The first step I took in wedding planning was to create a wedding website. I didn’t have all the information that I needed at that time, but it helped me get a better grasp on what I needed to do next. Seeing as how I already had 3 WordPress blogs, I knew I was going to go with them as the platform. The great thing about WordPress is that you can make your own wedding website for free. Now that’s awesome. Get a load of Eamon and Jenny in the Windy City:
My next step was to create my own save-the-dates and invitations. I drew them by hand, brought them into illustrator, and cleaned them up digitally. Eamon and I printed them out and my wonderful mom did all of the calligraphy on the envelopes. These days it’s easy enough to inexpensively create a great looking invite online. I just knew that I wanted ours to feel as personal as possible. Take a look at what we came up with below. My husband is an extremely talented writer, and a bit of a comedian as you can see in the copywriting. Our coat of arms was designed by my good friend, Paige Thompson. She creates custom wedding logos!
One of my favorite details from that day was our ceremony backdrop. See how I made it here. It was no easy feat because of its size, roughly 9 feet by 15 feet. I even rented out a studio on site at Lacuna Artists Lofts so I could paint it. Did you notice it’s the same art work featured on our website?
As you can see, art played a big role in our wedding. I knew I didn’t care about having flowers, but I wanted to have something for my bridesmaids and I to carry. That’s when I came up with the idea of making origami bouquets. The porcelain flowers sprinkled throughout the bundles are actually cake toppers from BHLDN. You can even get a custom order for yourself on my etsy page.
One day in high school, I saw a big bin of library books on their way to the dumpster. It filled me with such sadness to imagine any functioning book in a trash can. I grabbed as many as I could carry and slowly started turning them into art. Now I commonly adopt books for this purpose. It’ll will come as no shock that I created our guest book out of an altered book. For this project, I went with a collection of poetry and art that revolved around the meaning of love. I know–it sounds a bit on the nose–but I love how it turned out. I’m still adding to it and it’s so fun to go through the pages and find sweet words from friends.
A sneakerhead’s wedding is not complete until the shoes are on! I wore a pair of Nike Sky Hi Sneaker Wedges. I also got the comfiest flip flops of all time for my bridesmaids to wear once the real party began. I’ll swear by any of Nike’s solarsoft sandals.
Wedding signs are incredibly helpful, whether they tell you where to go or what’s coming up next. I made plenty of them for our wedding. Some were simply on large roll of paper with paint, some on fabric, and even one or two on wood. Here are a few for inspiration below:
After I made the origami for the bouquets, I went a little crazy…and just kept making more and more and more shapes. These little geometric gems made their way into every nook and cranny. My mom and I used fishing wire to suspend them from the ceiling. It created such a great effect. You can even buy a bundle of these beauties for yourself. Let those creative juices flow and figure out how to incorporate them into your designs.
Another way I used the origami that I folded throughout the venue was to create areas of interest that made for great photo backdrops. In this particular area, I mixed the geometric shapes in with paper cutouts sewn together by my mom (much like this easy tutorial by Design Mom).
During cocktail hour, we put on an art show with a few interactive pieces, photography, and various wall hangings. If you’re looking for something to spice up your wedding space, take a look and see if any of these creations spark your interest: giant origami hanging, yarn hangings, or these hanging lanterns.
Most couples get a few engagement photos taken. Don’t let those go to waste. Use them to fill the walls at your wedding. I printed a photo gallery of images on metal that I created around my husband and me. I used WHCC. They make great prints at reasonable prices. Go ahead and take a look.
My sweet mom made these amazing place cards out of Lindt chocolate. All you need are the right truffles, crafts picks, paper, and ink. You can even pick out a color scheme that works with you wedding.
Decorating reception tables can be a bit overwhelming. I couldn’t have pulled this one off without help from my mom and Jayne Weddings. Using canvas and buckets of paint, my mom created these stunning geode slice table toppers. I pasted together these fractal geometric paper mache sculptures and made clay pyramid table numbers.
As you can tell, this wasn’t a fancy affair, so we went with biodegradable table settings. Here are the plates, utensils, and awesome origami napkins we used. It all worked really well with the food trucks that served dinner.
My husband is mad about sports. It seemed only fitting that the whole wedding party should enter the reception like a middle school football team running onto the field. This “Just Married” banner was simple to create. All you need is craft paper, paint, and two willing banner men who hopefully won’t get walloped along the way.
Like I mentioned earlier, we had an interactive art show at our wedding. I love art that invites you in and gets people in a playful mood. Take a look at this tap light wall we created. See how you can make one for yourself. It even makes another great backdrop for you photos. Needless to say, it was a blast and fun to take photos inside.
Another installation we had was an homage to Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds. If you have ever been to The Warhol in Pittsburgh (my husband’s hometown), you know exactly what I’m talking about. We put together a tent and closed it in with mesh so you could see through to the madness. Then we used hypocycloid mylar balloons as another nod to Pittsburgh, mimicking the Steeler’s logo.
Once again, I’ll make another sports reference, which is odd for me as a person who really doesn’t like sports. My husband is a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan, so I made two penguin piñatas and filled them with pirates booty. Yep you guessed it, he’s a diehard Pittsburgh Pirate fan too. We used his lacrosse sticks to bust them wide open, unleashing a flutter of silver mylar, temporary tattoos, eye patches, and gold chocolate coins. (If you’re looking for a simple DIY piñata guide, give this one a go.)
My last and final craft to share with y’all was one of my favorites. I created these paper mache letters that spelled out our names. Great end of the night photo op, I gotta say. Here’s the general gist of how I did constructed them.
Love love love this! If I wasn’t already married, I’d totally steal some of these amazing ideas!
oh you’re so sweet! Thank you!!
This has to be one of the best “made” weddings I’ve ever seen. So creative! The origami bouquets are amazing and so smart! The hanging shapes are brilliant. Inexpensive yet made a powerful statement. All the artwork…WOW. Now this handmade wedding should be made into a book! Well done! 🙂
You are so kind! Thank you so much!! It means a lot to hear such nice words!!
I am totally serious. I’ve seen a lot of them and YOU…impressive! I can see you planning “homemade” weddings! You’d be brilliant at it!
oh wow! Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! 🙂
When I saw that backdrop in your photos I imagined it was there in the room when you hired it. Silly me. Every detail attended to! Love it.
haha!!! I love it!! thank you so much!!!
Great ideas. I have designed invitations for my wedding, but didn’t really think beyond that! Love the ‘Just Married’ Banner BTW.
oh you did! That’s great! I love a personal invite. Thank you so much!!
Reblogged this on wwwpalfitness.
I just started blogging last week, and it is a pleasure that I came across your blog.
It has inspired me to start my second article.
Oh wow! That’s great to hear. I’ll head on over and check it out now. Thanks so much!
I’m zoned in on the second article 🙂 I am aiming to publish it tonight
Omg, everything is soooo pretty, I bet your wedding must have been so fun to prepare and plan! Everything looks gorgeous, and congratulations! ♥
I really appreciate it. Wedding planning was fun, but I have to admit, it was stressful too. But we really had a blast.
I suppose the stress was worth it in the end? 😉
Oh totally! I just didn’t think I would have let it all get to me, ya know?
Haha, I think I understand how you felt. ^^