know how.

Notice at the top of the app window: it keeps track of the number of seats you create! So smart.

Without grid / with grid and different background.


5. Changing things is super easy. You can resize, tilt, add new elements, delete, undo, create sketches with your finger.

Maybe a fanned-out seating arrangement would be better? Let’s see…

The app lets you get as detailed as you want – or need – to create the perfect event space.


If you’re not feeling very design-y, the team at Home Outside can deliver a personalized wedding design layout through the app that’s based on your submitted site images, property measurements, wedding colors, and other info. The cost is $249; a significant discount on traditional design services.

Beyond the wedding, for you new homeowners, the app can be used to mock up your property and design your yard and garden. Or use it for other parties and events (showers, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).

The Home Outside Palette app is available for iOS and Android devices. Grab it on Google Play or the Apple Store. The app is free but the Wedding & Events Palette add-on is just $2.99. At 3 bucks it’ll be one of your least-expensive wedding purchases and one that’ll actually save you a bunch of cash. How can you not love it?

Want to learn more? Catch the Home Outside team on:

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or sign up for their newsletter.

[Photo Credits: Evening wedding: Gia Canali and Blue and white wedding: Lindsay Raymondjack]


Renee & Chad’s Fun DIY California Wedding

Succulent favors, handmade signs, oversize Jenga games, and a food truck. Oh, where to begin with this wedding? There are so many great details in here, my friends; you are going to love this one!

Renee and Chad’s venue, Lion’s Park, is a rustic and simple lodge nestled in the hills of Carpinteria, California. The happy couple exchanged their vows under a beautiful old tree in the dancing Santa Barbara sunlight.

Renee, a girly-girl at heart, a hard-metals jewelry maker. She wore a vintage gown with a big beautiful bow at the back.

The theme of the day was organic. Wildflowers, succulents, and recycled wooden crates were used for decor. The blue sapphire engagement ring Chad gave Renee served as the inspiration for the cornflower blue elements in the decor.

Renee went all out with the DIY wedding projects you see here. Yay, crafty bride!  She created dream catchers that hung from the gazebo and planted the succulents for centerpieces.

Truly Fancy, their choice of coordinator and florist, and Renee dip-dyed all their napkins to give a blue-ombre effect. The stones on each guests’ place settings were a nod to Renee’s jewelry design background.

Renee’s best friend, Christine of ReCircle Matter, handmade all of the wooden decor and they even got a custom surfboard made to tie in the California theme.

The cocktail hour consisted of lawn games which the groom was especially excited that everyone was enjoying them due to his many hours put into making the corn hole boards and big Jenga pieces!

Renee said: “I loved the DIY part, at times it became very time consuming but I just looked at it as a labor of love. Each element really reflected our personalities and personal style and I don’t think I would have achieved that with store bought items.” She also added: “…making things together was a great experience for us as a couple. We got to be creative, problem solve, and build together and it helped strengthen our relationship and our excitement for our wedding!”

The Lundahl’s chose Georgia’s Smokehouse BBQ food truck for their dinner which served amazing comfort food and donuts and smores for dessert!

They ended the night with a sparklers send-off and then their guests rode back to their hotels on a bus that said “Renee and Chad Just Married!”

Renee & Chad
Lion’s Park, California
Event Date: May, 2014

Photographer:  @ Photography- photography by Alyssa Tembrina//Event Designer: Truly Fancy//Event Venue: Lion’s Park//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Shelby & Patrick’s DIY Rustic Wedding

Shelby and Patrick exemplify how putting a small collection of handmade details together can create a beautiful setting for a wedding without breaking the bank. There’s nothing showy or over-top-here; just a happy couple surrounded by lovely things in the great outdoors of Tennessee. We love the bright pops of coral-y pinks and bright blues that add a bit of fun their rustic-themed day.

Let’s get to know Shelby and Patrick:

How did the two of you meet? Patrick worked with my mom and my mom fell in love with him! Every day she would come home from work and talk about Patrick and how great he was. She finally convinced me to go to work with her and I met him that day.

What was your first date like? We walked along the marina in Oak Ridge and talked for hours! He sang “I don’t want this night to end” by Luke Bryan and we slow danced under the stars while he sang to me.

How did he propose? Well, the day before he proposed, hwent and bought me stuff for a nice bath. He also bought me a dress and scarf from “Tommy Hilfigher”. The next day started off with breakfast in bed. He also had planned (with my sister) a surprise for me scheduled at 12 o’clock. I had no clue what they had planned.

Did you have any DIY projects? If so, what? Where did you get the ideas? Would you do it again? We had tons of DIY projects! Most of our ideas came from looking at ideas on Pinterest and tweaking them to make them fit us. Our biggest project was decorating mason jars to sit on the tables with candles in them. We would definitely do everything we did for our wedding all over again!


