I love all things DIY…love it. There’s a sense of pride and joy that comes from making something from nothing, or transforming something old into something new and amazing that I’m completely obsessed with. So you can imagine the millions of thoughts that went through my head as Davin and I started to plan our wedding. It took some time to decide the “theme” we wanted to go with but for the most part we knew we wanted the day to look whimsical and I wanted a vintage feel with as many handmade details as possible which Davin was more than okay with. So with my fiancé of few opinions by my side I went to town designing and assembling the save-the-dates, invitations, thank-you cards, labels on our favors, place cards and table menus. Most of our décor consisted of antiques that we collected over the year and a half that we were engaged. Things like old luggage, mason jars, Davin’s old cameras and an easel I picked up at a garage sale to display the escort cards on. We were able to sell almost everything that we purchased and a family member took the fans and banner that we made all the way home to Vancouver to re-use in another wedding which we thought was pretty awesome!
We decided to build our own photobooth which my dad came to help Davin with about a year before the wedding which was great. (We of course waited until the last minute to finish it with wall paper and baseboard though). While Davin and my dad worked on that my mom and gramma along with their inner seamstress measured and cut the fabric we chose for the table runners. Although I’m typically the type to prefer working on DIY projects myself, (because I’m free to change my mind a hundred times at the expense of no one else’s time but my own) the help we had from our friends and family proved to be invaluable.
Are handmade weddings cheaper? Not always. In our case I feel like we got great bang for our buck, but it still cost us the average amount of any other wedding. What’s great about that though is that we had table runners, decorations in the lobby, bathrooms and almost every other nook and cranny of the hall; we had full floral arrangements on every table, an espresso bar and a large wedding party. All of which aren’t typical at most weddings, so we definitely saved money in other places since the cost of our wedding was very comparable to most others that didn’t have the added expenses. I think not having a DJ (we made our own playlists and had a good friend that’s in the business operate it), making our own stationary from scratch including the design, and either making, buying for super cheap or collecting for free all of the décor was where we saved the most money.
Planning our wedding was exactly what I hoped it would be. I wanted it to be a labor of our love that would bring Davin and I together with our closest friends and family as we planned for the big day. If you love this kind of work (and it is work) I promise you that planning a wedding is the ideal project. You have all the freedom in the world and it’s all on display on one of the most significant and amazing days of your life!
A huge thank you to our wedding photographers Chelsey & Nikole for all of our amazing photos.
This was the design board I made shortly after we got engaged was where I kept the things that inspired me. I kept it in our dining room where I could constantly see it when we were at home, which I loved!
My dad and Davin built the photobooth in our backyard from good-one-side plywood, 2 x 4’s for the bracing, brackets and a piano hinge. We stapled wall paper to the front and fastened the frames for the openings and photos of loved ones that had passed.
Table runners cut from a roll of fabric my mom and I picked out. This fabric was actually meant for outdoor table cloths so it was heavier and had a semi-waterproof backing. They worked perfect as table runners because they laid flat and weighed themselves down on all four edges.
Recycled chair from my father-in-law’s shop. Birdcage borrowed from a friend. Antique keys were bought then re-sold. Books were all hand-picked for their titles from and antique shop. Wood letter wrapped in yarn. Church programs designed and printed by us.
Blank escort cards from Michael’s with names and table numbers stamped on and buttons we fastened with a hot glue gun. Displayed in the lobby on a large wooden easel I bought for $2 at a garage sale and a wooden plant stand I bought at Home Sense and returned after the wedding =)
Table menus: Sheets of 2′ x 2′ natural mdf from Home Depot cut to size, holes done all at once with a drill press, menus designed and printed by us and glued on and cotton yard threaded to the holes to hold them together. The “d+l” logo is a custom stamp from Etsy.
Paper fans made from two sheets of cardstock and hung with string and jewelry clips on the back drops behind the head table, cake table and desert table and MC.
Various mason/antique jars I collected for free (or paid no more than $0.25 each) for the flower vases and candle holders with white cotton string wrapped around the main vase.
We didn’t get our hands on a Polaroid camera in time for the wedding but we printed the photos of us for our cake toppers with white space to make them look like Polaroids. The stands were purchased from Etsy. Three antique suitcases we collected from our family and garage sales along with wood letters to use as the centerpiece between the buffet tables.
I bought an old kid’s desk online for $10 and refinished it to look vintage. We put it in the lobby with Disney cartoons and crayons on it for the kids to color throughout the reception. Our favors were airplane size bottles of absolut vodka. I bought kraft labels online and they said “Thank you! May our love be modern enough to survive the times and old fashioned enough to last forever.” The kids had their own personalized favor to take home.
My gorgeous husband and I. ♥