Lauren & Justin’s Waterfront DIY Wedding

Trends come and go but sentimental details, the things that have true meaning in a couple’s life, are what make a wedding truly special. Lauren and Justin’s Connecticut wedding was full of  DIY details created with the help of very special family members. The result is a beautiful wedding day full of love, laughter, and style.

From the Lauren:

We really wanted to let the natural beauty of Harkness shine through on our wedding day. In our minds, we wanted the styles to be simple yet elegant – just like Harkness. I’ve been going to Harkness since I was a little girl, and I never get tired of the beautiful views across the lawn out to the ocean. That view became the inspiration for the blue and green color scheme of the wedding. I designed the save the dates and invitations from scratch, working closely with Paper Source to ensure that everything would work together. My mom beautifully wrote our save the dates by hand and I hand painted each one with water colors in a gradient from blue to green. When it came to our invitations, I wanted to incorporate Crane paper as a tribute to the many years that my Grandmother worked for Crane and Co. Our invitation card was printed on Crane paper and our enclosure cards were printed on Paper Source paper, which were then hand painted. One night, I sat around the kitchen table with my Mom and Grandma and we cut out all of the envelope liners and attached them to the envelopes. My Grandma was quality control and even sent a couple to the reject pile that weren’t quite up to par. Shortly after, she passed away, which makes that time together all the more special and more meaningful that she was honored with our invitations.

Instead of doing all the flowers, I decided that we would create bridal party bouquets. Carol Mann from Brambles and Bittersweet took charge of the rest of the flowers- and what an incredible display she created! I wanted my bridesmaids to have their own personalized bouquets. The day before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I picked green Hydrangeas from my Mom’s garden, which we would all have in our bouquets. Centerpieces for the dining tables consisted of collections of vintage bottles, antique glass insulators, and mason jars with glowing candles to add to the ambiance. Carol Mann completed the look by filling each glass bottle with a single stem of flowers creating a simple, yet beautiful display. Antique fishnet floats, handmade glass ornaments, seashells and starfish, sea glass, sea fans, vintage prints, and flickering candles adorned the mantles and bookcases throughout the mansion.

I had hoped that both of my Grandmothers would be well enough to attend our wedding and be our flower girls. Unfortunately, neither could physically be there. So I wrapped my bouquet with a white and blue doily from my Dad’s mom and added a bracelet from my Mom’s mom (who recently passed) for a little bit of sparkle. They were both there in spirit, walking me down the aisle with my flowers.

Over the years, my Godmother had given me a number of beautiful pearls for birthdays and other special occasions, with the intent of one day making them into a necklace. My mom had a collection of various loose vintage pearls and we purchased some fresh water pearls to add some contrast to the round pearls. My mom and I spent a few nights stringing together the 3 different strands of pearls and twisted the 3 strands so they were intertwined.

The Bar: My Grandmother, who passed away in May, was always up for a good time with family and friends. She would have loved this wedding. In her honor, we named the bar after her: “Helen’s Bar, Home of warm friends, cold drinks, and good times”. We decorated the bar with purple flowers – her favorite. My mom handwrote the sign for the bar displaying our signature drinks, including a drink named after each of our dogs – Maizie and Joe.

Guest Book: I was in search of an idea for a non-traditional guest book, since I didn’t want something that would be stashed away in a box, never to be seen again. I found a couple of small dead trees from a local nursery and thought they would be perfect to hang paper cranes on. We asked our guests to write their name and a wish on a crane, which we plan to string together as a garland and hang in our home – as a piece of art and as a remembrance of our wedding day.

Favors: The majority of our guests were traveling some distance to attend our wedding. We wanted to give them a favor that would act as a goodie bag for their travels home. It was also really important to us to use locally sourced products that had some sort of significance to us. Each gable box was wrapped in decorative paper and stuffed with sea salt kettle corn, a lobster lollipop, sea salt caramels (all from Volante Farms in Needham, MA) and salt water taffy from Old Port Candy Co. in Portland, ME.

From Justin:

I wanted to give Lauren something really special as an engagement ring. I also knew that she didn’t want something traditional and “blingy”, so I had the good sense to talk to her about what she liked and disliked. I consulted a friend about ring making classes and talked with her about the ring I wanted to make. Unfortunately, I also discovered that crafting a ring from start to finish could take several months, especially for a complete novice like me. So I did the next best thing – I found an independent designer in NYC – Katrina LaPenne – whose rings were exactly what I had hoped to make for Lauren. I loved that they were unconventional and subtle, yet elegant and stunning (just like the woman I intended to marry.) Even though the wedding is over, I’m still planning to make Lauren that special ring someday.

