I suggest you check out a wedding planning book from the library for checklists and for info. No need to slavishly follow what's inside, particularly for your pared-down wedding, but it will give you a frame of reference.
Take a serious look at your budget, timeframe, and skills and adjust accordingly.
On this board, items that are frequently DIYed include the following. I'm sure there are a ton more I'm forgetting, but you'll likely receive lots of feedback from other posters.
1) Stationery: STDs, invitations, announcements, programs, menu cards, thank you notes, sign in board/guest book, programs, place cards/escort cards. Based on your OP, it looks like you will only need announcements after the fact (plus at home cards if you wish) and thank you notes for any gifts you receive.
The following wording is based upon "Emily Post's Etiquette"
(the most recent version from 2004) for wedding announcements after the fact.. Post's wording assumes the bride's parents are hosts, but per your OP, you and FH are the "hosts." Therefore, the announcement is made directly by you as a couple. (There is different wording for a large reception following a prior small ceremony.) Include the at home card with your new address on it in the announcement.
YourFirst [Optional YourMiddle] YourLast and HisFirst [Optional HisMiddle] HisLast
announce their marriage
Saturday, the twenty-fourth of January
two thousand and eight
Las Vegas, Nevada
Be consistent with using the middle names--either use both or skip both. Center all text. Don't capitalize "announce" or "two." Spell out the date and the year.
Sources for paper include: Paper and More
, Cut Cardstock
, My Gatsby
, Paper Papers
, Paper Presentation
, Anchor Paper
, Action Envelope
, Mountain Cow
, The Paper Mill Store
, Paper Source
, Envelope Mall
TY notes: Photosharing sites like Flickr
, et al. allow you to upload photos and print them. You can order your own TY notes with your and DH's photos on them.
2) Photo albums: The above photo sharing sites also allow you to design and print books to create your own album. You could also add your own scrapbooking embellishments as well. Check out the Scrapbooking
forum for ideas.
3) Dress: Posters on here have made their own. There's also a Sewing
forum here on Craftster, although if you are a beginner, getting a machine, learning to sew, etc. is a time-consuming and costly endeavor. If that's what you want to do, go for it! If not, David's holds occasional bridal gown sales for $99. I believe they're sample sales.
You could also check out sites like Preowned Wedding Dresses
, and the "For Sale" notices on the forums at The Knot
to see if there's something similar to what you like. Check out the samples sales for local bridal shops, too, although that exact David's dress you posted will only be at David's or another bride's closet.
4) Flowers: If you want fresh, use a local (NV) florist. DIYing fresh flowers would be challenging for a destination wedding. FYI, here's
a list of flowers in season, which will run cheaper than when each type is out of season.
Posters on this board have also used silk flowers and non-floral bouquets including beaded bouquets, cloth, and paper flowers. This also goes for chapel decorations if you decide to do them.
5) Veil: Just Google for tutorials. There may be some at the project portions of the Michael's
Web sites, too.
6) Garter: Check out other posts in this forum. I've heard Ebay is a good source of garters, too.
7) Hair: This is going to be one of the more challenging aspects. Based on your photo, I think it's going to be very difficult for you to do your own hair, even if you were a professional stylist just based on the angle one needs to make that formation. I suggest you experiment.
I'm not a pro, but based on my own experience with special occasion hair, use hot rollers to curl your hair. Pin one of these fake hair volume-creating things
to the back of your head. Section your hair, rolling over the donut to cover. With leftover hair, roll for the extra curls. Check out YouTube for hair tutorials, too.
Quite honestly, I'm not convinced all of the hair in the photo is the model's own. I think she may be wearing extensions or have some extra hair put in. The sheer volume of hair is atypical for most people. Furthermore, some of the hair in the bun has lowlights that don't match the hair near the model's scalp. I'd bet money there's a hair donut in there even though it's not visible; it's common to use those to add volume. So you may want to factor in buying fake hair.
8 ) Makeup: This is an easy DIY. Just experiment. Take photos in different lighting. Don't use any makeup with SPF, which will make you look shiny in photos
9) Bracelets: For whom? Metalwork, beading, other styles? Peruse Craftster's Jewelry
10) Cake topper: There are lots of ways to go with this one if you want to DIY. Some folks have crocheted, some have clay sculptures, etc. The sky's the limit.
11) Aisle runner: Google for tutorials or look at other posts in this forum.
12) Centerpieces and favors: Not needed based on OP.
13) Shoes: Zappos
. Free shipping to and from, accepts returns up to 1 year after purchase. Special occasion/bridal shoe brands I've had good experiences with are Touch Ups and Coloriffics. Coloriffics are also available on the company's own site
14) Also, ask your venue for recommended vendors. It may be able to provide you some names. I would also ask the posters at the Las Vegas local forum on The Knot to get more info.
15) Don't forget the most important part: marriage license
and all the legal stuff that goes with it.
Best of luck to you both!