Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Clothing

Ok, on to the fun part. You know, it took me a while to come up with a wedding dress design. Getting married is just not something I've ever thought about. I know it's typical to have at least passing fantasies about your wedding or dress sometime over the years... but I never did. I never planned on getting married, never wanted to ever before. Funny. So when I finally considered the fact that we might indeed marry at some point, I did some doodling and came up with a plan. In the end, the outfit looked almost exactly like this doodle.

 The basic plan was a pseudo-Victorian-ish outfit made up of 3 layered parts - a ruffly jacket, a short dress and a long underskirt. Using the tan and brown as 'beach' parts, and blue as the watery part to fit my Ocean Wave theme. I decided Stu and I (and my sweet little niece Daphne, the ring bearer) would be the only ones to wear blue. 

I made a Wave stamp and printed the design around the hem of my overdress, and added a single print to each of the maids of honor dresses and the pocket of the best men shirts. I kept everyone in rayon, to make sure they would all match. 

My biggest challenge was certainly with getting the dye colors just right. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get a good tan! Sheesh. Not too putty, not too orange, not too dark or light. I was never so terrified as when I finally got to the real dye batches. But I had done 4 test batches and just had to get moving. Somehow it worked perfectly.

Since I was vat dyeing, what I did to pad the sample batches was to buy a bolt of muslin. I cut 2yd lengths and ended up with lots of nicely colored fabric to cover the tables at the wedding. Now, I plan on sewing them into skirts and overdyeing them for sale. Hey, they're all fulla our love vibes now. I can charge double. 

The blue was by far the toughest to get right. The biggest problem was that my jacket was 100% rayon, but Stu's vest was a rayon/linen blend. There was quite a color shift between the two... but somehow I managed to get very close in the end. Also, getting that perfect shade of sky blue - not too purple but not too aqua - was tough. Good thing I have skills.

Except for our fancy blue garments and the guys' Carhartt's (my Stu is a carpenter and I let him pick the pants), all the clothing was bought and dyed as is. There were plans early on for more sewing by my best friend Heather, aka sewing goddess. But she ended up moving and being in sewing limbo for a while. Also, it's very very difficult to sew for someone who lives far away. Still, it worked out great. I got all the girl stuff and the guys' shirts from my regular supplier. The jacket was premade, but we shaped the front and added the ruffle. The vest was made from scratch.

Oh and I got these killer boots too, which looked super cute when I took off the underskirt for dancing. WAY cute. So in total, including store bought stuff and sewing costs... all the clothing came to a little over $500. Pretty damned good, I'll say! And we could have cut that almost in half by foregoing the boots and sewing help.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Invitations

I made our wedding invitations as simple and cheapo as possible. Like I said, some things I just didn't care that much about. I looked online and folks seriously get into their diy invitations... I didn't have the time or the inclination to get off on them that much. Still, I am happy with the end result. Perfectly acceptable. We also decided to send out an evite, using Purple Trail. This way we were sure to cover everyone... most of my friends are online, most of Stu's are not. For some folks we had emails but no street address or vice versa. So, we just sent both types to everyone.

I decided the cheapest way to do the printed invitations, was to format them so they would fit into a standard envelope. I chose the parchment card stock and blue paper to go with my wedding colors and theme. The parchment looks kinda sandy and I liked that. I just cut two rectangles and glue-sticked them together (if I were to do it again, I would use rubber cement for a better stick job). I did spend a good few days formatting the info onto the card, but really there isn't that much info that goes into an invitation. Since I did these in Word, the tricky part was getting my Wave logo positioned behind all the text properly. I also tried printing little waves onto the envelopes (which looked way fancy), but my printer kept eating them. Bummer. Oh and I bought self-sticking envelopes which made the process that much easier. Not pictured are the RSVP post cards, saving even more money on postage and no extra envelope.

Instead of bringing gifts, we asked everyone to participate in our Wedding Raffle, "Win fabulous prizes created by our talented friends!" It was a huge success, with 20+ impressive prizes. The little box on the invite has this info, and I also added a check box to the RSVP for those who wanted to donate to the raffle. I was surprised by how many folks did! I'll do a separate post with more details about the raffle later.

Ok, so the cost of the invitations (card stock, colored paper, envelopes) was about $35, not including postage. There was a ton of extra paper and card stock for the bar signs and info cards for the raffle, as well as thank you cards. Hell, even Mermaid hang tags and business cards for the next couple years.

I made the thank you cards using a quote from our ceremony and our Wave symbol, and formatted them to fit into the leftover standard envelopes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Ring and Theme

When we got engaged, I pretty much demanded a ring. Ha. Our engagement was completely unceremonious... over drinks in the kitchen one night, I suggested we throw onto the table  our pros and cons about getting married. We'd been not talking about it for about a year and I could stand it no longer. We discussed it while Stu cooked dinner, and agreed the pros outweighed the cons. I suggested a year from then would be a good time, he agreed. I said,"And I want a ring. Nothing outrageous, just something I can flash around for the next year and say I'm getting married." He said that was reasonable... especially since we'd been together for 7 years and I'd been hinting (not at all tactfully) for some kind of ring or Something for the past couple. 

We both know I'm not a gold and diamond kind of girl. I don't need to own shiny things as a general rule... but a sweet sparkly thing from a cute boy is nice to have. So I designed this ring and had it made. I love it. It's the engagement ring of my dreams, white gold with a sapphire. Perfectly me. 

I love it so much, I decided to make it the focal point of my whole wedding. I made a sort of logo based on this design, to use on the invitations and to print on the clothing. All the clothing, jewelry and decor was based on the ocean theme. I chose brown, tan and sky blue as my colors.

We also added the meaning of the wave symbol into our wedding ceremony. I thought it was very pretty...

"Bekki & Stu have chosen as their wedding symbol and theme, the ocean wave. Like relationships and life itself, nature ebbs and flows. Let this symbol be a reminder to them of the power of nature's cycles, and that all things in life have highs and lows. When times are hard, be ready to accept the next good thing... when times are bountiful, prepare for the next difficulty. Together you can ride these waves with ease."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wedding Geekout

It's finally done. I'm married now... and months of planning payed off with a kickass wedding. 

Man, it's been a busy year! Now that the wedding is done and the shows have finished up for the most part, it's time to switch gears. I'm going to get back to posting projects here and I can't help but start with wedding stuff. I had a blast with the crafty parts of the wedding... but I was mostly interested in the clothing and jewelry. Some other parts I did cheap and simple, some parts my friends took over. In the end our wedding cost very little, and not only did we  cover all of it with gifts, donations and barter, we actually came out ahead! We're planning a trip to Hawaii next month. Ha.

Anyway, since I have all these fun details in my head and it worked out so well... I thought it would be fun to post some projects and info on how we pulled it together. Our cheap, fun and crafty wedding.