This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if you click on a link, or make a purchase using the links in this post. All opinions are my own.
A party is all about the details, right? Our wedding was DIY, which made it even more special because every part of the day had our mark on it. While we didn’t make our rings, obviously, or the cake, we did design them. And, all other decor, including the flowers we did make ourselves.
A DIY wedding is not for the faint of heart. It is a lot of work. But, so worth it in the end.
While there are a lot of pre-made wedding decor, honestly, most of it didn’t feel like us. It was cheap, or a little too country vibe for us. The handsome hunk is very financially conscious, which is great for our retirement, but didn’t leave room in the budget to purchase the things I wanted, the way I wanted them.
So, we made them!
Navy Green and White Wedding Details
I loved a truly custom invitation look. I didn’t want an invitation you could get just anywhere. I hated the idea of our guests being invited to another wedding that used our same invitations. How personal is that? Clearly, it’s not. So, I decided to design our own. Creating our invitation suite was incredibly fun. I worked with a local print shop to make them come to life. And, the quality was incredible.
My engagement ring is a family heirloom from Tom’s great grandmother. It is so special to me and I love the classic, vintage look. Having something so unique made finding a wedding band that looked cohesive very difficult. So, we decided to go the route of working with a local jewelry shop to design our own. Burton Jewelers was incredible to us. They made us feel welcome, took time to explain things to us when we didn’t know anything. And, didn’t ever pressure us to exceed our budget. We will be going to them for all future jewelry needs, which Tom already has! And, they have an impressive selection of housewares too for every kind of gift.
While we were working with them on my ring, we were also looking for a wedding band for Tom, and ran into the same problem. He just didn’t love what we were finding. So, we were able to take parts of designs he liked, and didn’t and worked with Burton Jewelers to design his as well. If it’s in your budget, I cannot recommend this enough. It really wasn’t a huge added cost to design something that we love. Especially when you consider you will be wearing them every day for the rest of your life. You want to love it! It is so meaningful to me having rings that are truly unique, one of a kind, and fits our personalities so perfectly. I can’t imagine wearing a ring that didn’t have those sentiments behind them.
Flowers, oh flowers. I remember reading about a woman who stole her father’s credit card to purchase flowers for her wedding. He was not pleased. And, I could not imagine flowers possibly being expensive enough to have to steal money for! And, then, I got engaged, started looking into florists and realized, I have been to weddings where they probably spent $20,000 on just flowers. Just for the basics of what I wanted was going to cost just shy of $10,000. And, if you are keeping track, the Handsome Hunk definitely would not have that pass the budget. So, to get the look I wanted, we decided to do them ourselves.
Doing your own flowers is not easy. It’s not only a lot of work, it’s a lot of work that needs to be done right before your wedding. We got married on a Saturday, and all Thursday evening I was creating, wrapping, stuffing, sticking, and getting stuck by thorns. But, the end result was incredible. My cascading bouquet was incredible with roses, day lilies, calla lilies, eucalyptus and ferns. The star was an orchid my mom grew!
The bridesmaids bouquets turned out lovely. As did all the boutonnieres, flowers for the wedding arch, tables, and cake. And, it was a really fun way to spend an evening with the bridesmaids and my mom. Tom and I tried to grow our own flowers, which did not work out as planned. So, I got a few from the local farmer’s market, and my secret weapon, the grocery store! What?! Our local grocery store has a great floral section where they can custom order whatever flowers you want at great prices. I was able to both ask for specific flowers, as well as just tell them a color and they ordered options and held them for me. So, yes, this technically is a grocery store bouquet.
We wanted a simple and refined cake that fit us and our wedding. We were lucky to be pointed in the direction of Xtra Special Cakes out of Mt Vernon, Wa. Cake tasting was one of our favorite engagement moments. And, designing our cake with Xtra Special Cakes was a dream. I had pictures and ideas running around my head. As a second generation, award winning baker, they were able to take my ideas, give me suggestions, and make it all come to life. I loved the results. A perfect simple, sophisticated 4 tier wedding cake. Our flavors were key lime cake with custard filling, red velvet cake with cream cheese filling, and triple berry cake with strawberry cream cheese filling. All covered in butter cream frosting. Out of this world good! We saved out top tier for our 1 year wedding anniversary. And, ended up with 11 extra slices of cake. So, we have been having date night and sharing a slice of cake on our monthiversaries.
