Planning Our Almost Completely DIY Wedding from Scratch
Wedding Branding, Invite Design & Event Decor & Co-Ordination
Over the course of 2 years my husband (carpenter and professional chef) and I (graphic designer) planned our backyard wedding from scratch. We hired a few vendors (photography, tables and chairs, outdoor toilets) but managed to create a lovely event space and dinner on our own with our specific skill sets.
From renovating an old boat that was rotting in a neighbours field to creating all the florals from harvested cedar and grocery store flowers, we relied on ourselves and our friends and planning our wedding became one of the most incredible experiences we've shared together with each other and our family.
We run our own decor business called Rustic Hustle which specializes in decor for the home and weddings and with access to a wide-set vinyl cutter and materials, we knew we could create a whimsical outdoor event space and do it under budget. I also planned the entire wedding scheme, decor, event design and it was most recently featured on Elegant Wedding Magazine's blog. You can read all about it here.
For our wedding I decided to design our invites myself to save money and challenge myself. Because we had under 100 guests I decided I'd make them myself as well. They consisted of a wallpapered envelope sealed with a custom rose gold wax seal I designed (pictured below). The invite was a double door feature tied together on the outside. When opened, the increased tension on the piece of twine, that was pre-knotted into an infinity knot, tightened the knot. Extra information and a map was tucked into the space behind the main overlay to minimize the amount of information and tuck details away.
The process of making our invites (below).
My husband and I run an Etsy sign shop and have a vinyl cutter so we applied our own designs to wooden signage and other elements around our venue to create a whimsical outdoor space with indoor elements. I also used handpicked and grocery store flowers to make our centrepieces, garlands, bouquets and a flower crown. We decorated an old Volkswagen Beetle and renovated a boat as well.
More handmade elements from our wedding (below).
Event Program Design
Two Costco carports saved us money on tent rental and we sold them when we were finished with them. We rented vineyard chairs which were more expensive but far more decorative which meant we didn't need to work so hard on decorating our tent space. Wind pushed our fabric together but when it was stretched out it created a more intimate setting by dropping the ceiling with lovely drapery.
Gentle and warm Edison bulb lighting transformed the dinner tent into a beautiful dining space by time dusk approached and we incorporated faux candles in places where we needed safe lighting on the ground and real candle light where we could avoid fire hazards.
More signage we designed and handmade for the event.
A $30 armoire is transformed into our open bar with some gold vinyl decals.
In addition to the signage we also decorated an old Volkswagen Beetle which a family member graciously let us borrow for pictures. I collected old cans and covered them in nice paper and added bows to the back. We cut a just married vinyl for ourselves. This is available in the Wedding section of our Etsy shop for purchase. Click here to view.
An IKEA mirror frame was spray painted and we made our own sign to go within it and added more florals.
My cape, dragged bouquet and flower crown were all handmade by myself. Capes of this length are generally $300+ and to wear it once I decided that was not in my budget but I could make it myself with some practice. The florals I practiced making ahead of time so there wouldn't be any potential problems.
Behind the scenes work on the cape, table garlands and other florals.
For my shoes I chose a fairy-tale like "something blue" that Cinderella might wear. These are designed by Irregular Choice, London however they came with large fanciful bows that didn't match our theme. I removed the bows and added these buttons that made them take on a more French Regency aesthetic.
Many more challenges were faced including finishing a patio, building our grass wall photo backdrop, decorating a Costco carport, setting up hay bale seating and so many things got spray painted but we totally succeeded and it was a totally worthwhile venture that saved us money and brought our family and friends closer together. Our guests had an amazing time and we learned so much that will help us create beautiful weddings for our customers in the future. DIY your own wedding. It's so worth it!