Jennie + Jei-Wei’s Intimate Vegas Extravaganza

Fellow DIY Brides + Grooms, be aware! Today is a long and lengthy one because… well, we’re featuring my wedding! When the idea of me writing and publishing about my own semi-DIY wedding came up, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was up for the challenge. It’s just so much easier to marvel over other peoples’ gorgeous weddings and to criticize your own. But Khris mentioned how nice it would be that since I’m the one writing about my own wedding, that I could share with all you lovelies my experience as a DIY bride.

First and foremost, I want to mention that our wedding was a destination wedding. We, along with most of our friends and immediate family (both of our families are from Taiwan, so only our immediate family members live in the US) reside in the southeast United States, so it was a lot of effort and planning to get everyone to Las Vegas. We were engaged close to 1.5 years before our actual wedding, but we had been together for 9 years prior to getting engaged so I pretty much knew some basic stuff I wanted… a Fall wedding, gorgeous venue, delicious wedding food, and my flowers amazingly pink and romantic- a theme that I wanted to carry through everything set in place for the wedding. To get things started, we took a trip out to Vegas exactly one year before our chosen wedding date and interviewed a lot of vendors. I’m so glad we did that because I really needed to feel a connection with the people I worked with and feel at ease that they know my vision.

We definitely could not have pulled off our dream wedding without the constant support from friends and family, especially my amazing bridal party, and of course, my ever-so-patient vendors. Seriously, I don’t remember how many phone calls/e-mails were exchanged with my super talented florist, Catherine of Layers of Lovely, or with my awesome, multi-tasking venue manager + coordinator, Gina of Red Rock Country Club. They always made themselves as available to me as they could, and tried their hardest to stay true to my vision and budget.

Because we totally splurged on our venue + catering and insisted on having both a photographer (Ron Miller Photography) and a videography team (Something New Films), we tried to DIY everything else that we could. *Keep in mind that we had to worry about shipping and the time we would actually have to set up once we’re in Vegas.

We had a super small and intimate guest list of less than 30 people, so my husband and I set out to make our own invitation suite. I love making my own Christmas cards and already am a proud owner of too many craft tools (Cricut, anyone?), and my husband is pretty handy when it comes to doing quick designs on the computer. I wish Ron was able to take photographs of my Save-the-Date and invitation suite so that I can show you, but here’s a fun fact: Our invitation was modeled after Khris’ own Vegas-themed Save-the-Date shaker in her The DIY Bride: 40 Fun Projects for your Ultimate One-of-a-kind Wedding book.

My best friend and maid of honor, Eunice, worked with me to construct the invite and all the tissue paper pom-poms that were hung over the reception area. We kept all the pom-poms flat so that they’ll be easy to ship, and once we got to our hotel in Vegas, we had a fluff up pom-pom party with all the girls.

Our favor is a laser-cut “Double Happiness” box, a traditional Chinese wedding symbol that’s also represented as our cake topper. I filled the box with some of our favorite Chinese candies, and I made my own place cards and attached each on top of the box. The cake topper was originally a metal silver color, so Jei-Wei left about an inch and a half on the bottom untouched and spray-painted the rest with the traditional red wedding color.

For all of our signs, we found a free floral design that we liked online, and Jei-Wei used his photoshop skills to make matching signs for our menus and instructions for the wishing tree and sparklers exit. I decorated our “bride” and “groom” signs with small accents that you can buy from art stores. We used the wishing tree tags as our “guest book” and asked people to write their well wishes and hang them up. I made those tags with kraft cardstocks and used my Cricut machine to cut out the tags. I then decorated one side with stamps using our wedding date and distressed the edges to make them look rustic.

My scrapbook making skills kicked into high gears for my photo garland and sweets table decoration. Since I have two things to keep in mind: cost and ease of shipping; I had to make sure that whatever I made could be easily packed and transported in our luggage. I used lots of coordinating cardstock, accents, and photographs for both projects, and to save cost, Gina was able to provide a bunch of sign holders to hold my scrapbook photo art.

