The DIY Wedding

DIY elements can add unique and memorable details to your day or they can be the cause of stress and strife. How can you get the former without the latter? Here are some tips:

  • Be honest about the amount of time and energy you want to commit to wedding DIY. Is this something you’re willing to spending hours on each week for the next few months? If it is, great! Go for it! If it’s not, that’s where Etsy comes in.
  • Pinterest: a beautiful, dangerous place. With Pinterest there are thousands of wedding crafts, designs, and ideas at our fingertips. However, as many of us already know from personal experience, everything on Pinterest does not turn out looking like the picture. My suggestion is to use this bounty of inspiration for just that, inspiration. 
  • Use real weddings as a guide. Nothing can show you what looks good better than an actual wedding. I don’t mean copying exactly what someone else did. I mean picking and choosing what works from other weddings in order to create your unique vision.

According to bride Ashley, whose DIY details are above, if you can’t rent exactly what you’re looking for, it’s time to DIY. See the full post of Ashley & Jonathan’s wedding here.

What are your DIY wedding tips? Things that work or don’t work?

My Lovely North: A Fine Homecoming

About four months ago, I married Pieter. Over a short month later, he was called to work a 70 day position on a vessel that journeyed to Europe. It was an extremely difficult decision for him to go, as with most great opportunities, sacrifices are made. Pieter's career opportunity also meant leaving very shortly after our marriage, and his absence for our first Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Well, it's certainly been a long and difficult time, but our wait is finally over. After crossing the ocean 4 times from Baltimore to Germany and England, Pieter will return home to me this very night.

Having dated Pieter long enough to know the difficult time frames of the life of sailor, I felt a bit more prepared for his departure. We had been through a 70 day journey together and this time it wouldn't be during the preparation of our wedding. Each time he leaves is a little more predictable but it never truly gets easier. We've been fortunate enough this trip to have unlimited e-mails (yes, that's a privilege) and international SIM cards while he was in Europe, allowing us to talk about every 15 days or so. It's still separation from your husband, and it's still very, very hard.

In the time that he's gone, I find myself keeping busy with my day to day life of my job, taking care of our fur-baby, blogging for Simply Blue, geting 'out and about' in my truly, lovely north and managing to throw in a hobby or two. Since I've had the crafting bug lately and in thoughts of Pieter's homecoming, I thought naturally of something nautical and love inspired. I remembered stories of woman lighting candles for their sailors to come home and although I A. don't own a lighthouse, B. don't have a widow's walk and C. find it haphazard to leave a candle burning in a house with an all-too-clever pooch. I restricted myself to the 'lighting of the candle' and decided vamping up some candles. (much safer!)

I bought some faux Lamb's Ear, brown paper and unscented candles. Binding a few of the candles with the brown paper, I kept it simple and natural with the shorter ones. I clipped most of the leaves off of the Lamb's Ear and lined the sides of the taller candles with carefully placed leaves. I'll need to let them settle in over night and maybe place another layer of leaves tomorrow - in hopes of passing the time before Pieter get's home, of course!

It's here. Today is finally here and I couldn't be more thankful. Cheers!


Crafty Preparations: Part One

Now that our vendors have been selected and appointed, it’s time for the extra-fun stuff: wedding decorations! As a crafty lady, I can sometimes take on a few too many projects at a time. In order to stop myself from doing just that, I’m staging my decorations in steps, and the first step that I’ve started to tackle is ceremony decor.

Our beautiful location for the ceremony is nothing short of moving. It will be in one of two possible places (pending weather): surrounded by birch trees and on the edge of Lake Leelanau, or nestled under an apple tree close to the reception barn. With either location, I’ve been researching innovative décor to create a soft and natural setting.

For Below: I love the idea of a burlap walkway. I’ve been seeing different methods of creating a walkway, and being that burlap is a theme within my other décor plans, I loved the idea! I also love the simplicity of petals on either side of the walkway.

Summer Camp Wedding

For Seating: I’d like to line walkway chair sides with string and flag banners of greys and yellows. These sweet little bursts of color will help create strong lines from walking down the aisle to the saying of the vows.


For Above: Birch Trees - Since there are beautiful trees surrounding the seating and vow area, I’d like to interweave twine or string amongst them with attached pom-poms (or flags) of yellows, greys and creams along the line. This would translate a natural ceiling to enclose the space, creating intimacy. I've had experience in making these poms and they're so easy, and pretty low in cost!

Summer Camp Wedding

For Above: Apple Tree – By stringing hanging pom-poms and ‘glue-globe chandeliers’, I think it would be a stunning and cheery tone. I've found a great tutorial source for the creation of these, and although it seems a bit messy, a little 'disarray' never hurt anyone! I look forward to gathering my girlfriends and having a creation night.

Globe Chandeliers

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Pieter and I would really like to have a type of arch to be married under or in front of. It's a beautiful way to enclose our moment together as a personal focal point. Although we're still exploring for the perfect design, I'd like to include flowers, reclaimed wood and possibly fabric.

I'm so excited to sit down and begin to create my crafty pieces. I have a wonderful support system of friends and family who have volunteered to gather together and get to work with me. You may have everything planned and prepared for, but you can never have enough help! Happy crafting, couples!