Our Handmade Wedding

There is so much to share — from beginning to end — so I’ll try to sum it up as cohesively as I can. Pardon my ADD if I start to jump around.

First, I’ll start with the invitations:

I emailed the save-the-dates so people would respond with their mailing addresses. That was my sneaky way to avoid tracking down all of the addresses right before I needed to mail the invites.

Then, about two months before the wedding our guests received our invitations and RSVP postcards.

All of the info was on our wedding blog (It’s no longer up): everything was included from hotel and venue information, to the story of how we met.

You’ve been patient, so now I’ll get to the good stuff: The Wedding Day!

Our wedding was at the home of our incredibly awesome family friends who just happen to have a totally killer, wedding-ready house. They are like a second family to me, so to have our wedding on their property was everything we had ever wanted. It gave us the ability to decorate exactly how we wanted, which made everything so warm and fuzzy. It was intimate, casual, festive, and every other single adjective that we were aiming for. To sum it up quickly before the water-works start, IT WAS OUR DREAM COME TRUE.

While my best friend, Molly, and I enjoyed a glass of wine before the festivities, our guests were greeted with this sandwich board sign that Steve and I made. I hand-painted a welcome message on one side, and a thanks-for-coming message on the other (I will post a tutorial on this project).

The short-but-sweet ceremony was held around the pool, with Steve and me standing on the deck. My mom gets full credit for making an aisle runner out of two tablecloths, and constructing the simple and stunning backdrop. The pretty flowers were left over from the rehearsal-dinner arrangements Steve’s mom brought. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.

My handsome groom. Isn’t he charming?

After the ceremony our guests mingled on the driveway, where the reception was held. We had lots of activities to keep them occupied, as well as tons of yummy food.

Steve made Cornhole boards that got a lot of action.

We had a thumbprint guest book where we asked guests to “leaf” their prints. I need to post a picture of what it looks like all filled up. It’s incredible. My friends have some nice thumbprints, if I do say so myself.

I made a banner from decorative paper I found at Michaels and strung it around this gorgeous bird cage that my mom happened to have in her basement. This worked perfectly to hold cards; they slipped right through the bars.

We had a photobooth, complete with a prop table. Recognize the table? This got really fun as the night wore on. (Read: This got really fun as the alcohol kicked in.)

Two of my dear friends were unable to attend the wedding, so our other friends who did come brought photo cutouts of their faces so we could take pictures with them –BRILLIANT! Kelly and Mark ended up on the prop table when they weren’t cutting a rug on the dance floor.

We had the photobooth print doubles so we could have our guests leave a print behind for us. It was fun to see all of the strips hanging up at the end of the night. This board was completely covered!

To make our initials I covered large cardboard letters with artificial flowers. It was a lot of plucking and gluing, but I’m happy with how they turned out. The boards were upcycled from old window shutters that Steve attached together. Then we strung hemp from one side to another and added hundreds of tiny clothespins.

And of course, our guests visited the bar:

The sign was made from an old frame I found at an antique store, and plywood painted with chalkboard spray paint. It really does work!

The map was probably my favorite project we made for the wedding. Many of our guests were coming from all over the US and I really wanted to somehow highlight that. This map was our little way of showing how much we appreciated the miles covered. With the help of a brilliant writer-friend, it was titled: “The Road You Tread To See Us Wed”

The map was a hit. We heard people proudly saying “That’s my pin!”

For the table centerpieces we kept things simple: brightly colored tablecloths and simple flower arrangements — that Molly and I arranged ourselves — paired with mason jars that I had been collecting for an entire year before the wedding. You can’t have too many candles.

Above our heads were strings of white lights and doily garland that I made by halving two different sized doilies over string, and then gluing together.

This is me, before slipping into my wedding dress, checking out the desert table. We had all homemade goodies instead of a single cake, which everyone really seemed to love. A big thank you goes out to all of our friends and family who baked their little hearts out. The dessert table was a hit!

I made the little “Love is Sweet” signs, and found that beautiful antique lace curtain on ebay, which perfectly framed the table.

