When deciding which DIYs to take on, I needed to be strategic and also consider the time I'd have the day before and on the day to get it all done. I wanted to have personal involvement with creating our special day . Making some of the things myself was how I achieved it. Read on to find out what I DIYd and how I did it.
1. Making a bouquet.
I knew I could make the bouquets myself, if I went with simple posies tied with satin ribbon. I found inspiration on Pinterest and watched YouTube videos on how to make them so that when it came time to act, I had a plan in place.
What you'll need
Florist wire on a roll or pre cut lengths of wire.
Rolls of 1 inch wide ribbon in the colors you desire I used one roll per bouquet
Lace of choice
Florist's pins for attaching lace.
Per Bouquet,Three bunches of flowers of choice.
For all three, 1 bunch of greenery
The flowers I used in the bouquets were:
The bridal bouquet
1 branch of eucalyptus, separated into about 5 stems
5 white peonies and 1 pink,
10 white roses
1 multi flowered stem of white chrysanthemums
Each bridesmaids bouquet contained
I branch of eucalyptus separated into about 5 stems
5 pink peonies
10 blush pink rose stems
1 multi flowered stem of white chrysanthemums
Method used for all bouquets
I began with a center flower and kept adding in a circle around it. Holding the bouquet in my left hand and adding flowers with my right, letting the flowers sit at an angle as the bouquet grew. I Alternated the flowers and eucalyptus stems as I went. To make the classic dome shape, I placed the flowers lower near the edge. The stems will make a fan underneath below where you are gripping them. That's okay. Tie them off tightly with florist wire.
Wrap the stems tightly with ribbon starting at the top and leaving a length free. Wind down the stems (this brings them back together) stopping a couple of inches before you get to the bottom and then wind back up to the top. Using the length left free at the beginning, tie it off and make a bow . Using sharp kitchen scissors or secateurs, snip the stems even at the bottom and place in a vase with an inch of water covering the stems but not wetting the ribbon and or lace.
On my bride's bouquet I pinned on lace that matched the lace on my wedding cake and guest book. I made the bouquets the day before and stored them overnight in a cool room (the laundry in my house) with enough water to wet the stems but not come high enough to reach the ribbon.
About an hour before I left for the ceremony I emptied the water from the vase and patted the end of the stems with paper towel. We didn't have any drips and the flowers lasted very well. They were put in water after the reception and kept well in vases for the next week.
2. Decorating the cake.
Although making the cake would have been too big a challenge, I saved money (and got the cake I wanted) by decorating it myself. Cake decorating has been an interest on mine since I was a teenager so I felt confident enough to take this on. Again I got an idea of what I'd like from the DIYers best friend, Pinterest.
The gold acrylic Mr and Mrs sign was purchased cheaply from Ebay. This one was only ten dollars plus postage. I hot glued a bamboo chopstick to the stake for extra height and then wrapped the join with ribbon to make sure it stayed put.
I found the silk faux peonies I wanted at Kaisercraft. I trimmed the green petals away and the darkest pink outer petals then I popped them off their stems and hot glued them to stiff plastic drinking straws that I'd cut in half. This allowed me to push the straws into the cake and keep the flowers secure. I added the hydrangea florets from my stash to fill in the spaces between the peonies using toothpicks to anchor them into the cake.
Some time ago, I bought a length of beautiful cream lace from a vintage fair to use as inspiration for my wedding. I wasn't sure how I'd use it, but I ended up having enough to use on the flowers, the guest book and to wrap around the two tiers of the butter cream cake.
I had toothpicks on hand to secure it at the back with some florets but didn't need them. The lace stuck to the buttercream easily. I added a gold non toxic washi tape to the base of each tier so that it would tie in with the gold sign on top.
3. Blinging up vases.
When we were at the reception tasting night there were samples of decorations for the tables. We were enchanted with a setting that included three small vases set around a central tall crystal candle holder.
The table center pieces we chose were included in our package but the flowers would have been extra. But I had an idea for blinging milk bottles from Kmart to hold our flowers.
I cut a single line of bling from the tape and hot glued it to the neck of each bottle.
Then I applied 6 single crystal stickers in a flower shape to the front of each bottle.
My girlfriend did the floral arrangements in the vases I created with Kmart milk bottles, bling ribbon and stickers and hot glue. The bottles cost $5Aus for a pack of six.
Unfortunately, we didn't get a photo of the tables set up but my girlfriend sent me this picture of the vases with flowers arranged ready to be taken to the wedding reception. We chose the flowers together, they included blush pink edged roses, white chrysanthemums and eucalyptus.
