When Mr Makes and Bakes proposed in October 2013, I immediately knew what my priorities were: my Sister HAD to be my bridesmaid, I HAD to get married in the church where I was christened, and I HAD to make as much as I could myself.
Picking a colour scheme was easy, I wanted to avoid the usual pastel colours and instead picked navy and grey (my two favourite colours!). I ended up making a lot of bunting, the centrepieces, favour bags, my bouquet, my Husband’s button hole, designing all of the stationery, and finally, on the morning of the wedding ended up deciding that I didn’t want the baby blue bow that had been sewn into my dress and set about replacing it with one in the family tartan!
There’s too much to say in one go, so I’ll be posting a few times over the coming weeks about all my wedding makes. In this post, I’ll focus on decorations for the venue.
I LOVE bunting, possibly too much. When I closed my eyes and saw my wedding day, I envisaged bunting everywhere, and so set out to make 100 metres of bunting. The 100 metres was always my favourite sporting event at school, but whilst running it may not take too long, sewing it is a whole different ball game!
I used a selection of fabrics in my colour scheme, navy and grey. To keep costs down, I mixed beautiful prints with plain polycottons to bulk it out a bit! I was dreading the cutting out, but making a cardboard template for the flags helped speed things up a bit. I also layered 2-3 pieces of fabric at a time to save some time, this definitely helped! The sewing of the flags didn’t take too long, but then came the dreaded ironing. Luckily, my husband-to-be came to my rescue and dutifully ironed them all beautifully, without a single word of complaint (I knew instantly that I was marrying the right man!).
Despite my best intentions, I finished the bunting about 5 days before the wedding. I did however hit my original100m target, which was enough to cover pretty much most of the venue!
In some ways, the centre pieces were the most difficult thing I worked on. I’d spent so much time on Pinterest, that I had almost too many ideas and couldn’t decide exactly what I wanted. I was also conscious of cost, as the estimated prices I’d seen for centrepieces seemed really high!
My eureka moment came when I saw tissue-paper pom poms made from dress patterns on a wedding blog. I instantly fell in love and began building a design around them, also incorporating flowers, candles, and my beloved navy polka dots.
I started by creating some decorated tin cans, which were really easy, attaching strips of hessian and printed felt to clean tin cans with my trusty hot glue gun. A raffia bow finished them off nicely. The day before the wedding, we visited a local wholesaler and stocked up on some neutral coloured flowers. To avoid rusting, I placed a plastic cup in each can, along with a piece of floral foam to help keep the flowers in place. I’m not an expert at flower arranging, so kept things simple, but I was really pleased with the final result.
In addition to the cans and pom pom flowers (which were to be displayed in milk bottles), I also used some mercury glass tea lights, and jam jars wrapped in navy twine, (also containing flowers).
For table names, we had chosen our favourite places in New York. As there was already a lot of detail in the centrepieces themselves, I kept the name cards simple, printing them on kraft card in the same font we’d used throughout the wedding stationery.
Although separately, everything looked lovely, it still didn’t feel very joined up, so my final task was to create small mats using a circle of hessian with a circle of polka dot lace stitched on top to put all of the jars/cans on. These only took about half an hour in total to make, but really helped pull everything together! I’ve since managed to sell them on, so they may be featuring in someone else’s big day too!
I love a good chalkboard. And this was a bit of the crafting that my other half could help with (despite my best efforts, he still can’t really sew!). Using chalkboard paint and some sheets of MDF, we created a number of boards which I set about decorating in the week leading up to wedding. In addition to a timings board (everyone always wants to know what time the dinner is!), a ‘rules of the dance floor’ sign (fist-pumping is encouraged), and some photo boards (including the obligatory baby photos), I created a sign for outside the Church, which we then moved to the venue. I was really pleased with how this turned out, and we hope to display it somewhere in the house as a permanent keepsake of our day!
The Big Reveal!
Unfortunately, our venue was booked the day before so we were unable to set up ourselves. I was initially disappointed, although in hindsight it was actually for the best. The venue followed my very detailed instructions to the letter, and it was wonderful to walk into the room and see everything set up. I genuinely don’t think I would have got the same impact if I had done it myself. I had so many compliments on the day, and my crafting got a special mention in the Groom’s speech, so I can only assume it was a success!
My Wedding Craft Top Tips!
- Start early. Begin your crafting as soon as possible, it helps you get excited about the big day, but also saves stress at the last minute!
- Think before you buy. As soon as I had decided on my colour scheme, I started amassing all sorts of crafting materials in those colours. Truth be told, many of those I didn’t end up using (although I’m sure they will come in handy at some point!).
- Shop around. Many well known retailers have heaps of wedding-related craft materials, but you can often buy bigger quantities, much more cheaply from independent sellers. I bought most of my bits through Ebay. Wedding magazines/books are great, but are really expensive, and often full of adverts. I found Pinterest more useful as you can tailor your search more to your theme.
- Make your day about you. Crafting your own decorations means that you can make everything really personal. For me, I included tartan fabrics as much as I could as a nod to my Scottish Grandparents who wouldn’t be there on the day.
In my next post, I’ll be discussing how I made my bouquet and some of the other crafting I did! In the meantime, if there’s anything you want to know, or see more of, please do leave a comment!
Our photography was by the lovely Dan at FirstCorner Photography. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough!