A Handmade Wedding. Is it a good idea?
Now let me start by saying I feel I’m pretty well qualified to talk about Handmade weddings seeing as myself and Husband had a full blown, all singing, all dancing handmade wedding …with bells and whistles! Quite frankly we made our whole wedding from scratch and when I mean from scratch I mean from scratch!
We turned this….
(My husbands Dads Garden)
…..In to this…..our dream wedding venue!
(Videographer : West20Studios)
Don’t get me wrong I am so proud of what we achieved (especially given the fact that I handmade pretty much all of it from my kitchen table whilst juggling two boys aged 1 and 3 1/2 years) but my god it was HARD!
Go big or go home!
Armed with my trusty bargain sewing machine from Dunelm (and some skills I’d learnt in tech class at school all those years ago) I got to work on our Handmade wedding making metres and metres of bunting, hessian table runners (were talking 50+ metres) and chair ties. I made my two sons bow ties as I was not paying the crazy online prices to have some shipped over – besides they weren’t quite the right shade of ‘coral’! After becoming quite an expert at making pompoms I quickly realised that OMG! There was so much to make if I wanted my wedding venue to look as it did in my head. We had to go big or go home as an empty plain venue was simply not on the cards so I made damn sure that I make plenty of decorations.
What we made for our Handmade Festive wedding
- Signs for the venue using hand cut stencils and spray paint on old wood from crates, (the cutting took forever!!)
- Hessian, lace and ribbon table runners
- Pom poms
- Bow ties and scarves
- Hessian chair bows
- Huge festival style flags made from material from new duvets bedding sets (as the material is often cheaper this way) on Huge bamboo poles
- Tree decorations from ripped material
- Tea light holders made from tin cans
- A circus font ‘BAR’ sign from old wood and festoon bulb lights… but we forgot to take a photo of this!Doh!
- Sprayed upturned baskets to create height on the tables for the flowers to sit on
- Printed our table names
- Hand stamped all the favour labels
- The favours…Yep I made the favours too!
- A canopy for the tea and coffee cart as I was adamant that I wanted everything to match and be in the same shades.
- Hubbie made the Trestle tables so they sat nicely in the marquees instead of round ones (we hired the chairs though as there was no way we were going to make those lol)
- A light curtain decorations to act as dividers between the marquees
- Decorated mason jars for flowers on the tables
- Hay bales covers from cut scrap material
- The table plan from a lovely large old picture frame and flower garland with mini lollipop sticks all hand stamped with everyone’s names.
- Our own wedding archway from wood from our local national park that was happily given us some for a small donation
- Kids colouring packs
- Hang-over packs for those camping – I knew how they’d be feeling the next morning!
- All the bell tents were given individual signs (chalk pens on chalkboard paint on old scraps of wood)
That is not all of it let me tell you!
My Handmade wedding – Planning the suppliers
Aside from making all of the above, being that it was taking place at a venue that was, let’s face it a huge garden, we had to hire and organise everything else – things that you take for granted when booking a venue. Toilets for example, onsite accommodation – (we chose Bell tents as the garden was big enough) , entertainment (we had three bands and a DJ), cutlery, a bar, food and with that, bar and waiting staff to serve us. Given the fact that we didn’t have a ‘list of preferred suppliers’ that you so often get at venues, we had to source the suppliers and sift through them all to finds the ones that we wanted.
I found that working off recommendations worked well as a starting point. Following a recommendation you know that the person is who they say they are and has a good level of service as someone you know has used them. I found some great local suppliers , many of whom now feature on our blog and whom are offering MyWeddingWorksUK facebook page followers some great exclusive discounts….
Rustic trestle tables from: Rusticweddingtablesforhire
Marquee from: Strawberry Feildz)
Is a handmade wedding cheaper ?
In a word NO!
When ever I mention to people that we had a ‘Handmade festival style’ wedding, so many say ‘ Well I bet you saved a fortune!” Please don’t be fooled into thinking that handmade is cheaper! It isn’t! Well okay lets take the bunting for an example, had I have bought bunting and table runners online, you can bet it would have cost more than what I paid (being that I bought a double duvet set in the sale that was in the colour scheme that I wanted and cut it up to make the bunting triangles) however me being me, I didn’t just want a few metres of bunting! I wanted it everywhere so I guess I just got more for my money (but let’s not forget the hours and hours I spent making it all.)
Is a handmade wedding right for you?
In short, if you are crafty, have a creative mind, love a bit of sewing, are handy with a glue gun and have a good eye for detail then go for it but be mindful of the fact that it is not a cheaper option! You will need to plan plan plan and get making a year or so in advance so that everything isn’t a last minute rush at the end.
What I need to consider before ‘making my wedding’
If your anything like me you will find the making process enjoyable but just bear the following in mind:
- Make sure you write a comprehensive list outlining ALL costs so that you don’t blow your budget on lots of little things – some of the small things like ribbon/ fabric/paper costs all mounts up
- Ensure you have plenty of storage to store all your makes.
- Play to your strengths and call on friends and families strengths – (we got my mother in law to make the desserts . She is fab at cooking and baking and it saved us a fair bit. I also had my friend do the table flowers as she loves arranging flowers and saved us a lot of money.
- Have plenty of patience.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for the suppliers ‘best price’.
- Think outside the box – You aren’t as restricted when you do it all yourself so be creative! We had a bbq breakfast the morning after our wedding with all the guest who had stayed over in the bell tents. No one was there to kick us out!
- Buy a decent glue gun – (and plenty of glue sticks!)
- Use any help offered. We had family and friends from the wedding party help us set up the venue in the days leading up to the wedding and as we were doing it all ourselves at a private venue we weren’t restricted by the venues ‘opening times’ and could stay to set up for as long as we wanted.
Perhaps it’s not for you?
If you are daunted by hand making it ALL, then why not just pick a few things that you can make to use to decorate a venue that you book. Pinterest is full of ideas and youtube has endless video tutorials so get creative but perhaps on a smaller scale.
I am so proud of what we managed to achieve at our wedding! I look back at our wedding video with such a sense of pride!
What ever you decide , play to your strengths, get creative and go for it! Have a Handmade wedding!