I’ve decided to do a semi-regular series on how to reuse your wedding decorations in your home decor – I hope you like it!
I collected various oil lamps to use as centrepieces at our wedding reception. I’ve now got an instant collection that looks so pretty catching the light on a window ledge.
First image by Luke Simon Photography
I simply have too many fun wedding tutorials at the moment to fit into my regular fortnightly column on Polka Dot Bride so we’re going to have a few extras right here.
Here’s another one from my own wedding.
You will need:
- Ribbon, various widths and shades
- Sticky tape
- Washi tape
- Tape measure
1. Cut your dowels into equal lengths using a hacksaw. Smooth the rough ends with sandpaper.
2. Cut ribbons into slightly uneven lengths.
3. Continue with remaining ribbon.
4. Take a small bundle of ribbon and secure ends with sticky tape.
5. Attach taped ribbons to wand using washi tape.
6. Wrap tape around and smooth down.
And here are the wands in action after our ceremony!
To be honest, these didn’t work out quite as I’d hoped. I realised during the project that the sticks and ribbons were far too short to really have the kind of visual impact I wanted, but I’d already spent enough on decorations and couldn’t justify the extra cost. This also meant I used cheapo craft store brand ribbon which I found out is stiff and horrible, so I recommend you get the good stuff for superior flutter factor.
If you don’t make the same mistakes I did, you will have some fun send-offs for your ceremony (or reception) that will give you some great photo ops.
Tutorial photos by me | Wedding photos by Luke Simon Photography
You’ve probaby worked out by now that I did a lot of crafting for our wedding. To save you from hunting through the archives, I’ve compiled a nifty little long post summing up all the projects.
Beribboned bridesmaids’ fans *
Book ring ‘pillow’ *
Ribbon wands *
Family photo display *
Screenprinted napkins *
Vintage book page backdrop
Decoupaged book page votive holders *
Scrabble tile table names
Screenprinted belly bands
Envelope labels for ceremony-only invitations (free printable)
Reserved ceremony seating signs for parents *
Giant trivia crossword *
Welcome message *
Escort cards *
Photo booth sign * (free printable)
‘I spy’ game sheets * (free printable)
CD sleeves (free printable)
Because I was so involved in our wedding I did have some friends and family ask me what on earth I’d do with myself after the wedding and whether I would become one of those depressed newlyweds once I was no longer a bride. It’s true I absolutely loved planning and handcrafting our wedding, but no way did I want to prolong it forever. It took up an insane amount of time so frankly I was a little relieved to have a huge chunk of my free time back and to be able to focus on getting my fledgling stationery business off the ground.
Speaking of which, I wasn’t sure whether to include the stationery as ‘DIY’ since I am a professional graphic designer and some items were professionally printed. In the end I decided to include them to show the whole picture of what I created for the event.
There are a few of the more basic projects that I haven’t done tutorials for but if you’re interested in finding out more please just shout out in the comments. Cheers!
* Images marked with an asterisk by Luke Simon Photography.
I truly believe that one of the keys to enjoying your wedding day and preparation is hiring vendors who you trust to do their job. Here are our behind-the-scenes stars…
Bride’s dress: Cinderella Bridal
Groom’s attire: Suit Co.
Hair & makeup: La Bella Sposa
Headpiece: Borrowed from a friend
Bride’s earrings: Kasia Blue
Bride’s shoes: Zappo’s
Groom and groomsmen’s cufflinks: Various Etsy stores
Groomsmen’s attire: Suit Co.
Bridesmaids’ attire: Various
Fans: Pink Frosting (plus DIY ribbon embellishment)
Rings: Max Langley
Cars: Friend’s vintage Mercedes
Celebrant: Megan Bonython
Ceremony music: Adelaide University Choral Society plus DIY with iPod
Reception music: DIY with iPod
Ceremony venue: The Institute Room at The State Library of South Australia
Reception venue: The Mortlock Chamber at The State Library of South Australia
Day-of coordinator: Mary & Gabrielle Events
Decorations: Various (mostly from Etsy, Ebay, secondhand stores, DIY and Mary & Gabrielle Events)
Cake: Cake Stories (no longer operating)
Dance lessons: Ceroc Modern Jive
Photography: Luke Simon Photography (that’s Luke on the right having fun with his assistant in our photo booth)
I think that covers pretty much everything but do ask in the comments if I’ve missed anything.
