A Forest of DiY

I have about a million DiY ideas for the wedding (ARE YOU SICK OF THIS BANTER YET?  NO?  I DIDN’T THINK SO), so I’m going to take a minute to record them!

image1. Faux mercury glass votives with letter-stamped copper tags (just like my wordspell tags).  This brings in the grey and brown in our color scheme (okay, copper is NOT chocolate, but it’s the closest of the metals).  Best thing about this?  Decorations that double as wedding favors.  Needed?  Votives, mirror spray paint, copper sheeting, glue, and an ampersand stamp.  Expected total?  $50.  I can get about 72 of the votives with candles included for $40.  Spray paint will be about $10, copper I have (or can get cheap), glue and/or epoxy I have, and I have several sizes of ampersand metal stamps (and if I didn’t, sets can be purchased for as little as $10 at places like Harbor Frieght, including numbers!).  I think this is a delightfully classy item to give to friends and family in memory of the event, especially with the handmade touch of the tags.  So this is what it should look like in theory… Photoshop, ahoy!

image2. Centerpieces of dark chocolate bamboo in paper-wrapped ‘vases.’  Remember these bamboo reeds from the wall feature project?  I have TONS of them left.  I really wanted the pretty bunches of branches in vases as a decoration, but manzanita or other branches can be expensive to buy (and for some reason, the park behind our house is always mysteriously clean of any laying around…), and why waste those great bamboo reeds?  They are so perfect, and so FREE.  I also still have the dark brown paint left that we used on the box, and that serves perfectly for our chocolate.  The best part? The vases will not actually be vases, but sections of PVC pipe.  For pennies each, wrapped in old book paper and glazed with our robin’s egg blue color, they’ll be a feature that’ll cost us nearly nothing. Similar to the photo, it’d be a lovely, economical way to decorate our dinner tables.  I hope to add some decorative large letters to the head table – a B, &, and N, of course.

3. Antique book ring holder.  Since Nick and I are voracious readers (we got each other e-readers for birthday and holidays this year) I suggested we go the route of having a book instead of the traditional pillow for the ring bearer.  I sought out Ebay as a good source for vintage and antique books with that pretty, aged look and prayed for the right color… and I think I may have found it (bidding is in process, so I won’t link to it!)! We also went the direction of choosing specifically a Jules Verne book, since we both love sci-fi and fantasy and those make up the bulk of our reading habits.  Loads of blogs have instructions to DiY this project, and hopefully a small splurge of $15-20 won’t be stretching the budget too out of whack.

image4. Super simple baby’s breath bouquets.  This is the SIMPLEST bouquet I’ve ever seen, and I immediately fell in love with it.  It’s simple to create, can be done ahead of time – even with fresh baby’s breath – looks gorgeous, and will be really inexpensive.  This photo from the Sweetest Occasion really illustrates how beautiful, elegant, and timeless this look is.  I’d like to add just a few navy flowers of some kind to my bouquet (probably silk, as navy flowers do not exist in nature, according to the internet!), as navy is the color that Nick chose.

That’s just a short list… I think a lot more things will come up in time, but I also want to keep things simple.  I plan on making my own jewelry, as it’s such an important part of my own life, for one thing.  DiY for me isn’t just about saving money, after all, it’s about expressing who I am and doing what I love: creating.

What are your favorite wedding DiYs?

The budget dilemma

I am home on a sick day from school, trying to stem the flood from my nose and browsing more wedding sites (I really wanted to finally get up a project I’ve been working on but I can’t get off the couch =p).  I’ve picked out items both reasonable and outrageous.  Especially my dress. 

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I have two sides to this internal argument.  I have fallen in love with a delightful designer gown that is in the $2000 range.  If it suits my figure and looks attractive, I will splurge on this wonder and move on with the rest of my life.  I deserve it, I figure.  If it doesn’t suit me, I have another picked out in a very reasonable three digit range that will more thoroughly please my parents, who are offering to help me pay for it. I know this less expensive dress suits me, as I’ve tried it on before, and I’d be delighted with it… but only if the one I am desperately in love with doesn’t.

Everything else in the wedding must pass though the veil (hurhur) of “does this make sense to pay money for, and what can it be used for after the wedding?”  My dress, of course, I can rationalize on many levels.  I’m a skilled seamstress after all; why should I not wish for the highest quality, even if it costs more?  But then chimes in the voice that says, “Really, Beverly?  For one day?” A question to which I really have no answer, and constantly grates against my practical, frugal ideals.  I rail against $120 bridesmaid dresses and stomp over to Target.com to find equally nice (better even!  No yucky satin!) dresses for $30, and feel satisfied with my choice.  But why?  Wedding party members have offered to pay some, if not all, their share for their clothing.  Parents on both sides have offered financial support.  Both Nick and I will be working full time and be able to save plenty for our expenditures.  We don’t NEED to stay in a four figure budget, but I’m fighting to do so anyway.  Why is that?

I think it all chalks up to the way I live my life, my nature to be reasonable in spending money, in defining what are ‘needs’ and what are ‘wants.’  It’s always been an important focus for me, and now for Nick and I as a couple.  While we know there will need to be money spent on the wedding, I can’t help but want to do much of the work myself, cut out the non-essential fluff, and make the most of our money.  We’re also saving for a house, a long term investment, and to spend portions of that money on a one-day event takes away from that.  Even so… I know this day is important.  It’s the first celebration of our life, and I want my family and friends to enjoy it… I want Nick and I to enjoy it, too! 

So I continue to seek that fine line between the necessary and the frivolous, wavering here and there, but not falling off the tightrope, and always with  my eyes on the goal of having a beautiful, memorable day with which to start our life together.

Photo from Vaguely Artistic on flickr.

Lookie lookie!

Okay, I admit it!  I have wedding fever!  I did a lot of browsing over the weekend for ideas for a look book, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

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We’re looking at a base of soft dove gray with accents of robin’s egg blue, chocolate, and navy.  I’m looking forward to a lot of DiY projects for favors, décor, flowers, and wedding party gifts.

Where do you find your wedding inspiration?

It’s true… love, that is!

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I expect to be perusing a lot of books and blogs like this one over the next year… that’s right!  Nick and I are engaged, and planning on a wedding in late spring of 2012.  Given my penchant for all things handmade, cobbled, frugal, and DiY, you can bet this is going to be a big time craft love fest!  I’m delighted about that aspect of personalizing our wedding, and looking forward to the event planning portion, as well.

Look for lots more wedding and reception planning in the future!

Oh, and what are your best recommendations for resources?

I could ask for nothing more.

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Nick asked me to marry him last night. The ring is rose gold with a blue, rose-cut diamond.

I said yes.