Category Archives: wedding


getting hitched: vintage wedding decor

24th September 2014

Okay so you saw the vintage window turned seating chart that I DIY’d for my girl Courtney’s wedding, but I left you hanging on the rest of the details of the beautiful day. The venue was Ottawa’s Mill Street Brewery – an old stone building right on the water – and we filled it with vintage wedding decor.

We used a mixture of things – vintage blue mason jars, old hardcover books, jute string, white flowers (peonies!!) love!, succulents, white linens, log pieces, exposed stone, and wood elements.



It all came together really beautifully. The venue also had some chalkboards affixed to the wall, so I broke out some chalk and wrote a few little sayings. Tip for this? Design something on the computer and then print it out so that you can copy it and not have to rely just on your own handwriting style.CR-151

CR-1032After seeing it used in this wedding, Courtney hired a linen company to come and do this pipe and drape to create a nice backdrop for the ceremony. The fabric was gauzy and super romantic. With the large plants on either side, it created a really natural vibe.
CR-439My girlfriend Caroline and I were on site the morning of to pull things together, along with Courtney’s uncle who had provided all of the gorgeous flowers and plants (there were so many, and they were so beautiful… total heaven!). Together we all prepped the vases, name cards, linens, etc, but couldn’t really set it all up since the ceremony and reception were taking place in the same room and all of the table settings had to be kept off to the side. During the cocktail hour, the staff put the tables into place and Caroline and I whipped off our shoes and ran around that room styling our little butts off. As you can imagine, there might have been a bit of a nervous sweat happening, but we pulled it off.
CR-792 We placed log slices along each table and then haphazardly placed the vases, pots, and books on top and beside them.CR-796


Place cards sat right on top of the napkins. They were luggage tags with the names on them, and then had different coloured washi tape along the bottom so that the waiters could identify who had what meal (fish, veggie, chicken, etc). Clever way of identifying that without putting a weird mark on the cards or something.CR-845 CR-800 I did mention Courtney’s uncle and his ridiculously gorgeous flowers, right? Seriously though. CR-802

CR-866 CR-803 The dessert table was full of goodies from the talented Andrea of the Short & Sweet Kitchen (another pal of ours!). Isn’t the ombre cake sweet? And let me tell you, those cupcakes were to.die.for.


The key to a dessert table is to give it some height. Use cool old boxes flipped upside down like we did here and a mixture of cake stands. The white letters are from Chapters. CR-810 CR-1023CR-1022

And now for some people pictures. Here are the girls, just after we had buttoned Courtney’s dress up. Doesn’t she look gorge? CR-140

And the more accurate photo….


A few of Courtney and Richard. He’s a pretty dapper dude, huh?


It was a beautiful day, with a beautiful couple. Love you two!

All of these stunning photographs are care of Bonnie at Findley Foto.

Many pieces displayed in this wedding were care of my little rental company, Pieces of Love Vintage Rentals. If you’re planning a wedding in the Ottawa area, feel free to get in touch!

Did you guys go to any weddings this season? Or maybe you’re planning your own? I don’t know about you, but I can happily browse Pinterest for wedding decor ideas for an obscene amount of time. I wish we could do our own wedding all over again just so I could do different themes every time!

DIY vintage window seating chart - the sweetest digs1 (small)

DIY wedding: vintage window seating chart

22nd September 2014

Do you remember that old 6-pane window that I turned into a picture frame, and then painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint and gifted it to my brother and sister-in-law for their nursery? Well, before it ended up on baby Mae’s walls, it also moonlighted as a vintage window seating chart at my girlfriend’s wedding.

DIY vintage window seating chart - the sweetest digs1 (small)

Here it was after my original makeover (see that tutorial for how to add wire for hanging photos). DIY vintage window turned picture frame

And then where it ended up in baby Mae’s nursery. DIY vintage window picture frame - the sweetest digs

But let’s back up to the seating chart. My girl Courtney was getting married, and had decided on elements like vintage blue mason jars, old hardcover books, and beautiful succulents for her wedding decor. I knew the vintage window would fit in perfectly. I pretty much forced myself as her wedding stylist along with another pal, Caroline, so I took over the seating chart duties.

