Handmade Paper Flower Wedding: Nata + Jess

giant paper flower bouquet

You might remember Nata + Jess from their stunning engagement photos we shared last year… Well, today we have their beautiful handmade wedding photographed by the super talented Studio Castillero. Nata + Jess came up with a few requirements for their wedding including…

• No matter what, it had to reflect them together. This meant that they could set traditions aside.
• Budget. Jess is a financial analyst so this was a hard-fast requirement. And they spent about 1/3 of the average American wedding. Congrats on that!
• It’s a PARTY. They definitely don’t take things too seriously and love a great shindig!

The most important part of the wedding for them was the photography so the largest percentage of the budget was dedicated towards that. After crunching the numbers, Nata realized she didn’t really have room for a wedding planner, flowers, cake or caterer. But hey, who doesn’t like a challenge? :) Since her entire bridal party lives out of state, Nata pretty much made + planned everything herself, which literally took the entire duration of their one year engagement – but you can see by these photos it was totally worth it! Congrats to Nata + Jess and thanks for sharing your beautiful day with us!

first look

parisian umbrellas

airplant favor

giant paper flower bouquets

Our ceremony was super intimate – about 30 of our closest family and friends. Because we try and spend as much time outside as possible, the botanical garden was an ideal setting for us. My friend, Keoki played us down the aisle (an acoustic version of one of my favorite Dashboard Confessional songs) and our friend Chad was the perfect officiant. My favorite DIY projects for the ceremony were the giant paper flowers I made – the bouquets were made from crepe and tissue paper; the wedding arch was made of cardstock. Because the ceremony site was so simple, I wanted to contrast that with the graphic appeal of bright, oversized flowers.

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony, umbrellas

paper flower ceremony backdrop


giant paper flower bouquets

And those gorgeous huge paper flowers! Don’t you all just LOVE them!? I fell in love with them too and Nata is sharing a DIY on how to make the giant paper rose right here!


bride and groom

giant paper flower bouquets

giant paper flower bouquets

bride and groom

“Til Death Do Us Party” was the theme of the evening and around 100+ people. We thought an art gallery/museum would best suit our tastes and I was so lucky to find San Diego Art Institute. They don’t normally advertise as a wedding space so there was a bit of legwork to find it, but so glad I did! The gallery had a ton of great art already and we opted out of a sit-down dinner, which meant I didn’t have to do much with the decor (though there was no shortage of things to do!). It took us 5 hours to prep the reception space before the wedding…I definitely had no idea how much work it’d actually be.

paper flower centerpieces

sweet and savory bar

sweet bar, chevron stripes

love candy bowls, chevron stripes

The BIGGEST DIY project and the hit of the party was the photobooth, made by myself and my buddy Geoff (software engineer extraordinaire). The backdrop was made out of PVC pipe and some chevron fabric. The photobooth props were acquired throughout the year. And the photobooth was run on my Canon DSLR, photobooth workflow software, a photo printer, and the Geoff-custom-programmed Staples “easy button”. To run it, someone hits the easy button, takes 4 photos and prints out a nifty 4×6 print that I designed myself. 

till death do us party, thumbprint guest book



It was honestly the best day ever…even though I was up for 24 hours straight! The best memory of the day was when our officiant was telling us the meaning of love as told by a group of 4 to 8 year olds.

• Carl, age 5: Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cream and they go out and smell each other.
• Emily, age 8: Love is when you kiss all the time. And when you get tired of kissing you still want to be together and talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.
• Jessica, age 8: You really shouldn’t say “I love you” unless you mean it, but if you mean it you should say it a lot…because people forget.

Love is such a simple concept and I think as adults we sometimes over-complicate things. I love how Chad reminded us how important the little things are.

