You’ll Swoon Over This Seaside DIY Wedding
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
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 email@example.com.
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.