I also made the tags for the bubble send-off after our ceremony. I found some wide washi tape and address labels small enough to fit on the tape to make the tag and attached it onto the bubbles using ribbons and gold tape I also used on our invites.

I wanted to have a pretty cake stand for my small wedding cake. My florist Catherine is a super amazing woman and found one for me a couple of weeks before the wedding. She spray-painted it to pink and added jewels garland all around to glam it up

Since our furry baby, Machi, was going to be our ring bearer (he wore a chinese red pouch attached to his custom-made bow-tie collar), we had to make sure that our venue would accommodate him. Even though having an outdoor ceremony wasn’t on the top of our list, Gina made having Machi there possible for the entire wedding, and all 3 of us love her and the Red Rock Country Club more for it!

I’m pretty proud to say our guests truly had a blast at our wedding. We turned it into a long weekend extravaganza where most of our guests flew in a couple of days before our Friday affair. We were all able to enjoy and spend time together as a group and party before AND after the wedding. We were worried that because we had such a small party that no one would dance, but hello! parents. Yes, my brother and my parents kicked off the dance party with Gangnam Style and Bee Gees. And the dance party continued on during the after party on the party bus we rented.

In the end, I received everything I asked for and more- amazing food (yes, and even today, I still get raves from guests who came to the wedding) and music (Gangnam Style was hot then and DJ Patrick got everyone dancing… my brother and I even shared a brief special stage together!), beautiful pink and romantic flower and decor, and a gorgeous venue and an equally amazing catering manager/coordinator who saved me a ton of headaches. Planning a destination wedding was hard, but when you hire the right people for you, everything will just naturally fall into place.

I want to give a big shout out to my photographer, Ron Miller, and my videography team, Jimi + Sandi of Something New Films, for staying an extra hour or two after the wedding to fulfill our vision of having a Vegas experience by shooting all over the Strip that night. That was one of our favorite highlights of the wedding, and they were just totally awesome! I also want to give another shout out to Gina and her staff at Red Rock Country Club for being complete angels and taking the task of decorating all of our DIY projects off of our hands.

I hope all you lovely fellow DIY brides/grooms were able to find some sort of inspiration from my wedding. I loved sharing it with you and feel free to ask me for more details!

XOXO,
Jennie

See our awesome Highlight Film from the talented Jimi + Sandi of Something New Films: HERE

 

Photographer: Ron Miller Photography//Wedding Date:09.28.2012//Reception Venue: Red Rock Country Club//Videography: Something New Films//Florist: Catherine of Layers of Lovely//Cake: Las Vegas Custom Cakes//DJ: DJ Patrick of Music Solutions//Hair+Makeup: Your Beauty Call//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Russa + Andy’s Pink and Red Vineyard Wedding

Our featured wedding for the day comes to us from a gorgeous Californian vineyard. Russa + Andy got married on a beautiful day in late October, and the celebration was sentimental and full of lots of fun and love. Captured by Cherie Mariko Photography, this wedding is not short of gorgeous details. They incorporated lots of small personal and meaningful details to make this wedding theirs. Their color palette of soft pink and vibrant reds really spoke romance, and I love how Russa coordinated both colors into her bridal party attire.

I want to highlight the DIY project that Russa’s uncle did for her wedding. He built all of the wooden boxes that they used as the base for the floral center pieces. What was so special about these boxes is that these are the same 100-year old barn wood that Russa’s parents used to originally build their first home! I love how these wooden boxes fit in harmoniously with the rest of the decor, and definitely with the setting.
Russa + Andy’s wedding has so much swoon-worthy moments, and I honestly think it’s because of all the sweet details (I really love that Russa had henna drawn on her hand as a nod to Andy’s Indian background!). It also helps that they have a gorgeous place and a super-talented photographer (Cherie Mariko Photography) that knows all the right moments to capture (one of my favorites is the one of Andy twirling Russa during their First Look). Although I kept ooh-ing and aah-ing all over their photos, what really got to me the most is seeing Russa’s gold locket that she carried on her bouquet. In the locket are two photos of her late father, one of which was one of her and her dad when she was little. She attached it to her bouquet because she wanted to make sure that her father got to walk her down the aisle. I’m not ashamed to admit it, it got me a little teary-eyed to see it and to know about it!

