It’s hard to compete with a gorgeous Florida sunset, but Kelsey and A.J.’s Clearwater Beach, FL, DIY wedding was totally up to the task. The couple’s laid-back, seaside decor — most of which was DIYed — set the tone for a relaxed, beachy vibe. Ready to geek out over this wedding’s nautical flair? Read on to discover how Kelsey’s crafty DIYing got her celebration in ship-shape.
1. Embossed Invitations: When it comes to wedding invitations, stamps are a DIYer’s best friend (along with mad Photoshop skills, of course). Kelsey designed these wedding invitations herself, leaving room at the bottom of each for a nautically themed embossed image. She picked up the nautical stamps at Michaels and used embossing powders to create a “raised” image.
2. Sassy Sailboat Place Cards: For these cute place cards, Kelsey employed some origami magic and her fiance’s idle hands. She printed out each guest’s name on seaside-themed scrapbook paper and then folded them into origami sailboats. “A.J. is now a pro at this!” she said.
3. Ocean-esque Accents: For the centerpieces, Kelsey rounded up classic ocean accents — like coral and sea glass — and arranged them artfully on antique silver trays. The best part? The centerpieces didn’t go to waste post-wedding! “I love the weathered nature of anything that looks like it has been left on the beach for too long,” said Kelsey. “Most of our wedding decor is actually displayed throughout our home now.”
4. Come Sail Away: Kelsey’s mom put her creativity to work to come up with table numbers that fit with the seaside theme perfectly. For the sails, Kelsey’s mom simply painted numbers on triangles of canvas fabric. The body of the boats were actually blocks made from scrap wood that she painted, sanded and left outside for a month (letting the rain and sun work its magic). Now that’s some DIY dedication right there!
5. Pops of Pink: To liven up the centerpieces with a little color, Kelsey scattered aqua bottles of different sizes and shades on painted and weathered wooden blocks to vary their heights. She then had her florist add small bits of coral and pink flowers to the bottles for an extra dose of color. We love how all that aqua and coral brightens up the canvas and driftwood accents.
6. Get Cork-y: When guests got to their tables, they were greeted by sweet little DIYed place card holders made from three wine corks tied together with string and topped off with a delicate airplant. “We thought the place card holder looked like a small dock,” said Kelsey. Plus, guests could take the place card holders home and use them to display a photo or two.
7. Made With Love: Seashells + a seaside wedding = the perfect laid-back decor. Kelsey’s mom put her glue gun to work by attaching colorful shells to a simple 16 x 20 frame, which Kelsey then used to display one of her favorite engagement photos. Everybody say “awww.”
8. Fish Lips: Ombre is in, and that includes wedding cakes. The stunning three-tiered dessert faded from deep aqua to soft blue, with a pair of shabby chic wooden fish to top it all off.
9. First Look: Nifty nautical DIYed decor aside, Kelsey’s hands-down favorite wedding moment was the couple’s “first look” before the ceremony. “We chose to write and read vows to each other at that time, so it was a private and deeply personal moment,” said Kelsey. “It was the only moment that was solely ours.”
Congrats, Kelsey and AJ!
Photography: Ashlee Hamon Photography
Wedding coordinator: Kelley Williams
Wedding Venue/Caterer: Carlouel Yacht Club
Florist: Caritas Illuminata
Hair & Make-Up: Crystal Broedel
Do you have a DIY wedding that you’d like to share with us? Leave us a note in the comments, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.