If I had any advice for future brides to be, I’d remind them that as much as this day is about you and your fiance, it’s also about including all the people you love and care about…so don’t be a prima donna or bridezilla. You’ll just make yourself and others miserable.

photography: Studio Castillero // dress: Brides By Demetrios // hairpiece: Twigs and Honey // bridesmaid dresses: Coralie Beatrix // groom’s suit: Banana Republic Outlet // groom’s tie: Good Heavens // ring book: Conduit Press // ceremony: San Diego Botanic Garden // reception: San Diego Art Institute // lights, audio, dj: RED Audio // cupcakes: Have Cake! // food: Heather Aaker // thumbprint guestbook: bleu de toi

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  1. Wow those flowers are amazing! We need a tutorial!

  2. What a great wedding. I love the print tree, it is such a neat idea!

  3. AMAZING! DIY flowers are a dime-a-dozen, and this stood out tremendously. Gorgeous wedding, I love the “’til death do us party” theme :) They seem like a wonderful fun couple; I think I would have had a blast at their wedding.

  4. Paper Flowers might be one of my favorite things EVER! I’ve been totally in love with them for years. Unfortunately I’m not the craftiest person! But, they always look so fun!

  5. I LOVE the “Up”-inspired guestbook! I’d love to find out where they got it from!?

  6. YEEEES! Thank you so much for featuring our work today! Renata and Jess were dream clients, and now the best of friends. The way they embraced who they are and expressed that in their wedding made was a major win. Thank you for sharing their story! xoxo

  7. LOVE how the bride’s headpiece works with the arch at the ceremony! So brilliant.

  8. Yeah, those huge flowers are pretty freakin’ amazing. They give such a visual pop!

  9. Love your wedding and all of the details! Thanks for using our guestbook thumbprint balloon! It turned out great and was a wonderful addition to all of the other sweet touches. Find original designs at Bleu de Toi Handmade: http://bdthandmade.blogspot.com/p/make-it-fly-balloon-designs.html

  10. unbelieveable. the photography, the diy touches and, from what I can gather, the spirit of this wedding. congratulations to the bride and groom and to studio castillero for capturing this day with their brilliant art.

  11. Those flowers are amazing! I have those ‘love’ bowls as well! :D

  12. Those oversized flowers were gorgeous as centerpieces! You wouldn’t have to do too many with them that size!

  13. i LOVE this wedding, how gorgeous. every detail is perfect, i love the ’til death do us party’ theme…genius. and that headpiece? LOVE.

  14. Oh wow, I really love this wedding! Her hair is totally rockin, and I love all of the ink in the bridal party. And that custom photo booth thing is awesome.

  15. Love brides with tattoos (and gigantic flowers). So many lovely details in this wedding!

  16. Do you know where this bride got all of her lovely umbrellas from? I’ve been hunting for pretty ones but they are SO hard to find :) many thanks B

  17. Hi Broke – Hopefully Nata will see this and respond, but I have a guess they might be rentals from Bella Umbrella – http://bellaumbrella.com/ — Bella lets you rent vintage umbrellas for your event – and they do also sell them, but renting is great for the super hard to find gorgeous vintage umbrellas. Hope that helps!

    xo Jen

  18. Jen’s right, the umbrellas were rented from Bella Umbrella. The best part is they have those rad pagoda style umbrellas, which are my FAVE. Good luck!

  19. Love the Til Death do us Party sign!

  20. Hi Jen and Nata!

    Absolutely LOVE your gorgeous wedding! I was wondering if you could tell me what photobooth workflow software you used for your DIY photobooth? Loved it! So cute. Thanks so much!

  21. I’m also wondering about the UP inspired guestbook since I am having an Up inspired wedding. Does anybody have any clues? I searched all over Etsy and can’t find a darn thing.

  22. Jess – I just added it to the post, but the thumbprint guestbook is by Bleu de Toi – http://www.etsy.com/shop/bleudetoi

    xo Jen

  23. Wow what a beautiful photos. First of all congrats to Nata+Jess.. :-)

    The groom’s attire was very stylish, I would like my beloved fiance to wear similar type of attire.

    And I really love the paper flowers very much.. Thanks for the sharing.

  24. Loving all the details of this wedding, from the brides’ tattoo to the flowers and the chevron and stripes. Very unique, and VERY cool :)

  25. Caitlin – Breeze Systems if you have a Nikon or Canon DSLR (and use a PC). Sparkbooth is a good option if you just have a high resolution webcam (think it works with MAC or PC). Good luck!