Congratulations to Russa + Andy!!!

 

Photographer: Cherie Mariko Photography//Wedding Date: 10.26.2013//Dress Designer: Bridal Galleria//Dress Designer: Monique Lhuillier//Caterer: Beth Sogaard Catering//Floral Designer:Blossoms by Lisa//Event Planner: So Eventful//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Winter Wonderland Style Shoot in Sonora, CA

Our feature styled shoot this weekend comes from Midview Studios and a few of the awesome vendors from Sonora, California. The photographers wanted to do a snow-filled shoot, and their vision came to life by teaming up with the talented team from Save the Date Events & Planning. With the snowy backdrop, their bride and groom models had no problem steaming up the shoot for the camera, donning dark hues of red and purple.

From the bride model’s makeup to the gorgeous bouquet by Mountain Laurel Florist, this snowy styled shoot is elegant, sexy and romantic, and gives me a bit of mysterious flair to it. Perhaps it’s the awesome decor, or simply the way Midview Studios shoot the pictures, we can all agree this style shoot is fabulous and dreamy (love the chandelier!). Lastly, CornerSpace Cake and Cafe, can I have one of your super delicious looking cupcakes??

Great job to all the vendors who worked on this styled shoot!!

 

Photographer: Midview Studios//Date: 12.15.2012//Flower: Mountain Laurel Florist//Bakery: CornerSpace Cake and Cafe//Makeup Artist: FLAWLESS Hair and Makeup Design//Event Designer: Save the Date Events & Planning//Female Model: Ursula Bahamondes// Male Model: Jake Wacker//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Heather + Chris’ DIY Wedding at the Family Farm

Our second feature for the day is brought to us by Nikki May Day Photography. This colorful summer wedding was held at a farm belonging to Heather’s relatives in Pennsylvania, featuring Lake Erie (for the ceremonial site) and a big barn where the reception was held nearby.

Both Heather + Chris are creative people (Heather art directed and Chris handled design and production). Together, they put lots of neat special touches to their day. From the photographer:

“They designed their own Save the Dates, Invitations, Thank You’s and Programs and they were AWESOME. They even designed their own H&D temporary tattoo’s (which were a huge hit) as well as making their own light up H&D sign. All of the direction signs were hand painted, the wedding pie was home made, the linens were all collected by Heather, and even Heather’s engagement ring was customized by Chris.”
I super adore their invitation suite, I mean, how can you not when you have a couple who are incredibly talented as Heather + Chris? I also love how they are not afraid to use bold colors such as yellow and red to showcase the playfulness of their wedding. Flower seed packets for favors? They totally have my heart!

Congratulations to Heather + Chris!!!
Photographer:Nikki May Day Photography//Wedding Date: 06/15/2013//Dress Designer: Saja//Dress Designer: Saja Wedding//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Erin + Randy’s Antique in the Fall Wedding

Erin + Randy’s Vermont wedding isn’t exactly the type of DIY wedding where everything was done by themselves or family and friends. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t do a whole lot of personalization and created a celebration that was truly theirs. Photographed by Orchard Cove Photography, this wedding features rich hues of the Fall colors- spiced wine, burnt orange, antique gold and lots of ivory.
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During Erin + Randy’s 1.5 years of engagement, they spent many weekends driving all over Vermont antique shopping- mismatched whiskey barrels to mark the aisle, hobnob milk votives, old mason jars to line the perimeter of our venue to create a magical ambiance, antique bronze vases for single buds.

From Erin:

“We repurposed a wooden flower box as our card collector, used Vermont barn board for our ‘Erin & Randy’ sign for the side of the road, found reclaimed apple crates to bring height to our ceremony flowers, created cake stands from vintage cups and platters and opted for a $5 window display with handwritten details instead of typical wedding programs. We made a series of signs to pay tribute to our guests who travelled from all over the country to be with us, noting the distance they travelled to be part of our special day. Instead of paying for calligraphy for our escort cards, we hand-wrote them and stood them up with corks (that our bridal party had a fun time procuring!). We used twine and clothespins to display old photos from our childhood, our parents’ weddings and photos of our guests from years past.


