Jul 25, 2011

Feelin Crafty: Creating a wedding on a budget, part 1

The mister and I got hitched long before the existence of this blog, so although I am unable to show step-by-step processes by which all my DIY wedding projects were done, I can certainly explain what I did and show the end results with pictures. Everything was done on a pretty tight budget which goes to show you can be frugal and still have a beautiful wedding if you plan ahead and are willing to put a little blood, sweat and tears into it. (There were only a few tears, I promise.) 

I have to preface this post by saying our wedding was just that, "our" wedding. It was about Keane and me committing to each other in front of those we loved and whom loved us. That said, it was decided early on that I would be the one solely responsible for making our special day come together. Keane's only requirement was that he didn't wear pink (fair enough). He was completely disinterested in anything wedding related and preferred to stay out of it. I, on the other hand, had our song list completed months prior to even getting engaged and was a regular viewer of all wedding shows on TLC and WE. Because Keane knew this was my area, he was happy to let me run with it, which is why there will be several "I"s and "my"s in this post and very few "we"s and "our"s. The fact of the matter is, he stayed out of it,  I did everything, and everyone was happy.  

I chose not to hire a wedding planner for our big day mainly because our budget wouldn't allow for it, but also because I love creating things and was happy to do it on my own. 

When I started planning, I found a lot of inspiration and ideas from books, magazines and websites. I took notes, started a binder, and then created my own vision with our budget in mind. After deciding on the location for the wedding, the next step was choosing our colors which would be the jumping off point for all other design elements. The ceremony was going to be outside on a stone alter under giant pine trees which bordered Rocky Mountain National Park. The reception would be held inside the chateau on the same property. Wood, stone and wrought iron helped to create an earthy, old-world feel within the space so I wanted our colors to complement, not compete. 

My inspiration for our colors was the sunflower: it's a wild flower found in nature, it's simple yet classic, and it's colors are very earthy.

Our final colors were sunflower yellow and chocolate brown with traces of red mixed in.

The site itself was so beautiful and elegant that I didn't want to overwhelm it with huge, extravagant centerpieces. I tend to think "less is more" in life and our wedding day was no different. I wanted centerpieces that wouldn't get lost in the room's lofty ceilings but that our guests could still see past when talking across the table. 

I knew flowers were going to be significantly more expensive than other items I could use as centerpieces and when I added in the cost of delivering and arranging on site, that idea was quickly nixed. 

I had seen a lot of inspiration using fruit as an inexpensive alternative to fresh flowers and I loved the idea of staking lemons in a tall vase. Simple, sleek and elegant.

I wanted a little variance in the centerpieces so to bring in some chocolate brown, I purchased birch branches from this website to stick in coffee beans. Each table was also scattered with candles for ambiance when the sun set. The vases were delivered on the day of the wedding and our family took care of all the arranging so I could focus on the important stuff like sipping my mimosa in my robe. 

We saved money by forgoing expensive flowers that would only last for the day and instead chose a DIY arrangement of items I was able to buy in bulk and reuse after the day was over. (We still have all the branches which we use in various vases around the house and our family took home the lemons and coffee beans after the wedding.)

Ok, that's enough for now. I'll come back another day to show more DIY projects from our wedding like place cards, favors, table numbers, ceremony programs, and the cupcake stand.

Who loves weddings more than me? 

No one. That's who. 

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