Our Wedding

The event that started the craftiness! 

Weddings are expensive.  I had no idea how much so until I started researching all of our options shortly after becoming engaged.  I am sorry to every person who’s wedding I attended and barely took notice of the details!  Need a tablecloth?  Fine.  Need the same exact tablecloth for a wedding?  Please pay 3 times as much.  Just the insertion of the simple little word- wedding – and you can expect a hefty price jump.  It’s ridiculous.  And in my frustration upon this discovery I started brainstorming ways that I could cut corners without sacrificing style or quality.  I had officially been bit by the craft bug!  But there were some things that are just better left to the pros in this case:  catering, flowers, the dress.  I’m not saying that they can’t be DIY’d, but in my case it seemed way out of my realm.

So here are some pictures of the big day and some of the things I crafted for it.  I’ll try to explain where I can:

Our wedding was a destination wedding for everyone except me and Bob.  I’m originally from Michigan and he from Connecticut so our friends and family were traveling great distances to be here on our wedding day.  The day before the wedding we had a Welcome Party/Rehearsal Dinner at the South Carolina Aquarium.  We wanted to share the Lowcountry experience with our guests so we chose historic Lowndes Grove Plantation as the reception venue.  We had an unusually cold day for October in Charleston (high of 60) and it rained all day until about 2 hours before the ceremony.  The same day the year before the temperature had been about 85…go figure.

I designed the programs and then took them to Kinko’s for printing.  I also had a welcome brochure for the Welcome Party at the aquarium printed there.  When all was finished and the Kinko’s guy told me the price I almost fainted- $150!  Apparently the color printing was mucho dinero and I failed to check the price beforehand.  I stupidly assumed that since I was DIYing these things that it would automatically equal cheap.  Not so.  But I guess the Kinko’s employee felt bad upon seeing my shell-shocked face because he gave me the programs for free and I just had to pay for the brochures!  A straight up 60% discount!  Not bad.  Oh and we had 102 guests RSVP so I made 75 programs and about 30 brochures (the brochures had local attractions, directions, etc for out-of-town guests).

 

I love flowers so they were a very important aspect of the wedding for me.  The left photo shows the pink bridesmaids bouquets consisting of tulips, sweet pea, and ranunculus.  My bouquet was made with green orchids, white sweet pea, and I’m not sure what else.  Our centerpieces were various colors of hydrangea with ti leaves wrapped around the inside of the vase.  My favorite part of the decor!  In case you couldn’t tell by now, green is my favorite color and I chose green and cream with an accent of pink for our wedding colors.

Each guest’s seat was printed with their name and stamped with one of three stamps designating which entrée they had chosen.  I did all of the printing, cutting, and stamping.  The three stamps that I used were a large oak tree, sea shell, and a sand dollar.  The mini topiary placecard holders were purchased online and injected more green into the table setting.

The menu was preset based on which entrée was chosen upon RSVPing so each guest did not need their own menu.  I printed one menu per table from blank menus purchased at Michael’s.  Personally, I like to know what is coming up in a four course meal so I felt these were a nice touch.  The table numbers that you might be able to spot hanging from a chair at each table were designed and printed at home by me.  I then hole punched them at the top and secured them with ribbon.

After the ceremony at a chapel downtown, guests moved on to the reception venue about a mile away.  The first floor of the plantation house was used for a cocktail hour while we finished taking pictures.  Dinner was served upstairs in the various dining rooms and on the upstairs veranda following the cocktail hour.  Dancing continued outside by the water under the tent after dinner.

That last picture needs some explanation.  Besides the lovely aisle markers (a dahlia bloom with magnolia leaves) that can be seen, there is Bob’s childhood friend Jon.  Jon is somewhat of a man-child and is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met- not that he’s always trying to be.  Jon was to do a preselected reading up on the altar, which he did very well.  After the reading, the priest went back to the podium to continue the ceremony from his notes only to discover that all of his papers were missing and must have been picked up by Jon on his way back to his seat.  The priest had no choice but to call Jon back up to relinquish the notes.  Everyone thought it was hilarious and what can we say…only Jon.  He continued his entertainment later than night at the reception with a solo dance performance to Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean”.  Priceless.

We used a Charleston Black Cab as our transportation from the ceremony to the reception and then after the reception to our downtown hotel.

The curved staircase at Lowndes Grove with our cake at the bottom.

     

I copied the wedding photos of all of our grandparents and parents then printed the dates underneath to be displayed by the guest book at the reception.  All of Bob’s grandparents are deceased so it was a way to honor them.  While I’m lucky to have all of my grandparents still with us (see below), it was still important to honor them as well- they both have been married for almost 60 years!  My maternal grandmother handmade a handkerchief that I carried down the aisle with me and my paternal grandmother gave me the necklace I wore which contained the diamond from my great grandmother’s engagement ring.  Also, our guest book was a picture book of historical places in downtown Charleston and I printed a sign that directed guests to sign on any page.  It makes a great coffee table book.  The gift boxes in the background are actually all secured together and hollowed out to form a receptacle for envelopes.  I made it as an alternative to the typical birdcage you see everywhere.

After the toasts by my dad and the best man, things got a little crazy on the dance floor.  Don’t worry, I’ll only show the tame pictures.  But I think our favors may be partly to blame- mini bottles of Sweet Tea Vodka (brewed right here in Charleston).  I tied the bottles with strips of raffia and placed them in this basket from Michael’s.

 

  

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