Erin + Randy did such a great job pulling together personal details to pull off this DIY wedding. I love the tribute sign post they made indicating the distance their guests travelled to see them tied the knot. However, my absolute favorite is Erin and her father’s daughter & father dance. How adorable were they!

Congratulations Erin + Randy!!
Photographer: Orchard Cove Photography//Wedding Date: 10/05/2013//Dress Designer: Allure Bridals//Bakery: Caketopia Cakes//Floral Designer:Erin Ostreicher//Dress Store: J. Crew//Invitation Designer:Minted.com//Hair Stylist:Scherdiva Salon//Band: The Grift//Event Venue: Tourterelle Restaurant & Inn//Equipment Rentals: Vermont Tent Company//Officiant:Wendy Bratt//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Jessica + Anthony’s Date at the Orchards Engagement Shoot

Romantic picnic underneath apple trees? Check. Frolicking through pumpkin patches and picking ripen apples from apple trees? Check. This super cute and romantic engagement shoot by Mon Petit Studio was just oozing gorgeous colors and love all over these photos.

 

 

 

I love how this engagement shoot doesn’t really feel like a photo shoot. It actually felt more like a real date Jessica + Anthony were having and Mon Petit Photography just happened to be there to capture it all (*hint* proposal ideas, anyone?). Congratulations to the gorgeous couple, and we can’t wait to see what your wedding will be like in August!
Photographer:  Mon Petit Studio//Shoot Date: Oct 01, 2013//Location:Applecrest Farm Orchards//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Super Love- A Creative Styled Shoot

We featured a fun Real Weddings a couple of days ago where the clever bride crafted a superhero themed get-ready room for the groom and groomsmen. Today, I’m featuring a styled shoot chuck full of great ideas for any Superman lovers out there OR for anyone with red and blue as their main colors. This Superman-inspired styled shoot that the photographer Christine Picheca and wedding planner/stylist Dawn Fillion are sharing with us today called it their “Super Love” shoot. They, along with their talented team of vendors in Ontario, Canada, want to showcase that a couple can be creative, fun, and whimsical, and keep it classy and elegant all the way. They have SO much details going on, I LOVE it!

Where do I begin? SO MUCH DETAIL! The invitation suite is fun and looks like it came straight out of the comics. I absolutely adore the centerpieces of blue hydrangea and red roses. The florist did an incredible job of somehow creating these centerpieces without looking like they’re celebrating Independence Day. Hydrangea and roses are ubiquitous in weddings and these particular types wouldn’t make any budget conscious brides cringe.

The Event planner Dawn Fillion from I Do’s by Dawn was on top of all the Superman details ensuring it created the perfect blend of geek chic. The Superman/Clark Kent painted shoes, the “Super Love” sign, the “Cootie Catcher” Menus and the super-duper adorable sign on the dog were all her inspiration and were created and designed by Carla Tilt of Tilted Shoes and Olga Loeffen of Defining Moments Stationary.
This is definitely one of the best themed style-shoot I’ve seen! From the gorgeous center pieces and bouquet designed by Christine Owen of Settings Design Stylist, to the invitation suite, Dawn Fillion didn’t leave anything to chance. It’s so beautifully styled and incorporated details with so much talent that anyone can be inspired from something in here. I can’t wait to see if one of you will use it in your own engagement shoot/wedding!
Photographer: Christine Picheca Photography//Styled Date: October 12, 2013//Event Planner/Styler/DIY:Dawn Fillion of I Do’s by Dawn: Think Geek, Be Chic//Model(Groom): Damian//Model & Make-up: Ashley//Bride’s Hair: Chelsea’s Hair & Aesthetics//Bride’s Shoes: Carla Tilt of Tilted Shoes//Bride’s Dress & Necklace: She’s So Beautiful//Cake Designer: Mandy Arsenault of Baby Cakes Inc.//Stationary and All Things Paper: Olga Loeffen of Defining Moments Stationary//Museum:Dundurn Castle//Floral Designer/Candy Buffet: Christine Owen of Settings Design Stylist//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Kayla + Jacob’s Glamorous Vintage Wedding

Merry Christmas crafties!  I hope you all had a wonderful day full of family, friends, and lots of love.  Today’s wedding is super vintage glam fest with an edgy feel to it.  Captured by B. Jones Photography this red dazzler is sure to inspire brides to be for all seasons!

