When Emily and Avery set out to create their dream wedding, their main goal was to turn every aspect of their favorite city into inspiration for their personalized affair. These two wanted a good ol’ classic NOLA wedding with an artsy and modern twist to fit their personal styles — all while being on budget. So when it came to the specifics of their nuptials, selecting lots of DIY details and the gorgeous Race + Religious as their wedding venue were some of the first decisions they made. With some major DIY wins and lots of help from family and friends, their big day ended up being totally personalized and absolutely gorgeous. Scroll on for all the DIY deets below.


1. DIY Invitations: Both having art backgrounds and a general love for making things, Emily and Avery did a lot of DIYing for their wedding, including designing and printing their own invitation suite to set the vibe for the fun weekend. The invitations featured a faint watercolor wash of the Mississippi river in the background, as well as cute little animals in a brass band parade. Adorable!


2. DIY Ceremony Backdrop: From the look of these gorgeous images, you would not be able to tell that the ribbon ceremony backdrop was DIYed at the very last minute to prevent the ribbons from getting wrinkled in storage. If you’re digging this idea, all you have to do is grab ribbons that match your color palette, and tie them to a rope long enough to hang from one side of the ceremony spot to the other. Add a couple of unique geometric hanging lights, and you’ve got the perfect ceremony set-up.


3. DIY Florals: Our favorite money-saving moment lies with the florals. If you’re currently planning a wedding, you already know those bouquets can get spendy. With a real gift for flower design, Avery’s mother offered to help with this dreamy task. The bouquets featured ivory roses with accents of green berries, peach buds and dark purple leaves. You can do the same by heading to a floral market, grabbing similar florals and bunches of inexpensive baby’s breath, tying them off with floral wire and covering the wire with some pretty fabric.


4. Gold Dipped Everything: For the decor, Emily and Avery were really inspired by the venue and location of the event. They had these beautiful gold-dipped oyster shells scattered on the tables (which also served as guest favors!), tall gold-dipped jar candles, succulents potted in tea cups and votives, along with lots of old glass jars to create a vintage yet glam + artsy vibe.


5. DIY Cupcake Racks: With the help of Emily’s mom — who created these delicious cupcakes and adorable cupcake racks from plates found in several of the couple’s favorite thrift stores — the reception had a super unique dessert area in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. The “Love Sweet Love” sign was just the icing on the (cup)cake table.


6. DIY Message-in-a-Bottle Guest Book: To capture the vintage and romantic spirit of their city, Emily and Avery DIYed this message-in-a-bottle station. This allowed guests to leave the couple a message in whimsical bottles to be read at one of their future anniversaries. Talk about a memorable and unique guestbook!


Undoubtedly, the weekend was one massive labor of love, but as Emily and Avery put it, “With our friends and family, we found that folks wanted to be involved, so we let them. It made the whole event more meaningful for us and for our loved ones.” Three cheers to that, and congrats to the happy couple!


Photographer: Maile Lani Photography
Location: Race + Religious, New Orleans, Louisiana

Your Big Day is just starting! Check out all things Brit + Co Weddings, and follow us on Pinterest for more beautiful + creative wedding inspo.