This year my husband and I will be celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary. Looking back through the photos is always great fun and amazing to see quite how much we did ourselves! In this post I just wanted to share how getting creative and going for a DIY Wedding saved us well over £1500!
We opted for a vintage themed DIY wedding, but not traditional vintage, more of a nod to that type of style. For us the whole theme we felt should be something that resonated with us as a couple and something we found endearing. ‘The Owl & The Pussycat’ poem by Edward lear was perfect. It’s a poem we both loved and we found it had multiple meanings relevant to us.
Our wedding stationery: Invitations, thank you cards & order of services
We’re both creative and crafty people so for us, it made sense to use our skills to design, print and produce our wedding stationery which included our invitations, thank you cards and wedding order of services. For an authentic and vintage feel we sourced some really nice kraft paper and ivory card from our local Hobbycraft store to print on to. Everything we designed we printed and produced at home all by hand. Because it was our wedding and not a commercial client project we found some really cute owl and pussycat illustrations that fit perfectly with our wedding theme.
Our wedding stationery was tied gently with some string. To really put the icing on the cake, we sourced some small metal charms from Etsy, these charms were small owls spoons and little boats! All things that are mentioned in the poem!
Attendance gifts for our guests
Something else that features in the the poem is a jar full of honey. What a perfect gift for our guests! Who doesn’t like honey? We sourced some hexagonal jars online since they were substantially cheaper than ones you can buy in stores. At the same time we also sourced some honey drizzlers online which we found would fit perfectly in the lid clip on the jars!
We personalised each and every one with a custom made hexagonal name tag along with a cute fact about bees. Printed back to back we then punched the tops with an eyelet which allowed us to thread a string through which we then tied to the jars. The honey we bought in bulk from our local wholesalers and filled the jars ourselves at home.
While we were researching ideas for our wedding we loved the idea of having a candy cart! We first saw one at a local wedding fair in our seaside home town. There’s literally hundreds of companies and small businesses out there offering this as a wedding service but we felt we could save the cost and do it ourselves. For just £200 we bought one from a garden buildings supplier, we then painted it, reinforced it and decorated it with some battery operated lights. For the sweets, we returned to our local wholesaler to buy these in bulk. The glassware we found in many different charity shops and these were super cheap, ranging from 10p to 50p per item of glassware. This type of thing can almost always be found in charity shops so it’s always worth a look.
The candy cart was a huge success, everyone at the wedding loved it, we had photo’s by it and it made for a fun addition to the day. Who doesn’t love sweeties?!
Do stay tuned because we’re going to show exactly how we made this and turned it into a temporary business in another post!
Custom Printed Sweetie Bags!
To allow people to take sweets away from the day we bought a big pack of sweet bags, also from our wholesaler. My husband created a design to be printed on the front of each bag. We wanted people to keep their bags as a memory of the day, so we made sure the design was something fun, memorable and in keeping with our theme. Believe it or not, we actually printed these ourselves in a black and white, bottom feed laser printer. I couldn’t believe this actually worked. We set up our design document the size of the bag and adjusted our print settings to a custom size, again the size of the bag and literally stacked these onto the print tray just like you would with paper. They printed straight out with no problem or struggle by the printer!
We take no responsibility if you try this printing method yourself and it damages your printer. This is purely our experience which worked for us.
Table Center Pieces
In keeping with our rustic / vintage-y theme we created center pieces for each of the 10 tables we had at our wedding reception. We sourced these gorgeous birch tree slices from L.Laker – a local wood store. Across each of the 10 slices I burned the ‘Owl and the Pussycat’ poem around the edge. Our names featured on the inside. If you want to learn more about pyrography, check out this post.
On top of each of each of these we had these gorgeous old apothecary bottles which held the tables flowers. We sourced these from a local flea market where you can find some real gems.
Finally and most importantly, my handmade wedding dress
Looking back now, I sometimes can’t believe I actually made my own wedding dress. Whilst your wedding day should be a once in a lifetime thing, I personally feel that it’s absolutely outrageous that people spend upwards of £2000 (and much more) for a wedding dress. Even though making my own dress wasn’t about cutting cost, this definitely saved the pennies! All in all, the total cost of materials for my dress was less than £200 including the pattern. I felt that making my dress was much more personal and meant more to me because I’d put my own love and time into making it exactly how I wanted it.
As well as these I also made four bridesmaid dresses and my husbands waistcoat!
If you’ve made it this far then thanks for reading! I’m sure you’re curious, so here’s a photo from our honeymoon. We travelled around Asia for just over 2 weeks, starting at Hong Kong where we stayed with a family friend on Victoria Peak, then hopping over to Vietnam and Cambodia for a truly epic honeymoon experience.