Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Wedding Cards Book

We received some many lovely cards for our wedding that I wanted to do something special with them. I don't remember where I first saw the idea to make them into a book but this was one blog I looked at when I decided to do it.

I gathered together the cards and picked out the shortest one. The really big cards I put to one side and made a second, thinner book with.

I used the smallest one as a template for making the holes to bind the book. I made 5 holes, equally spaced along the fold.

I found it easier to put the fold of the card over a rubber and poke my 'pokey tool' (that's really what it was sold as) through the card and into the rubber. I did this for all of the cards, making sure the template card was in the middle of each card, which I was able to eyeball most of the time.

Next it was time to sew the cards together. A popular method is coptic stitch but I found this video, which is a slight variation on that stitch, which worked for me. Once I'd stitched two or three cards together I started to get the hang of it, which meant I could put Netflix on to help pass the time.

For the book cover I cut the front, back and spine out of mount board and glued them to a piece of fabric, which conveniently matches the colour scheme of our living room.
I also sewed a piece of ribbon to the fabric over the spine of the cover which wraps around and can be tied to keep the book shut.

I glued the back of the last card to the inside of the back cover, and I'd stitched in a blank piece of paper at the start of the cards to stick to the inside of the front cover.

I am so pleased with how this book turned out. I like how it's a streamline solution for keeping the cards and doesn't take up too much space, unlike keeping them in a box or sticking them in a scrapbook.
For the book larger book I made with the leftover cards, I added some blank pages at the front and back which I used to stick in mementos from the day, like one of our wedding invitations and our place cards. I've also thought about sticking photos of our guests to the blank sides of the cards, so there's a lot you could do with this book idea.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Wedding Touches

Now for all the other little details I put together for our wedding.

Instead of a three course meal for our wedding breakfast, we chose to have an afternoon tea. So it seemed only fitting that we had little jars of jam as our wedding favours. Andrew is a big fan of my Mum's strawberry jam so we asked if she would make some to fill almost 70 tiny jars.
I bought the jars from Wilkos which was very affordable, 20 for £3, and they already had gold lids which would match our colour scheme.
The jars also doubled up as the place settings as I made name labels to tie around them, which also made sure everyone took home their own jar as they were all named.

I was excited to use the drawing function on my Cricut to make the labels. I set it to write the names, cut them out, and cut a little hole to thread the string through. I decorated the labels with a bit of washi tape and gold ribbon.

Our venue only allowed real flower petal confetti which we found on Etsy. I got these Itsu cups from the scrapstore many years ago and was pleased to finally have a use for them. I covered them with this pink paper which is appropriately decorated with flower petals.

Photo by Paul Summerfield

For the Order of Events sign I used a thin sheet of wood that I'd found at work and stained it dark brown. I printed out the words and used chalk and a pencil to transfer them on to the wood. Then I used my white Posca paint pen to go over the letters. A lot of people didn't even realise this was a DIY that cost me nothing!

For our card box I decorated a hamper basket. I attached a cards sign which I made by cutting out the letters on my Cricut, sticking them to some brown card along with some ribbon, and then pegging them to some twine which I tied to the corners of the basket lid. I added some fake flowers and a little wooden A and L that I'd painted white and attached chain to.

Photo by Paul Summerfield

I'd been given these 'A' and '&' letters a while ago, before I'd even met Andrew, and had held on to them, knowing they'd come in useful one day. I don't think at the time I thought it would be my wedding day!
It was easy enough to make an 'L' out of thick grey card and then spray it gold, along with the other letters so they all matched. These were displayed on the mantle of a fireplace in the bar of the venue.

Photo by Paul Summerfield
Our venue was styled in a way that meant we didn't need to provide many extra decorations. The things I made just added a bit of personalisation.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Wedding Games

Photo by Paul Summerfield
When planning the wedding, one of the first things we came up with was having games out for guests to play throughout the day. We've been to a few weddings where during that lull between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast it can get a little boring, so we wanted to make sure that didn't happen at ours.

Our wedding venue had a conservatory which was perfect for setting up the games. Although, our wedding day was quite a scorcher and the conservatory got really hot so people took the games outside which worked just as well.

