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The DIY Bride (from the desk of Geri & John DeVergilio)


Planning Our Wedding From The Ground Up


Geri + John Part 2_-27

This past December I married my best friend (one of the coolest, funniest, giving and creative people I know). She planned our entire wedding for one year and saved us a ton of money. We really got a chance to know each other a lot better and our wedding turned out beautifully!

Here is an account of all the thriftiness, creativeness and planning that Mrs Geraldine Elizabeth DeVergilio put into our day!

John DeVergilio

Wedding Planning the DIY Way!

Here is an account of our wedding planning process and some of the lessons I learned:


The day I got engaged I couldn’t wait to start planning the wedding I had always dreamed of. I thought planning was going to be a fairy tale. I knew exactly how I wanted every detail, but that’s when reality set in. Planning a wedding straight from your own daydreams is not as easy as it seems. It turns out that none of the wedding stores in the state nor online had the same vision as I did, or if they did it came with a large price tag. Never fear, through countless Pinterest sessions, wedding blogs, hair brained ideas and my glue gun, I began our mission…. A budget friendly DIY dream wedding! Before you read on, here is one piece of advice you need to remember:

Don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of budgets, lists, opinions and endless decision-making and forget to enjoy your engagement. Planning can be stressful but just keep in mind the goal… to get you to the happiest day of your life!

In no particular order, here are some things I learned along the way so you don’t have to.



The main source of wedding stress for a lot of brides is picking the right dress. Considering it’s the most important outfit you will ever own, there is a lot for this dress to live up to. At first it may seem that the dress of your dreams will be impossible to find. Does it even exist? Will you be able to afford it? Where do you even start looking?

I decided just to jump right in and made a “No Obligation Appointment” just to browse dresses. I had no idea what a pick up, sweetheart neck, fit and flair, mermaid or ball gown would even look like on my body and had no intention of buying that day. Four dresses into the day there it was. The least likely contender I had picked off the clearance rack (just for fun) and it made me feel, for the very first time, like a bride. Stay calm, you will find your dress too, but here are some things to keep in mind.

The dress shop I picked was in a trendy cute area of Michigan, but it was also way across town. I didn’t know that was going to be an issue until I began alteration appointments. I found out they only make weekend appointments for out of town brides. The shop’s limited hours left me racing through rush hour to make it before closing time and in a 15 minute late window in which I could incur a large fee.





Wedding accessories come with a pretty hefty price tag. To offset the wedding dress and alteration costs I decided to make my own wedding dress accessories. This included the beaded belt for my dress and veil. I had never made anything like this before, but buying these two things off the rack would have totaled more than my actual dress. I also kept in mind that if the DIY went terribly wrong I could always come back to purchase these things. I watched a few YouTube demonstrations, Pinterest tutorials, hit the craft store with my coupons and began with a few practice pieces. The important thing in any DIY project is to allow yourself plenty of time, and relax… what’s the worst that can happen? In the end I saved hundreds by making my Belt for about $25 and my veil for about $15, and have one of a kind pieces that I can be proud of.



Another couple money saving tips:

Unless you are a shoe fanatic, do not blow your budget on shoes. I bought two pair, and no one even saw them. I also opted to wear family heirloom jewelry instead of buying new. It doesn’t have to be worth a ton to be beautiful and meaningful. I loved the idea of having a piece of my fiancé’s family history and hey it also doubled as my something borrowed!



The dreaded bridesmaid dresses. I was determined to get a dress that no one would hate. I searched high and low and was left empty handed for a long time. If I liked the dress it was way too pricey. If I liked the price I hated the dress. It seemed that every shop had the same old dresses that are uncomfortable, poorly made, and totally cliché. I had just about given up when I stepped away from the “bridesmaid” section and started browsing evening gowns. There it was, a dress even I wished I could wear, and at a fraction of the price. I ended up with gorgeous unique bridesmaid dresses by looking outside of the box and the girls ended up spending $98 instead of $300! I did have to go with standard dresses in a similar color for the young girls in the bridal party, but since they were considerably less expensive I was able to jazz them up with some rhinestones to match. To take my flower girl’s $25 online dress to the next level I made a simpler version of my bridal belt for her and added a few finishing touches and a hoop skirt.




Overall, the bridesmaids dresses took a little time to get right.  I had a lot of support from my sisters and bridesmaids though.  They turned out great!  YouTube and Pinterest were great consultants too!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more DIY stuff in the days following.  I will be covering, linens, chairs, centerpieces and many other items!

For more information about Geri and or products and services at JD Entertainment, feel free to contact us at:

info@jdentertainment • 586-468-9560


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