Finally….the day all (three) of you have been waiting for…the last of the Handmade wedding posts! This wedding and the ripple effect that it had was such a huge factor this year, both physically and mentally, that I felt it had to be thoroughly documented. And believe me when I say, I am doing everyone a favor by editing it here. I have hundreds, possibly a thousand, pictures of everything in every stage of production that I have determined are really just for my benefit and will remain in my vaults. So here goes..
Have I mentioned that there was no shortage of creative ideas for this wedding? And I am not just tooting my own horn. The groom, despite the fact that he was on another continent except for a couple of weeks at Christmas and the two weeks he had at the time of the wedding, was totally “in” for all aspects of the decisions and contributed his graphic design skills via the internet. From the proposal – recreated here as part of the invitation photo shoot… …to the invitations… and the program (which included the lyrics of a song the bride had written for the groom as a Christmas gift! How creative is that?)……to the poster for the elevator lobby to let folks know where to go once they arrived at the venue….…and the clever photo boards for the ladies’… and mens’ rooms… …so fun, a guest politely took this one home as a souvenir…. … to the interior of the cigar box for the ring bearer…note the paper flower inside….…the buffet markers and gift donation cards attached to the sparklers for the guests to light as the couple left after the reception… …to the t-shirts worn by the groomsmen under their tuxes…Hooo-ah! …to the oversized dog tag… …that he made the day before the wedding as a prop for… …the photo booth – That man was busy!!! Being involved in all of the creative, and manual labor, was something that he not only wanted to do, but insisted that he be involved. We would have easily given him a pass. Love that about him! A few more projects we felt gave the wedding it’s extra special personal feel were the cake plates and cocktail glasses for the new Mr. and Mrs. Some paint, stencils, stickers along with a little Mod Podge and we were able to customize them for very few dollars. The Mrs seems happy enough! We had some of the most fun creating moments in some of the most unseen places – like the men’s bathroom. This “floral” arrangement was a kick to put together. Some silver sticks and bamboo, accented with little green Army men hot-glued to bamboo skewers….…along with cigars, photos and some mini-bar bottles of “Jack Daniels”. Actually, we filled them with iced tea so as to not cross any ABC license lines but don’t you know, all of them were empty before the reception even started!!!! That must have been a disappointing surprise! One of my absolutely favorite transformations has to be the very first spot guests saw when they exited the elevator into the venue space. This is the “before” shot. Actually that was a bare beige Formica topped table with a chrome pedestal base. The basket and tablecloth were added by us just to get an idea of how it would work. We knew we wanted to have something dramatic to set the tone as the guests entered. This was not it!That giant round basket got hit with the silver/chrome spray paint that we used on all of the sticks. Then we placed one of our hot pink napkins along with a round mirror in the center of the basket and added a floral arrangement with all of the bride’s colors. The new couple’s monogram was our choice for the wall where that tropical painting was hanging. We found these paper mache’ letters at the craft store. They were probably 18 – 24 inches tall and a couple of inches thick. They had a presence. This configuration of the letters in their names actually ends up being the groom’s initials. Thankfully, wedding etiquette dictates that the bride’s name is first in the lineup so it wouldn’t come across like it was all about him! After priming them with gesso, a coat of silver paint was added mostly to all of the edges and sides. Then several coats of flat black paint were applied and allowed to dry. Using some fine sandpaper, the edges were made to look worn as the silver underpainting was revealed. A little added silver paint, a little more black, sanding off, then adding some more and they really ended up looking a lot like aged metal. Didn’t they? We like to think so.So much so, that we went ahead and added the date as the perfect finishing touch. The only difference was the numbers were wooden but the same technique. Again, pretty close to looking like aged metal. Remember this before?And here is the after! The black and silver with the hot pink and the flowers really made a dramatic statement when the elevator doors opened It looked much more expensive than it was and we had the ceiling spot directed right at it. It was a focal point. The basket held cards and gifts were placed around the basket on and around the table on the floor. The proper line-up of the couple’s initials, their monogram, spells “AWK”! which has now become a family term of endearment. Last but not least, the get-away vehicle (Colonial Beach is a golf cart community) was decorated using repurposed fringe from a banner at one of Amy’s bridal showers… …as well as a poster that read …”We Be Wed” which is a call back to my wedding at which my dear word-challenged husband misunderstood the officiant and repeated “I be Wed” instead of “I Thee Wed” . Now, a family term of endearment, as well. The poster was created with the words “Kent loves Amy” repeated in the border around the whole sign inside the black and white checkerboard. Super cute! Unfortunately, the pro photographer was long gone by the time the couple were ready to leave and we were all pretty excited - maybe it was the excessive bar tab – as the couple left the reception to “get-away” so we didn’t really get any great pictures with the cool effect of the sparklers and their top-hatted driver. Here’s our best shot. Sad but true.Oh well, the next day we made them pose for this parting shot. Their smiles sum up the joy that the whole event brought to everyone involved. From all of the gluing and the the planning to the dancing and the blogging, it has been an honor to help them celebrate their love for one another.
The creative energy was fueled by our love for the couple and their sweet dedication to not only one another but to our country. They continue to make sacrifices and delay the usual pleasures a newly wed couple enjoy building their new life together in order to serve and protect our freedoms.
For that, I am eternally grateful.
Love you guys!