But you may be wondering how exactly it’s done.
Best Destination Wedding has a great article on creating your own brooch bouquet. With just a few simple tools and materials, you can make a bouquet like the one shown above. Or leave out the faux flowers for an all-brooch one.
The author mostly bought brooches from inexpensive sources, such as thrift stores, eBay, and Etsy, but if you’ve already got a selection of sparkly brooches or have ones you can borrow from family members or friends, it gets even less expensive to make.
I don’t know about you, but I love these things!]]>
You guys know me. I’m a DIY diva and proud of it. Give me some threads, some scraps of paper, a little ribbon, and a hot glue gun, and I’ll make you something remarkable with it. I love making things and I’m good at it, too.
So it’s no surprise that I loved Sam and Stew’s handmade South African wedding when I read about it at A Practical Wedding. Together, they made most of the accessories for their big day, and both families got into the fun of it.
Most of all, I loved the reason Sam gave for loving all the projects she, Stew, their families, and their friends did for the wedding:
There was a moment, when I stood back, and looked around at the happy smiles and goofy grins of all our favourite people, and literally felt surrounded by love.
Because there it was—hammered into the menus, baked into the cookies, sewn into the seams of the table runners and sprinkled into that darn confetti. So if the crafty crazy is getting to you, don’t worry too much. Because it’s neverabout the details you get out. It’s about the love you put in.
You know what? That’s how I felt when I looked at my wedding, too. Everywhere I looked, I saw concrete evidence of the love our friends and families have for us. Everywhere I turned, there was something I poured my heart into that was making someone I love smile.
But you know what else? I’m not every bride. There are other equally valid ways of choosing to do things. One of these ways is described by guest blogger Danielle in a july article, also at A Practical Wedding.
In it she discusses how she almost panicked her way into doing a series of last-minute DIY projects because they’re everywhere on the internet.
Having carefully chosen to marry in an art gallery so she wouldn’t have to worry about decorations, Danielle almost decided she needed to make piles of random things to fill out the space, once she looked at a few wedding blogs and Pinterest boards… but she remembered something at the last minute: DIY isn’t her.
An intervention from a good friend brought her back to sanity just as she was pricing out the cost of making her own pinwheels.
I remembered that we can have whatever kind of wedding we want, and that just because I’m not panicking in these final pre-wedding weeks doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. It probably means I’m doing something right.
And knowing that I won’t glance around the room at the end of our wedding night and see sloppy homemade pinwheels abandoned on tables and tossed into trash cans? That feels pretty right too.
Always remember, there is no wrong way to plan a wedding as long as you’re enjoying the process and feel your personality as a couple is being represented. Craft it all by hand, don’t craft a thing, find a middle path by all means. Don’t worry too much about what other people are or aren’t doing. Seek inspiration, but never forget who you are.
It’s your wedding. It should look and feel the way you want it to.]]>
Well, I recently found a project that’s intended for the wedding day, but also has the advantage that it’s something practical you can keep and use for years afterwards, too.
In a recent article at Green Wedding Shoes, you can learn how to make these delicious stamped linen napkins from carving the stamps to setting the ink.
Just choose your own colors, carve or purchase a stamp that speaks to you, heat your iron, and go to it!
This is a particularly nice project for a small wedding or for head table needs… unless you have a lot of trusted volunteers who can help out or a very long timeline. It won’t save you cash, either. This is about putting your – wait for it! – personal stamp on the celebration.
But the great advantage is that the napkins can be saved and reused for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, dinner parties, or even just to class up wednesday night mac and cheese.
Me? I’m not getting married again any time soon. The first one is still holding nicely, thank you very much. But I may just make these anyway. They’d be nice for Christmas dinner or as gifts for friends who entertain.]]>
The lady shown above is an excellent example of How It’s Done Properly.
When Ash Pears asked lady love Lydia Taylor to marry him, she did try on some commercially made wedding gowns… but only for inspiration. She designed and made her own gown. In point of fact, she knitted it.
