Details, details, details – this wedding is all about them. Danielle and Kyle went all out when creating their DIY wedding masterpiece, and we’re lucky enough to get to share it all with you.
From Danielle, the bride: We knew right from the start of wedding planning that we would have a DIY wedding. The most obvious reason being my passion for details and the handmade touch DIY gives you, but I also knew I’d have to DIY because we couldn’t afford to hire a wedding planner or purchase a lot of already made items. Luckily, I had faith in my craftiness and I also knew I had some supportive family and friends that would try their hand at anything I’d ask.
Of course, planning a wedding is not without its up and downs, and we certainly had our fair share. Our August 12th wedding was pretty much a redo as our original date of October 6th just simply didn’t work out for so many reasons. As we tried to get planning again, we struggled to create a new budget, as we had already sunk some cash into our first venue, but once we did settle on the Stroudsmoor Country Inn the vision really came to life. I knew that I wanted the wedding to feel handmade, homegrown, and a bit rustic vintage. The Lawnhaven site at Stroudsmoor gave us a great backdrop for all of the projects I had in mind. I definitely used Pinterest, wedding blogs (including DIY Bride yay!), and wedding magazines to find inspiration for our wedding, but there were a few key elements that really inspired my color and material choices.
I’ve always been a fan of costume jewelry mainly vintage pieces, and I’ve had a special penchant for cameos. I love the soft pink and the bone color that you usually see them in, so that inspired me to incorporate those colors into my aesthetic. I definitely hemmed and hawed on using pink because I feared it was too typical or too girly and I wanted my future husband to have his stamp on things. Fortunately, he trusted my vision more than I did and said go for it!
The turquoise that I chose to accent the soft pinks and creams came from the mason jars at my favorite brunch place. The whole place has a really cozy feel, and definitely helped inspire my cozy, rustic wedding. I loved the way the softness of the pink melded together beautifully with the turquoise. Now, I had to find a way to keep my colors from looking too baby shower. Since, I had recently become obsessed with all the things you could do with burlap-it was the perfect choice. It’s an inexpensive natural fabric with a lot of great texture, and I knew it made the soft colors feel a bit more masculine. Now that I had colors and some inspirational elements to work with, I had to get my invitation, programs, favors, and other details sorted.
Stationery was an important detail for me. I really wanted the invites to set the tone for the big day, but budget was a concern. There were so many boutique paperies that offered just what I was looking for, but they were way out of my price range. I remembered that I had gotten a Christmas card that year from a friend that had them printed with minted.com. The paper had a great thickness and the design was super cute so I went right to their website to take a look. After comparing some other stationer sites, I fell in love with a style on minted. The price was a bit more expensive than the other sites, but they had a lot more customizable options. I would totally recommend using them!
I wanted invites that were backed, but minted didn’t offer that feature. DIY project numero uno was finding a thick paper with texture to back the invites. I settled on a tindalo cardstock that mimicked wood grain. I purchased lined envelopes and the tindalo paper from lci paper outlet. They were great because they had so many tutorials, and kept me from making a few goofs. I had square invites that are awfully difficult to do inner/outer envelopes with so thanks to lci I found the right size envelope and the perfect paper glue.
Once I had all my invites, the process was trickier than I expected. Note to self: purchase a better paper cutter next time. I had to trim down the edges of my invite, as well as cut the cardstock to back. The measurements were tricky because you had to cut everything just so or you wouldn’t be able to fit them in the envelope so it was a very time consuming process. In the end, it was totally worth it (to me!). With my lace ribbon (purchased on a whim at Michael’s for $2 long before I had the invitations in mind), and my backed invite -the bundle was the perfect amount of romance and vintage chic! I put a bit more money into this project than almost anything else. I got the look I desired and I learned a lot in the process, but unless you have some serious patience and the invites are super important to you then there are definitely cheaper options out there. Total for paper, printed invites, lined envelopes, and cutter about $315.
As I continued my quest of paperie domination for my big day, I began to plan out the programs. I knew I wanted them much to the chagrin of my now husband (he ended up doing most of this project-bless his heart!) I found some kraft scrapbook paper with random designs and vintage lettering. Based on the size of the paper, I knew I could get about 3 long strips per page, which for a pack of 50 sheets was plenty for my needs (our wedding was only about 75 people). I purchased some off-white cardstock and set to figuring out how to print them at home. I used sample programs I found on the internet to give me ideas on what to include or how to lay them out. Once my husband figured out how to troubleshoot the printer, (cardstock could fit two of our program templates per 8.5 x 11 sheet) it went pretty quickly. I used the same paper glue that I used for the invites to mount the cardstock onto the vintage scrapbook pages. I purchased skinny beige ribbon at Michael’s along with a special stamp I found in the scrapbook aisle. The stamp punched a really pretty design onto the top and bottom of the invites. This process was the most time consuming because the stamp was a bit larger than the actual scrapbook strips and if you weren’t careful you could tear the design right off. After we punched two holes in the top and tied a bow, they were complete. Total cost for the program project was about $27.00, which was a steal compared to everything else I saw out there!
I purchased the cart for the programs long before I even knew what the programs would look like. I saw it on display at Christmas Tree Shops, and it was used a planter. I knew that it was the perfect rustic touch for the entrance to the ceremony space. For under $30, I got the cart and used tealights, moss, and a few accessories I already owned to finish it off.
For my place card holder, I used two antique shutters. The shutters were actually given to me by friends. They had a bit of peeling paint and cracks, which worked fine for my style. My mom and I purchased on clearance at Michael’s some crochet flowers and raffia. A little hot glue and they looked perfect (much to the dismay of our burnt fingers)! To get the shutters to stand, we used 2×4 wood pieces, shelf brackets and screws. I used a bit of leftover burlap that I draped to cover the wood and brackets in the back.
