My DIY Wedding
July 3, 2015
When you have a image in your head of how you want your wedding to be and you have a crafty family you put them all to work! I was very lucky to have had many hands on deck to create my perfect wedding day. We made many things from a lighted marquee sign to all the centerpieces and I even made all of the desserts. I took lots of pictures along the way so that I could share them all with you!
The Making of Our Wedding
It has been almost 7 months since our wedding! I can't believe how fast time flies! I am very happy that I documented most of this DIY process so I could share it with all of you. Just looking through all of these pictures and writing this I am exhausted at how much work it looks like. I don't know how I did all of this with a full time job, full time school and fibromyalgia. All I can say is it was with sheer and literal blood, sweat and tears along with help from family and friends that our DIY wedding came to life. Many online retailers were my best friends during this time as well. I could not have done this without Etsy , Amazon, and , Ebay! I also was a regular at Michael's craft store and a huge fan of their 40 and 50 percent off coupons!Get ready for TONS of DIY fun and hours of scrolling! All this DIY will blow your mind!
DIY Save the Date CalendarsThe first thing on the list was our DIY save the date calendars. I got the idea for these from a realtor’s magnet calendar.
I guess I didn't think of chronicling the making of the wedding as much at the time I made these but to make them I used Microsoft Publisher to make the calendar of each month. You can get the printables file for the calendar for free here. I did this all manually adding the dates and months. I also added things like our birthdays in October and when it reached December there was a countdown to our wedding day. When you print them make sure and print multiple per sheet. For mine 4 fit perfectly per sheet.
I got the magnet paper here on Ebay. It worked perfectly. I printed pictures from our engagement shoot on the magnet paper and stapled the calendars on. I wish I had taken pictures more along the way because these were quite the undertaking cutting out and assembling all of the calendars. But I loved how they came out.
DIY Invitations and Other Wedding Printables
After the save the dates I had MANY craft projects going on for the wedding simultaneously. The invitations were a huge undertaking and they took months. Because our wedding colors were red, gold and off white I wanted those colors incorporated into our invitations. I am also a sparkle enthusiast so I wanted to make sure our invites would shine. I did several trials before settling on my final design. Once I came up with my design I ordered custom stamps of winter trees for the main invitation and the RSVP card as well as a heart with arrow from this shop on Etsy. I even toyed with making our own wedding font for the invitations but found Brannboll from Måns Grebäck to be perfect. I made a basic invite template in Photoshop with my chosen font leaving space for my golden trees and printed them on white gold cardstock. One of the most tedious parts was cutting them all out. I had many bridesmaid craft sessions to get them all done. Here is one of my bridesmaids clearly having a ton of fun cutting (pictured here she is also cutting programs):
Here are the final programs that Tawny was cutting above. These were a true labor of love because they may have been more work than the invites and we had a change of wedding party several times including up until the week of the wedding so there was a lot of re-doing. I really am so happy with the final product though!
At the same time as the invites I also made other printables like these door hangers for the guests that stayed in the hotel.
Finally after everything was cut and embossed they were wrapped together with a string and tag. I also printed the envelopes and ordered photo stamps from stamps.com and got gold rimmed envelopes from envalopes.com.
Wedding Timeline and Ad LibsThese were a couple of my other favorite printables I made. The ad libs were really fun my husband and I saved them to read on our honeymoon and they were really nice.
DIY Here Comes the Bride Banner/ Aisle Runner
I looked around for wedding banners and aisle runners and they were not cheap. The ones that you could have custom made with your wedding colors were especially costly. I also had wanted a larger banner because I was having 2 banner carriers. So, again I opted to go the DIY route. The process is pretty much the same for both so you can follow along below for either. You will just skip step 7 if you are doing only the aisle runner. You can find out how I made them here.
I had grandiose ideas of what I wanted things to look like but didn't want a massive price tag. It was also important for us for our guests to feel like our wedding was "us" so I wanted to incorporate as many personal touches as possible. We made SO many decorations! I don't know what brides did before Pintrest because I used it for inspiration for countless pieces of our wedding.
DIY String ChandeliersOne of the first things made were these string chandeliers. They were messy but fun! A couple things I realized while making these: 1. It doesn't really work to use other colors of yarn besides white. Buy a cheap white yarn because the glue makes any colors look faded. ( you can see what I mean below I used red yarn and it looks pink) 2. They take spray paint really well so I sprayed mine red and gold.
