July 23rd, 2009
There has been a lot of weddingness all over the place these days. Craftzine had a handmade weddings series going and well I guess summertime is just a time for weddings. My best friend from high school is getting married this fall, so I've been looking at dresses and cakes and cute little wedding things for her. All of which has made me think about my wedding 6 years ago. We tried to be cheap and crafty and we were, but shesh not as crafty as brides and grooms these days. I was on craftster constantly while I was planning it and I remember I could click to see the day's new post and there would be about 20 of them. Ha! now it's a crafty behemoth! Anyway, this is all just a ploy to share what I made for my wedding, hoping that it will give others ideas. First the invitations:
I used balsa wood for the main invitation, painting a red/orange/pink stripe across the bottom and gluing the actual invitation to the back. My printer was my best friend for all of this and the map was my baby. We got married in the middle of nowhere (on the farm where my mother grew up!) so the map had to be detailed, but of course stylish as well. I am embarrassed to admit just how many hours I spent on it. And I have a huge mental block when it comes to any image editing software: I learn it for about 10 hours and then forget everything and have to relearn it all again.
A few crafty things we did: my sisters tied red ribbons on all the trees on the path that led up to the hill where we got married--it's hard to decorate the woods, but this worked really well. My mom made jam for all the guests (thanks mom!) and I made a tag for each that then served as the place card. There are so many little things to do for a wedding, anything that can do double duty should. I don't know if any one used these (the photo says, "tissues, just in case") but it was a Martha idea that was easy and useful (I think I was still making them on the way to the wedding). And the last picture isn't really crafty, but it was an fantastic idea (not mine). Instead of having a guest book, we had a stack of cards and asked the guests to write a little note to us and drop it in a bowl. It was much more personal then just a signature and I still like to read them. There were lots of other little things. I made stickers with numbers on them and printed all the guest's names out of small pieces of paper, then we could stick the numbers next to the names for escort cards at the last minute because arranged seating is a delicate dance. We strung up a clothesline and clipped photos of ourselves when we were kids onto it--it's nice to have something for the less social (usually me) to do while avoiding talking to people. And a bunch of other stuff, luminarias, programs, table numbers, candle holders. Weddings are a lot of work.
My dress was made out of my mother's wedding dress, which was in such poor shape it couldn't be repaired. I found a seamstress who specialized in vintage fabrics (in Chicago) and she created this amazing dress. I think she had, literally, a small handful of the original lace left when she was done. Not the nicest of women, but damn she could sew.
The piece d'resistance of my cheap and craftiness was this polyester fabric. I ordered 50 yards of it in red and pink from ebay (for like 20 bucks, it was ridiculous) and my brother climbed the tallest ladder we had to staple all of it to a tree branch (if you can't tell that is at least 25 feet up). The tree was at the beginning of the path to the lake where we had our reception and made a beautiful curtain to walk through to get there. This is the only photo I could find of it and though we had the lengths of material pulled back for the party, when we went to clean up we untied them and someone took this amazing poloroid.
I don't have any wise words for those planning their wedding now except maybe, become best friends with your printer, exploit all of your family and friend's talents, and everything can be found second hand.