This is the story of our wedding, my life's ultimate craft project.
I was born and raised in the big city, and my husband grew up on a farm outside a tiny mountain town. How we ended up together is still a great mystery, but there is simply no better compliment. We met in a small town bar (the town my folks grew up in) one fated night when I was having a good time with family and he was enjoying a night out with the guys. We danced a two-step and he flipped me all the way around, way up in the air and I actually landed on both feet. It was that moment that we fell in love, and just a short two years later we danced on our wedding night.
One thing we agreed on from the very beginning of our engagement was we did not want this wedding to simply be a one day thing, but rather span over at least a week. We wanted it to last as long as it could, while also giving all of our loved ones many chance to be a part of it along the way. When we decided to have the wedding at our acreage home, it became obvious that we did not have a choice in the matter any way.
We literally built or wedding from the ground up. When asking ourselves, "where should we get married?" we always answered, "right here at home." We considered other options but always came back to wanting a big ol' party in our big ol' yard. It took a year of falling trees, leveling land, shoveling dirt and building a dance floor to come up with an otherwise nonexistent venue. I was the visionary who put others to work! My husband, mother and father were of the hardest working enlisted but the magic of our wedding day could not have come alive without countless hands.
(Thank-you to Creations Photo for almost all the below photographs!)
For a few months I had my co-workers save all the craft-paper-brown, thin cardboard from paperwork packages so I could give them new life as my wedding invitations. Designed by moi using good-ol' Microsoft Word and a few awesome downloaded fonts, I then printed all the invites with my $30 Superstore printer. Marty (seriously, Marty) hand-folded and glued every single individualized, delicate inner envelope made from cheap scrapbooking paper we got from Winners. He actually wouldn't even let me help him! The invites had a simple, rustic charm and we loved that we were reusing something that would have otherwise been trashed.
The entire day was enchanting, but the early morning with my bridesmaids and mom was extra special. I wouldn't exactly say I was calm, but I was truly at peace with the "can't do anything about it now" notion. My bridesmaids made up a book of letters written by special people in my life and I cried as hard as I would all day. Thanks again ladies, I will never forget that. We got all dolled up and I got to see all my bridesmaids in their dresses together for the first time. All I told them was to buy a grey dress and mint/green shoes and accessories. And boy did they look fantastic! I wore a dress by Aster and Ivy called ‘Sweet Pea’. My earrings were from the Etsy shop lovemeeksie and the wedding sash (which complimented my dress like nothing else!) came from lovelikestyle. My green shoes by Kate & Mel were initially closed-toed and I had them made into peep-toed shoes!! I thought that was neat. And of course the classic polka dot garter was made by one of my bridesmaids!
We decided to do a first look. We wanted to see each other before the ceremony so the bridal party pictures could be taken prior to it. That way everyone could transition right into party mode after we said I DO! I have a lot of wedding advice to give from my experience but if there is one thing I tell EVERYbody planning a wedding, is to screw tradition and take their photos in the same order we did! (Ultimately do them in what ever order you want, of course. <3)
The arch to which we would be married under was built from reclaimed beams, thrift store lace curtains and old scalloped wire farm gates, also complete with a set of elk antlers from Marty’s Opa. I painted a donated dresser as the main piece for the sweets table, with reclaimed barn board and old doors from abandoned farm houses built up around it. Family wedding pictures and childhood photos surrounded the over thousand pieces of individually wrapped goodies, all made by my amazing mother. Mason jar name tags, stamped mason jar lids, program fans and guest book pages were among the many cutting-gluing-stamping projects I completed with my dedicated and lovely bridesmaids. Our table numbers were made from a few decks of cards to represent the many card games Marty and I played as kids and that we have played together with our families now. We love cribbage! We scoured antique malls and sales for a year collecting green and mint coloured tins, bottles and anything else we could find to use as wedding decor. We collected antique toy tractors for the head table to ensure Marty’s love of farming was represented. My aunt and cousins made our wedding cake and topper. It was beautiful, delicious and much appreciated. Bulk-ordered flowers were cut and placed in about 100 different bottles, jars and other cutesy makeshift vases. Over 200 feet of bunting banner was hung (again, all sewed by my amazing mother and triangles cut by my amazing ladies) and lights were lit by aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. I managed to make everything I possibly could on my own (and with the help of many!) to ensure everything was very ‘us’.
My prized craft possession from my wedding is most definitely my handmade bouquet. I estimated that it probably took my over 50 hours to make it, but it is something I will be able to keep for ever and ever. It is made up of old buttons, fabric scraps, ric-rac, tons of hot glue and 100s of pushpins! Even has a green pencil crayon handle. This bouquet includes fabric from the shirts both myself and Marty were wearing the night we met, as well as pieces of the jean overalls my mom was wearing when she brought me home from the hospital. It is finished off with a Littlest Pet Shop frog figurine, to represent my favourite childhood toy as well as my favourite animal! All of my bridesmaids (even the ones who aren't particularly crafty) made their own bouquets too, each with a figurine of their fav animal! I am in love with the way they photographed and the unique element they added to the wedding! For the boys I made Lego man boutonnieres as that was Marty's favourite toy when he was younger (and he still plays with it!).
Writing this post has caused me to tear up more than once. Rifling through year-old photos and year-old memories for the few weeks it took me to put this together has had me truly, truly wishing we could live it all over again. Our wedding day created a lifetime of lasting memories for this city girl and her country boy. Getting married in the front yard and partying in the back makes everyday on our acreage home special. The magic of that day resides with us at home always, and for that we are truly blessed.
Happy August 17 to all, especially to those who may also be celebrating an anniversary.
(Originally posted August 17, 2014)