Photo by Paul Summerfield
Here are the games we chose:

Bananagrams, Scattergories and Dobble
These are family favourites and hopefully now many more people's favourites. My bridesmaid Steph has already been out to buy her own Dobble. These games were great for bringing people together, whether it be friends, family, groom's side or bride's side.

Wordsearch tablecloth
My Mum bought this from B&M years ago and we haven't been able to find another one since. It's just a giant plastic sheet with letters printed all over it. This one has all of the countries to find and we supplied crayons to mark them, which meant it could be wiped down to use again.

Coin pusher
Andrew and I are big fans of the 2p machines. We even went to the arcade at the bowling alley on our second date. I can't remember who's idea it was to see if they make smaller versions but we found one on Amazon and had to have it for our wedding.
The machine came with plastic coins but we found using real 1p coins much better. I emptied out my purse, looked down the sofa and, with the help of a friend who manages a shop, had enough coins to play with.

Photo by Paul Summerfield

'Guest' Who
Years ago I'd seen someone had made a personalised Guess Who game and thought it would be perfect for a wedding. I bought an old set from a charity shop for £1.50, which was one of the first things we bought for the wedding last summer. We picked 24 of our nearest and dearest, including ourselves, and I scoured Facebook to find photos of them all. I edited the photos on Photoshop so they were just floating heads like in the real game. I printed, laminated and cut up the photos then slotted them into place. I think it was fun for some of our guests to see themselves in the game and it got handed around serveral people during the day. Two of my bridesmaids used some 'alternative' questions to play like, 'would this person order a lemon and herb at Nandos?' and 'would this person enjoy the surprise aisle at Aldi?'. Not sure how successful that was...

Photo by Paul Summerfield

We also made a quiz for the tables at the reception and people got really into it! We included 20 questions which were very loosely linked to use, like 'Andrew and Lisa went to Seattle for their first holiday. What is the name of Seattle's American football team?'
After the speeches one of the groomsmen read out all the answers and we bought the winning table a round of drinks. It was a great way to get people talking on their table, especially where we'd put people who didn't know each on the same table.

Having the games was such a good idea and I hope it's one of the things that people remember about our wedding in the years to come.

Monday, 23 September 2019

What I Wore for my Wedding

Photo: Paul Summerfield
Let's talk about my wedding dress.

I first saw this dress a good 3 months before Andrew and I were even engaged. I just wanted to know what was out there for when the time came.

It was on the Dorothy Perkins website in their bridal section, which I didn't even know was a thing, for only £80! If it had been in my size I would have ordered it straight away.

Photo: Paul Summerfield

I kept looking around at other dresses, we did then get engaged, and then I found out the Dorothy Perkins dress was on sale! It still wasn't in my size but I ordered the next size up knowing I'd have to get it altered. But since the dress was only £67 I'd have plenty to spend on alterations.

Photo: Paul Summerfield
I found a nice lady in my town who came to my house for the fittings and then took the dress away with her. £40 later and the dress fit.
My thrifty side was thrilled with a wedding dress for just over £100, and I was not ashamed to tell pretty much every guest at the wedding about the price tag.

After looking for some plain, white shoes with not too high of a heel, and failing, I took my sister's recommendation and went to Deichman where I found the perfect pair, in the sale, for only £8.99!
My glitzy bridemaid Lizzi thought they could do with a bit of bling to make them more special for the wedding and bought me a pair of shoe clips from Filigree Bridal on Etsy.

Photo: Paul Summerfield
For my accessories I found this dainty necklace in Accessorize for the grand total of £4. Another sale item! My hair clip is actually a brooch that belonged to my Grandma, which I attached a hair grip to with wire. She passed away over 10 years ago so it was nice to have a little tribute to her on the day, and, if I was going for tradition, it would definitely have been the something old.

Photo: Paul Summerfield

 I got lots of compliments about my dress and I'm very pleased with my choice. Especially since it got up to 33 degrees on the day so I was thankful for a light and airy dress.

Monday, 16 September 2019

The Bridesmaid's Tambourines

Photo: Paul Summerfield

Not being much of a flower person I wanted to find something different for my bridesmaids to carry. After a bit of searching I settled on tambourines and they were one of my favourite wedding decisions!

