Wedding fairs sure have come a long way since I was married 9 years ago....
Today we are talking DIY with Kirra and Tim. Kirra and Tim are planning a festival themed 3 day wedding extravaganza, and as they are doing it on quite a tight budget they have decided to go all out with the DIY. Today Kirra will be talking us though all her ideas so far and how she is getting on implementing them all. It certainly sounds like she has been busy!
Hello again! One of the fun things about having a ‘no rules’ completely DIY wedding venue is that it involves the chance to get seriously creative about the look of it all. This does, however, mean I have to be organised about said creations and make sure they all get done in time. Not always the easiest of things! In the end of course nothing really matters except getting married amongst your family & friends…it will still be OUR wedding day no matter how we dress it up, so all the cool DIYing is really icing on the cake. This will be a useful mantra to repeat if I find myself stressing out about gluing labels on straws at midnight some time in the next 10 months!!
The thing is though… I am really loving all the wedding planning. I love the idea of making things for our ‘ultimate shindig’ and everyone mucking in together. I have only ever been to weddings that were church weddings with very formal catered receptions. All of which were beautiful and loads of fun I might add, but my dreams of our wedding day have always been a bit more informal than that, hence finding this site when we started planning in the first place! Admittedly if we had a higher budget there are probably a few more things we would hire someone else to take of food-wise (all the cool street food options out there are soooo tempting), but to be honest it’s really fun working out thrifty ways to create the day (well, 3 days actually) that we want. Pinterest and blogs like Boho Weddings have been essential in providing ideas for decorations, food & drink and flowers. I have been madly bookmarking sites & pinning ideas on Pinterest for months now, so we are going to have to prioritise which DIY projects we want the most and not stress if we run out of time for some of the ‘fun but not essential’ ones.
I’m one of those people that isn’t always great at finishing craft projects, so am going to have to get organised about this one. First and foremost though this whole wedding preparation thing should be fun, so any tasks that get too stressful we will rethink and all the DIYing is (hopefully) being done gradually with the help of my bridesmaids and some lovely friends. We decided to institute a regular girly evening to do wedding things but haven’t managed one yet after a hectic month of moving house, being ill, starting back at work and not much sleep. I do recommend trying to spread wedding tasks out over the months beforehand and creating a timeline for yourself of what you want to get done by when. It may or may not go to plan, but at least it gives you a bit of structure to work from. Also, these things are always more fun when shared with friends! This is my plan… Fingers crossed we manage it!!
From the very start of our wedding planning we were both sure that it would definitely be a largely homemade affair and although at first our plans were just a huge mish mash of saying “oh we totally have to make this!” every time we saw another cool possible project, the ideas have gradually sort of evolved and our personal styles have become more apparent in our plans about what to do. The creative path from all jam jars burlap & lace to incorporating star wars Lego, sari table runners & vintage records hanging from the trees is a bit of a curveball, but the more festival style weddings we saw the more obvious it became that this was how we wanted it to be and the lace and jam jars that I fell in love with at the start are still in there as well… It’s kind of become like a cross between our favourite festival decor, a village fete and our favourite slightly bric-a-brac cafe style. I hope it will look great, but the important thing is that it is all definitely very us!
Firstly, bunting. Have to have a bit of bunting! My lovely friend Holly is a bit of a sewing wiz and has very kindly offered to make lots of bunting for us.
We went on a great outing to a fabric shop in Finsbury Park and sifted through boxes of beautiful fabric remnants, leaving with a massive bag full and a big piece of gorgeous chocolate coloured lace that we couldn’t leave behind. Buying fabric remnants and using things like old sheets or tablecloths are a great and cheap way of making lovely bunting. Holly has already made piles of double sided bunting triangles and since the fabric is so nice we’ve decided to use some of it afterwards to make some octagonal cushions which will be a nice reminder of our wedding day. There should be enough bunting on the day to decorate both inside and out which is an instant way of making the place look festive so that’s exciting.