To make the little sheets that would hang in the window panes, I grabbed some cream coloured cardstock and downloaded the “Travelling Typwriter” font. Instead of doing a sheet of paper per table, since there weren’t 6 tables, I organized all of the names alphabetically and then identified the table number beside their name. So it looked like this: “Name…………………. Table No”.


Then it was just a matter of printing and cutting out the sheets of paper and clipping them onto the wire. Here is a pic I snapped on my phone that night. You’ll see I also made a “Name & Table No” piece for the top, and a “Find your seat” sheet to sit on the wine barrel. The whole thing took very little time to make and looked pretty darling. DIY vintage window seating chart - the sweetest digs2

And here is a much more beautiful photo, care of their lovely photographer Findley FotoDIY vintage window seating chart - the sweetest digs1

More photos of their gorgeous day to come later this week!

Okay seriously, vintage windows … you can use them in so many different ways, hey? Don’t hesitate to ever grab these on the side of the road if you ever see them in someone’s garbage. Junkyard gold. 


my weekend according to instagram

5th August 2014

If you guys follow me on instagram, you will have noticed that there was a wedding, girlfriends, and anniversary celebration all packed in there this past weekend.

When I was at Queen’s University for my undergrad, I lived with five girlfriends. It was way, way too much fun, and I love them all dearly. Can you believe that it took us seven years to have a full reunion? There have been times that all but one have been together (two weddings and some birthday celebrations), but it took until my girlfriend Renita’s wedding in Toronto this past weekend to get all six of us. We had about 24 hours together and we made it count.

First – the gorgeous bride and handsome groom. You can tell it was a fun wedding, hey?


A selfie, of course. I have some serious crazy eyes going on (how does one eye look SO much bigger than the other?!), but I still love the photo. There is a lot of happiness going on here.


Here were five of us waiting pre-wedding. It was raining reaaaally heavily outside, where the wedding was supposed to take place, so just after this photo we kicked things into high gear and helped transform the hallway into a wedding alter. #lastminuteweddingplanners


Luckily the rain let up after the ceremony though and we walked over a simply gorgeous reception. The first dance was lovely, but you should’ve seen the dancing going on on this floor into the wee hours of the morning. There were live Caribbean drummers and just a whole lot of shaking.


We were slightly obsessed with documenting our reunion. #360. (We lived at 360 Brock Street in Kingston back in the day).


Oh and this guy was a total star. The other fellas weren’t able to make it, so Danny was at a table with all of us ladies. Luckily though, he is pretty used to our constant chatter and giggles – he was around back in the Queen’s days and just gets it. Ha!


The next day, we got our tired butts out of bed and strolled around Yorkville in Toronto. Besides getting coffee, our priority was getting ourselves to anthropologie. So much love for that store.

This fixture was hanging from the second floor. You could totally DIY a smaller version of this by dipping some paint sticks or shims into a few different colours of paint and hanging them from something like a piece of driftwood.


I always get such inspiration from the patterns and colours in anthro. All of this dishware and the painted chairs had me at hello.


And of course getting into the change room and trying things on is way more fun with girlfriends around. None of us walked out empty handed.


After enjoying the rest of the day together, we sadly had to part ways. Most of the girls were headed back home to Vancouver. I was feeling pretty blue, but luckily Dan and I had some more celebrating to do over the weekend – our 3rd wedding anniversary! Our actual anniversary isn’t until tomorrow, but since Maya was staying with my parents, we decided to tack on the extra night and celebrate.

We stayed at a boutique Inn in Picton – which was on the way home from Toronto – called The Manse. It’s an old stone building that has been totally renovated and has the most gorgeous landscaping.


Dan was a super clever husband and called ahead to have flowers in our room for me. Well played, honey.


We didn’t really leave the Inn – it was just too nice! The chef is AMAZING and so we had dinner there in the dining room. It was 3 courses of heaven. And then the next morning, after another delish meal for breakfast, we just lounged around by the pool and hot tub. Pretty blissful.



After 3 nights of being away from Maya (longest ever!), we were pretty giddy to come home to her. I don’t think she really missed us one bit – she was having way too much fun with Nana and Grandpa – but we gave her some extra squeezes and snuggles last night anyway.

