Wedding Week: Putting it all together

Well this is a little late but the sun came out and I spent a good amount of time outside the last few days. But it's supposed to snow again, so here I am back in front of the computer. Anyway, wrapping it all up...

We wanted our wedding to be made as much by us and those we know as possible, use items that could be repurposed or last longer than the wedding, and express ourselves. It's really strange that our wedding ended up on Arbor Day, because looking at it now, you would think it had really inspired a lot of what we did, when it really didn't inspire anything until the end. Our main inspiration: spring, books, and fun.

Our invitations and such

Our friend, Zoe, did our invitations and all the graphic items we needed for the wedding. I got the inspiration from a set of tea cups she gave me:

Which gave us this:

Our "Save the Date" is printed on business card stock, and then we stuck it on sticky-backed magnets (ended up with a ton extra - thus more magnet projects to come!). Super easy and fun. The invite (on the left) is put together like a book.

I love the way it turned out, and  special thanks to my sister for helping me cut out, fold, staple and label all the invitations!

Our Flowers

Inspired by Martha Stewart's craft encyclopedia, I wanted to create the bouquets and boutenieres. There were a lot of crafting days before the wedding, and I'm still very grateful to everyone who helped out.

"I'm making you flowers that would never exist in nature!" declared one of my friends as we cut, wrapped, fluffed and taped paper flowers just days before the wedding. Messy, but fun.

The boutenieres were made by Zoe and my then-future-sister-in-law. I gave them the beaded flower instructions, and turned them loose! Turned out it was much more time consuming than I thought it would be so they went supply shopping and came up with a really fun pin in the end. (bottom left in the picture)

The Wedding

We got married in a cave. There were lots of bats and spiderwebs... Not really, it's actually an old mushroom storage place became speakeasy became wedding and swing night place. It was such an affordable unique space. Plus, it's where Raulie's grandparents got engaged (we had no idea about that until we had booked the site).

Raulie and I personally chose or wrote our vows. I based mine off a book by Berkeley Breathed, Pete & Pickles, because it reminds me of us. My dad was our officiant, and even though it took a lot of procrastination to get him to do it, he was my first and only choice. Our ceremony was non-traditional traditional, using all the essential parts but without all the property/boy-girl stuff. Both parents were escorts for walking us down the aisle. Our bible passages were also off-the-beaten path, we used John 15:9-12 and 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8 (which my dad helped us find to tie into the spring/tree/Arbor Day idea).

Also, Record the ceremony, trust me. We didn't, I wish we had.

Dinner was provided by Kane's Catering, who are very friendly and wonderful to work with. We had an array of cupcakes from Cupcake in Minneapolis, plus a candy bar, for dessert. (Yay post-Easter clearances!) Our centerpiece: wine bottles displayed the table numbers and vases of saplings bookended books, surrounded by votives my sister made wrapped in vellum printed with our design, names and the date. Each table was unique and different displaying one of my favorite wine bottles. The vases were culled together from my cupboard and Goodwill.

The trees and books were wedding favors and anyone was welcome to them. The saplings were Red Pines and Thunderchild Crabapples.

We sat all of the families with younger children together at tables in little alcoves along the main area. At each of their tables was a basket with small toys, paper, coloring books, and crayons to keep children occupied for the evening. It's really simple to put together, and we had many parents thank us for it. 

Four years on...

We still get updates from people who took trees home from the wedding about how they're doing. My parents' friends took home two and named them after us. Now I just need to steal one back to put in our yard...

I use the bouquets to decorate every spring. Raulie's bouteniere is pinned to my jewelry display. They always make me smile. 

The backdrop from the ceremony that I alluded to last week became a patchworked duvet cover.

My dress still waits to be redesigned and worn again. Soon, I tell it.

And every month, Raulie and I toast on the 24th with a glass of the same brand of wine as we had at our wedding. We haven't missed one yet in 4 years.

So a little late, but there it is. I suppose my biggest piece of advice if you're planning your own wedding: Make it yours. Be gracious to everyone who helps you. Try to talk a little to everyone who comes. It will not be perfect, no matter how hard you try. Just accept that now. Enjoy the day and try to stay in the moment because it's going to fly by.