As a crafter, it embarrasses me to report that I contributed very little in the way of handmade projects to my wedding. I long dreamt of the handknit shawl I would wear over my dress, or the handkerchief I would embroider for Scott, but as I’ve mentioned, it was a busy, busy year. The planning of the wedding sped by and, thankfully, resources like Etsy exist to help round out the little details (I’m also very lucky to know resourceful, crafty people who can whip things up in a pinch!). These bits helped us cut costs on decor, but also lent a special, personal touch to the atmosphere. I hope that sharing might provide some inspiration or allow someone else to benefit from what we found along the way. Pictures and details after the jump!
We got married on an herb farm that graciously allowed us to use any plant matter or decorations on hand, which made decorating fairly simple for us (the setting also required minimal improvement!). Pictured here is the guest book my maid of honor made for us; it featured pictures of us over time alongside our invitations and printed materials, and she cut small cards for notes and well wishes that could be tucked into the pages later. Proof of her resourcefulness: she found the ampersand and ‘S’ and was inspired to decorate the table, but struggled to find another ‘S’. The answer? Flip over a bracket! When in doubt, be creative with what you have on hand. We got so many comments about how clever the set-up looked!
A failed craft: we took birch logs, purchased from a craft store, and cut notches so that place cards could be stuck inside. We cut the notches, however, basing the count on number of couples and families – not individual guests. Had the cards not been doubled-up, this would have been much more visually interesting!
This is a simple craft for any outdoor party – but is particularly striking for an outdoor wedding that creeps into the night. We filled mason jars with Epsom salt to anchor candles, and then created hanging hooks using wire pre-wrapped with twine (we found it at a craft store). We randomly tapped nails into trees and placed the jars throughout the landscape within minutes. It was charming at dusk, but once we slipped into full darkness, the grounds looked downright magical.
I decided against flowers early on in the planning — until I stumbled upon Flores del Sol on Etsy. Using dried flowers meant that the expense of decoration would be offset by the fact that they lasted beyond the wedding day; we gifted heirloom pieces to everyone in the wedding party through the purchase of boutonnieres and bouquets. We kept the table decor minimal, surrounding the bouquets with candles, and marked the table numbers with the same wire used for the mason jar project (bent into numbers by a crafty friend, the night before the wedding).
My mother-in-law took care of the favors for the wedding: homemade ginger molasses cookies, made well in advance and heat-sealed in airtight bags. It wasn’t a costly project, but it made a lasting impact on our guests, who loved having snacks to soak up booze on the way home. We also got to take the leftover cookies home and re-live the day one bite at a time.
Finally, we chose to have a pie bar instead of cake at our wedding, since we served barbecue and felt it a better match. We collected pie stands from the women in both families to display the selection (it spread out further – and taller – than what is pictured). My mother-in-law found these mini rolling pins at a thrift store to provide labels for the pies. It was a tasty display, pulled together for less than five bucks.
If I could do it all again, I totally would. I am so high on weddings right now that I’ve considered volunteering my services to those in the planning stages. There is so much room for personalization and creativity, without spending tons of money!
With that, I end my wedding chatter. Back to crafty discussions!
All photographs by Love by Serena Photography.