Ever considered planning a completely DIY backyard wedding? How about in two weeks? Alanis & Dillon opted for just that. Everything about this boho backyard wedding was made with love and created and captured by family and friends. A beautiful Californian fall inspired wedding.
Our engagement wasn’t your typical engagement. Dillon and I had already started our family young, and we were high school sweethearts. But all and all, we were our little family. We had been together about four years I believe when Dillon asked me to marry him. It happened in the happiest place on earth! In front of my favourite princess no less (snow white!) we were on our family vacation to Disneyland and my whole family who went with us was in on it. It’s something I will never forget. It took us three years later till we actually said: “I do.” Our engagement was a long one. Long, but worth it! 🙂
Our wedding was planned in less than two weeks!!! All was DIY! The flowers & decor – my stepfather even made me a dance floor! Except for the food and the cake – that was all bought or made. On top of that, it was a quaint backyard, rustic, boho wedding. Complete with flower crowns, burlap, lace, and marketplace lights. I remember going to sleep the night before the wedding thinking that we had come so far, and the butterfly’s ever bride must feel finally set in. From the moment we woke up it was hair, makeup, dressing, etc. my sister used to be a makeup artist before she had a baby so she did my makeup for my special day. And my middle sister did my hair which if I may say so, it was actually pretty amazing. There were around 50 people that came. For being a backyard wedding, it felt like a dream seeing it all come together.
The whole thing happened in my aunt’s backyard. I remember when Dillon and I finally set the date we were running out of options on where to have it. We are kinda a spur of the moment type of people. So I did some research on DIY weddings and you wouldn’t believe how popular backyard weddings were becoming. Now, I’m not saying backyard, shotgun, backyard wedding. I’m saying tasteful, romantic, whimsical, modern, backyard wedding. If you don’t believe me just google it.
For my dress, I wanted modesty and a little bit of boho combined. I chose a Melissa Sweet dress. I love her use of lace a tulle with her looks. My dress and I had a love-hate relationship. One day I would fit my dress which is a size two no less. Then some days it would be too big. I mean come on! What bride ever says “my dress doesn’t fit! It’s too small!” Isn’t it suppose to be too big? 😉
I did not have a single thing on that day but my flower crown, veil and my original engagement ring on my right hand. My grandmother had blessed us with a brand new set for myself and Dillon as a wedding present. Looking back, I’m very happy I didn’t wear a lot of accessories. I wanted the main focus to be on my dress and my flower crown to really stand out. I made my veil for my wedding. Having an heirloom for possibly a daughter or my daughter-in-law to wear makes me happy that they will have that option.
Hair & Makeup
My sisters actually did both for me. My twin sister was a makeup artist before she had her baby so I definitely used her talents to my advantage. Even though it was spring for my wedding, I have always been fascinated by fall and the colours. So I went dark. No test run to see if I liked it. We kinda just went for it. It really stood out against my skin. Gave me an edge while still feeling like I brought some fall to spring. My middle sister then did my hair. I had a half braided crown updo and left hair down in the front to give it a little whimsical feeling.
Groom and his men
Dillon only had one groomsman. They have been best friends I believe for three years now. We let the guys choose what they wanted. Dillon requested a rustic approach. They went to our local western store here where we live and got bolo ties and western shirts. Along with vests from Men’s Wearhouse.
They consisted of all four of my sisters along with a family friend that honestly counts as a sister. I chose a simple flower pattern maxi for my bridesmaids. We had searched everywhere for those two weeks only to find them the day before the wedding in Papaya. Talk about stressful!
All from our local Trader Joe’s! This wedding was DIY all the way. Sunflowers reminded me of fall so I had sunflowers everywhere along with being in my bouquet. Sunflowers, baby’s breath, and greenery with white hydrangeas. Hydrangeas were for my grandmother on my father’s side. She couldn’t be there that day and I wanted something to bring her with me. She always had them in her garden as I was growing up.
For those who don’t know, Safeway does cakes. It could be called Vons for those living in South California. It was a marble cake with two tiers and white fondant. As I said, two weeks means the bakers didn’t give us much choice as for decoration and making it our own.
We had a pretty good selection of food for our wedding. Rosemary chicken was the main course along with a pesto pasta salad, fresh fruit, bread, and garlic mashed potatoes. If you’re a DIY bride this is a pretty good selection if you’d like to make it yourself. Might be a bit trying depending on the guest list but still, worth a shot.
We took our family jeep. And like any other newlyweds, we wrote “just married” to display our special day to onlookers. 🙂
We actually didn’t use anything. It was all just through social media and calling friends and family that got the word out.
We did have really any entertainment planned out for the day. A lot of mingling going on. Family members from both sides met each other for the first time that day.
No videography sadly. But my friend, and both aunts from my mother’s side and step father’s side took pictures with their cameras. All came out beautiful. Ever picture was taken by either a family member or friend. It was an amazing present given we didn’t have time to hire someone.
As I said earlier, Dillon and I started our family before marriage let alone engagement. We have two beautiful boys. One almost five and one just turned one. Having them there was the best thing for us. I loved having them watch us making this commitment to each other. Saying that we are going to do life together through thick and thin and letting them see instead of telling them if they weren’t there had we done this differently. It was truly amazing as well at the end of us saying our vows, our entire guests and bridal party prayed over us as a family. We are a religious family so this was very important to us. Even if we did do everything backwards haha!
Bride to Bride
For those that feel that DIY is just too much work or don’t have the time like we did, it’s honestly worth it. Making everything your own with no limitations is the best and most fulfilling experience. Remember – Pinterest is your best friend.
All I can say is “enjoy.” Enjoy the planning, the trying on dresses, the food tasting, the flower picking, even the stressing. Because at the end of the day even through the stress, your day is about you and your future husband. Showing everyone how much love was put into this special day. And so much worry and frustration and stress over this day will be worth it once it finally comes. And remember, you have a whole eternity together. The wedding is just the start. 🙂