When I found out my sister was getting married and wanted me to organize the decorations, I was SO excited and felt more than ready to take on such a monumental task. After my own wedding, 8 years ago, which cost me many, many sleepless nights in the months leading up to it, I swore I'd never do another wedding again. Funny how time makes you forget all the little details that drive brides and wedding planners crazy everywhere. No sooner had we started seriously planning then my living room was taken over by bits of sparkly paper and crafting supplies and my spare bedroom filled up with bags of stuff for The Big Day quicker than I could count to 10. Every page in my planner for the next 4 months had some monumental task written down for me to complete and I wondered how I'd ever manage it all, work part time and run a business on the side. Still, when the candles were lit, the stars hung, the railings draped, and the guests in awe, my sister had the wedding she deserved and it was worth every moment.
For any of you who might be starting preparations for your own wedding (Congratulations!), I thought it would be fun to document the process of designing a wedding, from just a sketch on paper to the actual event. FYI, we started planning in January 2009 for an early May wedding. Yes, 5 months - it CAN be done!!!
Here are some snapshots of how we came to settle on a theme:
My sister had initially wanted to get married in January and have a snowflake theme, but she quickly figured out she didn't have enough time to plan. "An evening under the stars" was the next best choice for a May wedding. Still, we had no ideas for colors, flowers or anything specific, so I scoured Google Images (gotta love it) for anything having to do with evening garden parties and put together several collage sheets to help her narrow down her choices.
My sister having chosen "stars" as the predominant theme, I whipped a few sketches for the reception area which I hoped were both practical and enchanting. This is the design she chose.
Now we needed to get down to the business of specifics. I agonized for hours (well at least it seemed like it) before I came up with a star mobile prototype that would hang evenly. The stars weren't cascading in a spiral like I wanted them to and the top ring hadn't yet been painted, but it was enough for us to visualize the final result. We centered my round kitchen table underneath it and topped it with a mirror off the wall, some spare flowers I had in storage and a few frosted votives. Voilà! The "look" was born.
Next we went shopping with the intention to only check prices, but ran into a 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby and came home with about 10 bags of stuff. Shazam!
It was decided that my address should be the destination for anything that had to be shipped in...I nearly cut myself several times opening the huge box of frosted votives we'd ordered since 4 were shattered into millions of pieces. The company was really nice though and sent replacements right away, plus a few extras. It always pays to ask!
The making of 100 of these wedding invitations by hand, could have been it's own blog post, but I forgot to take pictures. I approached the design of these in much the same way as I did for the overall wedding theme. These were the first true glimpses guests got at the wonders to come!
Before you can truly appreciate the photos below, it is important to document the transformation of the reception area. Obviously this is the "before" shot. (And yes, that's me up on the ladder in the background - not my proudest saggy-jeans moment, I must say.)
Just for the heck of it, I feel I should point out that over 600 sparkly stars, punched by hand made the event below possible.
And finally...the "after" shots. Enjoy!
So...with little time, but LOTS of creativity, a clear budget (we accomplished our goal in under $1000...mind you that was JUST the decorating budget), willing helpers and meticulous organization our little evening garden party came to pass.
I hope you found these tips helpful and wish you great bargains and wonderful memories on your own wedding journey.