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A DIY Wedding!

While I anxiously await my wedding photos to come back from the photog, I figured I’d talk about all the DIY projects i did for our wedding this past month. I can’t believe I’ve been married for a month! It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. This is also a REALLY long post; I think it could be the longest I’ve ever written.

So, starting at the very beginning; we created all the save-the-dates and printed them at home on 4×6 postcards; I tirelessly searched for envelopes to hold them, created address labels for return addresses and created the labels for outgoing addresses. Husband said I should have hand-written them, another fight for later, but I had already stuck the labels on the envelopes so…no going back now!

We asked Husband’s father to make us a letter box and he came up with the idea of modeling it after the cedar chest my maternal Grandpa made for me when I was born. We wanted the letter box to act as a storage box when all was said and done so it now holds all the candles we used at the reception. We also asked him to make us Jenga pieces to act as our guest book. He created them out of the maple from a felled tree at Tim’s childhood home. We also got the last of the maple. We will eventually be making a mural or something of the likes out of them all in the coming months. People wrote on almost all sides (my fault, as I didn’t tell them to just write on one side) but we have a ton of extras so we’ll be filling in from there. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest for this wedding and it’s unbelievable how much i did as either a copy or refresh from a Pin. I found my hair style options (which I didn’t even end up using) on Pinterest, we came up with the Men’s colors partially from Pinterest, I found a lot of mason jar options on Pinterest, and the list goes on.

I bought the yarn for the bridesmaids shawls from Shelridge Farms in Canada; her yarns are gorgeous and the Gunmetal colorway wound up matching the dresses we chose perfectly. I bought three pounds thinking it would be more than enough and it was- I have a TON leftover and will be starting a sweater soon with it! I started the bridesmaids shawls in March and finished in early August. i am really looking forward to the photos of the shawls from the wedding. There’s an amazing photo that i hope came out really well of the five of us.
 

I made Tim’s socks in the middle of all the shawls- I should have written a note saying ‘make sure you get a picture of you in your suit with your socks on’ but my darling husband didn’t think about that.

I bought the yarn for my shawl in April and started shortly after finishing the first shawl for the bridesmaids, knowing mine was going to be an undertaking. i finished knitting it in mid September and it was the last of the wedding knitting. I cast on a Bifrost scarf and was knitting it in my wedding dress 20 minutes before the service as a way to calm down, which didn’t end up working, but it’ll still be a great photo! There is a photo of me standing on the overlook at the park with the shawl on facing away from the camera and I know it’ll be amazing. I’ll share it as soon as I get them! I made personalized hangers for my gals and Husband and my brother and the best man. I ran out, otherwise I would have made more. We asked Husband’s eldest sister to make us some simple table runners in navy blue to use at the reception. She wound up making us 21 runners that will soon be going back to her to be made into napkins and placemats and some to stay as runners. Lots and lots of napkins.

We talked to Husbands’ Boss’ Wife who owns a candle shop right next to where he works about making us some candles for the wedding reception. She made a ton of votive candles for the 40 centerpieces we needed and have a bunch leftover. We’ve been burning them at a pretty good clip and will likely have them gone by our 1-year anniversary. It smelled like a latte at our reception, which is exactly what we were going for. It was light but noticeable as soon as someone moved nearby a candle. I purchased 60 (!) blue mason jars for centerpieces at the reception. Husband stopped by Berre’s Brothers in Watertown and picked up two pounds of leftover coffee in random scents. I had to pick 1.5 more to finish making all the centerpieces of which there were 40. 20 jars went to our florist for centerpiece creation. They were then donated to the rehabilitation hospital across the street from our home. I found some invite kits at Michaels and went to town- i created all the invites, RSVPs, and other details cards and found an adorable lovebirds cartoon stamp and hand-stamped all the invites and all the programs. I also printed all the programs and came home with TONS of them. I’m finding ways to use some of them in our momentos- I have written up a poster-sized chalkboard with the lyrics to our first dance song and have the program under it. It’s hanging up in my office now. Overall we saved hundreds of dollars than if we had gone through a stationer.

I made Mr and Mrs sweatshirts for the two of us to wear on our honeymoon. Admittedly, I did this so we’d get congrats and such but I also really wanted a cute sweatshirt to wear in the future. You bet I’ve worn that thing like crazy. I did some simple iron-on and mine started peeling a couple days into the honeymoon and Tim’s started coming loose by the end of the weekend, so once they fall off completely, I’ll get some screen printing stuff and make them again. The font is the same as one of our wedding fonts. All decor and signage at the wedding was created by me. ALL of it. I created a welcome board (found on pinterest) that included fun details about the wedding; that it was game night, there’d only be one dance, sign a jenga piece, have fun! etc. I created a couple signs with some great quotes (Mawwiage is what bwings us togevah today! from The Princess Bride; I have found the one whom my soul loves from Song of Solomon, a timeline that I’ll be recreating at some point, and a couple other fun things). I spent an entire weekend making these signs and i’m very happy with how they turned out.
I made Jewelry! My Something Old was a bracelet made of buttons from my grandmother’s dress- these buttons are 75 years old. Fate stepped in and I’ve lost the bracelet but my mom and I are going to use the satin from her dress to make up more buttons so I can make another bracelet out of them and so it’s something i can pass on in the future. I also made a bracelet of bells to scare off the evil fairies (Irish tradition). i found some Swarovski crystals at Joann fabrics and used those as the sparkle to go with the bells.

