DIY Wedding Decor & Ideas
Graham and I just celebrated our 1st Anniversary... so I thought I'd write a quick post about my wedding last year! We had such an amazing day! And most of our decorations, displays, flowers and gifts were DIY. I thought this post might help those brides-to-be who are on a budget and can't afford a Wedding planner/designer or for those who just enjoy DIY!
We got married August 15, 2015 at the Fields of Blackberry Cove in Weaverville, NC. It was beautiful!! I wanted to be able to look back at photos years from now and still love the decisions I'd made for the style of our wedding. Our wedding had a vintage/rustic vibe with a touch of bohemian. The morning of the wedding my friends and bridesmaids met me at the venue to decorate. I would not have been able to do it without them!
I really enjoyed decorating the tables in the barn where our reception was held. I knew exactly what I wanted the space to look like... wanted rectangular tables - even though some people tried to change my mind and get me to go with round, all I could envision was long, rectangular tables. We used neutral colors for the table cloths with a pop of color in the napkins.
Of course, I included succulents, air plants and amethyst crystals in the decor! I found an Etsy shop that sold vintage bottles and was able to get over 100 (about 130 total) for about $2.50 each. That is so inexpensive -- especially considering if you find them at antique shops, they are usually at least $7 bucks a piece. (This is also great for me because I re-sell these bottles at some of my shows!) My friends and I filled the vintage bottles with elements from my bouquet... pheasant feathers, Eucalyptus, Baby's Breath, and Blue Thistle.
The center of the tables included Amethyst clusters, the vintage bottles, Mercury Glass tealight candle holders, and succulent cuttings. My venue offered vintage, mis-matched dinnerware that was perfect for the look I wanted. Graham and I (mostly Graham) cut wood slice coasters for all of our guests and with the help of friends, we sanded them and made them look nice with some natural colored raffia.
For the kids' table, we kept it simple and decorated it with Purple Rock Candy and Ring Pops. These doubled as little favors for the kids.
Everything looked beautiful!
Cake Table Decor
It always seems like I at every wedding I attend, I always miss the cake cutting and never get to try the cake! When I was shopping around for pricing on wedding cakes, I found most places had ridiculous prices! I just didn't want to spend $700 on cake! And a large, three-tier wedding cake is not really our style. We ended up choosing Whisk Avl. Meg, who recently opened her the bakery, had very reasonable prices and her flavors of cakes and icing were incredible! We ended up going with four half sheets with different flavors, I think about 20 mini cup cakes for the kids and a small two-tier cake for ourselves, the wedding party and family. All five cakes and the cupcakes cost less than half the price of a three-tier cake at most places in town. They turned out beautifully! And not to mention, delicious! By the time it was time to cut our cake, the four sheet cakes had been destroyed!
For our cake, I wanted something simple, yet would still tie into our wedding style. Our small, two-tier cake mimicked the rouging on my dress. In one of our meetings I had drawn a quick sketch of what I was thinking for the sheet cakes and she decorated them perfectly! I left succulents, amethyst and some tea lights out for our baker, Meg, to decorate with as well. I also left her some blackberries to spread out on the cakes (we were at the Fields of Blackberry Cove, after all!) And left her my family's vintage gravy bowl to fill with blackberries if the guests wanted extra. My parents let me borrow a vintage-style two-tier serving tray for the cupcakes with some vintage napkins covering the bottom and their vintage silver cake servers and knives. My venue let me use the large wood slabs for the cake stand, at no charge. The old windows were given to me by my sister years ago, and I'd planned to use them in a project but never got around to it... they were perfect for the table! All in all after everything the cake display, we spent less than $350... and this included the cakes... and it looked like a million bucks!
We loved our venue, The Fields of Blackberry Cove. There were endless options as to where to have the ceremony. We ultimately decided to have it under the giant Oak tree. We didn't get a chance to spend a lot of time of the decorations at the ceremony site because there was a chance of rain and we didn't want everything to get wet. Even though these decorations were a little last minute and we didn't get to do everything I had originally planned, no one could tell. It still looked stunning.
My parents were kind enough to let us borrow several of their area rugs to create the aisle. And I also used several of their fern plants at the end of aisle.
Bouquets, Bouts, Flower Crowns & more
It took me a while to finally decide on the Bridesmaids' bouquets. Ultimately I ended up using one air plant, a large Xerographica, the Queen of Air Plants. They were gorgeous! The color and unique shape of them looked stunning. Because it was just one plant, I was able save a significant amount of money on them compared to the price of bouquet. And even better -- unlike bouquets that will wilt after a few days, these will last and last, as long as the girls take care of them! These doubled as part of my Bridesmaids' Gifts (which I will talk about later.) My Honorary Bridesmaids carried a smaller sized Xerographica and my Flower Girls carried a vintage silver basket with white petals. All of the girls wore a small sprig of Baby's Breath in their hair.