Here you can kind of see the finished product hanging from the ceiling:
DIY Marquee Sign
One of my favorite things we made was this custom lighted marquee sign. You can find out how we made it here.
DIY Glitter Table NumbersI saw these glitter table numbers on Etsy and Pintrest and many similar table numbers in other online shops. They all were more than I thought a table number should be sadly but I really wanted this look. I bought these wooden letters from Michaels and hot glued them to wooden ovals for bases. Then I sprayed them with gold spray paint and gold glitter. They looked beautiful on the tables!
Pinecone Place Card HoldersI liked the rustic winter feel but also the sparkly stuff. So I decided to make these place card holders. These were pretty easy. I sort of followed this tutorial. I just bought these pinecones from Amazon and some floral wire from Michaels. Then I bent the floral wire into circles and hot glued it into the pinecones.Then I sprayed them with red and gold spray paint and glitter. I wanted the wire to be red and gold too so I put in the wire first but if you don't care you can spray and then put in the wire.
Aisle Winter TreesMy parents were an awesome help with these. I was quite busy with all of my other wedding crafts so they did the majority of these. We really lucked out to have had a big storm a few months before the wedding and there were a lot of down tree branches at our church. We were able to collect all of the branches to make these trees there. We really debated what kind of containers to use for the bases of these. All of the planters we looked at would have made these really expensive since we needed so many. We originally thought we needed one for every pew. We realized though to be able to walk through the aisle we needed to alternate them on each side of the aisle. There were a couple funny moments with getting caught on these at the wedding but I still loved them and how they looked. So, we ended up just using sand buckets we got for a dollar each. Of course we knew then we needed something heavy to hold the branches in and opted for concrete. It was heavy but cheap and did the job. Before putting then in the buckets we had to make them look like they had a fresh coat of snow. For this we used spray adhesive, glass glitter, and plastic snow. After they were dry they were put in the buckets with concrete and wrapped with satin and tied with bows.
ChalkboardsI wanted lots of labels so everyone knew where and what everything was. I already had a lot of printed things so I opted for chalkboards. I bought picture frames and sprayed the boards in them with chalkboard paint for my chalkboards. I always wondered how people got such nice looking chalkboards. It turns out its pretty easy. I printed out what I wanted them to say. Then I laid the paper upside down and covered the back in chalk. Next I flipped it over and traced with a pencil. Finally I cleaned it up and went back over with more chalk. I tried chalk markers but I liked the plain chalk better. *Some tips: •You can sharpen chalk in a pencil sharpener for a nicer writing point. • You can also dip it in water to make it go on heavier, thicker and smoother.• Q-tips dipped in water make great erasers! • Spray with hairspray to help it set and stay.
These particle board chalkboard signs I found at Michael's I just glued together with ribbon and painted with glitter paint to match my color scheme:
Photo BackdropI knew I wanted a DIY photo booth when we first got engaged. I started collecting old Poloroid cameras and film. My only wish is we had someone monitoring it so more people took pictures with it. But the pictures we have came out great. I made the backdrop the same way I made the banners. I already had this photo backdrop kit that had a black backdrop with it. I really only ever use the green one it came with for my video productions so I decided to get more use out of it and paint the black backdrop for photos. I think it worked pretty well.
Memory TableI wanted a way to honor family members and friends that couldn't be with us at our wedding. I painted the log piece I got at Michael's and put framed pictures around it.
Reception TablesSo these weren't completely DIY since I didn't make all of them but I wanted to share my wisdom on this subject. Most halls do give you a choice of table cover colors. They are just plain though and the color red didn't match the red I wanted for our wedding. So I ordered our own. Yes, I do have them all now and am not sure what I will do with them all but I am sure I will find a way to repurpose them or maybe sell them who knows. But, they were worth every penny. I first was thinking I wanted rosette table cloths so I ordered this one to see how it would look. But then I saw these and they were PERFECT and affordable. The original one ended up on our sweetheart table though so it didn't go to waste.
I did splurge a little on this one for the cake table though because it was just too beautiful.
The Kids Table was DIY. For that I ordered canvas(5' 8oz 3yd roll White Primed Canvas). Then I taped off a square and painted it with chalkboard paint. I did this so the kids could draw on the tables. I also made them custom coloring books and put Legos and puzzles on the table for them. They had a ton of fun.
