DIY WEDDING PART 4 - FINALE:  Wanted to share a few photos of how all of our DIY wedding projects turned out.  Including my vintage $80 wedding dress. I shared this photo in DIY Wedding Part 1. My 100% silk dress with pearls and beads brought home from the thrift store in a green garbage bag!

That's Daisy investigating the loot

At the Dressmaker undergoing transformation

The dress needed a re-do and although I sew, taking on your own wedding dress alterations is something I wouldn't recommend, you have enough to do if you're the bride!  The first thing to go where the 80's puffy sleeves which I used to make a drawstring purse to carry on my wedding day for lipstick, camera, cards, etc.  (Please excuse the defective date on my camera, this was March not July.)

The 10ft long train, most of which got cut off, I made into a shawl.  We shortened the dress to show off my pink sparkly shoes, a take off on a pair of Christian Louboutin's I saw for $3,295, slightly out of the budget, mine were $35 and comfy enough to dance the night away in, which I did. (my thighs were miserable the next day but my feet where fine.)

Our beach shots were taken the following weekend by our photographer friend. It was so much fun, no pressure!  I highly recommend an additional photo shoot, of course it helps to have a friend doing it as a gift.  (see shawl and shoes)

I was so proud of the aisle my Groom built me (so my heels wouldn't touch the sand.)  Considering he's an attorney by profession and a football referee by vocation, neither of which involve tools, he did a great job.

Remember my 40 cent 'message in a bottle' bottles from DIY Part2?  Well, we put names and table place's on cards that we printed at home and cut to fit perfectly into each bottle.  The bowl is an old salad bowl we had, the sand free.  Everyone loved these, they were really fun. One of my girlfriends had a bunch of glass crabs with claws that were perfect to hold the table names that we made by color copying pictures of sea shells and naming the tables after things from the sea. Free, free, and free.

The guest book and the sign on the welcome table were home made by my daughter.  The frame is salvage and although it looks like a chalk board it's just a 50 cent piece of black paper from the craft store glued down.

I'd recommend planning your wedding some place that you connect with. Our wedding was at the beach because that's where my husband lived when we met and spent most of our dating days, so it had meaning to us. The ceremony was on the beach and he was great at setting up all those details from permits to chair rentals to the back up arch (after ours fell apart on the trip down!)  The spouses of my bridal party, made up of family and friends, all helped set up the site when everything arrived, we didn't even have to think about it.  When you're planning your wedding, people want to help, I encourage you to let them!  If you are your own wedding planner the key is an organized file and time line. And my husband was Mr. Wedding, the epitome of organization.  The 'wedding file' was stellar.  All I cared about was decorating the file with pictures on the outside.  He's the Yin to my disorganized Yang.

Our DJ was amazing and so experienced at every facet of a wedding reception. Once we found him we really relaxed about everything.  He ran the entire reception so smoothly and had generously met with us 4 times before the wedding regarding music and details.  If you are planning a wedding in Los Angeles I highly recommend Michael McNeal of Ovation Entertainment.  He also had put together a list of songs we chose for the beach site while people were waiting for the ceremony to start,  a great mix everything from Rascal Flats to The Beatles, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, even Louis Armstrong's 'It's A Wonderful World'.  I walked down the aisle to Sarah McLachlan's 'Ordinarly Miracal' a beautiful song, which I actually heard for maybe a second before I spaced out into bridedom.  And at the end of the ceremony our friend queing the music cranked up The Monkey's 'I'm a Believer'.  We used an iPod with powerful speakers.  Had we set up a sound system it would have been an additional $250 on our $300 beach permit so we opted for the iPod which worked fine. Our wedding song was an unconventional 'You Make Me Smile' by Uncle Cracker.

Sadly both our Dad's are gone so our wedding bands have extra special meaning. His from his Dad and mine from my Mom given to her by my Dad on their 45th wedding anniversary. 

We got all of our flowers at the Los Angeles Flower Mart, and used the jacuzzi in our hotel room to keep them in water  DIY Part 3. We had a blast picking them and they were incredibly cheep. If you live in a big city check out all of your options for discount flowers.  If you live in the country grow them or find a cutting garden.  A huge savings and more fun and meaningful.

I made the bouquets for everyone out of Chinese Mums and my bouquet out of Hydrangeas, it was so easy, just cut the stems and wrap with Tulle. I even made the Mom's and men's corsages. My daughter arranged all the flowers for the tables in glass vases we had bought wholesale and we used additional vases for lots and lots of white candles.

Loved these Chinese Mums
On the hotel room floor ready to go!
My girls all wore beautiful pearl and Swarovski Crystal necklaces and matching earrings made by my sister (3rd from the right)

The reception was held at a restaurant/bar on the Hermosa Beach Pier which has a dinner room open to the outside as well as a big separate dance floor. We had been to a party there and loved the food and ambiance, a mixture of rustic stone, tile and brick. The dance floor they chic'd up with leather mirrors and crystal chandeliers. It was a beautiful setting, the only thing we added to the room were some different size inexpensive Chinese lanterns that we (my wonderful friends husbands) hung from the wooden beams.  The only thing I wasn't crazy about at the venue was the ladies room. So with a little wrought iron stand from home, some black and white damask hand towels, a bottle on vanilla hand lotion, a nice pump soap and a battery spa candle (didn't want to burn down the bathroom) I gave the rest room a face lift for under $15.00.

Our colors where black, white and yellow and I loved the cake we got, it was beautiful and delicious. We choose from the standard options at Torrance Bakery to kept the cost down and then when the cake arrived my daughter added fresh yellow tulips to the front.  Had the bakery done yellow frosted flowers the cake cost would have gone up $100.  And for the 'Grooms Cake' which is a popular wedding thing now, and for the groom who's a football referee, naturally I shopped for football cupcakes.  Much to my surprise they were as expensive as the wedding cake!  So at the last minute and with the help of my wonderful cupcake baking girlfriend we whipped up a big batch of football cupcakes.  Total cost $12.99.

Not bad huh?

A fabulous time was had by all, especially us!

And we live happily ever after :)