I did not want to wear a veil, it is just not my style... the only option that made sense to me was a flower crown. One of my best friends, Amie, was so kind to make me a stunning flower crown for our wedding -- and I still have it! She flew in a few days early to help me with all of the DIY decorations. For my flower crown, she picked some leafy plants from my front yard, a small succulent and a sprig or two of the Baby's Breath, Blue Thistle and Eucalypus from the bunches that I had ordered for the decorations. One of my florists warned me against using real flowers in the crown because with the heat and other elements, it may turn brown by the end of the night. I found a single stem with a silk white peony flower that we ended up using, and Amie had brown a vintage style flower as well to add to it. All in all, Amie said she spent about $50 bucks on the crown, and she even made a practice crown for me earlier in the year. And my Maid of Honor, Sarah, made about 15 faux flower crowns for my Bachelorette Party for me and all the ladies attending! Did I mention, I love flower crowns?!
The night before the wedding some of my bridesmaids and friends sat around and made the boutonnieres for the guys. These consisted of a small single sprig of the three bunches that I had purchased from one of my florists - Blue Thistle, Baby's Breath, and Eucalyptus. We tied them together with floral wire and then finished them with thin natural twine. For Graham's boutonniere, we added a small succulent. These cost less than $3 each.
Our dog, Buddy, was also in our wedding as The Best Dog. Amie made him his own "boutonniere" that attached to his collar. We used the same greenery from my flower crown and pulled sprigs from the bunches and even added a small succulent. He looked so handsome!
Family is so important to both Graham and I. We wanted to honor those who could not be with us. At our reception, we had a table set up with photos of loved ones that we had lost and a framed quote, "In loving memory of those who are forever present in our hearts and minds." This table was decorated with succulents, amethyst clusters, baby's breath and the vintage bottles. It was lovely.
Invitations & Wedding Stationery
I love supporting other local artists and small businesses in Asheville. One of my favorite local artists is Melissa Moss. I usually always give a print of one her paintings to friends or family, whether it is for a baby shower, engagement present, birthday gift... I was lucky enough to sit with her and talk about what I wanted for the front of our wedding invitation. She painted an incredible piece just for us and it included two of her "beings" that are her signature style. The original piece painted on wood now sits on our mantel and we look at it every day. She also send me an electronic copy, so I was able to turn it into the front side of our invitation. The back included all of our wedding info and I designed the RSVP cards, Programs, Party Invites and the Save the Dates as well. For these, I used some designs from Creative Market. You may buy the designs for personal use, but cannot sell them. This painting was one of my favorite parts of our wedding, and it also doubled as a gift for the guests. Many guests have framed their print.
So I already mentioned Graham and I made wood slice coasters for each guest. These ended up costing us practically nothing. I think the only thing I paid for was the twine to tie them up with and some kraft paper for the tags. I will try to post a tutorial on these when I get a chance. They were so easy!
I really enjoy giving gifts and I went all out for my Bridesmaids! I make jewelry, so of course, I made everyone a pair of earrings and a simple gemstone drop necklace using Tanzanite stones -- the stone from my wedding ring. Since the wedding had a vintage vibe, I searched antique shops, Etsy and eBay for vintage silver jewelry dishes for each girl. I really loved this part! I limited myself to $15 or less on the dishes (not including the shipping price.) You can find some really great deals out there if you just take your time and browse all options. Other items in the box included a small candle, box of matches, an amethyst crystal, temporary tattoos, a lavender pillow, a decorative bar of soap, and a small piece of chocolate. I also included a photo of me and each bridesmaid. I like to support the shops that sell my jewelry, so most of the other smaller items came from those stores in town. Each box was personalized, yet the same. I used different scents for the soap and candles depending on what each girl liked and chose the vintage dishes for each based on their personalities. Everyone loved them!
Well, what had started out to be quick post took me days to complete! Really, I could talk about this incredible experience all day long! In future posts, I will break down some of the DIY projects we did for our wedding.... the boutonnieres, wood slice coasters, etc.
And y'all remember!! If something doesn't turn out the way you had planned, don't stress on it! Some of the decorations I had planned never even got used because we ran out of time, couldn't find them or we just forgot about them altogether! The day is going to go by so fast, don't focus on the little things. None of your guests will ever know. :)
I hope you enjoyed this post, thanks for reminiscing with me! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!