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13 clever diy ideas from my cousin’s wedding

Last month, I had the privilege of photographing my beautiful cousin Amy’s wedding to her handsome love, Derek.  I was impressed by all of the interesting and fun do-it-yourself ideas they used to create such a sweet, special day.  They took things people might typically diy, but gave them their own unique spin.   I thought it would be fun to highlight some of those ideas here in one blog post, starting with the photo up above:

1~ A monogram signage theme:

Derek and Amy went with D n A {for Derek ‘n’ Amy, duh ;)}.  I loved that they didn’t just use their monogram, but had fun with it and went with the play on letters.  And they used it everywhere, from banners to little tabs attached to the favors.

2~ Boutonnieres {confession: never once in my life have I been able to spell that word correctly on the first try – shout to dictionary.com for coming to my aid}:

A tiny flower shaped out of a page from a book, plus a little ribbon, twine, and baby’s breath blooms equals cool, easy, inexpensive boutonnieres.

3~ Bouquets:

I can’t tell you exactly how Amy made these book-page flowers – but I bet Pinterest or Google can! ;)  All I know is, those tiny printed words plus the feathers equal stunning, textural, visually interesting bouquets.

4~ Flower girl rose petal alternative:

Amy also went with something other than actual flower petals for her flower girl.  Book pages were cut into puzzle piece shapes to be dropped down the aisle.  And instead of a basket, a hollowed out book box was used.  I loved every bit of it!

{Side not: I seriously can’t get over the cuteness of my cousin Jill’s daughters.  This is her youngest, Inga.  She’s awesome.}

5~ Unity candle alternative:

I’m sorry, but can you just let their coolness sink in for a moment?  I mean, they did a unity carving instead of a unity candle.  Yeah.

Here’s the secret behind that one:  they pre-carved the wood stump and had the carved side turned away from the audience.  After they did a little carving embellishment during the ceremony, they spun it around for the big reveal.  Fabulous! :)

6~ Row markers:

A bit of canvas material plus a cool graphic that went along with their monogram signage, and a bit of ribbon.  A small, easy touch that added that little something special and customized to the sanctuary seating.

7~ Bubble wrap aisle runner:

Yep, you read that right.  And this was the Best Idea Ever!!  They had their ushers roll out the bubble wrap at the end of the ceremony, just before the wedding party walked back down the aisle to exit.

Forget dancing down the aisle, popping bubbles is much more fun {and noisy}!

8~ Card receptacle:

Amy and Derek used an old suitcase, customized by  letters fastened by wooden clothespins onto a piece of twine strung across.

i just happened to have a moment of genius {it does occur, occasionally} and had some fun with their rings and the letters. :)

9~ Direction signs:

Speaking of having fun with letters, Derek & Amy weren’t afraid to add their clever sense of humor to the sign directing guests when they entered the church.  They used a play on their last names {Rowedder and Shepherd} to create this cute sign.

10~ Centerpieces:

A block of wood with a carved heart bearing their initials on one side, and a photo of them on the other, attached by a clothespin – simple, lovely, and cost effective.

11~ Table top design:

Clear glassware plus sweet fresh blooms, grouped together – so easy, anyone can do it!  And look, it’s so pretty! :)

Add some swagged tulle and more handmade little canvas banners, and look how pretty the tables were!

12~ The cake:

Amy baked her own wedding cake.

Wait.  Let that sink in.

But her sister Anna put it together on the day of the wedding.  Does that make you feel better?  :)  Look, though, it’s simple and gorgeous: a dusting of sugar and beautiful fresh flowers and greenery.  Lovely.

And it was just a small, layered cake perched on a cake stand that also held cupcakes.  I think this was a genius ides, since I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve photographed where they had lots of {expensive, huge!} wedding cake left over.  I loved the way Derek & Amy did this.13~ After party flyers:

If you couldn’t tell already from anything else in this post, this couple knows how to have a good time.  Especially on their wedding day. So of course they had a little after party after the party {I mean, Derek is in a band, so it only made sense}. :)  And they handed out these brilliant flyers to notify guests.  Good stuff.

I thought these clever diy ideas might help spark some creativity for brides and grooms to be.   Whether you’re working to keep things on a budget or just want to add some personalization, remember it doesn’t all have to be so serious.  Adding your sense of humor into your wedding day is always a good idea. :)


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Jared WanzerAugust 26, 2013 - 9:29 pm

These are fantastic. Gorgeous wedding and you captured it perfect!
Love all these ideas!

anna diceAugust 27, 2013 - 6:25 pm

My gorgeous sister, you taking photos, all those creative juices flowing…can’t go wrong!

CherylSeptember 21, 2013 - 2:54 pm

love the ideas and your blog.

[…] 13 clever diy ideas from my cousin’s wedding […]

Katie @Dishin & DishesSeptember 11, 2014 - 2:17 pm

OMG! This is adorable and your photos are SO AMAZING! LOVE!

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