Do you guys have any little roadtrips planned for this summer? Did you do anything special this past weekend? Any weddings to go to? Oh and if you want a glimpse into what I’m up to, follow me here on instagram!


glitzy gold, pink, and ivory wedding

drop dead gorgeous: gold and pink wedding decor

14th July 2014

About a month ago I had the pleasure of styling a wedding at a local restaurant and brewery here in Ottawa – Mill St Brew Pub. It is a beautiful historic building with tons of exposed stone and views of the river. The bride was referred to me by a friend, and we clicked right off the bat. She explained her vision, and I could instantly picture exactly what she wanted. In the end, we executed some seriously beautiful gold and pink wedding decor.

Ashleigh is a gorgeous redhead who loves pink. Her ring was rosegold, and her cinderella dress was blush. Totes amazing.

(FYI: All photography in this post is care of Intuition Photography – Janine does phenomenal work!)




I know. Stop. Way too stunning, right?

The ceremony and reception were taking place in the same room, so I literally flew in there post-ceremony (with the help of my pal, Courtney) and worked with the restaurant staff to decorate my little butt off. The guests were in the room next door for cocktail hour, and the bridal party was off getting photos taken. The pressure was on to get everything done in about an hour and a half, but it happened. (phew)

Across the rectangular tables, Ashleigh had rented some gold and ivory chevron table runners. Oh and did I mention they were sparkly? Yep, I definitely wanted to take them home with me. And the regular restaurant chairs were swapped out for gold ones, which really transformed the space.



The flowers weren’t over the top, but were total perfection. White peonies (“a June bride’s dream”, according to my wedding guru pal Caroline! Ha!) and baby’s breath were placed in gold-sprayed (lightly) low circular glass vases. The head table had some taller vases, which the bridal party bouquets were thrown into (that’s a great trick by the way – don’t let those bouquets go to waste!).


White tealight candles were placed in low mercury glass holders and scattered along the tables.


Favours were super pretty macarons boxed and labelled with ‘thank you’ cards. The table numbers were simple paper ones from the BRIDES collection at Michael’s (these), and the name cards were hand written on tent cards from the Kate Spade collection at Chapters Indigo (these).


The dessert table was a ton of fun. I printed out ‘love is sweet’ on the chalkboard that was already affixed to the stone wall (came with the restaurant). I wish I had have had a bit of extra time to do this drawing more perfectly, but despite my OCD perfectionist tendencies, I think it turned out alright.


Ashleigh had purchased some large gold letters from Indigo (these ones – which are on sale by the way), a simple white cake stand, and gold chargers.


One clever idea that Ashleigh had (and a budget-friendly one too!) was to buy some plastic cups and bowls. The cups were turned upside down with bowl placed on top, and it suddenly became a pretty chic cake stand. I was able to place the small baked goods in there perfectly, but you could easily do candy or whatever else you wanted.


I had a slight panic attack during the setup as there were two cake toppers and we hadn’t discussed what the cake topper was going to look like. I didn’t want to use only one in case it was the other that Ashleigh had really wanted, so I put both in on the desserts on either side of the cake for symmetry. Luckily she was totally pleased, so it didn’t really matter in the end!


There were two other chalkboards that I got my hands on. One said “and they lived happily ever after” and the other, in the next room, said “kick off your shoes and dance”. Just fun little sayings to help the space feel more personalized, you know?

For the seating chart area, we had a big barrel (owned by the restaurant) where gifts and cards were left and a small table with white drapery that held the seating chart. Ashleigh made the chart herself using a frame (painted gold), wire, clips, and cardboard paper. Simple and cute!


All in all, the room totally sparkled and I know Ashleigh and Rony loved it and had a great night. Seriously, just look at these two.


If you are in the Ottawa area and interested in styling services for weddings or other events, just send me a note to: thesweetestdigs{at}gmail{dot}com. I also rent out some small pieces for events – more of a rustic chic vibe – at


Okay, what is your favourite element of this wedding decor? For me it was definitely the chevron table runners. They added so much glitter and glam to the space, I was dying. What about you? The chairs? Flowers? Ashleigh’s amazing dress?  

vintage window turned picture frame

vintage window turned picture frame

5th June 2014

You guys know I have a bit of a problem with collecting – hence why I started renting things out for weddings + photoshoots (see that here). Makes the whole collecting thing somewhat legit. Right? Ha. I love the thrill of the hunt. Finding something old that is perfect on it’s own, or something that I can make over into something I love. This is the story of a vintage window turned picture frame.

