AllFreeDIYWeddings – Your One Stop Wedding & Party Planner Service

 Let’s take a little walk down memory lane today.
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I completely loved the entire process of planning for our rustic, DIY wedding – from the first trip I took to Michael’s just days after our engagement, through 10 months of pinning, dreaming, planning, and crafting, all the way up to the sleepless nights days before the wedding as I made last minute changes and was simply too excited to sleep!
DSC_5510Our DIY Kraft Paper Ceremony Programs
One of the most amazing things you can find if you are newly engaged is a great, one-stop resource for ideas, tutorials and inspiration. The great new wedding planning site, AllFreeDIYWeddings.com, is just that! I am so honored to have some of my favorite wedding DIY projects featured on the site – where you can find literally thousands of ideas for DIY projects for your special day. I love how AllFreeDIYWeddings categorizes each project by level of difficulty – from beginner to advanced – and includes an estimated cost to complete the project as well.
There are some seriously awesome ideas on this site – like these sweet eyelet candle holders, some darling chiffon shoe clips, and this incredibly unique idea for a slingshot confetti send-off (I SO wish I had come across this idea back when I was planning!)
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Photos from: Style Me Pretty, Bridal Musings, and Green Wedding Shoes
I am just so excited to have some of my wedding projects included on this site – with so many other amazing ideas. You can also sign up to receive a free email newsletter called The Wedding Planner, packed with up to 100 new craft and project ideas, giveaways, free ebook downloads, and more. AllFreeDIYWeddings.com is just over one month old – and already packed with amazing inspiration. So, calling any newly engaged ladies: go check it out!
And, if you’re already an old married lady like me – you can still find lots of great ideas for little projects for parties, showers you may be planning, etc.!

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Planning a wedding? Tell me all about it – I LOVE weddings so very much!

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Farewell to February!

I say it every year – February is a tricksy little month. For having the fewest days, it always feels like the loooongest month of the year to me. It’s the month when I start internally protesting the never-ending cold and dark, when the promise of warm spring days is just out of reach & therefore all the more torturous!

This year, February was even more difficult for me than usual. I am truly and completely thrilled that we have reached the 28th day of my least favorite month. Tomorrow is going to a fresh start for my mind, body & soul – and there are only 20 days until Spring! (I am definitely counting!)

February wasn’t all bad here on my little blog, though. Here’s a recap of what went well:

I shared the Valentine’s Day love with some pink & white heart shaped sugar cookies. I made them for my hubby, but I pretty much ate all of them myself. Oops.

VDayCookies12I gave an old chair a makeover in the form of fresh new upholstery. Then I photo-shopped thought bubbles above my dog’s head for far longer than necessary.

EmmaChair9I insulted all of you readers through the use of a bad pun, and then confessed to my history of house-plant-killing & introduced you to my new Succulent friends Rosie, Spike and Rudy (along with their woodland creature buddies).

Terrarium8My Wedding Table Numbers DIY was featured on the fabulous WeddingLovely Blog. Check it out here!

wedding-diy-table-numbersI shared my favorite bedtime & daily beauty products that sit on my makeup tray.

makeuptray1My dreams of a new kitchen took one step closer towards becoming a real possibility, as I compiled my wish list & created a kitchen mood board that will inspire us as we begin to plan our renovation!

KitchenMoodBoardI exposed my family in all of our gnome-loving weirdness & shared a fun little gnomey (and homey) art DIY project.

GSG2And finally, I shared the DIY instructions to make a lovely Initialed Ring Dish, and I announced a Giveaway (I’m shipping one of these handmade lovelies out to TWO lucky readers!) You can still enter – so go do it! 🙂

RingDishGiveawayIf you’re a new reader this month, thanks for following & I hope you’ll stay around! I get so excited every time I get a comment or other feedback – I love hearing from all of you & being connected to such awesome readers/talented crafters/amazing writers! So see you later, February, and bring on the Spring!

❤ Laura

Wedding Wrap Up

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!

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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.

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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.

IMG_3463We used construction paper, wooden dowels, & double-sided tape for this simple DIY project, to create fun flags for guests to wave at the end of our ceremony (and throughout the night!)

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Careful Coordination

I designed our invitations & menus, featuring our L+T “logo” of sorts and the fonts Campland and Lavanderia (you can purchase Campland letters and ornaments here & Lavanderia here).

DSC_5567Our programs were printed on Kraft paper (simple, one fold booklets designed to coordinate with the Invitations).

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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.

TimelineOur overnight guests found a helpful, informative card and map of the wedding site tucked into their welcome bags.

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Say Cheese!

Our DIY Photo Booth was an inexpensive & easy interactive feature of our day.

