Wedding Planning

A Fantastically DIY Backyard Wedding from Offbeat Bride

Offbeat Bride sent over this amazing DIY wedding photographed by One Tree Photography. Check out the pictures and read below for the details behind Lisa and Matt’s awesomely handmade wedding!

Offbeat Bride sent over this amazing DIY wedding photographed by One Tree Photography. Check out the pictures and read below for the details behind Lisa and Matt’s awesomely handmade wedding!

I think the planning for our wedding actually began a couple of years ago, when Matt and I were still dating.  I told him, ‘I’m going to have cotton candy at my wedding reception.  Blue cotton candy.  Maybe you can have some, if you’re invited.’ He replied that he’d have a mechanical bull, and I could ride it, if I were invited. One day last fall he packed a picnic basket, went to an orchard, and popped the question with the most gorgeous watermelon Ring Pop you’ve ever seen.

I have a tendency to try to work song lyrics into everyday conversations, so I wanted to use a lyric as our ‘theme.’  I had come up with several possibilities but wasn’t thrilled with any of them.  At the end of an email newsletter was their quote of the month: ‘Love’s a gift that’s surely handmade.’ Perfect! I’d heard a cover of the song, ‘L.A. Freeway’ by Guy Clark, a few dozen times but for some reason had never caught that line.

I love vintage, everything,and have a tendency to collect (others say hoard; tomato, tomato) a lot of a lot of things.I’ve been going to flea markets and such since I was old enough for my parents to take me, so it’s kind of their fault. My cake carrier/cake stand collection was called in to hold pies.  Vintage tablecloths covered the food tables. It turned out that the two boxes of vintage sheets I’d been stockpiling were perfect to cover straw bales for seating during the ceremony. Old blue jars held candles and flowers.  The glassware that I used as candleholders, as well as the punch bowl and a cake stand, is a pattern called Wexford.  My grandma would give me milk in a Wexford glass every day. I thought that they were so fancy, with the stem and facets, that I called them the ‘princess glasses.’ A few years ago she gave them to me and I’ve been collecting the pattern ever since.  All of the porch posts were in my dad and grandpa’s hoards. Er, collections.

Like I said, our wedding was heaving on the DIY (and CIF–Calling In Favors).  Because of the slope of the yard, Matt decided to make picnic tables and sell them after the wedding. With the help of his best man and his uncle’s shop, he made fifteen gorgeous cedar picnic tables. I got to work as well, block printing invitations and cutting and hand painting signs. With the help of friends and family, I made foot upon foot of garland and piles of tissue paper flower confetti.  One of my aunts made chair covers and another made mints for the reception.  My mom made our wedding cake the day before, using a frosting recipe that I found in a 40-year-old book but had never tasted. (It was delicious when we finally cut the cake the day after the wedding.) Another friend worked tirelessly helping me on a Shrinky Dink topper that I still haven’t finished!

As a surprise, I made a faux pocket watch to showcase Matt’s parents’ wedding photo, which he carried in his vest pocket. His father passed away about ten years ago, so I knew he would appreciate having a memento of his dad near him on our wedding day. The fob is a photo of the two of us the day he proposed last fall.  I made my necklace with a photo of my parents the day they got married, surrounded by rhinestones. My mom had a pretty serious health scare two months before the wedding, which emphasized how lucky I am that they were both around for my wedding.  The’ll celebrate their 35th anniversary this year.

The bridal party walked in to the ‘Hell’s Bells’ intro, with my brother escorting my mom then standing up as a ‘bridesman’ for me. Being a Kansas girl, I walked with my dad to ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ In the candlelight we exchanged vows, including the ever-romantic ‘I love you more than all the squirrels in the world.’(Oh. That was just me.)  During the ceremony I spoke about how I had designed my ring three years prior, hoping that it would be my wedding ring and hoping that Matt would be my groom.  It was absolutely surreal to be standing there wearing the ring, next to the groom, surrounded all the people who did so much for us.  We kissed, rice was thrown, and I proceeded to gorge myself on blue raspberry cotton candy.  It was awesome.