All of our decor was DIY, simple and sophisticated. We spent months going to thrift stores and yard sales finding vintage glass vases for the tables. There were candles, and seashells, which fit our beach location without being in your face, hey guys we are getting married on a beach! Our wedding tablescapes turned out so lovely. I was incredibly happy with the end result.
My sister put together the gifts and cards table. We did a honeymoon registry, so most of the wedding gifts were electronic. But, there still were some physical items and cards. She made a beautiful heirloom box that I will be saving all our wedding cards in. And, a sign that was very sweet and went perfectly with the rest of the decor.
Even though the wedding arch could easily fit under flowers or decor, I wanted to give it its own special section because it was actually host to one of my favorite wedding surprises. You may have read about it in our wedding ceremony post. While the ladies were all getting ready, the fellas were tirelessly putting everything together for the wedding. They were putting up the arch when Tom came up with the idea of hiding champagne for the wedding party to grab and open while walking back down the aisle after the ceremony. It was perfect! Such a great little surprise, and made for some awesome pictures.
Our outdoor venue was really the star of the show, and we just picked minimal items that added to the natural beauty. We are so lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest. Everywhere is stunning. Originally, we thought about having our wedding in my parent’s backyard. They live in a stunning turn of the century farmhouse on a huge lot, with 100 year old apple trees. But, once we saw The Skyline Cabana, we were sold. That view! And, the best part, it’s in the community we live in. Our house is less than a mile away. Which made planning, set up, and tear down a breeze. It’s also adjacent to a large park with wooded trails and lots of lovely places to sneak off for wedding portraits.
I couldn’t really have a wedding details post and not talk about my dress. And boy, did I love my dress. I had tried on quite a few dresses, and loved almost every single one. I mean, what isn’t to love about spectacular white ball gowns? But, when I tried on this dress, I knew. I knew without a doubt in my mind, that this was my dress. It was perfect. I got it from I Do Bridal in Seattle and I can’t recommend this bridal shop enough. In fact I recommend it to every local bride I meet and quite a few have actually ended up purchasing their dresses from there as well!
It was by a custom designer for I Do Bridal. I loved the high neckline of my dress which felt very sophisticated and paired beautifully with the classic a-line silhouette. The button details all the way up the back of the dress was an added detail that elevated the design. And, most importantly, it had pockets! I cried all day of my wedding, and loved having a place to stash my tissues. It originally came with a small narrow beaded belt. I switched that out for spectacular thick beading.
Pro tip: Beaded sashes as bridal shops are very expensive, and usually, aren’t big enough to go all the way around the dress. I went to a high end fabric store with a bridal section where you can buy spectacular bridal dress beading by the yard. It is much more cost effective, and you are able to get a more custom look. I choose some beautiful beading by the yard, and found an applique for the center of my dress to really bring on the bling. When I had my dress altered, I had my amazing seamstress sew it into the dress and the results were perfection.
Speaking of seamstresses, not all are created equal. I started off at one shop that had been in business forever, so they must be good right? Wrong! It was a nightmare. And, that is coming from pretty much the most non-bridezilla bride ever. So, then I stumbled into Astraea Bridal and was so happy! They are actually a consignment bridal shop, and also have a wonderful seamstress, who went to fashion design school, so she really knows her stuff! They also have dresses for other occasions, and you can sell your dress and accessories to them after your big day! They have stunning, high end dresses and accessories that any bride would swoon over, at amazing prices.
I originally went to the same seamstress who messed up my dress to have a custom veil made, and well, it was atrocious. They used pink thread, and didn’t do at all what I asked. It was the least of my nightmare with them, but I was not happy with the result. So, I ended up getting this veil online! Do yourself a favor and buy a veil from this amazing, sweet, wonderful retailer! I was nervous because the seller is from Poland, and ordering a veil, somewhat last minute, from the other side of the world was little nerveracking. But, the seller was very communicative, it showed up on time and was beautiful! Everything I wanted in a veil. The horsehair veil is simple, elegant and sophisticated, which is just what I wanted to look like on my wedding day.
I found my hair dresser on Instagram! Kenna is such a sweet person, inside and out. I has really been struggling to find someone who did wedding hair in Skagit county that I jived with. But, the moment I saw Kenna’s absolute works of art with hair, I knew she was my girl! I thought I knew what I wanted, and came to her very sure at our first appointment. She gave me exactly what I asked for, and turns out, that was not at all what I wanted. She was so patient and kind and for our second trial we were able to figure out something that was so me. I felt like a princess or a classic movie star from the 1940’s.