DIY wedding

A Stylish City Hall Wedding by Arkady Sandoval

Mark and Miho opted to keep their special day a bit more intimate. Both Mark and Miho are transplants to New York City, and is where they found each other. So they wanted to take their vows here in NYC. Both of them have family outside of the US, some were able to fly in while others were able to be tied in. See their special day below.

Advice from Brides by Arkady Sandoval

I decided to ask some of my brides four questions to help couples plan their wedding. I think it is important to hear from someone who has had a wedding, some of their advice can be invaluable. Below are the questions and responses.


  1. Looking back on your wedding day what are some things you would have changed?


  • I would have delegated prep work to more people! Our wedding was very DIY and I was the one with all of the plans. However, on the actual day, when others were doing the final touches of setup lots of questions were coming my way. I didn’t have my plans mapped out for others to see and hadn’t delegated enough to others. Everything turned out okay, but the last minute details caused unnecessary stress.  -Brianne

  • I would have considered the timeline of the day and managed time better; we were in a crunch with the lighting/sunset etc and I actually wish Justin and I had done more photos before the ceremony cause you don’t realize how the photos with the bridal party and family take a long time (right?) and at that point we were all like let’s get this party started!!!! Also wish I’d had a videographer cause you miss A LOT espicially as the bride (your walk down the aisles, the bridal parties walk, all the music coming together during ceremony, the groom

    Getting ready with his friends, etc). Thankfully my cousin had a little hand held video camera that captured snippets and I’m SO happy I have at least those moments.  -Stephanie

  • I think something I would have changed was being a little pushier with the venue. When I had done all the walk throughs they told me the way that people were going to walk in etc and I wish I had been a little bit pushier with what I wanted and what vision I had for it. I also wish I would have enjoyed it a little more I was so stressed about everyone else having fun that I didn't really let loose and I wish I had cut myself some slack and understood that it was going to be great no matter what. -Jill

  • I would have had a space for my husband and I to take in the special moment between the ceremony and reception. -Megan


2. What advice would you give couples who are planning their wedding?


  • Find out what’s important to each partner. Have someone be in charge of making you a plate of food at the reception. Enjoy every moment of the special day by pausing to take it all in. Capturing the moment and remembering it forever was very important to us. Set up exactly what you want captured with your photographer. - Megan

  • Hire a wedding planner if you can and sometimes DIY is not as cost effective as you think. I opted to do much of the planning myself, but having never planned a wedding I spent countless hours trying to figure out details that a professional could have done for me. I also ended up spending lots of money on extra decorations, etc. that were never even used. If we had a wedding planner we probably would have avoided this. -Brianne

  • The best piece of advice I can give a couple who is planning their wedding is plan the wedding you wish you would be invited to. While it is obviously about you and celebration of your love, all of these people are taking time out of their lives to show up, bring a gift (most likely), and celebrate so make sure its a party you would want to be at. Also, it's a day that is about you, so don't let parents, etc influence you too much! ALSO -- trust the vendors you're using because you don't want to wake up that day and have to worry about people doing their jobs.  -Jill

  • To think and focus on what you really want and spend money accordingly; like is it the dress you feel amazing in?! Are the flowers and visuals the most important? Don’t be cheap on the things that matter to you both. The things we’ll remember in 20 years are the things I wish we had focused more on. You sort of get in a money spending vacuum so its smart to identify those items ahead of time. Also, at the end of the day the wedding isn’t about what your family wants, other people, etc. If you have a vision in mind and it’s really what you want, just remember ... it’s your wedding, not anyone else’s. If you want a wedding with 20 people - do it! If you want pizza at your wedding - do it! People love weddings that capture the personalities of the people getting married. -Stephanie


3. What is something you are glad you did prior to your wedding?


  • The first look! Omg it calmed my nerves SO much. Otherwise i would have hyperventilated down the aisle with everyone staring at me. - Stephanie

  • I'm glad I spent the night before the ceremony with my best friend -- she made it so much more fun and it really took the pressure off (family stuff, planning stuff) it was nice to just spend the night hanging out. Also, we wrote letters to each other on the morning of that we still haven't opened but I woke up that morning and was so excited to marry my husband that it was nice to put that all down and we can read it one day.  -Jill

  • We took a few extra days off before our wedding to spend some much needed us time together. We knew the wedding week was going to be a whirlwind and having some quality time together before hand was wonderful. We were able to relax and reflect while making memories. -Brianne

  • We were so glad the we had engagement photos taken. -Megan


4. Anything else you would like to add? Please do so.

  • Be prepared that there will be aspects of your wedding that do not go according to plan. My advise is to roll with it and remember this is your special day. Rain or shine you’re getting married to the love of your life! -Megan

  • Relax and enjoy yourself! The day flies by faster than you would ever imagine. Sneak away during the wedding and have a moment where you can talk to each other. You’d be surprised and how little time you’ll actually spend together during the reception!  -Brianne

  • It goes by so fast and things happen and stuff gets messed up but it goes by so fast and all anyone remembers is how much fun you had. No one else notices all the little things that could happen because they didn't even know they existed. One thing I was really happy we did was while people were finishing up their dinners, before all the crazy partying started, we went outside alone and just had a moment together. It was literally the only time that night we were alone! It was special to just have a moment of us two and look into the room and see all of the people we love the most celebrating us in there. It made it so so special. -Jill

  • ask for help; i was planning a wedding in another state but had family that was able to help and it was invaluable. I feel like the wedding was only a success because of all of their help and letting go of tasks, etc helped the stress level so much. If you’re doing a more do it yourself wedding without a planner or day of coordinator you don’t realize how much you really need someone’s help the day of - keeping to the schedule, decorations, putting up signage or any other “display” you’re planning on, etc. -Stephanie

I hope these tips help as you plan your wedding.