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DIY Wedding Tips :: Bride to Bride :: New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Many brides are saying “no” to coordinators and YES to “Doing it Yourself” aka DIY weddings. I admire these brides. In a Pinterest inspired world it can be very overwhelming to not go in every direction and feel like there are too many choices and decisions to be made. It takes a special and dedicated bride to pull a DIY wedding off! When we say DIY- we mean you do just about every single thing by yourself and your dream team of amazing friends and family! It’s a HUGE task! Whitney is a POPography bride who is going to share how she pulled off one AMAZING DIY Wedding! Thank you Whitney for sharing!

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As a serial crafter and a sappy sentimental, I knew I would be a DIY bride. I heard it would be an incredible undertaking but I also knew I could pull it off with hard work and dedication. I always dreamed of getting married on my family’s land, but after exploring the options of what it would take to make that happen, I realized if I could find a place that held the same qualities as my family land, it would be easier on my family and myself. That’s when I learned my first lesson: You WILL have to compromise. Now, that doesn’t mean everything, but some things.



To soften the blow of having to compromise (mind you, this is a big deal for my have-it-all, go-getter personality), I learned lesson number two: PRIORITIZE and focus on what’s most important. When all is said and done, on your wedding day, you will be in such a state of bliss, you won’t be able to care about the little things anymore, but all the big things will still matter to you, so figure out what those are and go for it.

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Speaking of focusing on what’s important—nothing matters more than you and your boo; that is what this celebration is about after all. It was extremely important to us that we met for the First Look. Unfortunately, in the whirlwind of activity leading up to our big day, the only thing I didn’t put a priority on was creating a well-organized timeline and plan for everyone else. This was a crucial detail that would have made my day 100 times easier since I didn’t have a wedding coordinator. I had a wonderful timeline for myself that Leaha so graciously helped me to create, but it was really hard to stick to when others, including vendors, didn’t know where I was and what I was suppose to be getting done and vice versa. Through this I learned lesson number three: Make a plan and STICK to it. This will save you at least a few shed tears and makeup retouching, unlike me. Fortunately, I had the Popography team there who knew how important it was for me to get to see Trevor, so, even though we were dreadfully behind schedule, they somehow managed to figure out a way for us to meet and have fun. (I mean, really? Who else gets to swing before their ceremony?)

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This is your wedding day. Make the most of it. Let nothing hold you back. Which leads me to lesson number four: Do what YOU want to do. We knew everyone wouldn’t stick around for our send-off, so, we had everyone toss wildflower seeds during our recessional and then, we promptly drove away to our honeymoon suite where we had a private dinner while everyone made the transition to the reception site. This ended up being a bigger blessing in disguise than we originally thought. I was having an allergic reaction to an insect sting, and we were able to use some of that time to find me some medicine. Once that was settled we were able to truly enjoy our first meal as husband and wife.

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Now, I should warn you, as strange as it may sound, there’s something about weddings that can pull people apart or bring them together. You can’t make people want to be a part of or celebrate with you on your special day, but you can appreciate the ones that do, and you may be surprised to find out who they are. My fifth and final lesson learned is number five: Spend time with the ones you love, AND the ones that love you. For us, this included many trips to the photo booth and virtually no time away from the dance floor.

Overall, people have continually talked about how ‘non-traditional’ our wedding was and, even though we had a non-traditional wedding, I still felt like a traditional bride. We still included traditional elements, but we did it in our way and WE wouldn’t change it for the world.

From one bride to another,


Denton, Texas

See Whitney’s beautiful DIY WEDDING!

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Angel Unger -

The wedding was beautiful.