Flip flops were a must-have; I think all of our dancing guests appreciated them. I scored these babies on sale for $1 a pop from Old Navy. I simply wrapped them with hemp and put size stickers on the heel of each shoe, which made for easy picking.

We danced our first dance to La Vie En Rose, by Louis Armstrong. I get teary-eyed just typing that out. You can imagine that I cried through the whole dance. I’m a softie.

My father/daughter dance was sweet, and it turned into a father/mother/daughter dance. What can I say? I’m an only child. They’re both my everything.

After all of the “first dances” we got the party started!

One of my favorite shots is one the photographer took on his way out. This picture most closely captures the mood of the night. We had about 400 twinkling candles, and the whole thing honestly felt magical.

Of course we had to cap the whole DIY Wedding Theme with thank-you cards that captured the spirit of the event.



I designed vintage-themed postcards to send out to all of our friends, thanking them for sharing our special day with us.

I can easily say without hesitation that our wedding night was the best night of my life. We had everyone that we love in one place, and that alone makes for the perfect occasion. I also got to marry my best friend and the love of my life, so, yeah. Best. Night. EVER.

37 thoughts on “Our Handmade Wedding

  1. Great inspiration. I’m maid of honor for a friend who’s on a small budget and planning for a park in June, so several of these ideas will, I hope, help enable her dreams to become realities!

  2. I think this was one of the best weddings I have ever seen…thank you for sharing your day and your ideas; so creative. Very touching when you wiped your (now husband’s) forehead; his reaction, your parents’ reaction–priceless! Very sweet.

  3. This is great! Such a beautiful ceremony & reception and makes everything more personal when you DIY! I do have one question though, the ring that is on your wedding website (the pearl one), where is it from? Was it your engagement ring? Either way, absolutely stunning!

    • Thank you so much! That pearl ring is indeed my engagement ring. We found it on an estate website called Ruby Lane. It is a ring from the 1930s and was shipped from Belgium.

  4. Where did you purchase that map, or how did you make it? I want the same thing at my wedding! Right down to the color! So clever

  5. you were (are) beautiful adn so was your wedding. thank you for sharing! what is the song that is playing in your little video?

  6. Beautiful, and great ideas. We eloped and plan to renew our vows at our 5 yr mark. This gives me plenty of great ideas. πŸ™‚ I especially loved the photographers “on the way out” photo. *teary eyes*

  7. This was so cute! What a beautiful wedding! There’s just something about knowing you did it yourself that makes it really special. I had a DIY wedding and it was just what I wanted!

  8. I love your photobooth pics. Did you guys do your own photobooth set up or did you hire a company? My fiance found a program so you can DIY, but it seems like a huge hassle. I really like how yours are in the traditional black and white strips and how you printed 2 copies. Love the ideas!

    • Thank you! We hired a company – it was so worth it because they came in and set up and broke down without having to bug anyone! They also sent us a person to run the thing all night, which was awesome.

  9. No matter how much or how little your wedding cost in $ it will always be a Wedding everyone will remember because it was special and so many personal touches were added

  10. Everything looks so wonderful and whimsical! I really looks like everyone was having a great time,and i really like your thumb print idea!

  11. Hi! I found your blog while browsing Pinterest’s wedding category…turns out I grew up in Rocky River with your hubs. I didn’t really know him well but I just had to share my little “small world” moment. Your blog is fantastic! πŸ™‚
    Best, Samantha

  12. Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where
    I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?

    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  13. Where did you get the lace table runners? I’m getting married in July and love lace! I’m trying to find ways to incorporate it in the decor. Also, I love your doily garland!

  14. I’m normally to blogging and i genuinely appreciate your web site content. This content has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your internet web site and maintain checking choosing information.

  15. Stunning, simple, elegant! Truly inspired by your wedding! I wanted to know what program did you use to create your vintage “Thank You” postcards & did you print them through Walgreens or Costco or online like Vista Print? Thank you!

      • Would you possibly consider e-mailing me your template so I can have my future sister-in-law make changes custom to me? If not I totally understand! ☺

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