Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The DIY Wedding, by Guest Blogger: Jamie

Hello Y’all!

You can only imagine how excited I was when I received an e-mail from Dale asking me to be a guest blogger while he and Meredith are enjoying snuggles from precious Cece! If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting the two of them you know they have hearts the size of the moon, so I am delighted to help them in any way I can!
As you read this post it’s important to keep two things in mind: I’m from a very small town- Marvell, Arkansas, in the heart of the Delta, and I’m a 2nd grade teacher. I believe these two characteristics were evident in the style of my wedding! Dale asked if I could give a few DIY tips since most of my wedding consists of personal touches and was FULL of DIY projects!

When Ben popped the question on August 4, 2011, I, like most other brides was ecstatic! I had stumbled upon Dale’s blog when I was a freshman in college and knew from that moment that I wanted him to photograph my wedding! So, of course, he was the first person I contacted as far as planning goes!

Being from a small town, I knew I wanted my wedding to feel “comfortable” yet chic. I had always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding. This leads me to a piece of advice: THIS IS YOUR DAY! During the wedding planning process there will be PLENTY of sweet helpful people who want to offer advice and insight- which you should receive with open arms, but you must keep in mind that this is your day, you call the shots, and in the end you want this day to symbolize the two of you, your beliefs, and the love you share!

As I said- I am a 2nd grade teacher therefore, I believe creativity and “crafts” are just a way of life for me. I discovered a wonderful website that fit my style: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/ . It is reasonably priced and full of fun finds! This website allowed me to create so many things that truly symbolized our relationship and the journey we took to get to our wedding day.

One of my favorite things about the centerpieces at our reception was the standing chalkboards inside the floral pieces. I was able to order these in bulk from save on crafts. I used a white chalkboard marker to write scripture that was meaningful to us, phrases we say to each other often, and song lyrics that reminded me of the two of us. Looking back at the pictures (that Dale & Mere captured), I can see that they not only fit into the style of the wedding but they were wonderful reminders of “US”.

Another DIY project I took on was making hanging fabric (ball) lanterns to hang in the trees above the ceremony. I ordered white paper (ball) lanterns in various sizes in bulk. I then bought (many) yards of fabric, traced circles onto the fabric, and used a rotary cutter to cut out the circles. I gathered each circle in the middle, and hot glued the point to the lantern. I hung them in the trees using fishing wire. I will tell you this was a very time-consuming project, but the end result was exactly what I envisioned---and who knows maybe I’ll find use of those wonderful little pretties (that are sitting in a storage bin in the attic) for decorations in a wedding shower, baby shower, or MAYBE a nursery…?!

DIY project #3 was our table runners. Burlap played a big role in our wedding. I cut burlap for DAYS! Then, I discovered I’m allergic—what fun! I ordered a 100 ft role of burlap and cut 2 ft x 6 ft strips to make table runners. My talented mother-in-law sewed on white lace to the ends of each strip. They were gorgeous!

I also made my own programs! YEP! By doing so I saved $480. Going through the Elementary Education and Master’s Programs at the U of A required that I make lots of “cute” things using a computer, so after getting the quote on the programs I wanted, I decided to try making my own before clicking “submit” on my Etsy order. I was completely satisfied with my production- as were my parents.

Of course, I would still be cutting out circles to finish fabric balls to this day if I hadn’t had help from friends and family with all of the DIY projects I thought up, but luckily we have so many wonderful people in our lives that were willing to help with whatever we needed. The best advice I received during wedding planning really had nothing to do with wedding planning at all. I was told “People won’t remember all of the tiny details of your wedding, but they will remember your attitude and how you handled things”. It was important to us to make sure everyone that played a part in our wedding knew how much we appreciated them, and that we knew how truly blessed we were to have them. So, keep in mind that you may not use the advice or make the decisions that everyone demands of you, but you want your wedding day to be remembered as a joyous occasion rather than the day Bridezilla married Frankenstein!

I wish you all happy planning, and pray you are able to soak up every tiny memory that you are about to make!

Thank you, Dale for allowing me to ramble on about my perfect day!

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