I say “sort-of” because I can’t really claim to have anything to do with actually making the flowers we used in our wedding. I left that job up to Mother Nature, and I have to say, she’s definitely the expert! We did, however, make our own bouquets and centerpiece arrangements – and I’m hear to tell you, if you decide to take on any diy project for you wedding, do this one! It is so much less expensive than hiring a florist, and it is also so much fun! I gained the confidence to try this after we had such success making the bouquets for E’s wedding last year, with flowers bought at Trader Joe’s! I knew I wanted really simple flowers – just pink peonies, and lots of them. After searching the internet for the best place to buy wholesale flowers, I settled on Wholeblossoms. I’m so happy with this choice, because the flowers we got from Wholeblossoms were beautiful and their customer service is outstanding. Some of the other websites seemed a little sketchy (one said if they couldn’t get the flowers you want, they might just replace them with a different type/color of flower without letting you know and with no refund of your money). Wholeblossoms called to let me know the flowers were on their way, called once they were delivered to make sure everything looked good, and then actually called on the morning of the wedding to make sure they held up for the big day. Ok, enough gushing about Wholeblossoms – I just wanted to share my experience because so many of the services seemed bad and I want people to know that there is a good online flower wholesaler out there! That’s not to say I wasn’t a little bit nervous when the flowers (from Alaska!) arrived looking like this:
Not to worry, though, after a few hours in water in the fridge, they looked like this!
My favorite part of making our bouquets was picking out the flowers and arranging them. After that, I simply handed the bunch to Kristen and she made the bouquet! It’s was like magic! : ) Here is me helping Kristen wrap my bouquet, with my crazy two-days-until-wedding face on:
We made bouquets for all the girls (including an adorable tiny bouquet for the adorable flower girl to carry), centerpiece arrangements, and still had some blooms left over to put in the sconces on the walls of the chapel. Here’s what that whole mess of peonies looked like after we tamed them and formed them into pretty little bundles. Also, I just had to post this picture because it is a stunning example of E and Hugo coexisting peacefully! : )
I love, love, loved the flowers! I think this was my favorite project that we did, and definitely the one with the least mistakes on my part (probably because I wasn’t really in charge this time).
I started getting an idea of what I wanted the reception centerpieces to look like (inspired a little bit by the image on page 39 from this Nonpareil magazine) when I spotted some small glass hobnail cake stands on sale (50% off!) at Hobby Lobby and snatched them up! I decided I wanted to have a small bunch of peonies (more on the flowers in the next post) in a short little vase on top of the cake stand and surrounded by . . . something? That something materialized when I spotted these free printable favor boxes on Style Me Pretty – I loved the design and thought green would be perfect with some pink peonies! So after using my limited editing skills, I was able to replace the “love is sweet” line on the boxes with our new monogram on one side and the date of the wedding on the other.
At this point (i.e. before the cutting and folding began), I was feeling very clever, especially when I got the correct cardstock to print them on for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. Eventhough about halfway through cutting them all out, folding them and glueing them together I was ready to give up and say that they were probably my worst idea ever, I’m so happy with how they turned out and I love how they looked on the centerpieces!
(I’m starting to see a little bit of a theme here . . . Linden thinks she has cleverest/cutest/most fun diy project in the world planned. . . Linden is overcome by feelings of regret that she took on such a stupid/ugly/not most fun diy project . . . Linden is happy she didn’t quit because the end result was adorable (but still doesn’t ever want to see green tissue paper or printed cardstock ever again)).
Making the boxes was quite a bit of work, but we also faced the task of trying to decide what to put in them. . . “how about Sour Patch Kids? We love those . . . ” “We can’t give people a whole box of Sour Patch Kids, it would look dumb.” “Ok, what about chocolate covered pretzels?” “Well, I might be on board with that, but only if we can get both white chocolate and milk chocolate – I want some variety!” . . . and so on and so on . . .
Ok, in retrospect, I may have been slightly unreasonable in my hunt for the perfect favor box fillers, but it was, like, 3 days before the wedding and I was crazy. In the end, we went with half chocolate covered pretzels, half frosted animal cookies (the kind with sprinkles)! Yum!
On to the second set of handmade items from our wedding – tissue paper pomanders! Ever since Martha Stewart came out with these tissue paper pom poms, I’ve wanted to include them in our wedding decorations somehow. My original plan was to make the large poms and hang them from the ceiling of our reception venue, Red Primesteak. Unfortunately, due to some expensive lighting in their dinning room, they don’t allow you to hang decorations from the ceiling (which I definitely understand – I wouldn’t want to pay for any that we broke). Luckily, I had run across this Ruffled tutorial on making tissue paper pomanders (based on MS’s pom poms) to line the aisle. While these seemed like quite a bit more work, I thought they would look better for the ceremony than the bigger, looser ones on Martha Stewart. So when Emily came to visit, we got started. And so began a series of unfortunate mistakes on my part and hours of tissue paper folding, cutting, fluffing . . .
Quite a stack of tissue paper, am I right?
