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Love in the Time of Corona: A Designers Guide to a DIY Dream Wedding

We are truly living in unprecedented times. Not only are we facing a public health crisis, but we are also cutting out some of the most important social milestones in our lives as a result. Weddings definitely top the list.

My fiancee (now husband) and I decided to elope in August of 2020 because of COVID. What better way to brighten up 2020 for us a immediate family than an impromptu wedding at city hall! While planning this last minute shindig, I quickly figured out that I wasn't going to be able to have all the "dream wedding" details that I would want for my grand nuptials. But, I'm not one to take "no" for an answer. So, I decided to work my designer magic and do a little bit of DIY-ing to get what I wanted.

Here are a few tips from me on how you can create a quickie dream wedding on a budget in a short amount of time:

  1. Don't spend too much on the dress. I got a dress off the rack and was able to have it altered all within a 3 week timeframe. Most high-end bridal shops need 8 months to 1 year's notice on most gown orders and alterations. Save the nice dress for your post-wedding reception when you have more time to plan!

  2. Etsy is your friend. You can find pretty much anything you want or need for a wedding on Etsy - wedding dresses, hair pieces, custom cake toppers, signs, veils, you name it. I purchased a handmade fingertip lace veil from an Etsy seller without matching it to my dress. When I got it in hand, it ended up being too stark white instead of soft ivory. A simple solution: Dye the veil with coffee! Yes, I said dye the veil with coffee! I was weary at first, too. In fact, I was afraid I would ruin the veil. But, surprisingly this method was more effective than a harsh dye. How to do it: Mix equal parts fresh brewed coffee and cool tap water, submerge the veil in the water bath for 2-5 mins, rinse the veil in cool water, hang to dry, repeat if necessary. After a few rounds of the coffee bath, the veil came out the perfect shade of ivory.

  3. Flowers are essential. I splurged on my custom flower crown, lush bouquet, and boutonnières for the fellas. For the reception decor, we went with all white orchids picked up from Trader Joe's. Some TJ locations will let you place orders ahead of time. Call your local store and ask!

  4. Let them eat cake. But, don't bust the bank. We got a simple thee tiered buttercream wedding cake with raspberry custard and lemon curd filling from our local Publix store. I had my mom bring lady ferns and hydrangeas from her garden to decorate it with. Not only is it less expensive than a gourmet cake, it has sentimental meaning. And the log slice cake stand was cut from a log on our family farm.

  5. Drink and be married. Don't over think your reception, especially if you're planning on a big party later like we are. We reserved the beer garden at our favorite local brewery and had a local restaurant do the catering. The outside space provides plenty of room for social distancing!

  6. Create e-vites instead of printed invites. I created a design I wanted to use on a printed invitation, then used an image and RSVPify to collect responses. I had the letterpress invitations made for myself as keepsakes.



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