Saving on the Ceremony: Pittsburgh Couple's DIY Wedding

See how one couple planned a completely do-it-yourself wedding without breaking the bank.

Photos by Libby Hilf Photography


When Alyssa Gaston and Adam Bania got engaged, the pressure was on: they wanted to have a personalized wedding without draining their bank account.

“[We] got engaged and realized how much everything costs,” Alyssa says. “I started trying to figure out where we could save money by doing a lot of the projects ourselves.”

Luckily, Alyssa’s family loves DIY as much as she does. Her father is a carpenter and her mother excels in sewing and crafting. Together, they were the perfect team to bring Alyssa and Adam’s wedding dreams to life.

The DIY adventure began when Alyssa opted for sola flowers instead of real ones. Sola flowers –– formed from balsa wood –– have a unique texture and can be admired for years with proper care. Alyssa’s mother created her bouquet, the bridal party’s bouquets and all of the groomsmen’s boutonnieres by hand from sola flowers.

The centerpiece of Alyssa and Adam’s DIY wedding was their altar. Two rustic white doors framed the couple as they said their vows on July 31, 2015. Alyssa’s father built the altar, using old doors and wood from Alyssa’s uncle. Alyssa painted a quote to frame the altar: “and so the adventure begins…”.

Signs & Centerpieces
Alyssa’s father created the custom signs directing guests from the ceremony to the reception as well as all the table numbers. The centerpieces were simple and rustic: a jar of twigs collected from Alyssa’s father’s property.

DIY Photobooth
Plenty of couples have a photobooth for their guests at the wedding. Alyssa and Adam took the tradition and transformed it into a one-a-kind DIY project. They purchased Fuji Instant Cameras so that their guests could get the quick-printed photos of a typical photo booth. Alyssa made or collected every prop for the photo booth, giving it an even more personal touch.

Alyssa and Adam say all the hard work was worth it. “Knowing how much work we put into the day made me appreciate it all so much more,” Alyssa says. “It was a lot of work and time, but in the end, I was just so happy.”


Categories: Beyond the Cookie Table