FlowersFlowers... I have a love hate relationship with them. I love how beautiful they are but hate that they die so quickly. For weddings flowers cost a ton. While they are beautiful I just couldn't see spending so much money on something to just carry down the aisle and have sit on tables. So I figured out a good compromise...
Bridesmaids "Flowers"I was inspired by this Etsy shop for the bridesmaids flowers, the groomsmen boutonnieres and it is where I bought my bouquet. Ky Kampfeld has beautiful pieces but it wasn't within my budget to buy everything from her shop. I found these acrylic snowflakes on eBay and they were just what I needed. It was also great because I had extras I used for decorations too! These did take a bit of time to figure out how to make but I was really happy with them. I think my final versions were about $12 each for the girls and $4 for the guys and much more within my budget. They weren't easy though and since they aren't my original design and something really similar to another designer I am not going to do a tutorial on them. What I loved about these not being real flowers is that they were keepsakes too!
Groomsmen BoutonnieresOf course I couldn't leave out the guys. I used the smaller snowflakes from the girls bouquets for the guys boutonnieres.
The day of the wedding we got some amazing shots of my flowers and all of the ones I made for the wedding party!
Reception FlowersFlowers are one of the most expensive parts of a wedding. I didn't want to blow my whole budget on them though. We will have fond memories forever about making our centerpieces. It was a weekly venture to Michael's with our coupons to get the vases I think we will remember most. After the wedding was over and we didn't have to go to Michael's anymore it was kind of sad. For the tall centerpieces I ordered these Manzanita Branches on Etsy. I had flowers from fiftyflowers.com delivered 2 days before the wedding and we made all of our centerpieces. We used Red Ranunculus, Cream David Austin Roses and Red Roses. For the tall centerpieces we made those last on Friday afternoon because we cut roses and hot glued them on the Manzanita Branches. We had flowers on all the reception and cocktail hour tables for less than $500.
I made the vases for the cocktail hour by spraying mason jars gold, taping them off and using glue and glitter to add sparkle!
Family Corsages and BoutonnieresI even made the corsages and boutonnieres for our family. I used fake flowers and ribbon from Michael's to make these keepsakes.
Gifts and FavorsMy favorite part! I love giving gifts and making people smile. I really enjoyed thinking of ideas and making all of the gifts and favors. The first idea I had was robes for the girls to get dressed the day of the wedding. Again just like with a lot of other things the ones I saw I thought I could do better on the price and I did. I found the robes on Amazon. I got the back iron-ons here. The front initial iron-ons came from Michael's (the ones I got were gold). I put all the girls' first initials on the front. I made these for all my bridesmaids, my Maid of Honor, my mom and myself. I also got them these hangers for them. As with most things I think the majority of the cost of ordering premade personalized robes is the labor. For most I found the cost was about $40 each. I made mine ( with the hangers) for about $18 each!
Bridesmaid's GiftsIn addition to the robes I made the girls earrings and necklaces with their birthstones, drinking jars, and personalized totes. The personalized totes included the jars, jewelry, a bottle of wine and these super awesome emergency kits from BHLDN.
The Groomsmen GiftsThese were too much fun! We ordered custom bobbleheads for all the guys here We luckily found a living social deal for them at the time too! They do charge extra for a lot of things that make the price higher. One thing was their bases come orange. They charge and extra $6 to make them a different color. $36 for different colors?! No way ! DIY time! I painted the bases and we signed them and wrote the guys names on them too.
It was really funny at the reception the guys danced with their bobbleheads to V.I.C - Wobble Baby.
FavorsFavors, favors, everywhere! I didn't want anyone to feel like they were cold, had chapped lips, run in their stocking, headache or anything. I tried to have a solution to every problem. I had a table (sadly no picture) with the banner seen below:
I had custom chapstick made from totallypromotional.com and ordered foldable shoes that came with little purses from alibaba.com. Alibaba prices are great. I got these shoes ( in red, black, and gold and varying sizes) for $2 a pair after looking at many many sites where they were much more. Just make sure you allow at least a month for shipping if you order from there since most sellers are overseas.