Watching as much bridal reality as I do, I know well that moment when the bride walks into a bridal salon and announces she has only two grand to plonk down on her wedding gown and accessories. They do their best not to react, but you can always see a flash of worry and an involuntary breath taken in on the part of the consultant. Bridal runs to big bucks.
But Taylor’s elegant knitted frock set her back less than two hundred pounds and needed no alterations, since it was made to measure.
Between knitting her gown, finding reception plates at garage sales and thrift shops, making her bouquet out of fabric flowers and a vintage brooch or two, creating her own favors by hand (pear shaped pin cushions) and doing her own decorations, Taylor and Pears kept their overall wedding budget down to around five thousand pounds… allowing them enough left over to have an eighteen night honeymoon in Bali and Singapore as well as a down payment on a house to raise a family in.
Would they change anything if they had had more money? Says Taylor:
‘If we had won the National Lottery the only change we would have made is a free bar for our friends.’
Fair enough. I have to say, I love that gown.]]>
That’s only one reason that Karen Bell’s wedding gown is so remarkable. It’s also a rather ambitious DIY upcycling project. When Karen and her new husband Simon decided to tie the knot, they reasoned that since they’d both been married before in white weddings, they wanted to do something different. They decided to celebrate their hometown of Manchester, England across the Atlantic… oh, sorry. Flashback to that production of Hair I saw once. Anyway, yes, their hometown of Manchester, England where they both still live, and the football team they both support.
Over the years, Simon had developed a collection of Manchester-themed shirts. He handed these over to Karen who spent the next eight months at her sewing machine turning them into the gown shown above.
After the wedding, the happy couple went straight to romantic Etihad Stadium to watch their beloved team play. There is no word on whether or not the bride changed her clothes first.
Whatever the case, I do wish them the very best of British luck, and may Manchester City win often.]]>
But not every bride is a DIY diva. Not every bride is good at all the things that go into making a wedding pretty and unique. Not every bride has the time or the inclination to create very much by hand. And you know what? Any one of those things is a good reason to leave the work to the experts and have it done for you.
And then there’s the bride who really wants to make at least one or two things, but isn’t certain what projects to pick. How do you choose what to make for yourself and what to give to a professional to do?
As per usual, I’ve got a few thoughts on the subject.
First off, think about what you’re really good at. Do you have a unique skill that could come in handy? Whether that skill is flower arranging, baking, sewing, woodwork, graphic design, or tying a really gorgeous bow, chances are you can work it into something to do with your wedding.
Think, too, about how you want your event to feel to guests. It’s easier to work the handmade into a theme of ‘rustic fun’ than ‘Tiffany’s’ just as a f’rinstance. In general, the more laid back you want things, the easier it is to make it work with basic level DOY skills. Since Mr. Twistie and I were doing a picnic in the woods, simple rustic foods and hand-tied sheaf bouquets were exactly what we wanted and easy for me to create with a couple helping hands. If we’d been doing Disco Glam, yeah, that would have been a bit less successful, I think.
Consider your budget and where you want to put the most money. If you’ve decided to put most of your budget into photography and a spectacular cake, then making DIY centerpieces can save you some money on decor, allowing you to stay in budget… so long as you plan thoughtfully. And that brings me to another thing most of us don’t think too hard about:
Figure out if it will cost more or less to DIY the project you have in mind. Yes, sometimes it actually winds up costing more, depending on what you’re trying to do and what resources you have to hand. If it’s going to cost more and it’s not terribly important to you to do the project yourself, then save yourself both time and money by buying. If it’s available cheaper, but it’s important to you to do it yourself, make sure you include everything in your budget and go right ahead.
Really consider the time available. If Mr. Twistie and I had decided to get married six months after he popped the question, I wouldn’t have been able to make my wedding lace. The lace took a year. The gown took another six months. There wouldn’t have been time. Most women are really busy on a day-to-day basis. Jobs, school, kids, hobbies, social lives… not everyone can do everything they need to do in a day and then add in two hours of working on making their own wedding invitations or sewing up fabulous linens for the big day. Triple the stress involved if the wedding date is close.