Over the last year or two, I have amassed a number of old window frames. Mostly from people who have pulled them out of their houses, and some as curbside finds. It’s like vintage shopping gold for me. If you don’t have the time or desire to hunt them down though, you can always find some on Etsy. I searched only for a few minutes and came up with a bunch of gorgeous ones – a minty one, a whole mixed collection here, and a huge 20 pane one here. Oh the options! I have put them all into a folder within my favourites list.


I like to work at them one at a time to turn them into usable pieces.The theme of this year’s Etsy Craft Party on June 6th is to “Recapture: bringing new meaning to old photographs” – so I thought I would join in and tackle one of my frames.

The frame started out with mostly missing glass panes and lots of chipping white paint. First step was to break out the glass. I don’t have a perfect method for this – just tapping it with a hammer and cleaning up carefully.

I decided it would be nice to have space to hang photographs or other paper products (cards? notes? menus for a party? whatever!). I took some eye hooks and screwed them into the sides of the frame, and then just attached some strands of wire to each.



Once I did that though, I realized that the paint was really chipping pretty badly and that I should actually fix up the frame a little. Whoops. Should have done this pre-wiring to make it easier. Live and learn.

I sanded down the frame using a medium grit sandpaper – really trying to get into the nooks and crannies to get it smooth. A bunch of paint chipped off in the process, but I wasn’t bothered. Once I had it sanded and wiped down with a damp cloth, I decided to put a few coats of polyeurothane on top. This would help to seal everything in and ensure that I wouldn’t have flaking bits of paint coming off of the frame. It’s super simple – just apply the poly with a foam or natural bristle brush, and sand between coats. I put two coats on the frame for good measure, and let it dry for a few days outside.


Post-polyeurathane, it really doesn’t flake and chip. The end product has a really nice vintage vibe and can be used a number of ways.

We had our engagement photos that I loved – I have such nice memories of feeling all giddy that afternoon shooting those at Dan’s family farm – and I hadn’t ever done anything with them. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get some printed, and display them in my new window-turned-frame. I put a vintage filter on the photos to make them look more aged, playing with the vintage vibe of the window. I think the result is pretty sweet!

vintage window turned picture frame


I used little clothespins that I had picked up a while ago at Michael’s. A bit nicer than traditional clothespins that might have been a bit big for this frame. You can also find lots of similar ones (like these) and in all sorts of colours on Etsy. DSC_0246

My plan is to put some wire along the back to be able to hang it from the wall, but for now I just have it resting on a bookshelf (the lighting was bad – so I brought it out to my parents’ back deck to take these after pics). DSC_0257

Instead of photos, you could hang up postcards, small pieces of artwork, little notes, recipes (would be cute in a kitchen!), or use it at weddings and events for things like the seating chart or wedding photos of parents and grandparents. Lots of options!

Unfortunately I’m not able to attend any of the Etsy Craft Parties in person, but check out their site for more info on parties near you, or how to host one yourself. With the theme of reinventing photographs, there are so many ways you could go. Have fun!

*Disclaimer: Etsy sent me a $50 gift card to be used toward craft supplies for this, or other, projects, and some affiliate links were used within the post. But as always, any opinions about products or companies are all my own! 

wedding anniversary – numeros dos

6th August 2013

Today is quite the day – it is our baby’s due date (no sign of her arriving – I think she’s nice and happy in there!) and it is our wedding anniversary!

It fills me up with so much joy to think about our wedding two years ago. It was a beautiful day in the Adirondack mountains, surrounded by so many wonderful people, so relaxed, and felt just like us. Here are a few shots from the day, but you can go check out the ‘wedding‘ page on the blog for more photos and project posts if you’re interested.

Gemma & Dan's Wedding 2011 57

Gemma & Dan's Wedding 2011 90 (2)

Gemma & Dan's Wedding 2011 256 (2)

Gemma & Dan's Wedding 2011 421 edited

Gemma & Dan's Wedding 2011 286

Gemma & Dan's Wedding 2011 294 edited

Gemma & Dan's Wedding 2011 505Damn that was a good party. I can almost still feel how sore my legs were the next day from all that dancing. My brother-in-law’s feet were numb for about a week (true story). SO fun.

