If you’re a maker and you’re getting married, or maybe you’re reading this and you make things for other people’s weddings, I wanted to share the things we made for our wedding day, to hopefully inspire you to get making (or maybe enlist some help) to help make your wedding day truly personal to you.
The story of our handmade wedding started at the end of Summer 2017, meeting Alison MacLeod a Jewelry designer, in her home in Thornhill in Scotland, it was really important for a lifelong piece of jewellery, to be unique and come from an ethical source. I had found Alison MacLeod through Not on the High Street. Where possible I try and buy from a small business, simply because I know first hand how important each sale to the maker is and how using your spending power wisely can help keep craftsmanship alive. For the engaement ring, I chose the Sculpted Diamond Solitatire I was equally as excited about wearing the Tiny Catkin wedding band as a fan of all things fauna, the catkin engraving on the outside is so beautiful. For me, the wedding bands are the most important symbol of the marriage, their style helped us set the tone for our wedding.
Although most projects start with ‘I saw this great idea on Pinterest’ I tried to stay away from Pinterest during the build up to the wedding. I was set on keeping the day as simple and as straight forward as possible, so I went back to the drawing board and pulled out images from Brides Magazine and You and Your Wedding to collate an old fashioned pin board.
We set our date for the wedding, Friday 27th July, we sent out a ‘Save the Date’ as soon as possible, as we knew it was a big ask to ask our guests to celebrate with us on a Friday. We printed postcards from Moo.com we used a photo from my brother’s wedding and kept the design simple.
I’d recently returned to drawing and wanted to illustrate our invites with line drawings of leaves and botanicals. We printed them ourselves and I used some Gold Windsor and Newton Drawing ink for the hand lettering. I loosely followed guidance from Nib & Ink’s Guide to Modern Calligraphy and used a dip pen for the embellishments. The design was traditional, with all the information inside the A4 design and made A5 RSVP cards. Although it’s quite common to do all this bit on a wedding website and over email, we really enjoyed receiving the RSVP’s in the post.
After I’d written the invites, I set about putting my newly acquired skills to good use and wrote the place cards with a little note on each to try and make all our guests feel welcomed.
For favours we bought some wild flower seeds and dinner money envelopes to make seed packets with the hope that patches of wildflowers would begin to bloom across the country following the wedding. When one of the bridesmaids sent me a photo of her little patch of wild flowers blooming in her garden I was so pleased that our idea had come to fruition.
We kept the table names and seating plan simple, sticking to line drawings with gold ink.
We are lucky to have The Fab Lab on our doorstep in Altrincham, which has open access on a Saturday to it’s Laser Cutter, 3D Printers and Shop Bot. We went along to and had an induction, the possibilities are endless, but we kept it simple and laser cut our cake topper with our new name. We kept the cake simple, Rob’s mum made the cake, which for us was the only option, as I follow the autoimmune paleo diet to manage a chronic illness, but it was so nice to have Rob’s Mum make something for the wedding. We wrapped the cake in Rosemary, as it’s a symbol of fidelity.
We made a sign for the marquee with a nod to the sign at Land’s End with meaningful places to us as a couple. We used the laser cutter to engrave and cut out the signs and stuck it all together with Gorilla Glue.
I started my sewing journey in the build up the wedding, now I would love to have sewn my own dress, but when I bought my dress I could barley sew a button on, so opted for an off the rack silk slip dress, cut on the bias.
I did put thread to cloth and made the table runners, along with some fabric godmothers, who helped cut, sew and iron all 18 table cloths. We picked up the Liberty Fabric in the Abakhan sale and lined them with some white sheets from Dunelm Mill. We now have one of the table cloths on our dining table and dispersed them to friends and family after the wedding, if you’re spending time making anything, you want it to last.
Off cuts of the fabric we’re made into triangles and added to bunting my aunty has previously made for another wedding, the upcycled bunting tied made it cohesive.
We made a DIY Photo Booth with a picture frame, a paper flower and some mount board. A good friend of mine is a wedding photographer and had leant us all her props for her Photo Booth. We got some film for our Instax Mini Camera and left a guest book inviting our friends and family to leave us a photo. Plenty of photos were left for us alongside heartfelt notes and plenty of photo were taken home as a memento from the day.
Our final project for our handmade wedding was the thank you cards. We were blown away by the generosity and kindness of all our family and friends who had travelled across the country and continent to celebrate with us. It was important to me that we got a handwritten note to everyone to express our thanks to them for joining us. We printed the cards ourselves and again added gold ink embellishments.
My advice for anyone other makers getting married would be to get started early, remember you can’t do it all and nothing kills the joy in a project like a deadline. It’s easy to get caught up in the little details ahead of the wedding day, but remember you’re building a marriage, not just a wedding day, so frame things with perspective. Keep it simple and enjoy the process.
Here’s to married life and keep on making.