Ben and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on the 7th, and I felt like this was the perfect opportunity to share some of the projects we took on in making that big day our own!
Creative guest books have become increasingly popular lately, because it’s so fun to have something from your wedding that can be really incorporated into your home. We loved the idea of building something together to use as our guest book, so we started with this plan from Ana White, and made a few changes to fit the style we were looking for.
We included a photo collage of us building the bench, so that our guests could feel like a part of the whole process. It was so much fun to watch people signing the bench throughout the night, and now this bench sits on our front porch and is one of the first things people see when they come to our house.
Since our reception venue the AMAZING Cha Bella in Savannah had a great outdoor space, we wanted to take advantage of that to create a really fun area for the cocktail hour. Here we added a mix of store-bought and DIY games. (Pro tip: DIYing for your wedding is a blast- but taking on too many projects is fun for no one. Pick what’s most important to you and focus on those projects.) We purchased a pre-made corn hole set, then made it our own by matching the finish to our bench. (Special thanks to Jude for so casually modeling this corn hole set 🙂 )
You can see the tree of life shape makes several appearances throughout our wedding- it was definitely important iconography for us. A little background- we got married at the oldest tree in the state of Georgia, known as the Majestic Oak (and, my lord, it is incredible), so that was a bit of a jumping off point. We both also have very strong Irish backgrounds, and Ben has a Celtic tattoo featuring the tree of life, so this just felt like a really special symbol for this day.
The tree also made an appearance as our escort card holder. I got to
take advantage of use the laser cutter from the furniture design building at school, which was awesome. “Yes, Mr. Laser Cutter Operator, this giant tree cut out is for school..”
I was inspired by these cardboard christmas trees as a great way to do something 3-dimensional. We just printed simple tags and hung them from the branches, and then even when it was empty after all the cards had been picked up, it was a fun decorative piece. Because we did a more complicated organic form, and cut it out of wood, the laser cutter was definitely necessary. But, you could use thick mat board or foam core, and a sharp utility knife to get a similar look.
Another fun project we took on was creating our interpretation of a Celtic tradition of “jumping the fire”. Often done during midsummer’s festivals, the jumping of the fire was a way for couples to signify making the jump into a new life together. In some traditions, it was a yearly ritual, signifying that the couple made the conscious decision every year to choose their relationship. This was something that Ben really wanted incorporated into our reception, so we puzzled through a few different ways to create a fire bridge. Ben being the mechanical genius that he is.. we obviously went through a few more complicated iterations before we settled on something that was simple, and not so much of a fire hazard. (Apparently, it’s important to restaurants that you don’t try to burn them down.)
It’s hard to see the lighting in the photos, but we found these amazing blinking LED lights in red, orange, and yellow, that rested on the interior of the bridge, and gave off the light of a flickering fire. This way- no fire hazard. Every year since, we’ve set the bridge out on our patio and surrounded the area with candles to do our jump, and it’s been so special to continue that tradition.
The best part? Our family and friends joined in the fire-jumping. This was literally my favorite part of the wedding. We thought this tradition might be a little unusual or out-there for people, but our tribe totally embraced this idea and were excited to be a part of it. Their faces are the absolute best! Side note: Ben’s mom (first photo) is just about the cutest person ever.
We also had some incredible DIY’s from friends! My friend Rachel (1st jumper on the bottom row, above) is a super-talented graphic designer and artistic soul, and she surprised us with an incredible gift, the string art “Muratet” that she brought the day of the wedding, and we were able to incorporate into group photos!
And the last project I wanted to share was the incredible gift created by my BFF and MOH, Amanda. A lot of times the maid of honor will use ribbons and bows from shower gifts to create a rehearsal bouquet, which is a lot of fun. But Amanda got the idea to do something incredibly special and sentimental to me.
My mom passed away three years before our wedding, and Amanda found a really wonderful way to make sure she was a part of our day. Mom wrote an amazing book during her cancer journey, and Amanda printed pages from the book onto special scrapbook paper, and then turned those pages into a bouquet. I absolutely bawled when she brought it to me. (If you look closely, you can see the words printed onto the scrapbook paper.) To make something similar, there are tons of great tutorials on making paper flowers- ranging from super lifelike and complex to pretty and simple.
After the wedding, I was able to put all these flowers onto a canvas that sits on the gallery ledge in our dining room, so I get to see the special reminder every day.
I hope you got some fun inspiration here, it’s always a blast to revisit this special day and remember all the fun things we took on. We watch our wedding video every year, and always seem to notice new special pieces of that day (and marvel at how young week look ;)) We’ll see you tomorrow for another round of Five on Friday!