It cost a lot less than if we'd paid the price quoted for a florist to do them. I was very fortunate to have a friend who volunteered to set them up and she purchased the flowers for Sam and I as a gift.
Having such beautiful fresh flowers on the table really added elegance to room.
To help out, I've hyperlinked the items I used in my DIY's, where I could find them. But they are Australian sites. For other countries, you should be able to source similar items from your local online retailers.
(I also created a guest book which I posted in an earlier blog. Link to that is here if you'd like to see how I made that.) I used the same lace on this book that I also used on the cake and the bridal bouquet which helped link the ivory lace, navy and pink theme.
Comment and let me know if you're planning DIYs for your wedding or if already married, what you made for your wedding. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have as to how I made any of these DIYs. Thanks for stopping by to read the blog.
When Sam and I decided to move our wedding forward so that we could travel later in the year it meant we’d be having a winter wedding. We found that although we wouldn’t have the advantages of longer days and warm weather that you have with a spring wedding, it provided us with significant benefits.
1. The price per head, that reception venues charge, is cheaper in the winter. Also, keep an eye out for an added winter discount. Many reception venues advertise price reductions to attract bookings during, the slow months of the year. We saved almost a third on the cost of the reception at Ballara Receptions and were given exactly the same service and quality of food that we would have had in the spring time.
2. Finding a venue that suits you with dates available is much more likely in the winter. Spring weddings for popular venues are usually booked eighteen months to two years in advance but winter weddings are obviously much less in demand.
3. There are no worries about if it will rain and ruin a garden wedding. It probably will rain in the winter, so have a lovely chapel or beautifully decorated space organised to marry in. We chose a venue that had a chapel attached which came decorated with white flower garlands and urns as part of the hire price. I loved the gazebo effect of where we were married.
4. The days are shorter but you get gorgeous twilight photography opportunities. We had a skilled photographer, Peter Layton, take our wedding photos which I'm also using in this post. So far as taking photos outside, on our day it did rain on and off but we were able to gets lots of good shots between showers. I got sprinkled with light rain when Sam and I were having our photos taken after the ceremony but you’d never know from the photos.
5. Winter wonderland charm for your white wedding. In Australia, winter is in the middle of the year so we often have Christmas in July, I took it a step further and had a wedding in July. On Pintrest I saw a picture of a bride wearing a white fur stole and decided that's how I wanted to stay warm. I also really like the lacework of the bare branches on the trees at this time of year.
6. You can savor a hot meal when it’s cold outside. We had hot appetizers, entrees, main meals and hot puddings for dessert. The food at our reception was delicious. Our guests raved about how good the food was. The quality was exactly the same as if we’d paid the high season price and we got to enjoy our hot meal more because of the cooler weather in winter.
7. Choosing the desired celebrant, photographer and DJ/master of ceremonies, and singer for the ceremony is easier as they are less booked up in the winter. I have a post on making our wedding plans and who we used and I'll link it here.
You can still get lovely flowers in the winter. There are flowers grown in hot houses or shipped in from warmer climates available. It's even possible to put a bouquet together the day before the wedding, like I did. Your florist will be able to advise you.
Time of Ceremony
Plan to wed earlier in the day. We had chosen a lovely venue whose staff were experienced with winter weddings. They were able to advise us what time to plan the ceremony in relation to the daylight hours we would have, how long it would take for photos. They had a warm reception foyer where our guests were served canapes during that in-between time. On the day, it was perfect timing.
If I had my time over, I would still choose a romantic winter wedding.
Dora Bramden writes heart-melting, passionate romance.
After scoffing down my scrumptious high tea, I enjoyed working my way down each side of the table and chatting to all the guests. I was so touched that everyone there had come to celebrate the occasion with me.
I've been busy getting items on my wedding-to-do-list ticked off. Last week I needed to get the seating plan completed and emailed off. Anyone who's organised a wedding knows how tricky this not so small exercise can be. I hope Sam and I have got it right, however everyone will have somewhere to sit and eat their meal.
I've made up the Bonbonniere, which is organza bags filled with a few pink chocolates hearts, and I've been gluing sparkles onto Kmart milk bottles for the flowers. There will be three on each table set around a central candle holder and interspersed with three tea light candles. I may yet tie a navy organza ribbon around the neck of each one. My friend and I ordered the flowers last week, in keeping with my navy and pink color scheme. There will be pink spray roses included in each vase.