Thanks for two stellar years of marriage, DB! You are just the best. So much love. XO.

And here is how I look as of this morning… 40 weeks pregnant! Thinking about how different life will be on our anniversary next year..!!

due date

busy bee

12th February 2013

Hey guys! Sorry for the silence on the blog front yesterday and today. I have been totally wiped! Last week I was actually in British Columbia spending some good quality girl-time. A handful of my most favourite women live out in the Vancouver area (mostly girlfriends from University), so I try to get out there from time to time to visit. I spent 10 days doing some serious girl-talk, going out to eat, walking and doing yoga, shopping, crafting, celebrating (birthdays, engagements, etc) and just enjoying the company. I love living in Ottawa, but I wish I could import all of these fabulous people out east. Thanks for such a sweet visit, ladies!!


And then as soon as I came home, it was right back into the swing of things. Remember my new business I shared the deets on last week? Well, it was my official launch at Ottawa’s ‘Wed by Hand‘ trade show. Wed by Hand is such an amazing, indie wedding show meant for the crafty, eco, DIY bride. There were so many amazing vendors, seriously yummy food samples (I think I ate about 12 cupcakes?!), and helpful DIY workshops. If I were planning a wedding again, this would be the trade show for me (PS. can I plan a yearly wedding? I have so many fun new ideas! Ha).

Here is my little trade show table. Oh, and that’s me pretending to help out my pal Courtney – we’re hamming it up for the cam.


It was so fun to pull out some of my favourite vintage finds and create a sweet little display table.


I bought some simple white and pink flowers (carnations – so reasonably priced) to up the pretty factor.DSC_0404

Oh and I got some great new business cards made! I’ll post more deets (design and where I got ‘em) another day.




I really just wanted to give folks an idea about how these cute pieces can add some sweetness and love to an event.




There were SO many other fabulous vendors at the show. You can check out the whole list here. Seriously yummy treats from places like Mosel and Auntie Loo’s, beautiful flowers from Sparrow, stationary from Tartine, gorgeous jewellery from urbanite jewelry, and so many others. One of the best parts of the day was just browsing around all of the other booths and chatting with everyone. Such a fabulous crowd!


(last photo from Ottawa Citizen)

So all in all, a great first event for my new business! I met some absolutely lovely people, and I am totally buzzing with ideas and energy.

What about you guys? Ever gone to a trade show that you loved? Planning a wedding or other event? Got any business tips? I’m all ears!

wedding week: first anniversary deets

10th August 2012

So our first wedding anniversary was Monday, which luckily fell on a long weekend in Canada. We made our way down to the Adirondacks, NY for the weekend (where we got married), and spent a great three days hanging out with family, doing lots of swimming, eating, and lounging around.

I’m big on traditions and documenting stuff, so I wanted to start a few little wedding anniversary traditions. The first one was to make sure we get a photo each year. To help mark each photo, I thought it would be cute to hold up a “Year #” chalkboard sign. I didn’t actually have a chalkboard the right size ready to go, so I just painted some chalkboard painted onto a piece of cardboard. It didn’t turn out too badly, but I’ll be more prepared next year (hopefully..!).

Now onto the gifts. So as I mentioned in yesterday’s gift ideas post, I stuck to the paper theme. And apparently an etsy theme, as both came from etsy sellers.

The first was this ultra sweet 11×14 poster. I had found this husband-wife team on etsy when I had been looking for wedding invitations, but they were out of our budget at the time. I had bookmarked the shop though, and when I was racking my brain for a wedding anniversary gift I realized that this would be perfect. Here’s a little snapshot of the proof (I’ll post some photos when it’s up on our walls!). A quirky, fun, piece of personalized art, right? They got DIY Dan’s beard and the lodge in the background juuuust right. It totally makes me giggle. [on etsy here]

The other gift was this hand-bound leather journal that I had monogrammed with “g+d”. This is the second tradition I wanted to start. The idea is that we’ll crack open the book on each anniversary and write down what we did that day, our favourite moments/events from that year, things we learned, and anything else we feel inspired to write. Then we’ll put in our anniversary/chalkboard photograph, and eventually have a nice big book of sweet wedding anniversary memories (assuming all on the marriage front goes well… haha KIDDING, honey!). [on etsy here]

Dan was super sweet with his gift. He went to my fave jewellery store (Magpie – the same spot we had my wedding ring designed), and bought a stunning necklace by Vancouver-based jewellery designer Leah Alexandra.

