It's not all sewing but DIY and anyone who sews or quilts is probably a DIY'er. I wonder what the statistical probability is of that? Also, read to the end, you just may see some sewing!!
First off, my mother made me a wreath for my front door to make a statement that says "this is the wedding month". It is made from grapevine wreath, lace, ivy, spray roses, a glue gun and other flowers. See the picture below:
So we improvised and started out the party with the 4 ladies and then invited the guys (on the way back from their camping/bachelor weekend) to join in our festivities. We planned a social paint night. I hired an artist to teach us to paint! Of course we had some great beverages and food as well and what a hoot it was with the guys! See pictures below:
Flowers, Hair and Make-up:
Hydrangeas, spray roses, english ivy (from our garden), greenery and limonium (latifolium sea lavender) for the bride.
The ceremony was in a wooded area with an alee of trees making a natural aisle way. It needed some decor but we did not want to take away from it's natural beauty. The before picture (at the rehearsal) is below:
The reception was held in an outdoor pavilion on the same property. Some challenges we were considering were night lighting, temperatures, candles and mosquitos (along with other flying critters).
My daughter had requested vintage dishes and dishes that are not the same. Quite a tall order! The going rate for vintage plates to rent these days is $6.95 per plate!!! Guess what? If you ask family and friends and troll through vintage and second hand stores for a year, you can collect 180 vintage plates for a lot less, some were borrowed as well! See picture below:
The table numbers were wood burned on natural wood pieces cut out by the bride's dad and then wood burnt by the brides sister's boyfriend.
Mike again ! He was such a great help!!
We painted up some rough made A frames (Made by the bride's dad) to direct traffic from the main highway and into the lane way to the wedding site. They are not perfect but they were fun to do as a family with white and black paint. See these below:
We used a basic piece of MDF board and painted it with chalk board paint and chalked it up to make a simple bar sign. This was propped on an easel encased in burlap from the father of the bride's work. It was also secured to the easel in case of high winds (outdoor venue challenges!) See photo below:
Wine was made by the groom's mom and step father, we had both white and red available in various ranges of dry and sweetness. See pic below:
This receptacle for wedding cards was a challenge for us as the decorators as Katie and Chad specifically did not want "Bridal Like" decor and wanted more rustic charm to showcase who they are as a couple. Chad used to be a log home builder and still works in timber work. Hence, we came up with the idea of building them a "Hillier Homestead" out of twigs, glue sticks, wood shims, and sphagnum moss to "house" their cards. For my youngest daughter Mallory and I it was a 2 day project, but well worth the effort. Mallory used a box to make the walls for the house and the roof and literally sculpted the shape of a house. We then cut out windows and doors and added plastic for windows and fabric for curtains and stained glass to make this adorable homestead to securely hold the cards. The door was painted orange because it's the grooms favourite colour. There is an opening on the roof where the cards fit in perfectly. See the picture below:
A lot of weddings these days have photographic displays with video technology. We unfortunately could not do this because of the outdoor location. Therefore we DIY'ed a photo display with old picture frames, painted and distressed. We hung jute lines and used tiny clothes pegs to hang memory photos of the bride and groom and added a very long and wide piece of lace behind the display to protect it from the elements and create a vintage look. See the photos below:
A picnic table was taken over by the coordinator of the Kids Zone (the grooms step mom) along with some very helpful friends (The Delnet Family), it was covered with butcher paper. Crayon packs were available along with pipe cleaners and a "wedding activity" book complete with colouring pages, word searches, a maze, note area, decorate a cake and tic tac toe. The kids Zone also had a soft Frizbee for the kids to play with outside of the pavilion area, but near this picnic table!
The cake was made in my home ( I am a Wilton Certified Cake Decorator). My daughter did not want a "decorator's cake" and I had to consider the weather. I made a messy iced triple tiered cake made of vanilla sponge filled with a fresh raspberry coulee and stabilized whipped cream icing. I had a custom wood topper made to repeat the words carved into her ring box by her husband (to the moon and back) and added baby's breath for decor to keep it looking natural. The groom cut me a beautiful log piece that completely encompassed the table it stood on. (I think I will DIY that later!) See the photo below:
Mallory and I made fresh canning jar sugar cookies for the kids (all 28 of them+) cellophane wrapped them and placed them in a basket to give to the kids once they were seated. We also provided juice packs at the bar and skittles! See the photo below:
Many, many family members made homemade cookies and squares including: Mom of the groom (famous Chocolate Chip ), step mom of the groom (Famous Cinnamon pinwheels), aunt of the bride (Famous Ginger Snaps) (Alison), step grandma of the groom (famous date squares), aunt of the bride (famous peanut butter marshmallow squares) (Rosemary), friend of the family (Katrina L) (famous peanut butter balls and chocolate covered oreos) and yours truly (famous sugar cookies and gluten free desserts). We ended up with a variety of goodies!!
Such wonderful home made baked goods. Some of the treats were the bride's favourites and some were the groom's favourites. We also added to the late night table by supplementing it with Vincenzo's (from Waterloo, Ontario) Antipasto platters (a personal favourite of the bride). I never had a chance to get a picture of this table! It was enjoyed by many !!
Our Nephew and MC extraordinaire, Derek, kept the flow of the speeches going, shared personal, funny stories about the bride and groom, made announcements and kept the evening on point and it was awesome!
It was then time for the mother of the bride (yours truly) to speak, she had 2 cute stories about the groom and stated she would get too emotional to talk about the bride but that she had a quilt to present and read the label on the quilt out loud. See this label below:
However, while respecting the custom look this bride and groom requested and budgetary constraints, we were determined to give this Bride and Groom the best and nothing less.
Post Wedding Day Breakfast: for this I need to credit the Porritt Family with special thanks to my parents Stan & Linda for cooking up the pea male bacon and pancakes and for the rest of my siblings and in laws for setting up and taking down, greeting guests at the stone retreat house. The Porritt family were especially wonderful for a lot of the physical set up and take down of all of the wedding venue and for that I will be eternally grateful! I'm sure I will be called upon for future weddings and I welcome them to keep me in mind to DIY at their own family weddings!
Thank you for having the patience to read this blog post, hopefully it inspires you to do DIY with your wedding plans or the plans of others. Feel free to share these ideas and it would be my hope that your wedding will be as memorable as my daughter and brand new son in law's was!
Riverstone Retreat Centre, Durham, Ontario www.riverstoneretreat.com
Awesome Food by: Carolyn Helder
Great Rentals (linens, glass wear, tables, chairs):
Four Season's Party Rentals, Markdale
A DJ who kept the party hopping!:
Brent From Spin Doctor, Kitchener
Katie's Bridal Gown:
Happiness is home made ❤️❤️
All the best to Katie and Chad as they enter married life and embark on an exciting adventure together❤️❤️