diy wedding workshops are coming to dc!

I'm really excited about what I have to share with you today:

One of my favorite fellow wedding pros here in D.C., Bree Ryback of Capitol Romance, is launching a series of DIY Wedding Workshops designed especially for engaged couples who are interested in creating one-of-a-kind details for their wedding celebrations!

Bree was kind enough to share a few minutes with me talking about weddings, DIY projects, and how the idea for her upcoming workshops was born. You can check out our conversation below.

Bree's definitely earned her Wedding DIY stripes: She and her husband, Andy, created many of the details that made their 2010 wedding so amazing, so she knows her way around wedding projects and how to make the most of your time and effort. She also has a great eye for bringing together offbeat details with just the right amount of wedding tradition. If you haven't seen Bree and Andy's wedding, then take a couple of minutes to check it out.

Feeling inspired to get started on personalizing your own wedding day? Then read on for more information, including details at the end of this post about an early bird registration discount for the May workshop!

How did you come up with the idea of DIY wedding workshops?

The DIY Wedding Workshops were something I had been mulling over for more than a year now. Workshops seem to be a popular thing to do in the D.C. metro area with the advent of the Living Social classes, calligraphy workshops, even Whole Foods offers workshops. The idea is a novel one — to help people learn and create something handmade in a fun and social setting — but I had yet to see a specific wedding-related DIY workshop in the D.C. area. So I thought, "Why not start some myself?"

I focus a lot on DIY on my blog, both to help couples save some money and to keep a personal factor in the wedding design. But while tutorials are great, not everyone is super crafty and things don't always go as planned from the Pinterest directions you're copying, so having a professional teach you in an intimate, hands-on setting can be a huge benefit to couples (and a really fun time too!).

I know you're all about unique weddings that are personal to the couple. What DIY elements have some of your client couples incorporated?

I am! I really do love unique weddings and not even necessarily ones that have a million intricate details, just some that really speak to the couple and the things they love and hold dear. Those are my favorite wedding elements!

I have had a couple of clients brew their own beer and make some DIY beer labels for their wedding. That was awesome. Totally unique to the couples and a great personal detail. I had clients this year who made applesauce favors because the bride had grown up making applesauce with her mom. There's always just something extra awesome about the DIY elements because of the effort that goes into the projects. You know it meant something special to the couple, that they were willing to take all the time that's required to create details like these by hand.

What DIY projects did you undertake for your own wedding?

Oh man, we did a TON of DIY projects for our wedding.

We made our invitations (with DIY envelope liners), menu cards (including origami stands for the menus), table numbers, escort cards, a DIY photobook station (using a Fujifilm Instax camera), the boys' boutonnieres, and the Christmas ornament favors. My mom made all eight of the Christmas ornament and tulle bouquets.

We didn't have flowers, so everything that was normally a floral product was a DIY project made from Christmas ornaments.

Even my dress was handmade (so slightly "DIY") by my mother in law!



christmas ornament + tulle bouquets

christmas ornament + tulle bouquets

invitations + envelope liners

invitations + envelope liners

christmas ornament wedding favors

christmas ornament wedding favors

Do you have a favorite type of wedding DIY? Least favorite?

No favorite DIYs — I really love anything handmade or created by the couple with a specific purpose or meaning. Which means I don't have a least favorite either. ;)

If you haven't done DIY projects for your wedding yet, then be warned that they really do take a LOT of time and can be frustrating in the beginning when things don't work like the tutorial says they should. They always take some time to figure out how to make — so really, I love any wedding DIY, because I know what the couple went through to create it.

What advice do you have for couples considering DIY projects for their weddings?

Well, I've already mentioned the whole time and effort piece of DIY projects for weddings, but there are some other points I've shared before on giving advice to couples who are considering DIY. I was actually asked a while ago to give a talk about DIY weddings at a wedding show, and I took my talk and made it into a few different blog posts. I broke it down into five general topics:

  1. Time
  2. Prioritize
  3. Consistency
  4. Change the Y to an A
  5. Accept Less than Perfection

I love DIY projects and I love when couples include them in their weddings; however, I also realize that some couples don't have the time or desire to include this type of element in their wedding. Some couples don't need details and some just want to get married — and that is perfectly OK! But if you are considering doing DIY for your wedding, I can't stress enough the five steps/advice points I outlined above. Especially #1. So start now and plan to attend one of our upcoming DIY Wedding Workshops to help!

Each workshop will feature light refreshments, photography, and materials for creating each craft.

Scheduled topics include:

DIY Wire Work and Beading Techniques with Nina O'Neil of Ciao Nina
Sunday, May 4th, 2014
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Ulysses Room
Early Bird Discount: Tickets are only $25 until April 15!

DIY Chalkboard Signs with artist Sarah R. Perez
Sunday, June 29th, 2014
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
more information coming soon

DIY Simple Floral Details with Love Blooms
Sunday, August 17th, 2014
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
more information coming soon

DIY Wedding Makeup Tutorials & Tips with The Make-Up Chic
Sunday, October 26th, 2014
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
more information coming soon