Monday, September 7, 2015

Wedding - The DIY Stuff

Honeymoon posts coming soon, but I thought I'd continue the wedding themed recap posts with a behind-the-scenes look.  This was not really much of a DIY wedding, mainly because we were planning it from 8,000 miles away and painfully aware that everything we made would either have to be done within the week and a half prior to the wedding, or else hauled with us on a 16 hour flight, but we did dabble in arts and crafts for a few things, such as creating and printing our own wedding ceremony programs and table placards, putting together the wedding favors (jellybeans in glass jars), and arranging my bridesmaids' gifts.

1. The Wedding Ceremony Programs

I struggled to find a good template for a full Catholic mass that would just work.  Unfortunately I kind of hate formatting in Word and none of the ones I found were truly flawlessly formatted - a lot of it was done with manual spacing and weird rows that had been manually adjusted.  So this all took a while to figure out.  Once the wedding party members had been set, the readings and psalms had been selected, the music selections figured out (oh yeah, just that), and all the information properly formatted and centered, the programs were finally ready for printing.  Once printed, I brushed my hands of the project and handed it over to Michael.

He then assembled each program (they were printed double sided so that they could be folded into a booklet), hole punched the booklets just so, and threaded the programs with skinny ribbons in white, light pink and champagne.  He carried all of the programs with him from Hong Kong - the assembly then took place stateside.  Voila:

2. The Wedding Favors

We struggled for a while trying to come up with what wedding favors to give.  Ultimately, my sister helped me come up with a nice idea - stuffing cute glass jars with candy.  We were inspired at a local Michael's chain store when we saw miniature glass jars - which could be reused by guests to store spices or sugar or… anything, really!  We went to three Michael's stores to gather enough jars.  We researched a bunch of candy, and I decided that I best liked the colorful pop that jellybeans provided.

At that point we faced a classic mathematical conundrum: how many jellybeans will fit in that jar?  I am a little embarrassed to admit, my sister and I nerded out and busted out the formula for the volume of a cylinder (yeah, when was the last time you used that?) in order to try to order the right number of jellybeans.

Once we bought the candy, the assembly line was ready to get down to business.  We sorted the jellybeans, filled the jars, stamped the top, and tied ribbons (which we cut) onto each one.  With four people helping, it didn't take as long as it could have.  Thank you, mom, dad and sis!!
I thought the end result was really pretty.  Coincidentally, it turns out that a traditional Chinese wedding favor is candy - so our jellybeans were pretty fitting.

3. The Bridesmaids' Gifts

I bought each of my bridesmaids a soft leather clutch/toiletries bag/dopp kit in light pink.  I was pretty pleased with how soft the leather was.  I then stuffed each bag with nail polish, lip gloss, hand lotion and a little scented hand sanitizer - just fun little things that I thought the girls might like.  I put the items in each bag, stuffed with tissue paper in pink, purple, blue and magenta, and identified by means of a little hand addressed label on each of the tissue-thin ballet pink ribbons that I tied onto the zipper of each bag.

The end result:

4. The Table Placards and Escort Cards

Phew, these took a while.  We bought these little labels on Amazon, then threaded light blue ribbons through the ends.  When the table and seating arrangements were finally set, I spent about half a day labeling each one by hand, with the city name in bold and the names of our guests in thin marker on the top and bottom.
Wanting to share our stories with our guests in a meaningful way as well, Michael and I drafted up little blurbs for each city that we had visited together, hoping that our adventures would be humorous and interesting tidbits for our guests.  We had 17 tables at our wedding, each identified by a city name (instead of a number).  Our guests sat at tables like "St. Petersburg," "Marrakech," "Cebu," and "Macau."  Michael typed up all of the blurbs on a typewriter (bravo!) and then we cut the papers to size, mounting them on pink and gold card stock.  I then used a thicker calligraphy marker to draw the names by hand.  We spent a lot of time writing up these anecdotes (and it was actually a really fun trip down memory lane) so I plan to share them in another post sometime soon.  For now, suffice it to say that these were a smashing success because we had a full blown showdown between Luang Prabang and Niseko - can you say #tablewars?

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