It’s so pretty. Made with pink chalcedony and moonstone (you can check it out on Leah Alexandra’s website here). I’m totally in love (with the necklace… and Dan too, obviously).

The cards were kind of ironic. My “freshly brewed awesome” card was a quirky find from when we were in Washington and my inscription was sort of joke-y, while Danny’s was so sweet with a long inscription that totally made me burst into tears. Kind of reflective of our wedding vows –  mine were peppered with jokes (like promising always to rinse my cereal bowl before I leave it in the sink) and Dan’s were beautiful and sentimental (and didn’t leave a dry eye in the house). Funny how that works out – cause I think I’m the more sappy/shmoopsy-poopsy one in person.

Now onto the events of the day. The hubby had organized a sweet little picnic, complete with champagne. So yummy!

And as we picnicked by the lake, we got to writing our first entry in our new journal.

I’m never good at the self-portraits, especially with the honking Nikon DSLR, but we tried…

We spent the afternoon in Saranac Lake – a small little town in the middle of the Adirondacks (upstate NY). After picnic’ing, we browsed around the shops, cafes, and antique stores.

Clearly Dan knows the way to my heart. He joined me (and didn’t complain once) as I dug around one of the most jammed-packed two-level antique stores I have come across lately. Not everything in the trunk of our car was from that one shop, but you get the gist. I totally struck gold that weekend.

After our little afternoon in the Adirondacks it was time to head back to Ottawa. We capped the day off with a nice walk around our neighbourhood (accompanied by heaping scoops from our fave gelato spot). Hope the rest of our wedding anniversaries are as sweet as this one!

What about you guys? Had any really lovely celebrations lately? Maybe an anniversary of your own or a birthday? Or maybe you’ve struck gold at the antique/thrift shops lately? 

wedding week: first anniversary gift ideas

9th August 2012

Wedding anniversary gifts. Traditionally, the first year gift is supposed to be made of paper, which at first I though sounded a little boring, but then realized it could be kinda fabulous. After initially scratching my head over what to get DIY Dan, I came up with a shortlist of fun ideas.

Tickets. A pair of tickets to an upcoming concert, theatre, sports game, retro movie theatre, or to whatever floats your boat is always a great gift. Not only is a treat, but you get to go and enjoy it with your sweetie. It’s a gift for both of you (aren’t those the best kind?)!

Vouchers/coupons. This can be one of those sweet handmade gifts. Put together a booklet of “coupons” for your partner to redeem throughout the year. These might be for things like “dishes pass for the night”, “a massage”, “choice of movie”, etc. I found this cute printable version from “Mommy by day/Crafter by night“.

Book/notebook/journal. Maybe there is a vintage or first edition book that your partner would love, or a special handmade journal. It’s nice to use this opportunity to get something really special that will be treasured by your significant other.

Magazine subscription. Got a hubby or wife who loves to read magazines? I know I love my subscriptions to shelter mags and it’s like you get a gift every month throughout the year (I get Style at Home, Canadian House & Home, and House Beautiful – all fabulous!).

Printed wedding vows. This would be a sweet DIY artwork idea. Print out your wedding vows in a cool font so it looks like funky typography and frame it. Sentimental and something to hang on the walls in your pad. If you’re not into DIY’ing this, there are folks on etsy who will do it for you (like CirclePrints)

Wedding photobook. I did a wedding photobook and have started to do a “family yearbook” every year and I love, love, love them. It’s such a nice way to capture the big day and makes a great coffee table book. I used Blurb and would totally recommend them – great quality and easy to use.

Artwork. There are so many great places to get affordable artwork out there from places like etsy, 20×200, and even from flash sale sites like One King’s Lane and HomeSav. Try to get something meaningful to you both, and I bet you’ll crack a smile when you pass by it on the walls in your pad. A nice little reminder of your first wedding anniversary.

