Friday, June 5, 2009

Making a Wedding By Hand

Handkerchief with crocheted border

In general, weddings make me feel kind of squirmy. There's usually so much pomp and circumstance, so many formalities, and so many things done "just because." So when I go to weddings, it's usually with a knot in my stomach and a thirst for wine.

Growing up, I never fantasized about my own wedding. My own children, yes. My future house, sure. Traveling around the world, of course. But weddings were for other people. When K and I decided that we would have a wedding instead of eloping, we both knew we had to find ways to make this wedding reflect us and our values. Our idea of a handmade wedding came from this decision.

With lots of help from my mom, we've made all of the decorations. Mom sewed about a million yards of bunting. It turned out so well, and I absolutely cannot wait to see it strung up at the party. We've made a ton of tissue paper pom-poms, too. For table decorations, we're going to have board game centerpieces (also, this will be entertainment for people that don't want to dance), simple flower arrangements in jars, and candles on vintage plates set on thrifted doilies and handkerchiefs. I love that we're using hand-crocheted and embroidered decorations. When I think of how much time someone put into each doily and handkerchief, I'm glad that we'll have them out where their beauty can be appreciated instead of hidden in basements and boxes. We'll also have cans of crayons* so people can let loose their inner artists on the paper tablecloths. It's gonna be fun times.

Hand-embroidery found at a local thrift shop (need to iron it!)

My favorite thrifted doily (I have crafting plans for this after the wedding)

My sister is making an iPod playlist, lots of women in our families are making layer cakes in lieu of a traditional wedding cake, and we're putting together simple picnic-style food with the help of our parents. Oh, and the favors! We've wrapped up a tea bag and a sugar heart for each guest. The sugar hearts were easy to make. I just added about 2 teaspoons of water per cup of sugar, mixed it up to the consistency of wet sand (yum, wet sand!), and put a teaspoon of the mixture into each heart-shaped compartment of a Valentine's Day ice cube tray. I popped the sugar hearts out onto a cookie sheet and let them dry overnight.

Favors--Sugar hearts and Earl Grey tea (our engagement tea)

My sister is doing my hair for the wedding, and I'm doing my own makeup. K and I bought handmade rings from Etsy, and I'll be wearing this necklace I made for the occasion.

My wedding necklace made from a clip-on earring and flea market pearls

K and I really wanted to make this wedding about our families coming together to celebrate. We're having our sisters stand up with us instead of having lots of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
We've only invited close family members and friends in order to keep the wedding small** and personal.

The wedding should be fun, but K and I are both more excited about the marriage part. The best is yet to come!

*Pronounced "crowns" if you're from Louisville. Thanks to Christine for first bringing this to my attention. I had no idea people from other places actually say cray-ons. Weird.

**As small as possible. My dad's family is huge!


  1. Allison. I´m sure that your wedding will be absolutly fantastic with all this hand made things... The handmade is not perfect but is unique and special. Congratulations!

  2. I followed you here from my blog. Thanks for commenting!
    I love the idea of handmade weddings. My own wedding was nearly 11 years ago now (makes me feel old at the ripe old age of 34!). We too went with a simple, mostly family invited wedding. We made all the decorations and favors and the guest book. I made my dress and veil and ring pillow as well as the flower girl's dress. I love looking back at the wedding and remembering all of these details and I know you will too. And you are right, the best by far is yet to come!
    Congratulations in advance.


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