Photo: Paul Summerfield

I scoured Ebay and found these ones for £3 each from a seller in China.

I decorated the tambourines with ribbons matching the colour scheme of the wedding; gold and pink. I had some in my stash already but also turned to Ebay again for a few more options, including some that matched the colour of the bridesmaids dresses exactly.

I wanted to personalise the tambourines so I used my wood burning tool to write my bridesmaids' names on the inside.

Photo: Paul Summerfield

The tambourines were so fun and I love that they're a little on the quirky side.
The girls jingled in time to 'Ho Hey' by Lennon and Maisy Stella (from the Nashville tv show soundtrack) as they walked down the aisle ahead of me. They rang out along with the claps and cheers when Andrew and I were pronounced husband and wife. And the girls used them to make themselves known during the speeches later in the day.
The tambourines also turned up on the dancefloor in the evening with anyone that felt like the tunes could do with a little something extra.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

The Wedding Cake

Photo by Paul Summerfield
The cake, like my flowers, was another thing I didn't want to spend too much money on. So I turned to the best baker I know. My Mum. Does she now wish I had gone a different route to save her the stress? Probably. But I think it turned out great.

Photo by Paul Summerfield
We wanted a simple, two tiered cake with layers of jam and butter cream inside, covered in a thin layer of butter cream and decorated with berries. And the top layer had to be gluten-free.
My Mum definitely delivered!

She found the cake stand at my Grandad's house and her friend Debra lent us her fancy knife from Liberty. The two of them, with my sister, successfully got the cake to the venue on the morning of the wedding and got it assembled and decorated, all while I was still at home getting my hair done.

Photo by Paul Summerfield
For the cake topper I knew I wanted one of the phrase ones in a fancy font. Andrew and I settled on it saying 'You're my favourite' which is something we say to each other a lot. Because we're adorable!
I used my Cricut to cut out the words from card and glued a wooden kebab skewer to the back. Then I sprayed it gold.

Photo by Paul Summerfield
I am so pleased with how the cake turned out. It looked legit! Though my Mum has said she won't be applying for Bake Off any time soon.

Oh, and it tasted delicious too!

As a memento of the day I took the cake topper, removed the stick and stuck the words to the front of the mount in this frame. I added some paper which matches the colour scheme of our living room and added the frame to our gallery wall. I like how it's a subtle reminder of our day rather than something that screams, 'we had a wedding!'

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Wedding Flowers

Hi guys, I got married!
I've been a bit quiet here on the blog for the last few months as I've been busy preparing things for the wedding. I've got lots of diys to share with you and I'm going to kick things off with...the flowers!

I've never really been that bothered about flowers so I knew it was an aspect of the wedding that I didn't want to spend too much money on. I can understand why florists charge what they do, but I thought this was something I could do myself as I wasn't too concerned about the outcome.

The day before the wedding I headed to Tesco and bought just under £50 of flowers, which is everything you see here. I'd practiced making my bouquet back in May, after searching blogs and youtube for how to do it, so I knew which sort of flowers I was after. 

I laid all the flowers out on a long table and got to work. For a bouquet, the key is to make the central bundle of flowers, tape it together, and keep adding flowers around it, taping as you go.

To make it a bit more special I used some small gold balls on wire, which were originally from some Christmas crackers, and pushed them into the centre of some of the flowers.
I kept the stems long so I could keep the bouquet in a vase of water overnight. In the morning I tied ribbons around it and trimmed the stems right before I left.

I also made the button holes for the groom and groomsmen which was very simple. One small flower with a bunch of gypsophila, taped together with twine wrapped around.

We also wanted a small pot of flowers for each table at the reception which would hold the table numbers. 
For the numbers, I used my Cricut to cut two of each number out of card which I glued together around a kebab skewer. I then sprayed these gold to match our colour scheme.

The flowers for the tables were put in jam jars inside various gold pots. Half of these we already had in our house and the other half we bought from IKEA.
We gave the jars of flowers to our guests at the end of the night, and kept one for ourselves and, over a week later, it's still going strong.

£50 of flowers was more than enough and I was able to make an addition pot to put on the registrar's table during the ceremony, as well as make up a couple of vases of the spare flowers for my Mum to have. She had let me take over her house with my floristry after all. 

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