Planning a wedding? Tell me all about it – I LOVE weddings so very much!
Thanks so much for sharing my project AND my wedding, Tracy!
Be sure to check out all the gorgeous weddings, amazing DIY projects, and wedding vendor features on the WeddingLovely Blog!
OK guys – I am pretty sure that I have reached the end of my list of wedding-related posts! I’m actually a little bummed- I had SO much fun planning (and actually getting married), that being able to blog about it afterwards helped to stretch out the fun. I’ll definitely keep sharing wedding ideas & inspiration periodically, since I just adore weddings so much!
If you are one of my few *but awesome* loyal readers, you have been privy to a long line of posts both leading up to and now following my October wedding.
I shared stories & reflections about the big day, and I gushed (and could still gush some more) about some of my incredible vendors (like our venue & florist here in part 1, and our wedding band & photographers in part 2) that helped make our day so perfect.
I also shared loads of DIY Projects that I completed with the help of my hubby, friends & family.
Looking back, here are some of the highlights from the past few months of wedding postings.
The Expression of the Day
Our DIY “Yay!” Flags were our alternative to rice-throwing at the conclusion of our ceremony.
Our programs were printed on Kraft paper (simple, one fold booklets designed to coordinate with the Invitations).
Keeping things Organized
I helped to keep our bridal party on track with these day-of pocket timelines, full of details on when and where important things were happening throughout the day.
Our overnight guests found a helpful, informative card and map of the wedding site tucked into their welcome bags.
Our DIY Photo Booth was an inexpensive & easy interactive feature of our day.
Some Thing(s) Borrowed, and Some Things Bought…
Loads of decor came straight out of my mother’s house – like these vintage chalkboards.
Still more items were handmade by those more talented than me – amazing Etsy artists & shop owners. You can see where I bought special wedding pieces, like this personalized wedding gown hanger from Hanger Design Center, in this post.
These DIY table numbers served a dual purpose –
Homemade Caramel Apple Favors
Delicious apples from a local orchard were dipped in caramel & a variety of colored sprinkles,
then bagged & tagged to give our guests a delicious taste of Fall to take home!
Along the way, I also shared some of the web-based tools & smartphone apps that helped me plan & stay on track, and offered tips for things like including your pet in your wedding, and how to create a sweet DIY photo book for wedding (or other) pictures.
It’s a Wrap
For full project tutorials & even more wedding related posts, visit my page dedicated to our DIY wedding.
Planning our wedding was some of the most fun I’ve ever had- seriously. I loved every craft and project, and it was such a thrill to see it all come together on the big day. To top it off, I had the amazing experience of joining my life to my new husband’s – with all of our family & friends around us to share in that joy! Our wedding day was beautiful, with a very meaningful ceremony and a great party to top it off. It was the perfect start to an amazing new adventure that hubby & I now get to share, and I could not be any luckier!
I promised myself I would complete my wedding-projects posts this week, and since I love crossing things off my list, I’m determined to make it happen! So up next are a couple of small projects that I somehow squeezed in during our last week before the wedding.
I had a completely different plan for our escort cards that just did not work out. As I mentioned in this post about my craziness, I decided somewhere in the middle of the night two days before the wedding that I needed to trash my original plan and find a better solution.
So, for a lesson in accepting that “sometimes things just don’t go perfectly”, and “don’t bite off more than you can chew,” my man-of-honor (bestie Eric) and I made quick work of Plan B – which involved grabbing a bulletin board from Staples & pinning up my already-made-and-punched heart shaped Escort cards.
Hearts were prevalent throughout our wedding decor, and I had already printed the names of my guests on Kraft paper, and cut them out in the shape of little hearts using this craft punch. While I did not end up displaying them as planned, I thought the rushed end result on the bulletin board was cute enough to pass. (And made for easy name-finding-and-grabbing for our guests).
Even though this was not my initial plan, I would definitely recommend this method- with a few minor tweaks. If I’d had more time, I would have covered the bulletin board in a pretty fabric or paper and I’d probably have painted the frame. I would also use prettier thumbtacks if I got the chance to do it all again. I could have made some super sweet tacks using these lovely resin Cabochons. Maybe when I ditch the world of public education and become a wedding planner. (Joking). (Maybe).
Kiddie Bags & Wedding Activity Book
A last minute but super fun project was assembling some gift bags filled with goodies for the handful of under-10 year old guests at our wedding. While the ages ranged from one year old babies to 6 year old kiddos, these bags were relatively fool proof no matter the age.
I wanted to include some personalized activities for the kids at the wedding, and so I took inspiration from a kid-friendly book created by Chelsea on her amazing blog Lovely Indeed, which she offers FREE right here for her readers to download & use themselves!
I created my book to coordinate with the rest of our day-of paper items. It had a Kraft paper cover & was filled with cute little coloring pages, puzzles, and activities.
