Story last updated at 6/17/2009 - 11:02 am
With a wedding on the horizon, the happy couple can get a bit snappy and overwhelmed. Especially when it comes to the money that seems to fly out of their pockets at the mention of matrimony. A DIY wedding often comes to mind as the ideal solution, but few brides have time to plan and make each and every detail. It's even harder for us in Southeast, who are inevitably missing family members who have to be shipped in for the occasion - another wallet thinner to be sure. So, knowing when to splurge and save can be vital (check out the last craft column for those tips*). The third step, getting your craft on, is a time for the betrothed to relax, get creative, and get excited about the big day.
It's smart to start crafting as soon as you begin planning. Make it part of the process with the very first step, the invitations. The invitations will set the mood, style and usually the color scheme for the entire wedding, so think of a theme that fits you both. Do some research (yes, that means buy as many wedding mags as you want!) and pull together images that give the color, atmosphere, and elements that inspire you.
Think outside the box by pulling research from unusual places (I love the folios in the library). The resources are endless when you hit the Web, from DIYbride.com to oncewed.com. Even bridetide.blogspot.com shows you a hitlist of their top 100 wedding blogs - just scroll down on the right - convenient!
On to the invites! If you're not a graphic designer, bring your research in when you meet with your printers, which often have designers available. Or, to save money, try to barter. These days home-publishing software is quite common and you're sure to know someone who would be willing to do design work for a delicious craft trade. Just make sure you get the specs first from your chosen local printer so you don't have to re-do.
Once invites are out you'll want to work out the big stuff (venue, caterer, music) while crafting up the little stuff. Take this time to think ahead about small elements that can bring your wedding together. Craft wearable bridesmaid gifts for the girls like a dress-matching beaded necklaces or beautiful layered headbands.
Wedding favors are another item that you can prepare far in advance (if they're not food). If it's a beach wedding, gather small smooth stones from the area, stamp them with a local motif and the date (we used an eagle stamp from the State Museum store) and spray them with a gloss finish. This idea costs less than $10 and gives the guests a piece of the wedding to take home with them.
Depending on the style of the occasion, a button or crocheted flower bouquet might be up your alley. This decoration can be made in advance and will last forever, unlike fresh flowers.
Another keepsake you can make is a saucy garter. Hand stitch one or buy locally, because I know these are around town! And to fancy up a plain jane wedding (like the one I attended in which the bride wore jeans and a rain jacket) throw together a quick veil using tulle, beads, a clip and needle with thread.
A wedding is a crafty guy or gals dream. I could probably spend years creating my own, but I think I'll stick to my own advice- splurge, save and craft. That way the wedding may take months, but hopefully the crafting will last for years.
Tanna Peters is a crafter and designer from wonderful, rainy Southeast Alaska. View her latest creations at suiteliving.blogspot.com and her shared crafting sitecraftaddicts.blogspot.com. Send local craft inquiries and info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Editor's note: This is the second part of a two-part series on crafty wedding planning. Part one, which ran in the June 3 issue of the CCW can be found in the archives section of our Web site or at this direct link: www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/060309/ae_446661573.shtml.