Friday, September 30, 2011

Little Things

I went into this wedding with big dreams and a little budget.  The best way to reconcile the two was to come up with some awesome DIY projects and actually DIY them.  That, or find the cheapest alternatives known to man.  Keep reading for information on the details of the day, DIY and other.

1. Flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages)
When searching for florists, I got some crazy quotes.  I needed 4 bouquets (mine + 3 bridesmaids), 3 boutonnieres (Dads and Grandpa), and 5 corsages (Moms and 3 Grandmas).  I was getting quotes of $1,000 to $1,600.  That is CRAZY.  I was outraged and I was just going to buy the flowers and arrange them myself.  Better yet, I was going to GROW the flowers and arrange them. Never mind that I can (and have) killed a cactus, two spider plants, and multiple poinsettias. 

Luckily, I was talked out of this idea.  I ended up going to a local grocery store (Kroger) and talking to the florist there.  She was wonderfully nice, though I wasn't sure she was exactly getting the look I wanted.  Flowers weren't a humongous deal to me, though, and I let her do her thing.  When we picked up the flowers the morning of the wedding, I was stunned.  They were gorgeous. And huge. And $200.  Amazeballs! I'm so happy I went with this option instead of the DIY. 

My bouquet was so stinkin' amazing!
2. Centerpieces
I didn't want to spend a lot of money here, either.  I opted for a slice of tree topped with three mason jars--one for a candle, one for flowers, one for succulents.  I love my family.  They jumped right on board with this project.  My father-in-law grew the flowers for our centerpieces and the man can garden.  He also sliced a tree for the base.  Well, actually, he and Brad sliced multiple trees to give me options for thickness and type of wood.  Amazing, I tell ya.  My mom happens to make candles, so that automatically went to her.  She also helped me make succulent terrariums (which I killed. See: gardening abilities above.) and then made final versions with my sister. I printed the table numbers from a template from Martha Stewart and had them printed on kraft paper. Beautiful.  Exactly what I wanted.

Adorable. We also had a ton of fun arranging the flower jars.
Imagine random placement of flowers and exclamations of, "Fabulous!" 

3. Decor
Seeing as how Mom had candle-making on lock, I had her whip up some lanterns to hang around the covered porch of the venue.  Fun fact: She used lemongrass candles everywhere because they repel bugs without the strong smell of citronella.  You're welcome.

Lanterns. <3
4. Favors
I wanted to keep favors under $2 per person.  I wanted them to be edible so I didn't feel as though they were money wasted.  Daffy Apple will ship caramel apples to be used as wedding favors for under $2 a person, but they don't ship in the summer.  I was now stuck on caramel apples, though, so we made them.  The day after my bachelorette party.  I was a little grumpy and a lot hungover.  Not my best idea, but we pulled through.  I ordered the caramel from Daffy Apple and used popsicle sticks and treat bags from Hobby Lobby.  I bought most of the apples from a produce wholesaler near my house, but picked up a few extra at the grocery store.  Mom and I chopped peanuts and Heath bars for topping and were ready to go.  Adorable and tasty!  I even caught a few people stockpiling apples, which I found hysterical.  Of the 100 people at the wedding, only one was allergic to nuts.  If I had known this, I would have made him a special apple with a different topping.  Oh, well.

5. Guest Book
I did not want a traditional book of signatures.  Who has one of those and has looked at it since their wedding?  I found fingerprint trees on Etsy and fell in love with the idea, but not the price.  Instead, I commissioned a sophomore I work with to draw the tree.  She did a fabulous job and only charged $25.  I bought ink pads at Michael's, fine point sharpies at Staples, and baby wipes at CVS.  Framing was the expensive part, coming in at $298 at an independent framer.  I checked prices at three other places (Michael's and Hobby Lobby, included) and was amazed that the $298 quote was at least $100 cheaper than all the others. Ugh.  My kids better love this damn tree as much as Brad and I do.

Our tree, including our bride/groom birds.

6. Ring Pillow
Again with me bucking tradition.  I was going to cross stitch, dammit!  Suffice to say that I was up until 1 AM the night before the wedding cross stitching and it wasn't complete for the wedding, but complete enough.  I'm a procrastinator.  Still worth it, though.
I need to throw branches on the dark brown tree and add two more birds,
but I thought it looked pretty good for the wedding.
And, yes, we let a five-year-old walk with the actual rings.

7. Card box
Brad and his dad whipped up this beauty with reclaimed barnwood.  How stinkin' cute is it?  And, no cost to me.
Not the best picture of it, but you'll see this in pictures of our apartment, I'm sure.
The left side of the roof lifted up to allow cards to drop inside.

8. Dress
My dress came from David's Bridal--Galina T3039.  I paid $450 for it and the dress was dirty even before the ceremony began.  My sister started to freak a little, but I was fine with it.  I wanted an outdoor wedding and I wanted to enjoy the night.  If those two things are on your priority list, you will not be married with a pristine dress.  At one point, I was dragging a small branch under my dress and at another point, I must have walked through someone's spilled drink.  I had so much fun, though, and that is what counts.

My dress was huge, but so light.  I loved it and would wear it everywhere,
if that was socially acceptable.
9. Shoes
My shoes were sparkly blue TOMS.  The groom, groomsmen, and ring bearer all wore black canvas TOMS.  My dad showed up wearing his black Vans so he could fit in and I love that he did.

They look like little ballerina shoes in this picture.
10. Jewelry
I found my necklace at White House, Black Market and thought it was perfect.  I heard from my mom that a lot of people commented on how pretty it was.  I wanted a chunkier necklace and that's what I got.  Fifty dollars, but I was OK with that.
So pretty. Yes, I'm narcissistic.

Our rings.  I love this shot.
The table was the cake table and is original to the lodge, dating back to 1900.

11. Old, New, Borrowed, Blue
Old-Button.  My mom had a button from 1983 still in the package.  Our florist pinned it to the front of my bouquet.
New-Dress, Necklace.
Borrowed-I borrowed a bracelet from my friend and bridesmaid, Sam, and kept it in the pocket of my dress.
Blue-Shoes, toenail polish, underwear
Something old.  And charming.
12. Cake
Our cake, with its tangerine cream and opera cream flavors, was from the BonBonerie. The spoon on top reads, "Just Married. 09-16-11."  We also had Mr. and Mrs. forks that we fed each other with. (Thank you, Etsy.) My mom made the mini-us cake toppers.
Yum. Yum. Yummy.

Our mini-me's.  My dress is totally sideways.
We fixed that later.

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