So, um, if you clicked on the tutorials I linked to above, you may notice a problem with the tissue paper accordions in my picture. Unfortunately at the time, I did not notice the problem and Emily, believing that I knew how to make these (because I had made a practice one a couple of months before), didn’t start to question my technique until it started to become obvious that something had gone totally wrong. The gist of it is – we folded the paper the wrong direction. :( You see, you’re supposed to stack four 5×10″ pieces of paper and then fold them accordion style – only, you’re supposed to fold them so that they end up as 5″ strips, NOT 10″ strips (like above). Ugh! This slowly became evident (embarrassingly slowly for myself, actually), with Emily saying things like, “Lindy, I don’t quite see how these will end up looking like the one you finished a couple of months ago – they seem not as fluffy and quite a bit longer . . . ” Well, in the end we had to trim them down, use about twice as many little poms to cover half as many styrofoam balls than I had planned for. Oh, and I almost forgot, as the three of us (me, Emily, Kristen) were finishing the last 3 poms, Emily looked at mine and said, “Lindy, why is yours so much bigger than ours?” So I began to explain that my poms had just not been trimmed as much as theirs, until I realized that I had happened to pull the ONE larger styrofoam ball out of the bag of, like, 8 correct size styrofoam balls and completely covered it with poms before I realized it. Despite all this, we made it to the chapel with them, and not a one fell during the ceremony (which we thought would just top the whole adventure off!) I think they ended up looking quite cute decorating every other row in the church.
I have to thank Emily and Kristen again for their patience with these – none of us ever really want to see green tissue paper again, but I am glad that we stuck it out and finished them because I think they added a cute, whimsical touch to the ceremony. And we learned a valuable lesson: Linden’s brain + massive amounts of tissue paper + distraction of watching New Moon + bff Linden has only seen once in the last year + wedding in 5 days = near tissue paper disaster.
Well, ok, it’s been more than a couple of weeks since the wedding . . . I’ve got a few things I’ve been wanting to post about, but I first wanted to start with some posts about the do-it-yourself aspects of the wedding, and then head into pictures from the honeymoon, and the knitting I’ve gotten done in the meantime. So, now that I have the wedding pictures in my hot little hands, I can share! Being a crafter, I definitely wanted to make sure to have projects that me, my family, and my friends all had a hand in creating – so that every time I looked back at the pictures I would not only remember the day itself, but all the fun times (um, and sometimes fun(?) times) that we had getting everything ready. So I’ll kick it all off talking about the most ambitious diy project we took on!
Handmade Detail I: My Dress
I can’t take credit for this extreme do-it-yourself – it was all my mom! My wedding dress adventure started with my obsession with wearing a dress from the jcrew wedding collection. I’ve loved their simple, beautiful dress for a long time (and still do!), and so I always planed on ordering a few of them (you can only try them on in person at their bridal boutique in NYC), having a personal try-on at home, and then sending back all but the one I wanted to keep. Well, I implemented my plan, and actually liked two of the dresses, so I packed them up and headed to my parents to get my mom’s opinion. After showing her both dresses, her first priority was to convince me to go shopping in Tulsa with her (i.e. she didn’t like either of them . . .). Neither of us really knew where to look in Tulsa, but we ended up at a very fancy department store with a bridal boutique. Actually, they had a closed bridal boutique (they had sold almost everything for 50% off a few months before), but they had two dresses left. Ok, they had two of the same dress left, in different sizes – neither of them mine. One was close, though, so we said we would take a look at it (hey, 50%!). It ended up being this gorgeous Amsale dress, but a couple of sizes too small and still preeeeetttty expensive. As my mom and I were standing in the dressing room, falling in love with the bodice of the dress, she said, “You know, I could make this. If we had nice fabric I could definitely make this – it’s so simple.” Thus began our incredible journey of picking out just the right fabric (ordered from Mood!), trying to find the right pattern as a starting point (it didn’t actually end up being that similar to any of the patterns we looked at), meeting halfway between our homes to try on “practice dresses” made with less expensive fabric until we got just the right fit, and mom trying to convince me that it didn’t look that much like a friend’s wedding dress (“Mom, it looks exactly like Emily’s dress, I can’t wear it!”; “No it doesn’t, let me see a picture of her dress. No, it looks completely different – it’s just the bodice that looks the same.”; “Uh huh . . .”)
In the end, I had the most amazing dress, I felt so pretty on my wedding day, and someone actually said it looked like something Audrey Hepburn would wear (exactly what I was aiming for). My mom is an incredible seamstress (much more so than she always claimed to be, she credits all her years in 4H), and now I have a wedding dress that means so much for so many reasons : ) Oh, did I mention it has pockets? Yeah, it totally has pockets. My mom is awesome.
All photos are by the fabulous photographer Carl Zoch – he did an amazing job! In case you’re wondering, my veil was from Brenda’s Bridal Veils on etsy. Brenda is very helpful with any questions you have, and gets your veil to you very fast! Next up, the saga of the tissue paper poms . . .