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Eight tips from a do-it-yourself-bride (Clackamas wedding photographer)

Are you a DIY bride? Craft Warehouse in Gresham is hosting its first-ever DIY by Design “I Do” event on Friday, May 8, 2015 from 5 to 9 p.m. Come and learn how to make your own invitations, tablescapes, jewelry for you and your bridesmaids, paper flowers and much more. There will also be free demos and giveaways. Craft Warehouse is located in Gresham Station at 687 N.W. 12th Street. If you haven’t visited their shop before, it’s a very inspiring place! I was so honored when they asked me to have a table, so stop by and say hi! For more information, call the shop at 503-907-3137.


Amanda and I were born two months apart, and our parents became friends when we were still infants. She is my oldest friend. I have great memories of driving to her house in Damascus and playing board games, doing crafts, listening to NKOTB, climbing trees and telling stories. Our time was so full and happy that even when I was older, I still always fell asleep on the car ride home. 

That’s why it was beyond meaningful to me to photograph her beautiful wedding to Jake in the backyard of her childhood home. 

Amanda, whose love of craft projects as a child grew into a full-blown passion as an adult, is a gifted artist who can make just about anything. 

With the help of her family and friends, Amanda hand-crafted just about all the little details that made her day special — invitations, decor, jewelry, signage, bouquets, her veil, etc. Other than the wedding attire, everything was handmade. 

“I know that professionals know what they’re doing, but I just like doing it on my own,” she said. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment.”

To plan her do-it-yourself wedding, Amanda said she started by thinking about what she wanted — an antique/country wedding — and chose sage, lavender and wheat as both a color palette and a recurring theme.

“I really had fun making the jewelry for everyone because it was something they could take with them, and I could make exactly what I wanted with the exact colors I wanted,” she said.

As the wedding day got closer, Amanda said she wondered if she was going to have enough decorations once they were all spread out in the space, but once she saw it all together, she was happy with the outcome. 

“I thought, ‘This really does look pretty darn good.’” 

 So here are eight tips from a lovely do-it-yourself bride who’s been there:

  •  Think about timing: Make sure you have plenty of time before you start projects. Remember it could take a lot longer than you think, especially if it’s not something you’ve tried before. “It’s easy to get carried away because it’s fun.”
  •  Make a list of projects early on: With a  complete list in hand, if anyone asks if they can help, you’ll know exactly what you need. You’ll also be able to prioritize and make sure the time-sensitive projects (invitations!) meet their deadlines. 
  • Solicit your friends: People are so willing to help if you give them a job and make it fun. Amanda said sitting on the porch with loved ones making centerpieces was one of the best experiences of wedding planning.
  • Don’t micro-manage: If you have loved ones who are willing to help you, just give them clear instructions and then try not to be critical if there’s a little extra glue or if the ribbon isn’t perfectly straight. These projects are an act of love. 
  • Break projects into smaller pieces in case disaster strikes: That way, if you mess something up or a detail changes, you can just fix one part of the project instead of starting from scratch. For example, Amanda and Jake had to change the venue partway through their planning, so they had to redo the invitations. Luckily, they had made them with three separate parts (card stock, vellum and ribbon) so they were able to just change the vellum printed part.
  • Be realistic about costs. Some projects will cost more than you think, especially if you don’t already own the right equipment. 
  • Give yourself a deadline of at least a few days before the wedding: You don’t want to be up until 2 in the morning the night before your wedding gluing burlap to vases. If it didn’t get it done in the weeks ahead, just let it go. 
  • Enjoy your day: “If you’re going to do everything yourself, then on day of the wedding you’re done. Just enjoy your day and let everyone else take care of the details.”


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Reader Comments (1)

Jessie this is beautiful!!

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

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