Bride and Groom at the Elysian...Streamers as their backdrop

Bride and Groom, Alexis and Johnnie Munger, at the Elysian…Streamers as their backdrop. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

It’s your wedding day. You’ve spent months (dare I say, years) planning every detail. You’ve searched and pinned a plethora of wishlist dresses, flowers, cakes and decor and finally whittled it down to THE dress, THE flowers, THE cake…and THE decor. Well, at least I hoped so.

On the morning of the big day, I was crossing my fingers that what I had put together lived up to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s expectations. Luckily, we’re all good friends and had many pre-game chats about incorporating their creative ideas, what they wanted and what they visualized as THE perfect wedding day (where perfection, in this case, was to be NOT perfect).

Mr. and Mrs. Munger at the Elysian in Los Angeles

Mr. and Mrs. Munger at the Elysian in Los Angeles. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

The consensus? LOVED it! Why shouldn’t they? After all, the decorations had their names written all over them…not literally, of course, but certainly by style. What I was most pleased about was that I was able to stay within budget and still create a hip, handmade and personal backdrop to what most guests left commenting as THE best celebration. Take a gander yourself. This eclectic wedding was definitely pulled off with a lot of love for family and DIY creativity. And now I can exhale and say…THE end.

Exterior shot of outdoor space and streamers

Exterior shot of outdoor space and streamers. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

The Elysian LA is one of those unique venues that requires little decor, so it was all about the personal touches to make the wedding…well…personal.

Pallet wedding chalkboard sign

DIY’d pallet wedding chalkboard sign. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

Pallet wedding sign closeup

Pallet wedding sign closeup. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

I found this pallet in my neighborhood about a year ago. It was collecting cobwebs in our backyard just waiting to be repurposed into something fabulous. Its patience paid off, don’tcha think?

Removable wallpaper succulents pots

Removable wallpaper succulents pots-double duty as decor and easy-to-plant guest gifts. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

Removable wallpaper succulents pot and cute flag

Removable wallpaper succulents pot and personalized flag. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

I was kinda giddy seeing how these happy little succulents (THE flowers, btw), looked nestled inside their DIY removable wallpaper planters. The little paper flags that my mom, Lois and I handmade, added a festive and whimsical touch, not to mention height, to the eclectic tablescapes.

Cards signage

Cards signage inside gifted suitcase. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

Cards signage closeup

Cards signage that mimics invite design. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

Alexis received this incredible, handmade suitcase at her shower, which needed no auditions to sit in as the card box (It took all my strength not to “lose” it when we were breaking down). I was also able to incorporate Johnnie’s invite design into the card signage, all the while tying in his creative genius.

Mason Jar with wax flowers, burlap and candle

Mason Jar with wax flowers, colorful string and flameless candle. source: Oscar Zagal

Mason jars with wax flowers

Mason jars with wax flowers. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

Painted lantern terrarium wedding centerpiece

Painted lantern terrarium wedding centerpiece. Photo by Skaie Knox, HomeJelly

A handmade wedding also means creating something beautiful from something very ordinary. A Ball mason jar, electric tea light (the venue didn’t allow open flames), a decorative piece of string ($2.99 p/pack of 4 different colors from Target!), and a sprig of wax flowers…lovely.

I also pulled in the mothers of the bride and groom by way of baby and child photos that were housed in frames found practically for free at garage sales and flea markets (and family freebees). They were excellent conversation starters as they peeked out amongst the centerpieces to add a reminiscing, personal touch.

Floating napkin heart sign decorates the cake table

Floating napkin heart sign decorates the cake table. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

A + J sign over gift table. source:!/

A + J sign over gift table. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

These floating heart and initials napkin signs were a surprise and my personal gift to the bride and groom. They were made out of Klunkers’ puppy gate (stuffed outside on the side of the house for years), free chicken wire and a pack of napkins. Handmade heaven.

Sign in poster keepsake

Sign in poster keepsake, designed by the groom. source: Oscar Zagal Photography

I love this wedding poster that will be framed and hung on the wall as art. Johnnie designed it based off their invitations. Clever lad.

Cupcakes hand-drawn signage

Cupcakes hand-drawn signage. Oscar Zagal Photography

This wedding was definitely a family affair; Johnnie’s mom made de-LISH-ous lemon bars and Alexis’ stepmom baked yummy cupcakes with strawberry cream filling. Her handmade cards did not lie!

Succulents bridal bouquet hand-made and designed by the bride!

Succulents bridal bouquet handmade and designed by the bride! source: Oscar Zagal Photography

The piece de resistance were the bouquets and boutonnieres designed and made by the bride herself! We found these succulents at the Long Beach Antique Market for just a dollar or so each…great tip! There’s no doubt this was a most unique and special day. Everyone expressed their love and care by hand and by heart.

Mr. and Mrs. Munger

Mr. and Mrs. Munger. source: Oscar Zagal Photogrphy

Which decor piece do you like most? Do tell!

All photography by Oscar Zagal Photography

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