Hello and Happy Saturday Nomad Followers!
I know, I am totally slacking on posts lately! Much like my DIY projects, I have several posts in the works, but getting them perfected for you is taking just a tad more time than planned. So keep following and keep reading– good things to come!
With that being said, I am super excited to share today’s post with you. 2 years ago today, I married my best friend. Our wedding day was perfectly sunny, super relaxed, and overall one of the best parties we’ve thrown to date. At the time, I hadn’t even considered writing a blog, but our DIY decor was such a huge hit, I think it deserves a place in the present! And with wedding season in full swing, I hope sharing some of my DIYs for the big day will inspire brides to be who are looking to make their event beautiful on a budget.
Before we jump into the details of decor, I think it’s important to have the history of how our hobbies really shaped the entire theme of our wedding. My husband proposed on April 2nd, 2014 on top of a mountain. But not just any mountain, this was Mt. Layfayette, the second highest of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Why the second highest? We had already climbed the highest, Mt. Washington.
Yep- thats us, bundled up in parkas and 30mph winds. I got a quick look at the ring and then he packed it away until we were down to flat ground. With that kind of proposal, it was obvious our wedding would be anything but traditional!
In our 4 years of dating, we climbed mountains, scaled rocks, and spent many a night cramped into a tiny tent in the middle of nowhere. So when it came to planning our big day, we wanted to capture that passion of the outdoors and adventure that brought us together.
What I wasn’t ready for was the cost– it seems as though adding the word “wedding” to anything instantly adds to the price. Oh, you are using those napkins for your wedding, that’s an extra $100. I mean really, it gets kind of ridiculous!
Friends had also warned that as soon as you become a bride to be, everyone has an opinion. And by everyone, they mean EVERYONE. Friends, family, the lady behind you at Starbucks… Granted it all tends to be very happy and excited inquiries, but just remember to stick to your guns and plan the wedding YOU want! And be sure to include your husband to be…he gets to make a few decisions along the way. 🙂
As we began our wedding planning, there were really only 3 things we were set on. Keep the cost low, incorporate our love of nature, and make sure everyone had fun. In an effort to keep this post relative to DIY and interior design, I am featuring photos and information on our wedding space and the decor within. If you have questions, or want to see more, please post in the comments below!
Photography credit throughout this post must go to our wedding photographer, Jennifer Morgan. Jennifer is a friend and fellow climber, so it only made sense that she do the photography for both our engagement photos and our wedding photos. While she has recently re-located to Colorado, I highly recommend checking out her website and blog. Truly inspiring work!
Okay enough back story, let’s get to the photos!
As you can see from the photos above, our outdoor space really didn’t need much decoration. The green space was in full bloom, and the brick path was the perfect aisle, leading up to the gazebo where the ceremony was held.
Since there weren’t many flowers in the green space, I wanted to bring in color, and my mom suggested the crepe paper streamers and tissue pom poms. While some brides may cringe at using neon streamers from the party store, I think they added just the right amount of festive-ness!
Most would consider me more outdoorsy than girly girl, but I have a weakness for the color pink and costume jewelry. I knew I wanted a brooch bouquet for my wedding, and lucky for me, my very talented mother put this one together for me. For brides considering this option– it gets expensive quick! It takes so many more brooches than what you think! I recommend hitting flea markets and bargaining for a bulk discount. It was totally worth the expense, and the best part is it lasts forever! I have mine resting in a vase in my office so I can enjoy it everyday.
The lodge where our reception was held is aptly named “Optimist Lodge” and was a short walk from where the ceremony took place. It had so much charm and character, it really didn’t need lots of decor. Much like the gazebo area, a few pops of color added the perfect amount of cheeriness.
Again, many brides and bridal pros would absolutely cringe if they saw those plastic table cloths and paper plates in a rainbow of color. But I ask you to think back to the last wedding you were at…do you remember what the plates looked like? Probably not. Same goes for chair covers– we considered them, but the cost, along with the hassle of putting them on then returning them after the wedding just wasn’t something I cared to mess with. It saved us time in prep and clean up, and definitely saved us money!
Sticking with our natural, outdoorsy theme, all of the wildflowers came from a local farm– we picked up a wagon full the day before the wedding, and my wonderfully talented bridesmaid Devon, arranged all the vases for the tables, as well as the bouquets and boutineres for the wedding party.I made around 15 of these little vases and they are my absolute favorite! It is a Patron tequila bottle that I spray painted with stone textured Rust Oleum paint. Be sure to prime first, and then it takes 2 coats to really make the stone texture pop. The twine and beads were supplies I had on hand from macrame and jewelry making projects. I made one as a test, and when it came out so cute, I went to a local bar and asked if they could save tequila bottles for me. They were thrilled to have someone putting them to good use!
The stone fireplace mantel was a great way to bring in more natural elements. The logs and wood slices we picked up outside the lodge. The birch candles are LED with timers– I found them on clearance at Kohl’s. I think I paid $40 for around 6 of them, and they get used constantly in our home! The Mountains are Calling frame was such a thoughtful shower gift from a friend. I knew it would have a place in our wedding decor! Lastly is the Ale8 bottle used as a vase– Ale8 is a ginger ale brewed in Red River Gorge Kentucky where we have climbed many times.
Once again, my mom nailed it with her creativity. We needed a place for cards, and she showed up with this adorable little tent made from dowel rods and canvas fabric. She even thought to use the tea light and rocks to make a little faux campfire. Mom for the win!
In addition to S’mores cupcakes, we chose to offer a trail mix bar as our guest favors. We purchased all the ingredients in bulk from Costco, and I collected the galvanized buckets with half off coupons at local craft stores. Super easy, affordable, and the guests loved it!
Lastly- Mom wins again with custom cornhole boards! Outside the lodge was a large yard where I knew most people would be spending their time. We wanted to offer something for guests besides dancing and drinking, and cornhole is a favorite in our circle of friends and family. The scene painted on the boards came directly off our wedding invitations. My mom took one of the invites and blew it up to use as a stencil. She then painted the scene, matching the colors back to the invite. Last was a clear coat to seal in the artwork and protect from scratching. These get pulled out for backyard parties constantly, and the camp scene is always a conversation piece.
Overall, I absolutely love how all of the decor came out and worked together on our big day. While we kept the cost low by doing most of the work ourselves, it really allowed us to personalize each piece and add meaning at every table. Each piece had a story, and sharing that with 75 of our closest friends and family meant so much.
I want to thank you readers for allowing me to share a little bit of our special day with you! I hope that the festive colors will encourage you to bring in some brightness to your home decor this summer season. And if you are planning an upcoming wedding, maybe consider some DIY to bring a personal touch to your big day!