We simply would not have had such an amazing day without the talent and hard work of our wonderful suppliers. Thank you!
All photography by Luke Simon Photography except stationery and photo booth photos.
The DIY photo booth at our wedding went down a treat with guests! Combined with the chalkboard speech bubbles, we captured so many funny moments.
I love this photo of my girls illustrating all the things a bridemaid should not do, from left to right we have Drunk Bridesmaid, Flirty Bridesmaid and Loud Bridesmaid.
Our resident diva (and fabulous MC for the night) Jessica.
And finally, my bridesmaid-slash-accountant Jaime leaving me a thought to ponder in my role as a wedding professional…
That’s all for the photos but next week I’ll do a roundup of all of our wonderful vendors.
The Man and I fell in love with the Mortlock Chamber of the State Library of South Australia as soon as we saw photos of it. We kept researching venues because we felt we should be looking at all our options, but nothing ever lived up to the Library.
Instead of the traditional long bridal table, we opted for a table in the centre of the room with not only the bridal party but their partners as well. It was wonderful to be surrounded by our loved ones instead of feeling like we were ‘on show’.
I hate chair covers with a passsion (why reception venues can’t just buy some decent-looking chairs in the first place is beyond me). I had my heart set on some beautiful chairs but alas, I couldn’t find what I was looking for locally… which is probably just as well because it would have blown the budget. I did, however, manage to convince the venue to let me borrow some lovely antique timber chairs from another room. There weren’t enough for all 110 guests, but they were great to add a bit of interest nad differentiate the bridal table.
I had so much fun incorporating subtle literary references to suit our library theme. We also reused as many as possible of the ceremony decorations, plus as my bouquet, into the reception decor to get the most for our money.
I was so lucky to have my friends from Mary & Gabrielle Events pull everything together on the day. After planning every last detail and picturing it all in my head for months, I was completely floored when I saw it all come to life.
Instead of numbering the tables, we used scrabble tiles to name them after values that we value in our marriage. Since it’s not evident what they mean in isolation, it meant that guests were curious to walk around the room to find them all.
It was so special to have our Maid of Honour, Best Man, Ryan’s mum and my dad do some very memorable speeches. I’m not a huge fan of public speaking, but I knew that I wanted to express my own sentiments and thanks. We were also lucky to have a brilliant MC in our friend Jess, whose bubbliness and organisation made everything flow smoothly.
I forgot to include in my recount of the disaster-prone leadup to the wedding that I had managed to seriously sprain a muscle around my ribs, leaving me unable even sleep without pain let alone do some of the more involved dance moves in our first dance routine. It was touch-and-go whether we’d be able to do the fancy lift, but happily it healed up just in time.
Next week I’ll show some of the hilarious shots we captured in our photo booth.
Photography by Luke Simon Photography
After the ceremony, it was time for the official bridal party photos. We began in the stunning Circulating Library, which was the original library before the Mortlock Wing (where we had our reception) was later added. I would have actually loved to have our ceremony there but alas the room is way too small. It sure made for some atmospheric photos though.
And now in the larger but similarly beautiful Mortlock Chamber:
Our photographer Luke is such a dude. He was so friendly and funny that having our photos taken felt like hanging out with an old friend, which made us so relaxed he could capture some lovely genuine expressions.
One of my fave shots from the wedding – very formal, yes, but that staircase looks like it’s simply made for bridal party photos!
I just realised I haven’t introduced you to our wingmen and -women. From the left on the stairs is my dear school friend Jaime, my friend since the age of three Jo and my beautiful maid of honour Cherie, then on our other side is Ryan’s brother and best man Dan, best mate Sam and my brother Liam. They were all brilliant and so helpful in the leadup to the day and were so fun to spend our wedding day with.
And finally, my favourite (and might I add, award-winning!) photo from our wedding.
Photography by Luke Simon Photography