 

 

Kayla and her maid of honor made the brooch bouquet together. Most of the brooches featured in the bouquet belonged to Kayla’s late great grandmother or were collected at flea markets. The large key on one side of the bouquet was given to Kayla by her great grandfather before he passed away.  A family friend made the belts special for the bridesmaids.   Every bit of vintage flair was a part of Kayla’s personal collection or loaned to her by her grandmother.   Even the cake topper was her grandparents. 46 years ago.   From the arbor, to the paper flowers, this whole wedding was created by a compilation of family, friends, and loved ones.

Thank you B. Jones Photography for sharing this brilliant wedding!  Congratulations Kayla + Jacob!

Vendor Information:

Date: July 21, 2013

Location: Bellingham, WA

Photographer: B. Jones Photography

Event Venue: Zuanich Boat House

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Haley + Daryn’s First Look/Bridal Session

Bridal sessions are always beautiful.  First looks are always heartwarming and fun.  And then Haley and Daryn come along with Breanna McKendrick Photography to combine two good ideas into one perfect shoot.  While this combo bridal sesh/ first look is a stroke of genius, I have to admit, I keep getting distracted by Haley’s handmade combo gown.  Just like the photos session, Haley combined two looks in the same dress to create a wonderfully whimsy and unique look!

From the photographer:

Haley wanted a rustic look for her bridal/first look session. She found a dress that she loved at David’s Bridal, but knew that the top of the dress was just not for her. With a few snips of the scissors, Haley had her perfect skirt of her wedding dress, and paired it with her country rustic shirt. It was a playful and charming way to really make her dress truly her own and unique.

Paired with a pretty lacy top for the first look, this fab gown is everything rustic and elegant we love!

From color combos to dress combos and shott combos alike, we only hope you’ll share the rest of your wedding combos with us!  Thanks so much Breanna McKendrick Photograpy for being a part of and sharing this super combo shoot!  Congratulations Haley and Daryn!

Vendor Information

Date: July 22, 2013

Location:  American Fork, UT

Photographer: Breanna McKendrick Photography

Event Venue: American Fork Amphitheater

Submitted via Two Bright Lights 

Corinne + Alex’s Red + Black Rockabilly Wedding

When you combine bundt cakes, brooch bouquets and polka dots with a classic red and black color palette, with the superb photography of Logan Walker Photography and a seriously breath taking backdrop you are bound to have an adorable quirky yet classy fete on your hands. Now throw in a serenading bride, some cool kicks, and so many amazing little details and special stories, and you’ll easily see why this Corinne and Alex make this is one fabulously fun retro wedding!

Corinne + Alex’s day goes beyond a wonderfully whimsy wedding; it’s loaded with special meaning too! The pint sized bridal party was headed up by Corinne’s beautiful daughter who sported polka dots and Converse like a pro! Corinne’s sister crafted the fab brooch bouquet that contained her something old, new, borrowed and blue from friends and family. (Bonus. It now serves as a decor staple in Corinne and Alex’s home). Corinne altered her strapless hi-low Oleg Cassini gown to be halter style, tea length perfection that’s hard to believe it’s not a perfect vintage find. And sweetest of all touches are the engagement ring and groom’s ring that are passed down through the family to add that extra special touch of meaning.

From Coke bottle favors to polka dot pearls, there is not one thing I don’t adore about this wedding! Thank you Logan Walker Photography for capturing and sharing this beautiful day! Congratulations Corinne and Alex!

Vendor Information:

Date: August 2, 2012

Location: Herber City, UT

Photographer: Logan Walker Photography

Event Location: Louland Falls

Caterer: Savoury Kitchen Park City

Favors, Gifts, and Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Brides Dress: Oleg Cassini

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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