Shelby & Patrick
The Barn, Tennessee
Event Date: October, 2014


Photographer:  Star Noir Studio//Hair Stylist:Hair ‘N Makeup by Rachel Dee//Floral Designer: Lisa Foster Floral Design Studio//Dress: White Lace and Promises // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Savvi Formalwear//Groom’s Outfit: Tommy Hilfiger, Etsy for the Bowties, and Savvi// Shoes: Elliott’s Boots // Food: Dead End BBQ// Cake Designer: Sweet Beginnings by Elaine//Rings: Kays Jewelers//Jewelry: Kay Jewelers, Charming Charlie’s//Event Venue:The Barn//Pastor: Jason Stiltner// DJ: Pro-Audio Mobile DJ// Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Introducing the DIY Bride Idea Boards (beta)

Happy Spring, everyone!

We’ve been busy behind the scenes in preparation of the release of upcoming new features on the site so it’s with great pleasure that we get to share one with you today!

Today we’re doing a beta launch for our new section, Idea Boards. It’s a Pinterest-like system where you can pin, share, and organize images. Since it’s only for wedding-related images you’re not going to be bombarded with things like cringe-worthy fad diet recipes, inspirational mommy quotes, or 1001 things you can do with belly button lint.

There are still some rough edges we’re working on but you’re welcome to explore: We’re looking for users to create accounts, pin wedding stuff, and let us know if you experience any site weirdness.

We hope you love the new addition as much as we’ve loved creating for you (which is a lot)!

Groomsmen Love

Today we’re celebrating those under-appreciated pals; those great guys who stand up for (and with) your groom and without whom the wedding would be incomplete: The Groomsmen.  Here are some of our favorite shots of groomsmen goodness.

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Lisa & Kyle’s DIY Wisconsin Farm Wedding

One of the things we evangelize most on DIY Bride is treating your guests well at the wedding. Whether its with great food, ample shelter, or fun activities, making the people who’re sharing your day feel included and comfortable is so important. When we saw this wedding from NYC couple, Lisa and Kyle, their awesome games area at their Wisconsin wedding on a farm, blew us away.

Photographer Katie from Ricard Photography, fills us in on some of the story behind the games:

…They also brought along a lot of really fun yard games for their guests. They wanted their day to be all about fun and family and friends just enjoying their time together. Lisa and Kyle love playing Scrabble, so they decided to build a giant scrabble board, complete with perfectly painted letters (seriously the most amazing thing I’ve seen at a wedding ever). They also created a fun wedding football game that was a big hit with adults and kids alike.

Now that’s an excellent way to for guests to spend time together!

What’s even more impressive is Lisa and Kyle made drove all the way to Wisconsin from New York with a U-Haul full of amazing wedding day details that they made themselves like the french doors used as a backdrop in their ceremony. Kyle put together and mounted the doors himself. They were a beautiful addition, and at the end of the ceremony, they walked through the doors together for the first time as husband and wife.



Lisa & Kyle

Treinen Farm, Wisconsin

Event Date: August, 2014

Photographer:  Katie Ricard Photography//DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Blooms By The Box//Musicians:Genesee Ridge Band//Caterer:JL Richards Catering//Dress Store:Neiman Marcus – Alice and Olivia Geneva//Reception Venue: Treinen Farm//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Brandy & Brent’s Playful Waterside Wedding

I’m just gonna step back and let photographer (and talented story teller), JASMINE FITZWILLIAM of Let’s Frolic Together give us the lowdown of the utterly fabulous wedding of Brandy and Brent:

When I meet with most clients, we usually spend quite a bit of time getting to know each other. On the occasion when a couple comes from afar, it’s sometimes a real challenge to connect. When Brent reached out to me, we only had the chance to chat on the phone briefly and it wasn’t until their wedding day in Marina Del Ray that I discovered (with immense delight) what totally awesome people they are!

Leading with the loosely Asian theme of Shanghai Red’s, Brandy & Brent didn’t splash out on the most expensive and extravagant decor, instead choosing little details like charming patterned lanterns that had such a great impact and the quirky mood of Shanghai Red’s. With its Koi fish, waterfalls, and bamboo all of the quirky details came together so oddly perfectly for these two buoyant souls. The snazzy colorful wayfarers were the cutest wedding favors, and yes, we watched seals catch meals, and seagulls threaten us overhead. And then, love. Vibrant red, glowing, kissing, laughing, frowning, tender, snuggling, rosy love.


Brandy, this tattooed, high-energy cutie, was pretty much the best thing since sliced bread. I turned a corner and suddenly saw her as a satellite of love in dizzy orbit. While getting ready, snazzy Brandy would giggle and wave in her sweetly vintage dress at every passer-by, and cry out: “I’m getting married, today!”.

