Wedding DIY-ers

Tips from real-life brides who planned and executed the big and small details of their dream wedding.

Completely Customized Ceremony

The Couple: Jaci and Brian Bonanno
The Location: Hightstown, N. J.

Jaci's Story: : "My advice is that no matter who is paying for the wedding, who will be attending, or how much money you have; make your wedding about the two of you. Because you and your husband are the ones who will best remember the day. And most importantly YOU, the bride, will be the ONLY one who notices what is wrong, so try not to over think everything and just have fun! To customize my wedding and save money, I did everything myself. From the sash I wore to the cupcakes, to the centerpieces, to the invitations — everything!"

Her Tips:

Leave room for happy accidents: "I knew I wanted a sash as part of my dress, but I couldn't find the right fabric no matter where I looked. I finally found it on another dress, but it had a cummerbund look to it, so I just turned it inside-out. To my surprise it perfectly matched the bridesmaids' dresses, a detail that I didn't realize until the day of the wedding."

Add your own personal touch: "I made my veil because I couldn't find the perfect one in any stores. I also made the cupcake stand myself; I covered it with fabric and wound butterfly garland around it — butterflies are my favorite! I chose cupcakes instead of a traditional cake, because that is what I wanted and not what was 'supposed' to be."

Save money wherever you can: "My invitations and programs for 200 people cost a total of $80.00 because I did them myself, and none of our guests could believe that. Honestly, people throw them away so why spend thousands or even hundreds on them? Also, I didn't want elaborate centerpieces for the reception tables, so I put together little flower pots with bows, they looked great and doubled as a favor as well."

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