DIY Summary

We incorporated a lot of DIY (do-it-yourself) into the big day. I LOVE to make and create "things". I love art, design, and owning these projects. These were a nice distraction from work where I can’t create "pretty" things. I did 95% of it myself and sometimes enlisted the bridesmaids in sweatshop-like conditions (don’t worry, they were fed snacks and wine). (Some templates are also available for download. Look around.)

If you think I slaved day and night over the projects, then you’ll stand corrected. DIY shouldn’t be so difficult that you’ll give up. I just worked on everything for a couple of hours every couple of nights. It ramped up as the wedding got closer, but it was nice that we had such a long engagement. This website is also a DIY – I used to design websites way back before college and picked it back up to help our guests get more information. Then it just kinda grew after I received emails from other brides asking for help!

Paper Stuff

diy wedding graphics
Vector Graphics
All paper stuff included a logo that I designed, representing the dragon and phoenix tails.

diy wedding newsletters
Bridal Party Newsletters
We sent out newletters to the Bridal Party throughout the planning process.

diy save the date vip passes
To match the VIP party theme, I made VIP magnetic lanyards that came in a card as save-the-dates for our guests.

diy wedding invitations
I ordered the custom scroll with the DIY logo and put everything else we made together.

diy wedding invitation pocketfold envelopes
It was much more cost effective to make chocolate pocketfolds instead of buying them. I designed a template and started cutting, folding, and gluing away!

diy wedding invitation enclosure cards
I used the logo design I DIYed above to flourish the left side of the enclosure cards which were all printed, cut, and punched at home.

diy wrap around address labels
Wrap-around Address Labels
Since the invitations had to be sent in boxes, it was ideal to make address labels with the DIY logo and have them wrap around the front of the box.

diy wedding invitations
Assembly of DIY Invitations
Now that everything has been DIYed, the invitations were assembled with tissue, ribbon, and the steps are here.

diy wedding rehearsal invitations
Rehearsal Invitations
Invitations for the rehearsal party were designed to match all other stationary with the DIY logo.

diy day of timeline for wedding
The super-popular timeline that I made to help the guys and girls plan out their day. Since posting this timeline, it has been featured on!

diy wedding scrapbook guestbook
Scrapbook Guestbook
I turned a plain-jane scrapbook into our wedding guestbook with some simple fabric and brooch additions.

diy wedding scrapbook pages for guestbook
Pages and Pockets
Inside the DIY wedding guestbook, some pages were transformed to include pockets and pictures. These pockets allowed the guests to submit a private message to the bride and groom.

diy guestbook insert cards for scrapbook
Guestbook Insert Cards
Guests have to leave their messages somewhere. I DIYed little cards for the guestbook.

diy boxes for scrapbook insert cards
Boxes to hold insert cards
The guestbook cards had to go somewhere…

diy wedding escort cards and envelopes
Escort card envelopes and cards
Instead of making plain escort cards, I designed a little envelope that allowed table numbers to be inserted inside. This made it easy to later re-arrange the seating AND it allowed me to start working on these WELL before the RSVP list was complete.

diy wedding dinner menu cards
Menu cards
DIY menu cards that were slipped into a custom-folded napkin. Each guest got details to the six courses that they were about to eat.

diy thank you program
Thank You program
The thank you message was designed on the back of the menu card above.

diy wedding table map poster
Table Map Poster
Sometimes, simplicity wins. This was not an element that I wanted people to pay attention to, so it was made to be very simple.

diy wedding table numbers
Table Numbers
Give the guests something to talk about. I made each table a different picture of an adventure we had together: snorkeling, snowboarding, camping, etc.

diy wedding thank you sign for card
Thank You Sign
Since the bridal party is wearing all different colors, I made the thank you sign simple out of foam posterboard and paint.

diy thank you card
Thank You Card
Make your own thank you cards via vistaprint. It’s fast and easy.

diy thank you card wrap around labels
Thank You Wrap Around Labels
Easy-to-use Word templates for wrap-around thank you labels.

diy photoshare cards for wedding thank you cards
Photoshare Cards
I’m inserting one of these into each of our thank yous so that guests can check out our professional pictures, download from other guests, and share theirs!

Fabric DIY Stuff

traditional vietnamese ao dai dresses
Traditional Vietnamese Dresses
I didn’t physically make these. Rather, I redesigned the traditional dress to be more modern and updated and had a tailor make the dresses for me.

diy dance floor decor panels for ceiling
Dance floor panels
This is a really easy way to dress up a bare dance floor. I made chiffon panels to hang amongst lanterns.

diy orchid painted panels wedding decor
Lounge room orchid panels
Our venue isn’t the most modern, but the design for the wedding is, so I made fabric panels that I painted with vector orchids to bring the room to life.

diy dying crinoline
I dyed my crinoline/petticoat purple.

diy napkin fold
Napkin Fold
He got involved and created our custom napkin fold with the napkins we had made in Vietnam!

diy birdcage veil
Birdcage Veil
Most of the birdcage veils I found were over a hundred dollars and that just wasn’t in the budget… so I made one with my mom.

diy pillows
How do you dress up a less-than-gorgeous space? Make some pillows in your theme/design.

Other DIY stuff

diy wedding hair comb
Hair comb fascinator
My sister and I got together to work on this hair comb to wear with my reception dress.

diy boutonnieres
Instead of paying $15 for family bouttonieres, I made them with wire, fake flowers, tape and feathers.

diy flower girl baskets
Flower girl baskets
I bought baskets on sale post-Easter and wrapped them to dress them up as flower girl baskets.

diy wedding place setting origami flowers
Place setting flowers
I incorporated the tradition of folding 1,000 cranes into hundreds on origami lilies to adorn each guest’s place setting.

diy tile chargers
Tile Chargers
Instead of renting silver chargers, we bought ceramic tiles from Home Depot to create an organic/zen look.

diy jewelry
I made earrings to match each bridesmaid’s different dress color out of swarovski crystals and sterling silver findings.

diy shoe brooches for wedding
Shoe brooches
My shoes were dyed lavender, but they needed a little something extra, so I made a brooch with earrings and beads.

diy picture frame wedding card box
Card box
He worked with me to make this great picture card box for card gifts.

diy signature drink
Signature Drink Sign and Recipe
…how the DonThao came to life.

diy out of town bags
Out of Town bags
Guests staying in the hotel received goodie bags.

diy wedding hair and makeup
Hair & Makeup
At 4am, it was difficult to find a salon or stylist that was available to do my hair and makeup. Why bother looking elsewhere anyway if you have a talented sister who’s great at all of that!

Not really DIY

wedding favors
So this was not really DIY, but we put them together.

Post Wedding

diy wedding bouquet preservation
Bouquet Preservation
Professional bouquet preservations can cost a lot of money and after the wedding was over, that was the last thing I wanted to do. So I grabbed some hairspray and preserved my bouquet aka my new coffee table centerpiece.

diy wedding albums

Wedding Coffee Table Albums
Photographers charge a ton of money for high quality coffee table books… why not include images your guests took and make your own coffee table albums with the images that YOU like?
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