I’m buying wedding elements and DIY supplies gradually so as to spread the cost and am finding it much cheaper to buy art supplies online, it’s definitely worth shopping around. The same vintage style stripy straws (for Pimms!) I have seen ranging from £2-£5 per pack so it all adds up in the end. We bought loads of luggage labels and a letter stamp set so I’m experimenting with escort cards, signs etc. Letter stamp sets are another thing that vary wildly in price, so check out your options before buying.
The table decorations will probably be mostly flowers in bottles and jam jars, but I have bought some ribbon from East Of India to tie the place names to the napkins.
For vintage DIY decor I have allocated myself £20 a month to find wedding bargains at the North London Vintage Fair, a regular favourite day out for my friends and I. So far I have some lovely blue vintage medicine bottles, lace to tie around jam jars, some vintage crockery, old tins and a great old suitcase. It’s always worth checking out car boot sales and vintage fairs for bargains… You never know what crazy thing might catch your eye!
Probably the biggest DIY projects apart from the invitations and ceremony programs will be the table plan, place names & all the signage around the place. As our wedding day will be spread over a few areas and is kind of set up like a little festival, we want to have lots of signs to the various areas (and some just for fun!). Some of the wedding signs out there are fantastic and there has been no shortage of inspiration… So much so that it’s quite hard to decide which signs to do and how to make them. Wood, printed bunting, blackboards, typed and framed, lights, scrabble tiles, yarn-wrapped letters… There are so many options!
My plan to avoid information overload in these situations is to make lists lists and more lists! Writing down all the ideas for signs and prioritising them means that we can get the essential ones done and then see how many of the other ones we have time to do and want to dot around the place. Our local carpentry shop sells bundles of wood off cuts for 50p so we might use those to paint and make a multiple signed signpost. It would be lovely to find some rustic looking driftwood but we don’t exactly live near a beach so that may or may not happen! Another hopefully thrifty but good idea is to print out individual letters in fun fonts onto small pieces of coloured paper or card and make them into letter bunting. Am also considering making our bar sign out of cardboard letters that I cut out and wrap in different coloured yarn or funky wrapping paper. Cheaper than buying letters and hopefully fun to make!
We have some nice picture frames at home that might come in handy by printing out some signs on paper and popping them into the frames. It is also possible to buy sets of old scrabble tiles on eBay (or keep an eye out at your local charity shop or car boot sale). Am slightly in love with that idea after seeing it in various forms in photos and Scrabble is one of Tim’s favourite things, he would happily play it all day (!) so we would like to use that for a few signs on tables.
Deciding on a DIY table plan design to make is another area where we are spoiled for inspiration. At the moment we just can’t decide between all the great ideas. Writing names onto an old window (very handy to change if there are last minute cancellations as well) is a favourite, although we love the idea of using a world map somehow as we spent the first year of our relationship travelling around the world. The tables will have some kind of name rather than numbers as I don’t want there to be any dramas about who is sitting on which table. Since we met on Star Wars the current favourite for table names is to have a different Star Wars lego artwork for each table.
Hopefully we will be able to make something a bit different and fun. I just want to make something that makes people smile from the moment they walk into our stripy tent!
The other big DIY decoration project will be the woodland chillout area next to the ceremony spot which we are hoping to make into a bohemian festival-like wonderland with load of lights and streamers in the trees, an armchair and candelabra and love poems and quotes pinned onto twine strung between branches. Our local Oxfam has lots of great old books and records for sale so I went and had fun one afternoon picking out the cheesiest old vinyls I could find for 25p each for us to hang from the trees in the woodland chillout area and bought an Ikea mosquito net type thing for £1 from our local car boot sale to use as a draped tablecloth for the spot where the pre-ceremony cupcakes and prosecco will be waiting to greet our guests.
A quick search around our flat has produced lots of things that we can use and/or repurpose for wedding decorations and if you are on a tight budget I really recommend having a look around your own home for potential wedding decor as it might save you some money to spend on other areas of your budget.
Thanks for reading all my wedding ramblings. If any of you out there are planning some funky wedding DIY and/or have any suggestions I’d love to hear about your plans.