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Real Bride, Real Talk: A DIY Approach to Planning the Best Day Ever

Exquisite Weddings own marketing art director, Hannah Rhodes, is preparing to tie the knot with her fiancé, Sam, in a distinctly vivid affair this fall. Here, she dishes on her DIY approach to planning the best day ever—see it in our Spring/Summer 2019 issue!

mustard yellow dress hangs next to white dresses

Tell us about your beau.

Sam and I met online (the usual), but three months into our relationship we discovered we had crossed paths before. He’s a local musician and, in a previous life, I tagged along with a friend to one of his gigs with the band The Gooses. I purchased a CD and fell in love with one particular song, which I listened to on repeat for eight years until we met. All that time I was singing along with my future husband on my iPod and had no idea!

What motivated your wedding look and theme?

We are a pretty playful couple, so we wanted our wedding to reflect that by being whimsical and colorful. My dress was a big source of inspiration. I never really saw myself wearing a traditional white gown, and the stars aligned when I found the PERFECT yellow dress.

How much of the big day are you planning and doing yourself?

I’ve taken on the planning and a lot of the execution, with help from family and friends. As a graphic designer, I’ve been able to cut expenses and go straight to the printer with my designs—invitations, table cards, escort cards, signage, etc. My mom made our table runners and crocheted hearts as favors, and my dad and brother made our arbor. We’ve even opted to have a makeshift photo booth: We are creating the backdrop and using WifiBooth to take the photos.

wedding invitation suite with design details in yellow, navy blue, and coral

Despite the DIY elements, were there any vendors you couldn’t live without?

A day-of coordinator! I am putting a lot on my plate prior to the big day, but I don’t want to worry about anything the day of.

Now that you’re in the planning home stretch, what advice do you have for other brides with a DIY drive?

Take people up on their offers to help. Your friends and family are your best resources. We have so many friends who have helped and are a part of our big day. It only makes it that much more special.

couple pose for engagement photo in front of light blue wall

“I can’t wait to look around on our wedding day and see our personality every-where.”


DIY Starter Guide

1. Stay Organized really has everything you need—a checklist, a budgeter, a guest list organizer—and where would a modern-day bride be without Pinterest?”

2. Ease Into It

“Signage is a great way to bring in your unique personality and can easily be achieved with an inkjet printer at home or with your own beautiful handwriting. You can also repurpose other objects, like mirrors, old artwork, and wood pallets, and write or paint on those.”

3. Think Ahead

“Make things you’ll love making and can even use afterward. Look at everything as an opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind piece to use again later in your home.”

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