  26. Hi Jen, Thank you so much for the umbrella info they are SO lovely!! Also appreciated the info on the DIY photo booth. Yay love!!!

  27. What a gorgeous wedding.
    Wise budget decision by the way, can’t put a price on memories as the “Dear photograph” blog shows just how important and moving photography/memories are.

  28. I love your DIY photo booth! How did you set it all up? I would love to try to DIY one at my wedding!

  29. Did you already post the DIY for the flowers? I LOVE them and they would make the perfect addition to our extra room. Could you please send me the link or let me know when it’s posted? Thx

  30. Hi Sasha!

    I just added the link to the post, but you can find the DIY here: http://greenweddingshoes.com/diy-giant-paper-rose-flower/

    Have fun!! xoxo Jen

  31. Thank you so much Jen!

  32. Hi Neta,
    I absolutely loved your wedding – it looked beautiful!
    Can I ask about your wedding dress?
    Did you buy a second dress to wear at the reception, or was that still the dress you wore at the ceremony, but with the long skirt taken off?
    It looks fantastic. I would like to do something similar at my wedding.

  33. I am impressed by that handmade paper flower. This way you can be sure your bouquet will last during the event.

  34. OMG I love love love the flowers!!!!

  35. Hi Ambia! Thanks so much for the kind words! I actually had 2 separate dresses. The wedding dress is by Demetrios (GR133) and the reception dress is from asos.com and was on sale for $30! I love those convertible dresses that go from long to short though…good luck on your dress search!

  36. hi nata,

    thanks for your help! i can’t believe you got the second dress for only $30 – it looks fantastic! i live in australia, and the photo booths that you can hire here are so small and pokey. i love the results of your photos from the photo booth you created – lots of people can be in the one photo:) did you have a printer there on the night so that your friends could get copies of the photos? or, did you just collect all the photos on your hard drive and email them to your friends afterwards? if you did print the photos, did it cost a lot? did you have to go through lots of ink? so many things to decide!
    thanks again for your help, i really appreciate it!



  37. hi! so so pretty! where are the LOVE containers on the sweets table from? Love them! Thanks!

  38. Hi Ambia – we had a printer at the reception and the pics were printed right after they were done taking the photos. The printer we used was a standard Canon home color printer. It used a set of 1 color and 1 black ink cartridge. You’d probably get like 40 prints from 1 set. If you use the XL cartridge size, you’d easily get over 100 without changing ink in the middle of the event. I spent about $40/$50 on ink for 100-120 photos. The paper was cheap…like $10 for 200 I think. We also printed them again as part of the thank-you cards and it was much cheaper – we used snapfish and it was like $0.09 per photo.

    Hi Valerie – http://www.bridesvillage.com/love-letter-centerpieces.html

    Gook luck you guys!

  39. I love this! So whimsical with the giant flowers and umbrellas!!

    Cupcakes Couture

  40. Nata,
    Did your bridesmaids love their dresses? Did they stay on while dancing or were they constantly pulling them up/ fixing them? Any other feedback? Also, just to make sure, that is the silver color, right?


  41. Hi Nata, We just love your creative self run photo booth idea that your friend created. Any way he would be interested in creating another one for my daughter’s wedding in Laguna Beach? If he’s interested, he could give us an idea of costs. We just loved the “easy button” idea and my husband would not go crazy with trying to figure out how to pull this off. He is not a tech weenie! This way the photgrapher can do their thing and not have to worry about this set up too.We are building a photo wall and would love to have this set up to print off fun photos for friends and family. The wedding is August 4th 2012. Thanks so much and I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

  42. Nata,

    I love those flowers! What color is the giant one that you are holding? It looks exactly like the pink I am wanting in my wedding. It’s hard to tell on the castle in the air website which color it is. Thanks!


    • I just checked out the website and it’s the double crepe paper for my giant rose isn’t available at the moment. The color was called “Hot Pink / Violet”. You should write them and see when they’ll expect to get more. Good luck!


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