We did not have many young children at our wedding, but I was so happy to have something special for the few we had. Plus, I’m sure their parents appreciated having something to keep them busy! What do you think about having little goodie bags for kids at weddings- is it something you would or (or have done?)
So between today & tomorrows posts, I’ll be completing my wrap up of our DIY wedding festivities! Phew! With just a handful of projects yet to come, here are some of the smaller DIY-ed touches that we incorporated into the day.
I created a photo book of our favorite engagement pictures in iPhoto, ordering directly through Apple.
The quality of Apple photo books is really nice, and I left plenty of space between pictures & even some blank pages for our guests to leave us notes and well wishes.
Now we have this great momento from our day, filled with fun & sweet messages from all of our guests!
(Not to mention a lovely way to preserve & share the sweet engagement photo session we took on the beach! Thanks again, Amy & Lauren!)
I take no credit for the creation of these lovelies. My father cut up some plywood & created the arrow-points on the ends of each sign.
Then, one of our dearest friends donated his talents by painting & lettering each sign.
This one (my favorite) led the way up a little path to the fire pit, where we had our fun after party, complete with whiskey, cigars, doritos & S’mores-roasting. (Yes, I sat by the fire & ate some S’mores in my wedding dress. The dress was only in danger of catching fire once… and the crisis was quickly averted. 🙂
Check back tomorrow to see how we presented our escort cards & the fun kiddie bags I created for our youngest guests!
Today I thought I would share a few of the smaller, purchased or borrowed (not DIY-ed) detail decor items from our wedding, along with a list of where they were purchased from, in case you are in the market for anything similar. I tried really hard to only purchase things I didn’t think I could make myself (turning many times to the talented artists on Etsy), and things I could either re-sell or enjoy using in our home/normal lives post-wedding.
Purchased: Birch Candle Holders
I fell in love with these pieces of birch with cut outs for little tea light candles when I came across the Floral Accents shop on Etsy.
The tables in the tent for our reception had alternating centerpiece decor (in addition to the one large floral arrangement). Half of the tables featured little pumpkins cut out for candles, and the other half sported these birch candle holders.
They are listed in the shop as a unity candle set, but we used them on our sweetheart table. Now, we have our specially carved piece on display in our home!
Purchased and Borrowed: Mason Jars
A large amount of the jars we used came from my parent’s basement, because my mother is a
hoarder “saver”. Thanks for that, Mom!
The shepherd’s hooks that we used to line the aisle & hang mason jar arrangements were 84″ cheapies from Home Depot. Later, our florist moved the hooks to line the path up to the fire pit, changing out the jars for new ones filled with moss & a candle. It was beeeeautiful!
I also bought a big lot of mason jars that a bride before me used in her own wedding, thanks to the excellent ‘Recycle Your Wedding‘ service on Ruffled, where brides can sell their once-used wedding items. A quick drive to Brooklyn and a small amount of $$ later left the hubs and I with a big collection of jars, slabs of wood & birch to use for making levels in displays, and these two awesome lanterns.
I think I saw lanterns nearly identical to these in Ikea, so that would be a good place to check if you’re interested. We put big white candles in them, and filled the bottom with pine cones & baby pumpkins.
They were so awesome in the outdoor sitting area on the wedding grounds, and created such a romantic setting as the sun went down! (Also, they really came in handy in the days following our wedding, when hurricane Sandy left us without power for 9 days!)
Purchased, Borrowed & Handmade: Pillows & Blankets
Also used in the outdoor seating area, I collected some of my mother’s fun & seasonal pillows and my own pillows (like the “I love you to the moon and back” pillow that usually decorates our bed).
I filled a large basket with a collection of blankets & quilts, so guests could warm up once the sun went down.
I used a bunch of chalkboards (borrowed from both my mother & our florist) to give our guests various messages – like this welcome sign & our above invitation to guests to take a load off & bundle up with a blanket if it got chilly (both using antique chalkboards that belong to my parents).
We placed chalkboards by our DIY “Photo Booth”, reminding guests to use our special wedding hashtag when they instagram-ed & tweeted about our wedding, and this large easel let guests know what our recommended signature drink was for the night!
Purchased: Anthropologie Mugs
I adore these monogramed mugs from Anthropologie, and purchased an L, O, V & E to fill with flowers for decor at cocktail hour.
The arrangements lasted so long & filled our home with prettiness!
Purchased: Hair Flowers
I wore two beautiful, handmade artificial flowers from Pure Blooms, Erin Forrester’s lovely Etsy shop. I also put a third, matching flower on Emma’s collar (our dog/flower girl).
Purchased: “Mrs.” Hanger
Also purchased on Etsy – from Hanger Design Center – was the hanger I used for my wedding gown, spelling out my new last name in wire. You can customize the color of the ribbon and wood, to make sure your hanger is exactly how you want it!
