Thousands of couples travel here every year to get married with a Vegas-style ceremony.  Elvis officiating, showgirls witnessing, honeymoon on the Strip— the whole nine yards.

But what about the locals?  What about the couples who actually live here and need to get married, but don’t want a Vegas-obsessed event?  There needs to be a more traditional option for them.  The good news is, there is.  The even better news is that it’s becoming cheaper and cheaper.

Self-planned weddings are on the rise.   And not just self-planned, but actually handmade.

Pinterest, a social network site for all things crafty and creative, is encouraging more and more brides to bring a more personal, cozy touch to their weddings.   Everything from decorations to dress ideas to menu recipes reside on Pinterest, and with the ability to make entire virtual bulletin boards of ideas, it’s a bride’s dream come true.

Newlywed Shelly Brown designed her entire wedding based off Pinterest ideas, and she didn’t have to worry about tacky Vegas culture.  She found an outdoor venue so that she could use the beautiful desert scenery to her advantage.  She and her bridal party made the decorations themselves, using mason jars, glass bottles, floating candles, etc.  These are things that anyone can easily get at a craft store for a great price.  They had a barbeque style reception, which could seem cheap in a conventional wedding, but at her outdoor reception, with a beautiful desert sunset as the backdrop, it was very appropriate and gave a fun atmosphere to the party.

A wedding should reflect the personality of the bride and groom.  More and more couples have begun embracing this the last few years, which is a great thing.  Weddings are always a lot of work no matter how they are planned— so brides, why not put yourselves in charge?  Instead of trying to keep track of all your decorators and florists, think up your own ideas and have your friends help you! It’s less expensive and you’ll be proud of your work.  It adds a wonderful personal touch to a wedding.

A Pinterest-inspired desert wedding