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The terms "offbeat" or "DIY" seem cliche. Many wedding sites highlight eye candy designed to make a bride swoon. Yet... These same sites link to vendors providing that "DIY" look. Maybe growing up in the City (San Francisco), visiting art installations/galleries weekly, attending a host of art and arts-and-crafts classes, and devouring and internalizing interior design and architecture magazines has biased my perspective. When I come up with an idea, I can't tell you where I saw it. I'm not trying to be coy-it's an artifact of growing up with constant stimulation/inspiration.

In college I was accused of cheating. A professor felt that I couldn't have developed a particular approach/formula on my own. I then set about documenting everything I read or saw (created a crosstagged database). The *next* accusation was that I was lying about what I was reading.

So why am I bringing up college in relation to weddings? Both academics and brides want you to believe that no one else had ever thought of designing a problem solving flow chart/soreadsheet or outfitting a ceremony/reception the way that they gave.

Weddings aren't original. Trying to make them unique/original by purchasing "one-of-a-kind" DIY accessories won't make your ceremony or reception unique. Creative thinking does! Going over what is important to both your fiancé and you will! It's the "why" you chose something that makes your day stand out. And by stand out I don't mean for photographers looking for eye candy to showcase their skill or even your friends or family. By stand out, I mean things that remind your fiancé and you of why you're getting married. It's your day! If someone else's premade DIY project reminds you of why you fell in love or an interest you share then use it. If the unique thing doesn't scream "US" then don't buy it. Weddings aren't about keeping up with 'The Joneses'. Weddings are - and always should be - about your fiancé and you! If your day is turning out to be a cookie cutter event, step back and rethink it. You don't want to walk down the aisle to someone else's tune. Be yourself-march to your own drummer!

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>By stand out, I mean things that remind your fiancé and you if why you're getting married.

That's so true.

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