Lauren & Justin
Thoughtful Waterfront DIY Wedding at Eolia Manion
Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park, Connecticut
Event Date: August, 2014


Photographer:  Katie Slater Photography//Caterer: A Thyme to Cook//Musicians:Allyn Donath//Floral Designer:Brambles and Bittersweet//Makeup Artist: Dana Bartone & Co. Salon andSpa//Reception Venue: Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park//Ring Designer:Katrina LaPenne//Invitation Designer: Paper Source//Other:Raspberry Knoll Farm//Equipment Rentals: Ryan Designs//DJ: Spin Enterprise//Groomsman Attire:The Tie Bar//Dress Designer:Watters//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Sonia & Matthew

Sonia and Matthew knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding: a venue that was reliable, reasonably priced and the perfect atmosphere for our lively guests. After visiting the Riverview, they booked it the following week – and how right they were! The venue proved to be utterly wonderful from the friendly staff to the beautiful decor and kick-ass dance floor as you’ll see in the pictures below.

According to Sonia, deciding the décor or theme of their wedding was one of the hardest tasks.

We perused all the normal online sites: TheKnot, WeddingWire, Pinterest, and Etsy. We didn’t want our décor to be “ordinary” and I stumbled upon the idea of paper flowers to substitute all flowers that would naturally be in a wedding. The last place I imagined provided us with all of the necessary skills: YouTube! Trial after trial we came up with 6 different paper flowers that were presentable, and when put together as a centerpiece or bouquet – they were fabulous! Most of the work was put forward by my mother and I (and some from the hubby!) on boring winter nights. Overall, it took us about ten months to make all of the flowers for 15 centerpieces and 8 bouquets. Looking back it was everything I imagined – elegant, atypical and just as beautiful as real flowers. Today, friends and family have the centerpieces as décor throughout their homes. My bouquet is an accent piece in my dining area, and I cherish the fact that the beauty of the flowers will never die.

All of the hard work (and love) shines right through. Check it out for yourself!

Sonia & Matthew
The Riverview, Connecticut
Event Date: August, 2013

Photographer:  Christina Corneau Photography//Musicians: Entertainment Specialists//Dress Store:Harold’s Bridal//DJ: MUSIC IN MOTION//Specialty Foods: One Hope Wines//Makeup Artist:Salon Le Rae//Hair Stylist:Salon LeRae//Reception Venue: The Riverview//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Hannah + Sean’s DIY New England Wedding

Hannah + Sean, together with their family, created this DIY New England backyard wedding. And this isn’t your usual backyard wedding by any means. With the gorgeous weather accompanied by beautiful and serene view of Mystic Harbor, Brigham & Co. didn’t miss a beat.

So many little DIY projects were created to make this wedding oh-so-special for Hannah + Sean. Just to name a few, they made their ceremony programs, guestbook, chalkboard signage, and streamer decoration. But what really stood out for me wasn’t all the neat DIYs, but the meaningful gestures their family shown… Sean’s dad officiated their wedding and the cute vintage cake topper was used for both Hannah’s grandparents’ wedding as well as her parents’ wedding. In fact, her grandparents used it for their 50th anniversary last summer! How awesome to have such a sentimental piece to be passed down from generations to generations.

Congratulations to Hannah + Sean!!

Photographer: Brigham & Co.//Wedding Date:08.10.2013//Location:Ender’s Island//Hair Stylist:Hair Unique//Cake Designer:Mystic Market East//Caterer:Paul’s Catering//Floral Designer:Sarah Blakmar//Dress Store: Vows Bridal Outlet//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Jessica + Arek’s Elegant Yellow Wedding at Wadsworth Mansion

For their big day, Jessica + Arek incorporated wine corks (for their mutual love of wine) and honored Arek’s Polish heritage by including Polish traditions. Captured by the lovely Michelle Girard Photography, their summer wedding at the beautiful Wadsworth Mansion was an elegant affair with lots of white & yellow.



