My Wedding: The DIY Details

Hello friends! I’ve thoroughly loved creating this blog series documenting my big day. I just love weddings, and of course loved my own! I just wanted to take a few posts to document and celebrate it all and write down those little things that I probably will forget with the passing of time. This post in particular is one that I hope is helpful to you like-hearted DIY crafty brides out there. J.Grace Photography loves a crafty-chic bride!

Our wedding was planned in 4.5 months, which, to most, sounds pretty darn fast. And I will tell you, that those months were pretty much consumed completely by the wedding. Now granted, I had the most fabulous wedding coordinator ever, but there were still a lot of small touches that I wanted to create for our wedding. I was, in many ways, a crafty, DIY bride, but not in every sense of the word. I just pulled off what I could pull off, and had Lauren take care of the rest. There were still projects left undone (like I really wanted to make adorable little stir sticks for the drinks with some kind of coordinating paper banner on the top, like these) but there comes a time when every bride just has to say “Okay, enough is enough!” There will always be one more fun project to do, or one more blog that inspires you to do this one last fun touch, but somewhere, to save your sanity, you will have to draw the line. One thing that really helped with that was that my planner picked up all of our finished work like 4 days before the wedding. That deadline was created with my sanity in mind– she knew without it I would be crafting things right up until the day before!

So, where shall we start? It all began with the invitations that I hand designed. I found a flourishy hand-drawn calligraphy font online, and used that as an anchoring point throughout the decor.

Then I happened upon Miss Crowland on Etsy who creates customized silhouettes. You email her photos of your profile, and she creates a the files on the computer for you. They’re definitely us, aren’t they!?

Then, after a little work on the computer, changing the colors, putting a heart between us, and our names and the date, I created these fans. We were anticipating for the worst, since my ceremony was outside at the beginning of September, but the weather turned out to be PERFECT. People really only took the fans because they were cute!

The fans were a bit of a trial and error process. Basically, I printed them at home onto white cardstock, and then my bridesmaid Tiffany so graciously offered her assistance. They were cut, the corners rounded, and then glued onto tongue depressors. We ended up later adding another stick (doubling its length) so the paper wasn’t quite so floppy, and adding a second side to the fan for some of them. All in all, I think they turned out cute!

We utilized lots of old wooden crates and boxes, and these were displayed as guests walked to be seated for them to take.

The programs were also DIY. I designed them myself, printed them at home, and then called upon a very dedicated team of friends and my mom to assemble (for hours and hours! What good friends you are!) I had first thought of just doing a single page, in order to spare us the assembly time, but I am so happy with how they turned out, and glad we went to the extra effort!

Another special little touch guests were greeted with were flowers. My original idea had been to have my flower girls be “gardenia girls,” passing out a gardenia to every guest for them to pin on their shirt or in their hair. I thought it would add that special touch of Southern charm, to my wedding at this fabulous Southern plantation, Whitehall:

The gardenia idea was fabulous, but also really expensive. Plus if it was hot, the flowers would have likely wilted. So, enter plan B. We had these flowers made by a lady on Etsy, who created them from fabric matching the wedding colors. Guests took them and put them in their hair and on their shirt, and I was so happy when I saw that everybody was actually wearing them! I’ll still see my friends wear them in their hair sometime, and it makes me happy.

Oh- did you notice all those beautiful girls in my wedding party– well, this is how I asked them:

I found this cute little template online at The Wedding Chicks. You can choose the colors you’d like to use and they email it to you!

My guest books were also DIY. Using my engagement images, I filled the books with fun questions like “Lee and Jessica go together like….?” or “What is your first memory of the groom?” or “What did we miss at your dinner table?” I created two (different) books to accommodate our large guest list, and had them available during the reception as well if people didn’t sign when they came in. We got some funny, and some sweet answers, and they made for treasured keepsakes that show off our engagement photos.

Using the font and the silhouette motif, we had signs made that pointed the way to the cocktail hour, ceremony and reception.

Another sign announced our “yard games” that were available for guests to enjoy. More than anything, I wanted the night to be a fun, summer celebration, that our guests greatly enjoyed. The whole outdoor event held some southern, relaxed charm. As you can see, I crafted my own cornhole boards for the event! When Lee saw them he said “Those are the girliest cornhole boards I’ve ever seen!” I purchased some unpainted, assembled boards from a store that crafts them, I then painted and sealed them, and added the detailing. The L and flourish are cut out of scrapbook paper (from a paper pack that was used throughout all my DIY details.) I printed the shapes off on the computer and then traced and cut them out of the paper, and adhered them with Modge Podge. My mom so graciously created the bags (half from the same Amy Butler fabric used on some of the floral arrangements) and half from another coordinating material. We also had badminton and croquet!

During cocktail hour, as drinks and appetizers were passed, I had ordered these sweet napkins from the Knot to be used. My sister can tell you, when the time came to order these napkins, I had made way too many bridal decisions, and was simply overwhelmed with the (seemingly simple) decision of choosing napkin colors, fonts and designs. I told my sister that I couldn’t do it, and that she should just choose for me, that I trusted her. I also made her get online and order sparklers for our exit, since there were just too many decisions for those too. That’s what matrons of honor are for!

Cocktail tables were decorated with family wedding photographs I collected from parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

And guests enjoyed some chuckles at the childhood photos on display:

We didn’t get to do a slideshow of photos for the reception because it was going to still be light outside and it would have been hard to see. So, just for fun, and because I’d always wanted one, I actually created a childhood slideshow of Lee and I a few weeks back. If you’ve got 10 minutes to kill, you can watch 🙂

When it was time to be seated, guests found their table assignments here:

We printed each name and table number, glued them to pieces of the vintage paper assortment used throughout the decorating, and they were adhered to a large corkboard.

I found the table number templates on Martha Stewart,

glued them to both sides of more coordinating paper, and they decorated our tables.

For dinner, I designed the menus in the same font used throughout, and printed them in three columns on the 12×12 coordinating scrapbook paper. I cut them with a paper cutter, and then they were placed under the dinner napkins, which came out lovely!

The ice cream sundae bar was complimented by these cute paper cups we created. I printed out labels that had our silhouettes, as well as some that read “Love is Sweet, Enjoy the Treat.” and we used a circle punch to cute them out and adhere them to the paper cups. Cute!

So, as you can tell, I had a few elements that united the decor– the calligraphy font, the silhouette motif, and packs of this K&Company vintagey papers. Having a variety of these coordinating papers added enough uniqueness to the paper goods, but still held cohesion with the color palette we were going for. I love the way all my DIY projects turned out and would love to chat with you about craftiness for your wedding!

Want your own beautiful photos? I love Contact Jessica!

1 comment

Christina Hey Jessica,

First I just have to say what an amazing job you did with your wedding and what a beautiful bride you made! I am blown away with how awesome your wedding turned out, its very inspirational! I loved all the little details!! Also, you have an incredible eye, I love the many photos you have taken for various weddings! I am a bride to be and seeing all of the photos with the blog of your wedding has really gave me some magnificent ideas. I have been looking at the consultant that you had and I absolutely love what she did for you, but I’m not sure that we can afford her. Did she get better deals with your other vendors that are only offered to consulting firms? If she gets better deals, with the money we save having her, we may be able to afford her (sorry if that’s confusing). If you wouldn’t mind emailing me back I would really appreciate it!

Thank you so much for sharing your experience,


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