Thursday, 25 July 2013

Our Wedding Day: DIY Projects

This is the first in a few posts documenting our wedding - this time we will be writing about all the things that we hand made for our wedding. Posts will follow on our preparations the day before/the morning of the wedding, the ceremony, wedding breakfast & speeches, evening reception and honeymoon!

We have noticed when looking at other weddings - online, in magazines, or as guests, that the thing that seems to make a wedding really special is when it's very personal to the couple. There's nothing special about filling your wedding with things that mean a lot to other people, or things that are trendy/expensive/make a great pinterest picture, so although there are some amazing wedding accessories available to buy, we chose to make a lot of things ourselves to make sure they were a representation of us. We wanted our wedding day to reflect us as people as well as our favourite things, and it was amazing to look around on the day and think "we came up with that, spent hours together making it, and here it is".

Wedding Invitations and Save the Dates
We have always had a love of brown paper, and this quickly became our theme for all of the stationery for our wedding. We used it for most of our DIY projects, starting with the save the dates and later, the invitations. For the save the dates we wanted a simple but pretty design, as this was the first glimpse of our wedding plans for our guests. We decided on brown paper parcel tags, on to which we stamped a pretty heart shaped design in pink, and the details on the day in grey. It sounds so easy, but anyone who has tried to use stamps will tell you they smudge, don't stamp evenly, and are nearly impossible to get straight, so they nearly ended up in the bin quite a few times! They were finished off by tying them with pink ribbon and securing a tag with the words "made with love" in silver.

The back of the save the date.

The invitations were again our own design, as we wanted to incorporate the brown paper, pink ribbon and hearts theme that were all started to emerge as our final themes. Making the invitations involved hour upon hour of cutting, printing, sticking and threading, and at times we despaired over why we hadn't just ordered them from a printers! We included information cards for our guests, which fitted into a pocket made from recycled brown paper envelopes. 

Order Of The Days
We also used brown paper for our Order Of the Days, which included a timetable of the day, plus information for guests. We asked guests not to take pictures of us as we walked down the aisle, as we have seen professional pictures ruined by lots of arms holding out phones! They also included photos from our engagement shoot, and quotes that we have always loved. In the back we had a bag of confetti. We were really proud of these, and made sure we made an extra one so we could keep one! I spent hours making these while L was working night shifts to earn wedding money, and feel like the hard work was worth it.

Our confetti was a labour of love! Our colour theme was pink and grey, so we decided on pink and white confetti. L had this idea in her mind of people showering us with pink hearts, as if they were showering us with love to send us on our way in to married life. As our venue only allowed biodegradable confetti we were limited in choices, but came across eco-friendly biodegradable tissue paper, and set about punching our way through a few bazillion sheets!  We also included dried rose petals from a rose plant we grew ourselves, and dried ourselves in the days leading up to the wedding.

As if we hadn't had enough of the sight of a heart punch, we also punched brown paper hearts that were scattered on the tables alongside tiny pink crystals.

Guest Book & Card Box
We bought a brown paper scrapbook and box to continue with the brown paper theme, and bought silver/grey stick on letters to spell out Guest Book and Card box. We bought pearl button hearts to stick on the front, as L loves pearls, and had pink and grey hearts made with our initials and wedding date stamped on them, which we then glued to the front. L had an inspiration that she wanted guests to be able to take a picture of themselves and include it in the guest book, but we didn't feel that a photo booth was very us, so instead decided on a Polaroid camera. We included a handmade chalkboard signs inviting guests to take their picture and stick it in next to their message to us. We also found an ornament in a gift shop with a tall red haired girl and a shorter blonde girl cuddling, which we though would be perfect to go next to the guest book and card box!

On the Tuesday before our big day we spent the entire day baking cupcakes. We made four flavours - champagne and strawberry, apple blossom, pink velvet and peaches and cream, with pink roses (our wedding flowers) on top. We made another chalk board sign with the flavours on, and put them on a tower stand with a pink teapot cake on the top, in tribute to our love of tea and cake!

Place settings
Our place settings were born after we bought a reel of cream and grey ribbon with the words "to have and to hold" on. We wanted to use this as our place settings but struggled for a while to think of how to use it. After we spotted some tiny heart-shaped pegs, the idea of having heart shaped name tags pegged to the ribbon, which was to be wrapped around the table napkins was created.

Table Names
Our table names were places that mean a lot to us. We eventually narrowed it down to: London (we spent L's 21st here, bought our wedding rings there, and have spent many a happy trip there in our years together), Amsterdam (our first holiday destination and the place we knew we wanted to marry each other), Barcelona (one of our favourite holidays), Paris (where we spent my 21st) and for the top table - Brighton (one of our favourite places in the world, and the place we got engaged). We printed the place names on brown paper, with a heart shaped map and description of why the place is special to us. These were displayed on the tables on stands that secured the table name with a wire heart.

Table Plan
The table plan was one of the last things to be made, as our guest list changed fairly late! Having already made a fairly traditional table plan out of brown card and pink ribbon to tie in our theme, we than had to either re-make the whole thing or come up with a new plan. We both loved this white photo frame, which holds 9 photos, and thought that we could use it as our new table plan, with the table lists printed on brown card and inserted, and the remainder was filled with photos of us. Once we have our professional photos we will hang the frame in our home with our favourite photos of the day.

Thankyou cards
We put these cards on the tables for our evening reception - we wanted to make sure all our guests knew how much we appreciate their support and love, not just on our wedding day but every day!

Although making so many parts of our wedding ourselves took so much time, effort and patience, it was so worth it. One of our very favourite things about our wedding was feeling that the whole thing was a complete representation of us. We attended the wedding of two of our wedding guests this week, and their wedding was completely different to ours, but so personal to them. The wedding wasn't expensive but the fact that so much of it was unique to them made it amazing - every guest seemed to be commenting on the fact it was so 'them', and we hope this came through in our wedding too.

Our next post will be about our preparations the day before the wedding, and getting ready on the morning of the wedding!


  1. These pictures are so beautiful and really show how much the wedding represented you guys - it's so lovely. Cx

  2. Thankyou Carley, it was definitely worth the effort :)


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