Another important factor for me was that the actual reception space would feel like we put our stamp on it, too. I didn’t want just a few flowers at the table, so I looked for a way to fill some empty space. There was a mantle in our space that was calling out for a little decoration. I needed something that wasn’t too bulky (we didn’t want to risk that it would fall off the edge from all the dancing) or anything too expensive. I used some mason jars that were given to me or that I was already using in my home. I used leftover flowers from the shutters and some burlap ribbon from my trusty craft spot, Michael’s. Once again, we used the hot glue gun to keep the ribbon and flowers in place. Once tealights were placed at the bottom, they created the perfect amount of ambiance and decoration. I was so pleased, and at under $10 they were a great cheap project!
I had seen a few photos on blogs, as well as a few shops on Etsy of Mr. and Mrs. chair banners, but at $25-$50 per pair before shipping, I knew I could create the look I wanted for less. A trip to Walmart proved that I was correct. The burlap was about $2 per yard, and I only needed one yard. I used ribbon that I already had, I purchased a bottle of silvery white fabric paint (about $4), and a paper stencil kit (about $10). I cut the burlap to size and taped the stencil in place while I painted the letter. Once all the letters were dry, I used a silver metallic sharpie (preowned) to outline. Burlap is really easy to cut or make holes in so I just stuck the end of my paint brush through burlap in the place I wanted to tie the ribbon. The paint and outline took the most amount of time, but for under 20 dollars I got the look I wanted. Everytime I look at the picture of the two of us sitting with our banners, I get so excited that I created it myself!
I had grand visions of the professional pictures, and most of all certain staged photos I wanted. I loved the look of all the dresses lined up perfectly perched on some pretty little hangers. I saw so many wonderful etsy shops with great personalized hangers. I had five bridesmaids plus my own hanger…I just simply couldn’t spend $25.00 per hanger to get the photo I wanted so much. I figured I could do a little personalization with my trusty metallic Sharpie and some pretty wooden hangers. I wish I could say that I took my time and really mapped out how I would draw the letters on and how I would apply decorations, but I just had at it! After trying my best to write neatly and swirly-ish, I felt they needed a little extra pizazz. I used some ribbon that I had from my mason jar project that had gone unused. Again, a little hot glue kept the ribbon in place (hot glue= answer to most things!). For my own hanger, I wanted even more pizazz, and found just the right amount in a floral bridal sash Michael’s (yea I kind of lived here during the planning/creating process). The sash was about $10, and I wasn’t sure if I should spend the money because I knew I would only be cutting it up and using a portion of it. After twenty minutes of debating, I went for it and am so glad I did. The raw silk flower and tulle was the perfect accessory! The hangers were about $6 for a pack of 8, so the leftover hangers are currently in use in my coat closet. As I mentioned, the ribbon was leftover, so total cost was around $16.00 for six personalized hangers! Love them!
The florals were also a huge part of the vision I had, and as you can see most of the projects up to this point I tackled on my own or with help from the trusty hubby and my dedicated mom. The florals- I can take absolutely NO credit for (Zero, Zilch)! We were so lucky to have the talented and amazing Aunt Lisa on hand to create all the ladies bouquets, guys boutonnieres, centerpieces, card box, and other floral decor that we had scattered about. Kyle’s aunt did all of this with just a few pictures and a few suggestions that I gave her about what I envisioned for our big day! She is seriously the most amazing aunt/florist ever! She used jars and vases I already had (boy giving all of the stuff I collected was hard, but sooo worth it!), and she then went about purchasing from thrift stores and salvation armies as much pink, turquoise and silver containers she could find. My future mother-in-law and Aunt Lisa also ran around looking for silver trays to put the arrangements on.
Literally, all I mentioned was that I was looking for a more “abstract, wildflower look.” I didn’t want anything too manicured, and I wanted various heights. As you can see from the photos, she went to town! Gorgeous ribbon and details-the perfect arrangements! I was pretty much kept out of this process completely (difficult for a control freak such as myself!), but what I do know is that she traveled from NJ to PA with buckets of fresh flowers. She arranged all of the flowers onsite in the hotel room. My poor mother-in-law slept with the air conditioning jacked all the way up to make sure the flowers wouldn’t wilt! I can’t thank her enough for her dedication! Without help from Aunt Lisa, we never would have been able to have such beautiful flowers. As much as I loved tackling the DIY projects and seeing my vision come to life, I knew I would be in no condition to do any floral arranging the night before or the day of. I could never have put together my vision the way Kyle’s aunt did. All I can say is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! We were both so pleased and thankful for the wonderful gift she gave us!
As much as it may seem the wedding was about creating a particular aesthetic, it truly was so much more than design and details. The day was about uniting as husband and wife and also getting to share that special moment with all of our friends and family. Even though at times the DIY projects became stressful, they were also what put everything into perspective. Everytime I mentioned my next project, there were always people who offered to help. We had so much support from family and friends that the end result was gratifying for not only us (bride and groom), but also our guests! Everyone pitched in to make our DIY rustic/vintage wedding an absolute dream!
Couple: Danielle + Kyle Gamsby
Date: August 12, 2012
Location: Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Photography: Tami Melissa Photography
Venue: Stroudsmoor Country Inn
Wow! You are definitely a DIY Bride inspiration. DIY projects take a lot of creativity, time, and patience, let alone doing a DIY wedding. So, you definitely deserve a round of applause. As I am not as familiar with DIY weddings, I wonder do family and friends become overwhelmed or annoyed over time when you are constantly enlisting their assistance and time? I would feel bad consistently requiring people’s time for my big day. Is this commonly done?