Recently, I started doing some D.I.Y projects to preserve some wedding memories. I printed out a bunch of photos and put them in an album that I really need to put one of our photos on the front because the stock image photo reminds me of "Gone Girl" for some reason. My parents got us a beautiful wooden keepsake box for Christmas with photos on the side that I have stored some momentos from the day inside, such as a dried piece of my bouquet, our invitation and some jewellery. It's as close to a "wedding shrine" that I will ever get. I believe they were called "hope chests" back in the day.
I wanted to share some of the details from the day in well, more detail. I had Excel spreadsheets going of my planning, projects and budget. After all of the work, I enjoyed the process--as overwhelming and nerve wracking as it was. There were a few things I maybe wanted to splurge on but couldn't bring myself to go overboard; it was just one day after all. I also wanted to do a lot of the things myself instead of buying them to save money and add a personal touch. It wasn't meticulously put together or elaborately planned by a designer and that is alright with me.
Obviously, after everything was said and done my favourite details weren't actually the details themselves. My favourite part was the people I shared the day with and the people who helped me along the way. Everyone was willing to pitch in and was eager to help and as stubborn as I can be sometimes, I welcomed the extra input. Here's a bit of a breakdown of some of the wedding day details:
For my invitations, I turned to Minted's Wedding Stationery. I mean, how do you ever choose on that site? There were so many options, from rustic to classic to bold to formal and you can customize each element of the invitation like the colour, type of paper, envelope and liner. The invitation is supposed to set the stage for the event, so I wanted something fun, rustic and slightly vintage-looking. I chose the "bud and blossom" design from Minted. Also, I realized afterwards that supposedly the bride's name should come first? I just put our names based on how people usually refer to us: "Mike and Laura."
Once the invitations were sent out and the venue booked, it was time to start in on the smaller details. Etsy is a wonderful place to find great little things for decorations, accessories and D.I.Y projects. One store in particular, Create my Fete, came to the rescue when it came to favour bags and paper straws. I wanted Kraft paper everything and since it happens to be in style now with rustic weddings, some of the options were quite pricey. I would recommend hunting through Etsy before turning to some bigger online stores. For the place cards, I bought a stack of Kraft paper from Michael's and cut cards out from them and hand wrote people's names on them.
These vintage typewriter place card holders were a neat find and instead of using them for place cards, I used them to hold various signs that I had set up for "sweets," "sips" and "signatures." I also bought some blue mason jars to add some colour to the rustic feel. You have to have mason jars at a rustic wedding.
As you may have noticed too, we decided on long tables instead of smaller, round tables. I loved the idea of "harvest tables" and people all sitting together. Since it was a small wedding, everyone fit at two long tables plus the head table. It added to the intimate feeling. I bought the burlap from a fabric store for the table runners. My husband painstakingly sewed the edges of all the burlap with a sewing machine so it would look nice. He is a much better sewer than I am.
I knew the four-course meal that the venue made for us would be a lot of food, so we opted for the candy bar and a few little desserts instead of a huge cake. When I heard about Boomf, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. They make marshmallows out of your Instagram photos! I also heard later that it was owned by Kate Middleton's brother, so you could say our wedding had a bit of a "royal" touch. Boomf recommends using lighter rather than darker photos so they show up better on the marshmallows and you can see how some of them are a bit harder to figure out what they are than others. They were still a neat touch to the dessert table. And of course, I had to have my favourite French macarons from Le Petit Bon Bon on there too.
Guess where my mother-in-law found these glass vases for the tables? From salad dressing bottles. She saved every glass salad dressing bottle from the previous year so I could use them for the centrepiece flowers. They were gorgeous with a bit of baby's breath and ribbon tied around. Seriously though, that's the secret to some of this wedding stuff. As long as it looks good--and you like it--it doesn't matter whether it came from the dollar store, a garage sale or the grocery store.
I re-painted the signs with our names on it to put outside of the reception venue. My father-in-law did some handy work to put the sign and the old windows together so it would fold out as a seating chart. I wrote everyone's names on the windows with a Sharpie and stuck old photos onto the wood. We also displayed old photos of our parent's and grandparent's wedding days. For our "guest book," we had a Jenga set with some coloured markers for guests to sign their names.
Once I had the dress, all of the other fashion details fell into place. I was intrigued by this necklace on Anthropologie by its crafty, vintage flair. I knew it would be a statement piece, so I didn't go for anything else too flashy with the jewellery. On the day of the wedding, my Mom gave me an antique brooch from my Great Grandmother that I pinned to my bouquet; it was a complete surprise. My mother-in-law also gave me an heirloom engagement ring from their family to wear.
My dress was a White by Vera wang a-line lace dress from David's Bridal. As you can see, it looks quite different on a model than a real person. When I tried it on, I loved how it fit me like a glove. It's not the flashiest, puffiest dress of all time. I thought it matched my personality and the style of the wedding. You can't really wear a ballgown to a barn wedding anyway.
The lace bolero, also White by Vera Wang, was a last minute addition. When I went back to pick up my dress after it had been altered, my parents noticed the bolero in the store and thought I should try it on. It seemed to match so perfectly with the dress and complete the whole look. My bouquet was made of lovely, blue hydrangeas. The corsages for the Moms were made up of baby's breath.
And we can't forget about the groom's fashion. The dapper groom wore a suit from Sidonio's for Men in Guelph, Ontario with a blue tie from Moores and suspenders from Le Chateau. My Mother-in-law and I made his boutonnière the day before the wedding with some of the lavender and baby's breath we bought for the tables. That is some Pinterest-worthy D.I.Y inspiration:
I also loved this "bride" shirt from J Crew that I wore on the day of the wedding to get ready in and the day after at breakfast. It was nice that many of the guests were able to join us the next day after all of the wedding hype had died down. I think everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves.
Don't be fooled: wedding planning is a lot of work. Is it worth it? I would say it's worth it to make something you are both happy with, but not worth it enough to kill yourself with stress over. Enjoy the process and most of all, enjoy the day as much as you can.