Although there aren’t that many big DIY projects present in this elegant modern wedding, Jessica + Arek made sure to personalized as much as they can. They personalized beer mugs for groomsmen and hoodies for bridesmaids. They incorporated Arek’s Polish heritage into the decorations by using empty Polish liquor bottles as vases as well as adding a Polish Ritual for Health and Peace into their ceremony. As mentioned, the couple’s mutual love for wine is displayed using wine corks as decoration in vases as well as on reception tables. They also put together really simple and elegant center pieces by only using wine glasses and candles.


My favorite part of Jessica + Arek’s elegant wedding was the “First Looks”. There was the “First Look” with Jessica and her father, and then the “First Look” with Jessica + Arek. Michelle Girard captured perfectly how the men were just stunned by how amazing Jessica looked.

Congratulations to Jessica + Arek!!


Photographer: Michelle Girard Photography//Wedding Date:08.17.2013//Dress Store: Bridal Heirlooms//DJ:CNT Entertainment//Floral Designer: Dandelions //Makeup Artist: Makeup Artistry by Liz//Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Modern Formals//Dress Store: Pearl Bridal Boutique//Reception Venue: Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Margo + Chris’ Beautiful Rustic Summer Engagement Session

This Summer engagement shoot by Daphne and Dean has got to have one of the most props I have ever seen. Margo + Chris have lots of gorgeous vintage pieces for their table decorations and big window panes hanging as one part of their backdrop in their beautiful engagement session. Check them out!


At the time of submission, Margo + Chris’ photography team Daphne and Dean told us that they’re prepping for their barn wedding. If they put in this much detail into their engagement shoot, I absolutely cannot wait to see what their wedding would be like!


Photographer: Daphne and Dean//Shoot Date:08.25.2013//Event Venue:The Dudley Farm//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Kaitlyn + Tim’s DIY In-the-Woods Wedding

You don’t have to completely DIY everything in your wedding to be considered as a DIY wedding. Here at DIY Bride, we very much appreciate seeing different creative ways couples and their friends and family come up with to personalize the wedding. This summer Connecticut wedding I’m sharing with you this morning is a spectacular all hands-on wedding from Katie Slater Photography. Kaitlyn + Tim both come from a family history of farmers, so it only makes sense for their union to be set in the beautiful outdoors. Their apparent love for nature, farming, and rustic touches dominate as the main themes for their wedding.

Oh look at that all pink peony bridal bouquet! What a beauty! Swoon. You know what else is also very dreamy and hikes up the envy-meter? Horse-drawn carriage. That’s right! Kaitlyn + Tim had horse-drawn carriage to transport all of the wedding party to where the ceremony was held… with all the guests looking on. But their picture-perfect day started even before that, where they shared a very emotional First Look.

Notable DIY details from Kaitlyn:

“Tim works for the state cutting down trees. He cut down a beautiful birch and I demanded that he take it home and not waste its beauty in a wood chipper. He cut them into round disks using our neighbor’s amazing saw. The mason jars were originally clear and we used glass paint to make them appear to be a vintage mason jar blue. The mason jar decorations were hand assembled…The table numbers were all hand made from sticks in my back woods. This was my friend Tara’s idea. She deeply regrets it because it took countless hours to make them all! The rest of the materials were from and were assembled by my bridesmaids and I. The tea stained doilies were actually stained using diluted coffee at 3 am two days before the wedding. Tim was laughing because he didn’t think he would ever in his life dry 300 doilies at 3 am with a hairdryer in a room full of girls…

(For wedding favors) Tim and I have 60 blueberry bushes. We honestly picked every single blueberry produced by our bushes the summer prior to our wedding. They are heirloom organic berries. The mothers and I made made several batches of our secret blueberry lemon jam recipe. It took days! My maid of honor designed the labels for the jars. My bridesmaids helped cut the fabric and tie each and every jar.Place stickers were also designed by my MOH.

The archway decoration for the ceremony was made with materials from and my MOH and I created it together over a few days…” Fantastic job done on the arch you two! I love it when besties work on pretty projects together!

I want to mention one last very sweet detail this couple did. Kaitlyn + Tim had a candle made (shown above) in honor of his older brother Andy who passed away when Tim was in 8th grade. Kaitlyn mentioned that it was very hard for Tim not to have his brother there, so this was their way of making sure his presence was there.


“The candle was a vase engraved with “In Loving Memory of Andy.” We filled the vase with water and added a floating candle to the top. This way his candle will never burn down and can be lit for years to come. Tim’s younger brother Casey asked to have it for his wedding coming up in the fall of 2014.”