I also got the pashminas from alibaba.com. They were $1.80 each and are cheaper the more you buy. Most stores have minimums this stores was 100. I then printed on cards I cut out and glittered and tied onto the pashminas with ribbon. The moonshine I made myself from this recipe. I got bottles from ebottles.com and printed a logo I created on labels I bought from Michael's.
Wedding SoundtrackI wrote and recorded a wedding song as a surprise for my husband. You can hear it here on our wedding video trailer if you are curious. I also burned our favorite songs we were playing at the wedding and burned them on discs. You can use my cd template if you want ( obviously you will want to change the graphics). Just print on 8.5 x 11 card stock and cut out. Then fold in half use a glue stick on the tabs and fold them in. It should then make a little sleeve for your disc. I used the Avery template to print the labels for the cds.
Bathroom BasketsCan't forget about the bathroom baskets! I shopped at the dollar store for stuff for these! this list really helped me with my shopping. I wish I had pictures of these from the wedding. I printed this saying and put it in frames next to the baskets too:
"So happy you are here on our special day
But just in case something should go astray:
Please help yourself to the contents within
Hairspray, hand lotion or a hair pin ( for guys: mints, lotion, or aspirin)
Use what you need, and just leave the rest
For it may be useful to some other guest!
Repair the damage that may have been done,
Then quick! Hurry back and join in the fun!
Heart SparklersWhen you are leaving at night sparklers are much more fun than birdseed or bubbles (or rice... but don't kill birds and use rice). Since we wanted everyone to see our carriage and stay for send off I made these so people would know we were having a send off. *Note: our basket was put out late and a lot of people still didn't know. If you do this make sure that these stay out somewhere people will see them all night. Here is my template I made for these if you want to use it. I just poked the sparklers through the paper and stuck on our custom matchbooks with double sided tape. I ordered the heart sparklers here. *Note: Make sure you have metal buckets people can dispose the sparklers in to avoid any accidents!
DessertsOh yes I did! I even made all of the desserts for the wedding. I made sugar cookies, macaroons, cake pops, pie pops, bon bons, mini donuts, and waffle pops. I even made the marshmallows for the s'mores station. Last but of course not least I made the wedding cake and grooms cake!
I made cherry and Mad Elf beer Marshmallows and had regular Jet Puffed too for the s'mores bar. For the cherry I used this recipe. The only thing i did different is to add some red food coloring and cut into heart shapes. For the beer marshmallows I used this recipe. I just skipped the coating and topping and for the beer used Mad Elf. These were both surprisingly easy and fun to make. They were also really yummy!
Cake/Pie PopsI saw this tutorial on Pintrest a while ago and knew I had to use it for my wedding. They key is having a good Washi Tape. This first one I used worked perfect. I also bought a gold one from a different vendor that did not stick and kept coming off. So, if it doesn't work for you. Don't fret just try a different tape.
Then I started making the cake pops and this is what it looked like with the sticks in the cake balls. My Dad even helped me make the custom stand for the cake and pie pops!
Grooms CakeMy husband loves wrestling so I knew I had to have a wrestling Grooms Cake. I made the wrestlers from gum paste. The ring is Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (his favorite). I used Hulk and The Ultimate Warrior and even had a button you could press to hear the WrestleMania VI theme song.
Wedding CakeWas I insane to make my own cake (and all this other stuff)? Probably. I am still not sure if I recommend it. I was up until 3 am the night before my wedding finishing it. But I got the cake I dreamed of so maybe it was worth it. My Dad also made the amazing sparkly red cake stand!
The Candy BarOh my gosh I almost forgot! This was a hit too! I ordered the bulk candy from Amazon. The candy scoops came from Etsy. This was really a hit! I recommend saving a bag for yourself if you do this because there was nothing left for us!
Handmade ClothesWhat there's more?! Yup! My AMAZING mother even made the flower girl dress, and vests and bow ties for the ring bearers and banner carriers!
Doesn't the back of this dress look amazing down the aisle?!
Hotel BagsOk last thing. I wish I had pictures of the inside of these bags. I loved the hotel bags I made. Inside they had hugs and kisses candy, mints, playing cards, 2 mini bottles of champagne with glasses, and the door hangers I made.
I am absolutely sure I am forgetting some things I made. But, I really hope this helped someone or you just enjoyed reading! If you have any questions or comments I would be happy to help! I would especially love to hear from other DIY brides and grooms!