I've had my final fitting and picked up my wedding dress. I've done a hair and makeup trial run. The shoes are bought and the cake is ordered along with the cars and a singer and DJ. The order of service has been finalized but there's still a list of things to do and I'm waking in the middle of the night thinking about all that still has to be done. It is fun though and I'm looking forward to the big day which is only a fortnight away.
That's all I have time for this week's post but I hope to upload a blog next week before the big event. I'll be taking that week off. On the Thursday before the wedding I'll be on Romancing The Genres with a post to be announced.Here's a link to last months post, where I go into the details of our music, just in case you haven't had your fill of info about my wedding.
Thanks for stopping by to what I'm up to.
Dora writes heat-melting, passionate romance.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been to hospital twice. But in between, I've still been planning our wedding.
A chronic health condition, that I’ve had since childhood, decided to make its presence felt. I needed a couple of days in hospital waiting for that to pass. Fortunately, I recovered in time to attend a food tasting at our wedding reception venue but then had to go back for a day procedure. All is under control now, as long as I make sure to get adequate rest periods, all will be well.
Fortunately, feet up with a laptop counts as rest and as my head is clear of strong pain killers and anesthetic residue, I can get back to normal. I managed to put together a post for my regular spot on Romancing the Genres, about an adventure I had on my way to Jane Austen’s house. Follow the link to read that. It was the inciting incident that sparked my book the Scottish Billionaire’s Secret Lover. It was my first time overseas and I was on my own. I got hopelessly lost and had to rely on ‘the kindness of strangers’.
As I’m writing this blog, it occurs to me that the heroine of that book, Natalie, is an event planner. Like her, I’m in full-on event planning mode, organizing Sam’s and my wedding. As it’s in July I need to get cracking. So have laptop, will wedding plan. The other day, Sam sat beside me on the couch and we researched at least ten different photographer websites. We settled on Peter Layton and made an appointment to see him.
We sat on a comfy couch and watched samples of his photography on a big screen TV. He takes very romantic shots and is familiar with our wedding venue. We chose a package that suits us which includes a printed wedding album. He also helped with working out the timeline for the day because he needs to plan to be at the best man's house first and then go to my sister’s where I’ll be getting ready and then arrival at the chapel for the ceremony and reception after.
The night out at the tasting exceeded my expectations. Ballara Receptions is a beautiful venue with stunning gardens. The walk from the car park goes through them, past the central lake and mini waterfall. We were able to walk through the chapel again which sent shivers of excitement through me. We mingled with other couples and enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine and were served can-epees in the foyer. We went into the main reception room for a sit down dinner and had the experience our guests will have. Sam and I enjoyed the food samples very much, and tasting the wines. It helped us make our menu choices easy.
They had sample table settings and also a variety of place cards and bomboniere. I really liked the idea of chocolates as a thank you to our guests for coming. I wanted something I could put together myself. I also took a photo of the table setting that I liked, the crystal ball bling is so beautiful. I love sparkles and flowers.
My girlfriend is going to do the table flowers as our wedding present so she can use this photo to see what will work well.
Sam was very keen to have a singer at our ceremony so after some research, we engaged the services of a wedding singer called Sharon Crossman. She sings while the guests are arriving and then during the service. We chose a DJ who is also an MC for the reception. Grant from Le Grand Style Weddings is on the Ballara preferred supplier list and so offered a discount as well. The internet was terrific for choosing these musical people. Sharon’s website has samples of her singing some lovely songs and she has a suggested list of songs for different types of weddings. If you look for her on YouTube there’s a lot more clips of her singing.
The bridesmaids are wearing navy dresses which have been purchased. Sam and the groomsmen are going soon to order their suits. The Next job is to order invitations and mail them out. I’m still looking for a package I like that includes place cards and thank you tags for the bomboniere. I also still need to find a makeup artist and hairstylist for the morning of. I have yet to decide if I’m going to make my own bouquets or get a florist to do them.
For the reception I need to get photos of my mum and Sam’s parents ready for the memory table and a guest book. I need to make a seating plan and have it printed out on A2 paper. Ballara has a lovely white frame to put it in but I’ll have fun with fonts and graphics . I’m going to fill organza bags with a few chocolates for the guest gifts and attach a thank you tag but I haven’t sourced these yet. So it’s on the list.
The color palate for the day is navy and pale pink which I absolutely love. I’m enjoying this journey to our wedding day. I believe all of our care and attention to the details will make the day a rich experience that will stay with us throughout our marriage.
Dora Bramden writes heart-melting, passionate, romance.
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, including rescuing a couple of old rose bushes and planting new ones.