During my adult life I can remember going to various weddings and seeing the table decorations and thinking that when I get married I am going to do that all myself. As a self-confessed craft addict I had dreams of a trip to a flower market the day before the wedding and a nice and easy day of making beautiful flower arrangements for the tables. This was all ‘pie in the sky’ thinking before I really understood what work it takes to get a wedding together.
When my closest friends got married about 4 years ago, they often told me how stressed they were with just having to decide what flowers they wanted, what napkin colour to choose and if it rains what would they do with the Chuppah?! I just kept thinking that if I ever got the chance to have a wedding I wouldn’t need to worry about all that stuff as I would have it all planned in my head and know exactly what I would want and then go and do it all myself in my own hand made style… How wrong was I?!
There are many reasons people want to craft their own wedding. I’d say for me, hand-making things for our big day would mean that the day is that bit more personal and special, but for many it is also a money saving method. If you are like me and you like to do your crafting properly or not at all, then it is definitely not a money saving method!
Image: Most Curious Wedding Fair by Oh Squirrel
You can often spend more on the materials that you use than you would if you were paying someone to do it for you. I have also seen some stressed out brides who have a very tight grip on all elements of their wedding, delegate very little and then end up feeling exhausted and overwhelmed on their big day. I don’t want to be like that. I have never been very good at delegating; I much prefer to have control of everything. But increasingly since we got engaged I have realised that this is just not possible, especially with the demands of every day life.
During the early stages of planning I grudgingly had to accept that there are some things I can do and some things I can’t, but we can still have our own personal touch on the day. So long as I choose the right suppliers! The first thing I had to decide was what could I do myself. I looked down the list of things to do and picked out things I’d either really like to do or thought I could do successfully ahead of time and not be left doing the day before the wedding. So I came up with a handmade list. Favours. Signage. Table names. Place cards. Table plan. Chuppah.
The one thing that I really wanted to do was our invitations. My grandfather was a sign writer and brilliant calligrapher and recently I have been trying to learn a little bit about modern calligraphy in the hope that I could be half as good as he was. I also thought that this would be a lovely way of incorporating my grandfather into the wedding when he (along with my maternal grandfather) would be sorely missed from the day. I had taken part in a couple of workshops for modern calligraphy and brush lettering at Quill London and really hoped that I could get my skills up to scratch in time. To be fair to myself, they aren’t that bad, but I was not confident enough to do such a big task and I knew that I would never truly be happy with it if I did them myself.