And, if you’re curious, here is the low-down on the wardrobe choices of the day:
My dress: Maggie Sottero // Bridesmaids dresses: Venus Bridal // Tuxes: Jos. A Bank // My shoes: Badgley Mischka // My Cardigan: Lord & Taylor // Bridesmaid’s Cardigans: Target // Men’s Ties: Ties-Necktie.com // Bridesmaid’s Necklaces: Dogeared Jewelry
After sharing some of the DIY projects from our wedding (which, if you missed, you can catch up on here), I want to take a moment to share the amazing wedding vendors that helped to make our day as perfect as it was. These are the people that did everything I couldn’t do myself (or didn’t want to do myself). These are the people that gave their time and talents for five (or fifty) hours of exclusive attention to my wedding guests, my family, my husband, and me. They all deserve recognition, thanks, and great. big. hugs.
[Here’s Part 1 – on our Location & Caterers and Florist!]
Our Photographers: Focal Point Studios
Another aspect of our wedding that the hubs & I discussed long before we were actually engaged was photography. My man is about as camera-shy as they get. He gets all tense & nervous when someone tries to take his picture, and he is not a fan of being told where & how to
do anything pose/stand. Luckily for us, we’d already had the experience of being photographed by our fantastic wedding photographers – Amy and Lauren of Focal Point Studios, at a family photo shoot the previous summer. Hubs loved how casual & easy-going they were, and I loved how gorgeous the photos were. And so, without even a second thought, within the first week of our engagement I had emailed & booked Amy and Lauren for our wedding day.
We did an engagement shoot with them, which was not nearly as painful as hubby expected, and when the wedding day rolled around, they were an absolute dream. Full of enthusiasm, encouragement, and creative vision – these ladies (and Dave, Lauren’s super talented husband who joined them) just hit it out of the park.
Compiling the photos into books as Christmas gifts for my family, printing my favorites to frame and display in our home, and sharing a mini album of some of the best pics with friends & colleagues has been such a pleasure.
Some days, when it’s grey outside and I need a pick-me-up, I just sit at my computer and page through the hundreds of beautiful pictures from our wedding day. I couldn’t be happier to have such an amazing collection of little moments and memories, forever preserved in time.
Our Wedding Band: The Free Downloads
One of my dearest friends from college, Sheree, is the lead singer for the most happening wedding band in Boston – The Free Downloads. You heard me right- I said Boston. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note that our wedding was in New Jersey – a good 4.5 hour drive from the Massachusetts capital. Yet when I asked Sheree if her *fantastic* band would consider making the trip to play for our wedding, they heartily agreed, and proceeded to provide the “best wedding music I’ve ever heard” (direct quote from a guest) for both our ceremony & tented reception.
The Free Downloads is a seven piece band, featuring amazing Sheree and the equally talented singer Neil, and a group of some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard (Sheree and I went to college together… for music… so as a fellow musician, I feel confident in my professional evaluation!)
The number of glowing compliments I received about this band was only trumped by the number of smiling faces on the dance floor throughout the night. From the beautiful & soulful music during dinner, to the PUMPED UP energy of the dance tunes, this group of music makers were simply incredible.
While the night was a total blur for my husband and me, we did remark on several occasions that it seemed like the singers & players never took breaks, and just got better and better as the night went on! Nothing could have been more meaningful than to have Sheree, along with my bestie/man of honor/another college classmate Eric, providing the exquisite music for our ceremony. The added experience of having such a close friend perform throughout the evening, keeping everyone on the dance floor & having a blast, was unforgettable.
By the way, I once waxed poetic on this little blog about the many factors weighing on me as I selected the music for our wedding ceremony. (I was in charge of the music, hubs was in charge of the readings). In case you are wondering, here is what we ended up with:
Preludes (performed beautifully while guests enjoyed a glass of apple cider, took a pic at the DIY Photo Booth, and then found their seats) (and while I was bursting with excitement as I listened from a distance!)
(the links take you to YouTube versions performed by the original artists, but my personal (and slightly biased) opinion is that the renditions by Sheree & Eric were even better!)
My parents & bridal party came down the aisle to the James Taylor song, “The Secret of Life“. This is my mother’s favorite song (and she passed down the partiality to me). It even features the lyric that inspired the title to this blog!
My processional tune was an instrumental-only rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” (Beatles), performed on acoustic guitar by the talented George of The Free Downloads.
Our recessional was the light & happy “Everybody” by Ingrid Michaelson.
Since music is easily four-fifths of my life (with the final fifth split between my love of the beach, crafting, travel and bacon…) the music provided by my dear friends and the talented band members was very, very special to me.
I just might be crying a little bit right now, but don’t worry… it’s the good kind of crying.
Thank you once again to the fabulous Free Downloads, to my amazing photographers, florist, and caterers! I am also so grateful to the additional vendors who contributed their talents to our wedding day. See the whole list of amazing-ness at the bottom credits portion of this feature post.
[all photographs courtesy of Focal Point Studios]