How I Pulled Off an Awesome DIY Wedding

June 30, 2015

It happened -- I’m officially married. A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how I was planning our affordable DIY wedding and I was so excited. We worked hard to make it as personal as possible without draining our bank accounts in the process...and it worked.

There were, of course, some slip ups here and there, though that's par for the course with us. We were planning this wedding in the middle of selling a house, buying a house, moving, and finding the right way to get three boys acclimated to having new siblings. Life doesn’t go perfectly -- that goes for weddings too. One of our speakers didn’t show up on time and the music timing wasn’t the best, but overall, it was a fantastic non-traditional and fun event.

Here's how we made it happen:

Chopping the guest list
As I said in the first post, we would have loved to invite everyone we know. Why wouldn’t you want that? The problem was finding the perfect venue that would hold the right amount of guests. Plus, we were looking for my dad to cook the food -- and there's only so much one man can do, with help or without. We had around 90 guests total and it was a great size for what we were aiming for. Cutting down the list allowed us to spend time with everyone and keep our food and venue costs in check.

Recruiting the best team ever
When it came down to the day of, we ended up having (and needing) more helpers than we expected. I had spouses of friends that I hadn’t met before helping set up the food. Aunts and uncles were dressing the tables for us. A very good friend that originally was only in charge of delivering tamales, ended up managing and organizing the food -- something we really needed. Without all of the additional help, we couldn't have pulled it off.

The beautiful venue
We chose Point Gallery on Santa Fe because they were reasonably priced, had a good amount of inclusions, and were flexible with the idea that we wanted to bring in our own food. The owners were phenomenal. The space was unique, split into a front and back gallery along with a mezzanine, and their abstract exhibit couldn’t have spoken to us more. It was beautiful and felt really intimate. One of the owners, Frank, stayed through the whole event and helped us with a smile, setting up, answering questions and solving problems.

“Your dad should open a restaurant.”
I heard that comment from almost every one of my guests. The food was phenomenal and my father planned for months to make sure it would be warm, fresh, and oh-so-good. He succeeded. We cut costs by having a Mexican fiesta but feeding around 100 people is a lot of work no matter what the menu is. It was a stressful month for him and my mother before the wedding with prepping and shopping for all of the ingredients. Considering he had a hip replacement a month and a half prior, it’s amazing that he was able to do all that he did.

He was also dead set on making cheesecakes (his signature dish) and apparently that just put the cherry on the sundae for everyone. We also ordered some galettas and churros from Panadería Rosales to take some of the dessert work off my dad’s plate. Needless to say, there weren’t any desserts left and very little of the Mexican buffet. We had a few friends help out with refrigerator space, oven space, crock pot-ing, and delivery. All of these people working together made the wedding a huge success.

Beautiful bouquets without the allergies
With some help from my niece to create to flowers for my bouquet, I made origami work for us. My bouquet was gorgeous, the boutinneres were precise, though a little heavy, and the centerpieces were darling. I now know why people charge $300+ for an origami wedding bouquet. It’s very time consuming to make it and can do a number on your wrists and fingers. Still, I am so pleased with how all of the flowers turned out. I worked hard on them and we received many compliments on how unique and gorgeous they were. This tells me I did it right.

Digital conquers all
Our guests loved the website I created through and it was really easy to use. I created invites, save the dates, programs, favors, menus, and more on my own. I am lucky to have access and experience with great art program,s so the cost of paper and envelopes was sparse especially compared to ordering professional invites.

It was a huge success. The quirky moments of panic were worth every second and I wouldn’t change a thing… except… I wish I had a right-hand-man to help with the planning. I say this because once I arrived at the venue with supplies, clothes, and two boys in tow, everyone was asking me what needed to go where and what needed to be done. If I had the ability to hand that piece of my brain to someone, I would have. Fortunately this was also the moment that friends and family stepped up and rocked out the preparation and I couldn’t be more appreciative.

So, if you decide to DIY, it’s not enough that you and your fiancé know what’s going on. It’s your day! You have other things you need to be doing besides orchestrating food, guests, and tables. Remember to have someone who knows what’s going on besides the two of you.

I don’t regret a thing. It was beautiful, fun, and perfectly imperfect -- which is perfectly us.

Did you pull of an awesome DIY wedding? What worked for you?