When I first got engaged just over a year ago I was going to hand make EVERYTHING, all the decorations the invitations, all the dresses, the veil, everyone’s jewelry, the party favors, etc. The exception was my wedding dress, for some reason I never wanted to conquer that mountain. Although I didn’t hand make absolutely everything I am very proud of the details I did get to. I am even prouder of myself for letting the projects I didn’t have time for go (or the expertise, I am thinking of you veil). Learning to edit myself through this process saved myself and the others around me a lot of stress. Of course, having all the handmade pieces really made the whole thing feel special, more personal, if that is possible.
I have decided to share those details here, instead of full tutorials I will just include some thoughts on the process and any links I used to reach my end goal. If anyone is interested in a full tutorial on anything I can try and oblige. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments! Let’s start with my personal accessories…
This cameo is hand carved by a man in Rome at the Gioielleria Palombini on Via Sistina right by the Spanish Steps. When I was 21 I went to Rome on a solo trip and found this shop, I bought a student’s piece. When my husband and I were back in Rome just after getting engaged I stopped by this shop again and bought the master’s piece in order to wear it on my wedding day. The shell is so fine the you can see the sunshine through it. It is delicate and beautiful and a real piece of art.
I hand knotted the Akoya pearls that my mother helped me buy to go with the piece. I had never used the knotting technique before, but found it to be rather simple and meditative. I used knotting tweezers and even though the job doesn’t hold up to my level of perfection it was approved by others. TIP: I found it got difficult to control the placement of the knot as the strand got heavier. It was helpful to make sure the bulk of the weight stayed on the beading tray that I was using. The following links helped me through the process: Pearl Knotting by Beadaholique
and How to Knot Pearls by Artbeads.com
I sewed up a hand bag to keep all the days essentials in, but then I barely used it! It mostly sat on my sweetheart table looking pretty. I used this handbag pattern by Michelle Patterns.
The ribbon across the top is my headband, which is better displayed in the following picture…
Doesn’t the veil and the headband look great together? The headband was inspired by all the beautiful headbands on Etsy. I decided to make my own for the simple treat of being able to shop at the ribbon counter at Britex
, which is only about an hour away from me. I found this and was instantly in love. It was a very easy decision. This piece took about five hours and was one of the last things that I made. I discussed with my hairdresser how to best attach it to my head and we decided to leave it loose on the ends and bobby pin them to my bun (rather than finishing the ends with elastic or ribbon like I had seen on Etsy).
To start I secured the beads closest to the end were I wanted to cut with small stitches so that they wouldn’t all just fall away when I cut it. I then cut it to my desired length. I carefully sewed the two pieces of ribbon together (the satin and the beading) by going through two or three beads at a time before going down back through the satin ribbon. Originally the ribbon was surrounded by some netting. I decided to cut closer to the shape of the beading like you see here. The satin was a little slippery so I sewed the netting to the bottom of the ribbon to add a little traction. That’s it.
I was able to make the Bride’s Maids jewelry sets and matching hand bags. For the hand bags I altered a pattern developed by my sewing teacher that isn’t available online. I embroidered everyone’s name for a special touch, I stitched the embroidery after fusing the outer fabric to the interfacing. The jewelry is in the boxes. I didn’t get very good individual pictures, but I have some with the girls wearing them. They were all made using the same design, but different stones and colors.
Here is an example of one of the girl’s and her jewelry set. Simple, and elegant. I didn’t follow a specific tutorial for jewelry, I just went of my previous jewelry making experience.
I also made my ring pillow. The pillow kind of came together organically. I bought the lace from Britex and added the white beading. The embroidery was a simple, new stitch for me. This tutorial helped me learn the Lazy Daisy stitch
that I used. The Swarovski crystals on the side where added to cover a small spot that I accidentally got on the pillow, oops. I made sure to keep it in a zip lock bag after that. Tip: The woman at the Britex counter pointed out that anything sparkly on your ring pillow is in direct competition with your ring.
I used embroidery in my centerpieces and cupcake display as well. Each centerpiece had a 4 inch hoop along with a small bouquet and picture of My Man and I somewhere on our travels together around the world. All the pieces were sitting on a wooden tray.
I made flag bunting for the counters in the barn/dance area. I made probably 30 yards of bias binding for this project. I highly recommend buying pre made bias tape as that was the most tedious part. I can’t find the tutorial that I used, but this is a good tutorial on making flag bunting
similar to the way I did. I added the extra step of top stitching my flags. Tip: To make the triangle shape I used a regular size piece of paper and made a line from the two top corners (when you hold the paper the long way) to the center of the bottom creating a long triangle.
My wedding was held outside on a very warm day. The ceremony was under the direct Sun. To help with this my Bride’s Maids and I cut and glued about 80 hand fans. The back has the wedding party listed on it.
The wedding party also helped make a ton of signs with cute quotes about love on them. They looked really nice spread around the yard.
Our bar sign was lovingly painted by my Mom. Thanks mom! I added the butterflies using double sided tape. I made the butterflies using my Fuse Creativity System. They were floating around all over the site.
I made a few other small details as well, but I think you get the picture, it was a hand made wedding all the way. Everything was so beautiful. I want to thank everyone involved again. The day wouldn’t have been the same without all the love and the support.