Making projects for your wedding is great fun, so long as you think carefully about what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Pick your projects with care, and you’ll be able to enjoy them with pride on your big day.]]>
I’m not a terribly sparkly kind of woman. I could have had a diamond – or any gemstone – engagement ring. I chose a sterling silver frog. I could have had any kind of embellishment on my wedding gown. I chose handmade silk lace. I could have worn any jewelry on my wedding day. Again, all silver without gems.
In general I’ve ignored nearly every style trend that sparkles for the better part of fifty years now, and I doubt seriously that I’m going to change on that. Glitter just isn’t me.
And yet I found myself intrigued by that sparkly purple sequined cake shown above. Why? Because the sequins are edible.
I’ve hated the cake jewelry trend of the past few seasons in large part because I firmly believe that nothing inedible should go on a cake. But if the sequins are edible… well, that’s kind of interesting.
Of course, a fully sequined purple cake isn’t for everybody. It’s nice to see on other sites that it’s more than possible to use the sequins subtly, as well:
… as demonstrated by this charmingly understated sequined cake posted at Cake Central.
The best news of all? I’ve found instructions for making your own edible sequins if you want to give them a go in your own kitchen, or at least get a better idea of what they might taste like before you instruct your baker to do the ultimate sparkly Vegas-themed cake for your reception. This handy tutorial at Confessions of a Scratch Baker should give you plenty of information to decide if this is an idea for you.
Me? I’m still not a sparkly woman… but I am a crafty one and an avid baker. Who knows? I may just have to give this a try sometime.]]>
Dessert tables are expected to continue to be a big deal in weddings. Variety is the spice of life, and a wonderful way to end a reception meal.
A further wrinkle on this trend that’s on the rise for parties that last late into the night is a second spread of snacks offered to guests on their way out. Doughnuts, cookies, sliders, coffee and cocoa… this is the chance to offer up a tasty final gift to your guests.
Alternatives to flowers are another trend on the rise. Paper, brooches, fabric, feathers… if it can substitute for flowers, someone’s using it. This is a great trend if you’re dealing with allergies or want to DIY your bouquets and centerpieces over time. But real flowers are hardly going anywhere.
More brides have been doing DIY projects for their weddings, and that isn’t changing anytime soon. Whether it’s to save money, add uniquely personal touches, or honor a family tradition, using your own hands to put at least a couple pieces of your wedding together can be tremendously satisfying.
Green is clearly the way to go in the coming year. From invitations of recycled paper to living plant centerpieces, to packets of wildflower seeds as favors, brides and grooms everywhere are getting eco-friendly and loving it.
More weddings than ever are happening in the great outdoors. Whether it’s a garden, a beach, the woods, couples are choosing the sky as the ceiling they prefer. As someone who had an outdoor wedding and loved it, I say go for it… just make sure you have a backup plan in case of inclement weather.
Of course trends are fun, but never follow one if it feels wrong to you. You should do what matters to you.]]>
And so she figured out how to do it herself for something in the neighborhood of $10.00.
I don’t know about you, but I think saving $70.00 while coming up with a completely personalized item is well worth the time and energy spent on it!
There really are times when saving money can be fun.]]>
Oh, and if your cake isn’t going to be either round or square, don’t panic! They include equally handy guides for tiers shaped like hearts, flowers, ovals, and paisley, too.
If you’re the one baking your own cake (or you’re giving the job to someone close to you who is a great baker but hasn’t done this level of work before), you can also find great tips on the site for how to construct, decorate, display, and even transport this all-important confectionary creation to your reception site.
There is a section of recipes, but I have to say they didn’t impress me much. Frankly, I would look elsewhere.
But if you need to find a speciality pan, pastry bags and decorating tips, or display items to get you going, Wilton is a great place to start.]]>