When Brandy appeared at the head of the aisle at the ceremony, bubbly with tears, quiet Brent transformed to a beaming ray of light. When people have that kind of transformational impact on one another, it gives me the warmest fuzzies. Watching these two together filled me with a big ol’ happiness that left me smiling long after the wedding was done. I love when a bride and groom have their priorities straight — when they focus on the things that really matter: their community and each other. This is why I love shooting gatherings so much. So many energetic people come together to pool their bits of happiness, and throw a hell of a raucous event. Even the kids throw their two cents in. Man, it was a dancing *throwdown*. It was just the right day. Just right for these two. Just right for the people they rallied all around themselves. Just right indeed.

This wedding, for us at the DIY Bride, fills us with warm fuzzies, too! We love how Brandy and Brent took a quirky take on “vintage” and made it so vibrant and fun.


Brandy & Brent
Shanghai Red’s, California
Event Date: July, 2013

Photographer:  Let’s Frolic Together//Bridesmaid Dresses:David’s Bridal//Hair Stylist:Kyla Biba//Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Warehouse //Cake Designer: portos bakery//Reception Venue: Shanghai Red’s//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Charissa & Josh’s Sweet and Free-Spirited Wedding

This wedding. Oh, this wedding. Charissa and Josh have made it incredibly hard to narrow down the images from their wedding into a manageable gallery. There are so many lovely details here – plus a wonderfully happy and adorable couple – that I had no other choice than to pack this post to the brim with tons of pics from their fun-filled DIY day in New York.

Photographer, andres valenzuela tells us:

This beautiful wedding is so fitting for these two individuals- whimsical, unpretentious, full of community, and full of love! This day would not have been possible without help from their many dear friends- none were spared! Their friend, Chris Smith, helped with the wedding planning. Their reception was held in the backyard of beloved friends, Tim and Sarah. Hair and Makeup were graciously and beautifully done by another friend, Jules. Invitations were executed by a friend, Jessica. And the music at their reception was provided by two friends of the couple, Bill and Jon. And lastly, their friend Sara made the cake.



Photographer:  andres valenzuela photography//Catering: Tarantella’s in Nyack, NY//Flowers: Shoprite//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Collect Your Wedding Guests’ Photos With Togetherist

Once upon a time, like in the olde days when I got married, couples often provided guests with disposable cameras to take shots of the wedding and reception. The idea was guests would snap away and capture precious, candid moments that a pro photographer may have missed. After the big day, you’d take those cameras to a local film development counter and … get back hundreds of blurry shots of random stuff in exchange for all of our money. [True story: we did this and got back dozens pictures of a soda can taken by a very tipsy guest (hey, Matt!) who thought he was being funny.]

Sometimes guests might even bring their own film camera and promise to send copies of the excellent shots they bragged about having taken and, well, that rarely ever happened. The early 2000s were the Dark Ages of image sharing.

In this glorious age of digital awesomeness where every nearly guest over the age of 12 has a smart phone with a cool camera and is an expert amateur photographer, you don’t have to worry about paying to develop crummy pictures you don’t want.  You do, however, need a way to collect the shots you want that doesn’t require you scouring your family and friends’ social network accounts or go begging them to send you copies. That’s where our newest partner, Togetherist, comes in.

Togetherist makes it ridiculously easy for you to bring all of the digital pictures from your wedding guests into a single place. All you have to do is sign up for the service and pick a phone number where guests can send the shots. Your guests will be notified via text message where to send the images and the sent images will go directly into your account. There’s no downloading of apps or need to learn a new program; guests just send photos directly to your account number from their phones. Everyone knows how to do that, right? SO. EASY.

Plans start at $20 for a gallery of 100 images and, since you don’t have to print any image fro your photo collection you don’t want, this ends up being an inexpensive alternative to disposable cameras. (And more environmentally friendly, too!)


BONUS! The fine folks at Togetherist are offering the first 25 brides to use the code DIYBRIDE when signing up for an event $5 off their event. Just visit and sign up for an account. Create your first event and enter the code along with payment information.


Keep in touch with Togetherist at where they share tips and ideas on fun ways to use Togetherist during your big day, as well as future discounts.


Haydn & Wesley’s Sweet Southern Wedding

Southern weddings have hold a special place in our hearts and Haydn and Wesley’s big day is the definition of sweet and southern.

Local, hometown family and friends put on their cowboy boots and gathered in this Alabama barn to watch this union they all knew was meant to be. Held in a backyard, charming details are abundant:  hand-tied florals, a homemade wedding cake, and home-grown love and hospitality filled the air all day long.


Haydn & Wesley
Elberta Community Center, Alabama
Event Date: April 2014


Photographer:  Aislinn Kate Photography//Event Venue:Elberta Community Center//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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