The above photos are from our recent wedding, at Sparrows Lodge, in Palm Springs California. Read below to find out some tips and tricks I used (which landed our wedding a spot featured in the blog Green Wedding Shoes. ) Photography by: Mark Brooke Photography. Invitation by: Anticipate Invitations.
Planning a wedding can be one of the most intimidating and overwhelming things you will ever do! Especially if you want everything to be perfect. If you are anything like me, you'll also want those special DIY or personal touches that will make your wedding one-of-a-kind, and you will obsess over every single one of them. You'll obsess to the point of exhaustion and wonder why you ever decided to plan a wedding in the first place. You will wish you used the cash to buy a home, or to travel to some far off island, where there are no decorators and no decisions to be made. But then, you will envision yourself sitting on a sofa with your grandchildren in the year 2057, showing them your wedding photos. And you will get back on that horse and plan the wedding of your dreams.
Choose a location (or destination) that has a ton of character. This will save you time and money on decorating, and it's worth spending a little more for a charming gem of a location. Our hotel had an eclectic collection of furniture, throw pillows, & artwork on the walls. It felt like a lodge, but also like a barn, and also like a glamorous old-Hollywood hotel. It had all of the components we were looking for in a venue.
Be careful of outdoor spaces! For instance, one historic home we almost rented had an outdoor grass lawn. They advised us to put up a tent days before the wedding if there was a chance of rain, in order to "block the rain" from getting the grounds wet (even if they were not calling for rain on Saturday of our wedding). That was a deal breaker for us.
Make sure it's meaningful to both you and your partner. Since my husband and I grew up going to overnight camp, we chose Sparrows Lodge, because it felt like camp (fire pits with a rustic/earthy vibe). You will know when you have found the right venue. Your heart will start pitter-pattering, and part of you will hope that all of the other little details fall in place, while the other part of you won't even care if they do, because you'll love the venue so much it won't matter! As they say, location is everything.
Etsy has some amazing handmade items that will add a DIY flare! Etsy is a mega-marketplace for handmade. I will just make a brief list of things here of things you can not find on Etsy for a wedding (because it's much easier than listing what you can find): Vintage Flatware & Vintage Dishes (you can find them, but difficult to find the amount you need at a reasonable price, so you would need to mix & match). There. That's it. Anything else, you can find on Etsy.
DIY décor items yourself! I did a little bit of both. Of course, it took 3 hours to make about 100 mason jar glasses, so keep in mind a time frame for your DIY and don't go overboard. Not every single detail needs to be handmade. Also - always make a sample first! Take your time deciding which things to make yourself and which to buy. Do the math and see if it's worth your while to make it.
Wholesale companies are your new best friend. We used wholesale companies to buy a lot of things like plates, vases, napkins, mason jars, and more! Let's just say hours and hours of online research goes a long way. If you don't have the time to invest, hire a decorator. (better yet, use me as a consultant). One of my favorite stores (it's not a wholesaler, but it surely is affordable) is World Market!
3. Other Random Tips:
- Spend the most on photography! (My photographers will love me for this). It's all you will have when the night is over. If you're on a budget, ask for the raw images and make the album yourself, but don't cut the photography corner and hire a friend.
- Hire a videographer, doesn't have to be fancy. Or have a friend do it!
- Rose Gold, Gold or Bronze Flatware lifts the entire place setting.
- Wood Farm Tables also will make your other décor look beautiful.
- Definitely choose a color scheme, but definitely don't feel married to it (see what I did there?)
- Any gorgeous white, ivory, or cream dress is a wedding dress. Believe it or not, you will still end up married to him even if you don't spend $1,000 - $3,000 on your dress. And you may even be able to wear it again! I am considering dying my dress a darker color, since it is silk, and wearing it forever.
- Any gorgeous simple band is a wedding band.
If you like what you see here, I am available for wedding consultations regarding venue selection, décor choices, and day-of-planning. Throughout the entire process, one thing I wish I had was a wedding consultant, so I have decided to offer this as a service. It's especially helpful for someone who wants to do a lot of DIY, doesn't know where to begin, or who has difficulty making decisions! Think of me like a bridesmaid (who doesn't complain).
In 2008, I moved to Los Angeles. I was a girl with a dream, but I didn't even know what that dream was! I couldn't articulate it; I just knew I wanted to do something artsy. And something awesome.
Dr. Google, the only therapist I could afford to ask nightly questions, who wouldn't dump me the next day for seeming too needy, advised me to only take out graduate loans if you were 100% sure you wanted to do something with your life. So, I decided to continue on my current career path and teach full time at a progressive private school.
While teaching, a friend took me to UNIQUE LA, a handmade event for artisans. I was instantly infatuated. We went to support our friend's screen-printed sweatshirt line, and while shopping at his booth, the stars of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia were also buying his sweatshirts. I couldn't believe it!
7 years later, I am selling jewelry to Urban Outfitters, and I will be attending UNIQUE USA (formerly known as Unique LA) May 9th and 10th as a handmade vendor. This is truly a dream come true! UNIQUE USA has been a catalyst for some very hip brands, and it is one of the first handmade events in the country! Please follow me on my journey. I am still a girl with a dream, but that dream is much clearer now, with room for all sorts of possibilities...