Our DIY Wedding

By December 5, 2011 6 Comments

This is not my usual type of blog post, but as I mentioned when I showed you our wedding inspiration photos, designing a wedding is similar in many ways to designing interiors.  So I’m taking this opportunity to show off our September wedding.

And let me begin by saying this may be better called a “DIYFF” wedding… “do it yourself, with friends & family”, because we could never have pulled this off without the help of friends & family.

We had a small budget and wanted to keep things simple.  We both love being outdoors, and we both love City Creek Canyon, which is near our home in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I often bike and walk up the canyon, and every time I do so I can’t get over how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.  We wanted to get married somewhere special to us, and somewhere that would show our out-of-town guests what we love about where we live, yet we didn’t want them to have to drive for hours, after their already long flights, for this experience.  So we were thrilled to find out we could rent this picnic pavilion at the top of the canyon for a mere $75.  (Note:  The site does not have electricity, and the restrooms are pit toilets, so if you’re not comfortable with that, then this is not the site for you.  We provided air freshener, hand wipes, and hand sanitizer by the toilets for all our guests.)
The natural setting is amazing, so we didn’t need to do much to dress it up.  
Inside the Pavilion:
We reused the existing picnic tables, rather than dealing with the expense and set-up concerns that come with table and chair rentals.
We bought loose-hanging fabric from a discount bin to hang at the end of the “aisle”, where the ceremony took place.  
We found inexpensive white-on-white damask flannel-backed vinyl, sold by the yard (at walmart of all places!) to use for tablecloths.
We hung paper lanterns (best price was from luna bazaar).

We placed bunches of white carnations, mixed with potted succulents, and additional pots of green flower bunches (spider mums, fuji mums, green hypericum, etc.) which I unfortunately don’t have photos of.  Eliminating the florist (along with my account with the local wholesale supply) was great for our budget, though we couldn’t have done it without help from my talented girlfriends.
The succulent pots are the smaller Celeber pots from Ikea, at $2 each (which I believe are now discontinued).   For the succulents themselves, I purchased a few pots of succulents from a local nursery about 6 weeks before the wedding.  We separated and re-potted them ourselves, which saved a lot of money.
We also added simple tea lights (from Ikea) to fill some of the empty space.  

Food & Drinks:
Food was one thing we didn’t want to skimp on.  My husband and his family are big foodies, and we wanted something special, not just a basic picnic meal.  Since logistics (and budget) didn’t work well for having food service at the site, we created a “gourmet picnic” style menu.  We worked with Romina Rasmussen at Les Madeleines for a unique and tasty (yet practical) menu that allowed her to pre-package everything at her cafe.  This was definitely NOT your basic picnic!

Food was served in picnic boxes – we bought the natural kraft boxes online and printed our own labels for the guests.  (See that great n&m monogram, designed by our talented friend Robyn?)

The contents of each picnic box included gazpacho with shrimp, Israeli couscous salad, wild mushroom wraps, and a brioche roll.  It was amazing!  (Note that all containers and cups were either biodegradable or recyclable, so we didn’t feel bad about all the packaging.)

Les Madeleines provided the cupcakes as well.  Simple, natural, and delicious! (shown with green carnations and spider mums)

The drinks were chilled in the river running by the site.

We rented galvanized bins from Robinson Event Rentals, and served locally brewed beer from Bohemian Brewery.

Lavender Lemonade, also from Les Madeleines.

The setting really speaks for itself, but we wanted to emphasize that this was more than just a picnic, so we got a band to set the mood.  We were lucky to find a gypsy jazz band called The Hot Club of Zion.  These guys are fantastic – check them out here.
I loved looking for these little details to add that extra special touch.
My DIY bouquet… I just provided the parts, and my wonderful girlfriends put it all together.  I loved it!  Includes white ronunculus, white hydrangea, white roses, and 2 succulents.

My sister’s / maid-of-honor’s bouquet:  A smaller version of mine.
My necklace, by local jewelry artist Elizabeth Plumb, bought at the Downtown Farmer’s Market.

My hair, done by my talented cousin.  No, she’s not even a hairdresser, she’s a dental hygienist!

I originally bought this vintage silk flower piece for my hair, but decided the colors didn’t work so well.  It worked great as an accessory for my sister’s bridesmaid’s dress.  Flower from etsy’s Flora & Fauna.  Her necklace was custom made using silver leafs and champagne crystals by local artist Katie Waltman.  (My bracelet is also by Katie Waltman.)

We custom-designed Mike’s ring.  It’s titanium with an offset mokume-gane insert. Made by Stonebrook Jewelry, a Utah jewelry we found on etsy.

Our guest book, a simple journal from Barnes & Noble.  “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.”  

Add another breath-taking moment to my count… our wedding was perfect and I’ll never forget how it felt walking down the aisle in that beautiful place with our amazing friends & family right there with us.

Special thanks to our photographer, Matt Lovejoy, of Lovejoy Imaging!

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