A Chic Outdoor DIY Wedding by Cottonwood Road Photography

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There’s always something wonderful about a bride and groom who have killer smiles — everything about their wedding photos seem to light up more and come to life. Today’s couple, Katy and Ian, not only have amazing smiles, but they also have a VERY chic outdoor DIY wedding that we’re totally in love with. From the handmade paper flower decor to Katy’s gorgeous updo, we’re just smitten with all the special touches to the happy couple’s special day.

And can we talk about those gorgeous wedding photographs taken perfectly at magic hour by Cottonwood Road Photography? Well, let’s just say they don’t call it magic hour for nothing. Read on for more wedding gorgeousness — you’ll want to catch every last detail!

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4 ways to personalize your wedding day decor

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Natalie Franke Photography

Have you ever attended a wedding that was beautiful, had great food, a killer DJ, but zero personal touches? As in, the wedding could have been anyone’s wedding. Nothing stood out. Ever had that happen? It’s kind-of sad. The best part about planning a wedding is sharing what makes you unique with your friends and family. If you’re taking the time to read a wedding blog, my guess is you want your wedding day decor to be awesome and reflect you and your fiancé’s personalities. At my wedding, I want people to walk in and go, “this is totally Matt and Gina.”

Don’t worry, I’m not about to go into some elaborate step-by-step DIY project. You don’t have to be a DIY maven to find ways to add personal touches to your wedding day. And I don’t care if you have a wedding planner or are doing everything yourself, you need to think about this stuff. Here are a couple tips on how to let your personality shine on your big day.

1. Add Stuff You Like.

I always get complimented on the décor at my house, which is funny to me because it’s literally just full of stuff I like (plus a lot of Matt’s college sh**). There’s no organized look, but what makes it work is the mix of complementary colors, a variety of textures, and things that mean something to us. Keep this in mind when it comes to your wedding. If you feel confined by a theme or set of colors, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to let your personality shine. So what do you like? Photos, flowers, antique vases, art prints, typography, books, Americana, stripes, wine corks? Figure out what you like and then find a way to incorporate that stuff.

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Cluster picture frames together (hint: it’s better if they don’t match), grab memorable items from your house to have on display, or make a collage of things you’ve done together as a couple (saved concert tickets, postcards, photo booth strips…you get the idea). At our wedding, the “stuff we like” includes: wine bottles we’ve saved over the years that have been cut into flower vases; engagement photos; large “M” and “G” letters, some wine boxes including one we got the day of our engagement; and we’re having people sign wine corks we’ve collected over the years instead of a guest book.

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Brides-to-be: Steal Lauren Conrad’s perfect wedding-worthy bridal updo!

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Kristen Ess

Did you see?! Lauren Conrad has done it yet again in the hair department, proving she’s on track to be one of THE most chic brides of all time (move over, Kate!). This weekend the style maven sported what can only be described as the most perfect wedding-worthy bridal updo, pretty much ever (above).

Could this be a preview of her wedding-hair-to-be? If it is, I have to say it’s stunning, and totally perfect for a bride. With a gorgeous, chunky braid accenting the loose pretty updo put together by Kristin Ess of the Beauty Department, it’s a winner. Let’s take another look at the ‘do from the back…

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Kristen Ess

Yep, I’m in love. If you’re digging Lauren’s hair but are looking for some specifically wedding-y variations, don’t worry — we’ve dug around on Pinterest for looks on real brides that pretty much hit the mark.

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Jessica Christine Photography

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A playful New York wedding by Joseph Delgado Photography

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Weddings are already beautiful by nature, but what happens when you add in a breathtaking view of New York City as your ceremony backdrop? Well, we’re sure you can imagine that it’s pure magic, by why imagine when you could see the photos of such a wedding yourself? Michael and Kristine’s special day took place in a picturesque, sunny park with (you guessed it!) a killer view of Manhattan. Le sigh. Could this ceremony be any more perfect?

Not only was the venue totally on point, but Kristine looks like a fairy tale princess and combined with her groom, Michael, this couple has the BEST series first-look photos we’ve seen in a while. A perfectly playful and romantic special day captured artfully Joseph Delgado, this is one magical New York wedding you can’t miss!

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