I made necklaces for all the girls made from one strand from my paternal grandmother who passed away this past May. it was a way for me to have both grandmothers in the wedding with me. I also wore a ring made as a reproduction from one of the rings from my paternal grandmother with a large sapphire in the center. Grandma Kehoe was on my left wrist, Grandma Throm was on my right hand. My Something blue was my shoes- bright TARDIS Blue shoes that peeked out under my dress as I walked. My Something New was my dress and my comb (also blue). My Something Borrowed was a hankie from Tim’s maternal grandmother. The next day Tim’s mother gave it to me. None of these were DIY, but figured people would want to know.

I made my skirt for the rehearsal- it served its purpose for the night and had far too many snags in the lace to be functional in the future. I’ll be using the rest of the fabric in the future though! I purchased 8×10 frames and created an in-memoriam for the two sets of grandparents I had lost and the one set Tim had lost. They sat in the foyer with two hurricane candles lit in honor of them watching from Heaven. Another chalkboard sign was created for them as well. I have no idea how people reacted to it, but I know it was wonderful to walk up the stairs and see them before I walked out.

The DIY continues even after the wedding- I created the poster board with our song lyrics for my office at work, I’ll be creating another one for home with all of our stationary- the program front and interior, the save the date, the bridal shower invite, the rehearsal invite and the entire invite for the wedding. I am getting my dress preserved professionally from David’s Bridal and have plans to have a custom shadow box made up for it to go over the bed. In an effort to get the dress out of the closet to free up some space in the guest bedroom we are having it sent out to be cleaned and boxed up so when the time comes to make our shadowbox, it’ll be clean and ready to go. They send it back to me in a display case so hopefully they will show off the back of it when they box it up. Hopefully.

i am drying flowers from two of my bridesmaids’ bouquets (thanks Abbey and Murphy!), the toss bouquet (which we didn’t use because the next people to get married are children) and a centerpiece or two and they’ll become ornaments; I found ornaments that can be opened (they’re cut in half) so I can put full buds if I want and use the ribbon to hold them up. They’ll look great in our Christmas tree this year. I am pressing my entire bouquet and Tim’s boutonniere in the guest bedroom and will be creating a 2D representation of my bouquet in a shadow box or a float frame within the next couple of months. I need the flowers to be good and flat, but not super fragile so we’ll see how that goes. My hope is to have that pretty well along by the end of the year. I did a lot for our wedding- I know I’ve received some accolades from my husband, but I figured I’d share how much work went into the whole day. If you’ve never been married and think a DIY wedding would be easy and fun, it’s definitely not. 100% not easy at all. A lot of sleepless nights went into the creation of our wedding, but overall it saved us thousands of dollars and it really proved that the wedding was OURS and US, not an event pulled together with pieces made from other people or mass-produced in stores. We wanted a unique experience and that’s exactly what we got and I would NEVER trade that in for anything else. No it wasn’t easy, but it was sure fun when all was said and done.

Most of our budget went toward the reception and, by doing a lot of things on our own, it was much easier to keep costs at bay. Exhaustion and relief mixed with excitement on Friday was all I felt. People kept asking me if I was OK or how I was feeling up to the day of the wedding and all I wanted was to get it ‘over with’ because I had done so much already and just wanted to stop freaking out about one thing or another.

Yes, the exhaustion and stress of the whole 10 months were only part of the reason why I was crying the whole service. The other part was that I hadn’t cried for 10 months over everything that had happened to me and Tim and we were finally here and my brother told me he was proud of me two minutes before walking down and I was just a little verklempt. They were only the best tears ever, I assure you.

I still remember little snippets about the night and remember how awesome it all came out. I remember sitting at the front table during dinner just looking out at everyone who came to celebrate with us and was just like ‘wow. I did this.’ and then someone rolled an 18 on the D20 and I stood and kissed my husband in front of everyone who loved and cared for us.

And yes, i put his ring on his right hand and he put my ring on backwards. Things happen.

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One thought on “A DIY Wedding!

  1. When we got married six years ago, we did a lot of DIY, too. And this was before Pinterest was a thing. Husband did all the save the date and announcements and such. Better him than me. His parents used to own a printing shop in ‘Tosa (76th & North) and he worked as a graphic designer for them for awhile so he had a clue. I would have screwed it up a bit. I had just started knitting so all the guys got scarves and the girls got washcloths (made out of RHSS – so they were scrubby!).

    But I think you did way more DIY than we did. I love the shawls!

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