Thank you Kaitlyn + Tim and  Katie Slater Photography for sharing with us this beautiful & super dreamy DIY wedding!


Photographer:  Katie Slater Photography//Wedding Date: June 29, 2013//Transportation:Cedar Knoll Draft Horses//Cake Designer: Chocolate Rose Bakeshop//Floral Designer:Edinboro Flower Shop//Dress Store: La Reine Bridal//Dress Designer:San Patrick//DJ:Upbeat DJ//Reception Venue:Wright’s Mill Tree Farm//Bridesmaid Dresses:WToo//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Eleni + Rich’s Nautical Engagement Session

So there’s a storm a-comin’!  You know what that means?  It means I long for warm summer days and romantic waterside picnics so badly!  So when I caught a glimpse of Eleni + Rich’s perfectly nautical e-sesh from  No Eye Has Seen, I figured this would be the perfect distraction to keep me all warm and fuzzy while the snow falls this weekend!


With a real lobster dinner on the piers, Eleni and Rich styled this session to reflect their lifestyle and love perfectly!  Colors, textures, and fashions all created a sweet and sophisticated New England kind of romance.



Even though they are feeling the cold an weathering the storm too, Eleni and RIch’s engagement session has certainly brightened my day!  Thank you No Eye Has Seen for sharing this cute, coastal e-sesh.  Congratulations Eleni and Rich!  We hope you’ll share your wonderfully nautical wedding with us too!

Vendor Information:

Date July 3, 2013

Location: Milford, CT

Photographer: No Eye Has Seen

Event Venue: Milford Marina

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Alison + Matt’s Handmade Designer Wedding

DIY-ing your wedding is a no brainer when both the bride and groom are graphic designers!  Alison and Matt had a beautiful fall wedding in Connecticut, featuring personally designed invitations, programs, menus, and place cards.  They also designed their own ring bearer pillow, cake topper, and centerpieces.  As a gift for his bride, Matt custom engraved a wooden box and filled it with momentos he kept from when they were dating.  (Say it with me ladies – “Awwww!”)

Their purple and grey color palette makes me feel all warm and cozy.  And I’m loving those ever-so-slightly different bridesmaid gowns.

Congrats to Alison and Matt!  Thanks for sharing your beautiful wedding with us!



Photographer: Nikki Nicole Photography

Hair Stylist:  Beautique Salon

Floral Designer:  Dillion Chapin Florist

Reception Venue:  Glastonbury Hills Country Club

Cinema and Video:  Sure Shot Videography

DJ:  Mike Connolly Sound Productions

Makeup Artist:  Eye Catcherz

Shoes:  Nina Shoes

Bakery:  Cavaliere’s Bakery

Second Shooter:  Abbey Domond


Shaun + Danielle

I love all the sweet family details of Shaun + Danielle’s wedding. They were married in a local church, and the reception was held at the home of the bride’s family. Danielle’s bouquet was wrapped with the sleeve from her mother’s wedding dress, and the silver centerpiece containers started with the collection of the bride’s grandmother.




Location: South Glastonbury, CT

Photography: Hales Studio

Catering: Emily’s Catering Group

Florals: Stylish Blooms

Andrew + Sarah

Today’s bride, Sarah, offered up a piece of great wedding planning advice that I think all the newly engaged should take to heart, “Enjoy it! Start early, and don’t rush the decision making process. Make sure it’s exactly what you want.” So often brides can get caught up in having to do 568 different things, and you can lose the forest for the trees. The process is all about planning a great day for family and friends, and getting closer to your partner – even if you want to occasionally throw flowers at their head.

Sarah and Andrew went all out with the DIY elements of their wedding – invitations, centerpieces of dried flowers and frosted mason jars, making wine charms for favors (super cute!), and seating charts. When you make the decision to create elements of your wedding on your own, time is your best friend. It allows you to make decisions, then make them again, and be sure your end result is what you want – truly an extension of you and your partner.




Location: Wethersfield, CT

Photography: Nikki Nicole Photography

Reception Venue: The Webb Barn

Event Coordinator: Dot Your i’s Events

Caterer: Village Tavern Catering

Florals: Park Hill Joyce Flower Shop

Cake: Mid-Hudson Cake

Dress Store: Mariella’s Creations

Mens Attire: JT Ghamo

Jewelry: Charming Charlie

Hair Stylist: Salon Allure

DJ: Elegant Occasions DJ

Exit mobile version