FrameEditBy hanging a simple white frame from two birch poles, we created a simple outdoor “photo booth” area, where guests could strike a pose or share a message on handheld chalkboards.

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Some Thing(s) Borrowed, and Some Things Bought…

Loads of decor came straight out of my mother’s house – like these vintage chalkboards.

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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.

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Personal Details

These DIY table numbers served a dual purpose –

DSC_2508-14 copyhelping guests to find their seats, and sharing some L+T ‘trivia’ to give family & friends a little glimpse into our relationship.

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Homemade Caramel Apple Favors

Delicious apples from a local orchard were dipped in caramel & a variety of colored sprinkles,

IMG_0592then bagged & tagged to give our guests a delicious taste of Fall to take home!

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Little Touches

DIY Burlap Bunting and a DIY Rustic Card Box were simple projects that were completed far in advance of the wedding to add another little handmade touch.

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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.

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It’s a Wrap

For full project tutorials & even more wedding related posts, visit my page dedicated to our DIY wedding.

For even more on our wedding, including loads more pictures, check out this post on the Focal Point Studios blog, and our special wedding feature on the WeddingLovely Blog!

instagramvowsPlanning 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!

DSC_6425I hope you enjoyed seeing the behind-the-scenes details that went into our day. If you’re a bride planning your own special day, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!

DIY Wedding // Escort Cards and Kiddie Bags

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.

Escort Cards

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.

IMG_3495So, 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.

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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).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlus, the hubs & I are both teachers, so I thought a nod to school supplies was relatively appropriate, no?

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.

kidbook1I 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.

kidbook2I then filled little bags with the activity book, a small box of crayons, pencils, stickers, foam pumpkins, and bubbles. Because honestly, who doesn’t love bubbles?

kidbook5I unfortunately did not remember to snap a few pictures of the completed bags, but I promise they were adorable.

kidbook6We 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?)

DIY Wedding // Finishing Touches

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.

Guest Book

I created a photo book of our favorite engagement pictures in iPhoto, ordering directly through Apple.

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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.

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Now we have this great momento from our day, filled with fun & sweet messages from all of our guests!

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(Not to mention a lovely way to preserve & share the sweet engagement photo session we took on the beach! Thanks again, Amy & Lauren!)

Signs

It wouldn’t have been a rustic, DIY wedding without a few wooden signs now, would it?IGoursign

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.

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Then, one of our dearest friends donated his talents by painting & lettering each sign.

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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!

Wedding Decor [and where things came from]

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.

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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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom the same shop, I ordered a custom, taller candle holder carved with our initials and wedding date, that came with two small holders perfect for a taper candle.

DSC_2503-12They 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!

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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.

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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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey 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).

DSC_5616I also made a pillow using a burlap sack & no-sew stitch witch. Easy & got the job done.

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I filled a large basket with a collection of blankets & quilts, so guests could warm up once the sun went down.

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Borrowed: Chalkboards

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).

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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!

DSC_5591 (Spiked apple cider is delicious, by the way!)

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.

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The arrangements lasted so long & filled our home with prettiness!

Purchased: Hair Flowers

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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).

KraftPaperProgramToday, they are displayed in a little shadow box in our bedroom.

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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPost-wedding, this hanger is great for hanging the pretty white robe I wore while “getting ready” – it gives me a smile every time I see it there in my closet!

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

A Lovely Feature // WeddingLovely Blog

I couldn’t be more excited today if I tried. Our little wedding is being featured over at the WeddingLovely Blog today!

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I was tickled pink when the wedding guru Tracy Osborn, founder of the online wedding planning app WeddingLovely, decided to share our autumn love-fest with her readers. Tracy is all about weddings, and her service  is amazingly helpful for brides everywhere. WeddingLovely helps keep you organized in your planning, and helps couples find amazing local vendors that specialize in the kind of wedding you want to have. (Personalized recommendations means less time wasted wading through loads of overpriced DJ’s when what you really want is a band).

The WeddingLovely Blog features wedding advice, vendor spotlights, DIY projects, and real wedding inspiration. Based on the totally drool-worthy weddings that have come before mine, I can only say I am honored to be among them! Thank you, Tracy & the talented ladies behind WeddingLovely!

So hop on over to the WeddingLovely Blog to see the work of MY amazing local vendors (another HUGE shout out & thanks to the geniuses behind the camera- Amy, Lauren and Dave of Focal Point Studios!) And if you’re new to Some Kind of Lovely Ride, stay a while! Check out instructions and stories behind our DIY & DIT wedding projects here, or visit the archives for some doable-DIY projects for the home, delicious recipes, and other random musings!