Dolin and Matthew’s DIY Wedding

Craft & Design
Dolin and Matthew’s DIY Wedding


Dolin and Matthew’s DIY Wedding
By Dolin O’Shea

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Never being ones to follow trends or wanting something “traditional” for our wedding, we did just about everything for our DIY wedding last summer, with of course, a lot of help from our friends and family. Here is a bit about our vintage inspired wedding.
My husband is a teacher, so we decided to have our ceremony in a historic 19th century one room school house, that is located in San Jose CA. There were only 36 desks, so that limited who could attend the ceremony. We wanted a very small intimate gathering after the ceremony, so the 30 guests that attended were treated to a fantastic dinner party in my sister-in-laws back yard. It was a perfect day and evening. The next day was the big party at our house, we had about 80 guests over to our house to celebrate our wedding with a summer fiesta.
Being a pattern maker and all around crafty girl, I knew I wanted to make my own wedding dress and I wanted to make it right. A few months before the wedding I took a week long couture sewing class, my project for the class was of course my 1950’s inspired turquoise wedding dress. Every stitch of this dress was sewn by hand, there were a few seams that I did go back over with a my 1950’s Singer sewing machine, but I wanted to stay true to the meaning of haute couture and do almost everything by hand.

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Here I am in my couture class doing the miles of skirt basting by hand. The hem of the skirt ended up being close to 7 yards in circumference.
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A picture of one of the many fittings in the couture class. In this one just checking the bodice fit with the front of the skirt pinned in place.
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The prototype of our beautiful reception party invites, designed by my best friend Olivia Warnecke.
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Here we are walking down the “aisle” together. You can see the little bits of decoration we were allowed, since we got married in a historical landmark. Only white chalk on the chalkboard, some dahlias on the school desks (with very little water) and we also had some tissue paper pom-poms that we made spread around.
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Here is our back yard decorations for our reception, that was the day after our wedding. My husband strung up paper lanterns around the entire back yard, we had a combination of store bought and rented linens on the tables. The centerpieces were the little dahlia bouquets left over from the school house, with candles and polaroid cameras left out for guests to take snapshots with.
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Another view of the inside of the school house, you can see in the back ground the fabulous dahlias that Olivia drew on the chalkboard to match our invites.
About the Author:
Dolin O’Shea is a designer and writer who spent 15 years in the fashion industry as a pattern maker and technical designer. She is interested in most things crafty, but her first love is vintage fashion and giving clothing a second life. She lives in San Jose, Calif., with her wonderful husband and two silly dogs. You can find her online at

0 thoughts on “Dolin and Matthew’s DIY Wedding

  1. Danielle says:

    I love the mismatched table clothes and the hanging lanterns. Great ideas thank you for sharing

  2. Danielle says:

    I love the mismatched table clothes and the hanging lanterns. Great ideas thank you for sharing

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