Well, that was my short-list! I’ll be back tomorrow with the full recap of what we did on our anniversary, and what we got for each other. I’ll give you a hint – I went with two things on the list above, and DIY Dan got something every gal would love (smart fella).

You guys have any other great paper present ideas to share? Or any other fun wedding anniversary gifts you’ve given or received? I’d love to hear about them! 

wedding week: getting crafty

7th August 2012

If you haven’t read about our wedding before (here), you won’t be surprised to hear that it was a total DIY budget-friendly affair. Here is a quick recap of my fave wedding projects (click on each one for the full write-up/tutorial).

I made a few different burlap buntings: this love one for the table where we had gifts, old family photos, and our guestbook, and another for our photobooth. These are super easy to make and add a really nice handmade touch. [tutorial here]

On the same table I had a little bit of family memorabilia. We printed wedding photos (or if we couldn’t find any, just nice photos of the couple) of all of our grandparents and parents. I loved this since it meant that many of those very important people could somehow be represented at our special day, even if they couldn’t be there in person. I think the guests really liked stopping and looking at the photos too.

For our seating chart, I went to my favourite free colourful resource: paint chips! We named each table after meaningful places that we had visited or lived together. [Tutorial here]

Then each table had a little card with the name of the place, a collage of photos of us from that spot, and a write-up on the other side about why it was important to us. Again, I think it added a personal touch that guests really enjoyed. [Tutorial here]

We didn’t have a traditional cake (we served apple pie for dessert, and then had a cupcake table), but we wanted to use this retro cake topper that had been used by Dan’s maternal grandparents. Although the bride doesn’t look anything like me, the dapper dark-haired groom looks a little like my sweet hubby.

My crafty sister-in-law put together these really darling booklets for each guest on things to do in the region. Not only was it packed with useful info (like where to get some yummy local ice cream), but they were hand-bound, hand-written, and included our names and dates on the front and back. How great is she?!

I used some old boxes for things like cards and photobooth props. They add a nice dose of rustic charm, and are so easy to bring onsite.

I had been racking my brain for sweet budget-friendly favours for a while, so when my parents suggested something with lavender (their garden was exploding with it) and I found this lavender sea salt recipe on Martha Stewart, I was sold. It took about a day to make them all, and the house smelled of strong lavender for at least a week afterwards, but I really liked how they turned out. They were meant to be used in cooking (as they do in the South of France), but some folks even threw them in as bath salts and loved them. [Tutorial here]

Instead of doing big centrepieces on each table which would be costly and bulky, we decided to go for multiple smaller vases with one or two stems in each. I collected milk glass vases and mason jars, but wanted a more eclectic mix and wasn’t sure if I would have enough of just these two items. To bulk up my vase supply, I grabbed old beer and wine bottles and other small vases and sprayed them this sea blue colour. They turned out nicely and mixed in well – It looked sweet and pretty and understated. [Tutorial here]

Another little activity for the guests and keepsake for Dan and I were these wedding ad libs. We put one on each table setting and scattered some pencils around. I think guests had fun filling them out, and we were roaring with laughter reading them in the wee hours of the morning that night. [Tutorial here]

To add to the rustic character of the wedding and to make sure our guests knew where to go, we made two big signs (one with our names and an arrow, and the other with “eat, drink, and be married”). [Tutorial here].

Instead of traditional programs, I decided to do program-fans in case it was a muggy day (which it was!). These heart-shaped fans were in all different colours and were waiting for each guest on their chair. [Tutorial here]

For our cupcake table, I made a series of DIY cupcake stands out of candle holders, plates, some glue, and spray paint. Easy, affordable, and colour-coordinated! [Tutorial here]

Since we were married in a tent, I wanted to make sure we had some fun lights and lanterns dotting the ceiling. We strung little twinkly lights, but also grabbed a bunch of these ultra-cheap lanterns for a bit of fun. [Tutorial here]

And that’s it! Phew. I forgot how much work we put into that wedding. It was so much fun though – I loved doing all of the little details, and I often think that it’s those things that really add the “special” factor to a wedding. It gives that personal touch and makes the day feel like the couple, you know?

I have seen so many other cute ideas on Pinterest, and sometimes wish I could go back and add even more. I think that’s just me being a way-too-keen DIYer, though. What about you guys? Any really great projects or little details from your wedding or other weddings you’ve been to?