Nautical DIY Wedding
April 7, 2014
New England
Classic WeddingsNauticalAcademic Venue Settings
You'll love this wedding for many, many reasons (it's a drop-dead gorgeous nautical-inspired love fest, after all), but top on the list of its awesomeness is one very gorgeous bride.  A bride who had a vision and brought that vision to life with one crazy amazing DIY project after another... and shared them all with you in a fab list below.  Read it NOW and see the entire affair captured by Tyra Bleek right here.
And a sweet film from Madeline Stephenson...
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From the Bride... Dan and I celebrated a truly magnificent wedding day on August 3rd. We were married at a personalized ceremony at the First Baptist Church in Beverly, the same church where my parents met and were later married. The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Elizabeth Loughhead and Rev. Louis Bourgouis, incorporating my husband's Catholic roots and my Protestant upbringing. Our oceanside reception made the most of the beautiful New England summer weather, complete with a picture-perfect sunset.

The reception venue was at a local private school. While the setting and architecture were beautiful, we had the “do-it-yourself” challenge of transforming the mundane setting of the classrooms into a festive space befitting a wedding celebration. Our goal with our many projects was to offset costs while also adding a personal touch. Our guiding principle was “classy but not stuffy," so we created a wedding plan that encouraged guests to take advantage of the grounds, the tent, and the interior of the school.

The first step in the planning the projects was to determine a color scheme. The bridesmaid dresses in clover set the color palette for all remaining projects. Photographer Tyra Bleek captured many of our do-it-yourself projects, including:

- Numerous signs on chalkboards (to unify the space and tie into the school venue).  DIY TIP: instead of chalk, use a marker designed for use on clay pots.
- Handmade table linens to add a pop of color to the center of each table. COST SAVINGS TIP: purchase designer fabric - 54” wide - at discount prices and create 24” squares as a cost-effective alternative to high priced table linens.
- Hand painted cornhole set. DIY TIP: personalize your board using painter’s tape, an Xacto knife, and custom paint color.
- Handmade nautical monkey fist knots holding “Tied the Knot" table numbers. DIY TIP: to prevent rolling, screw a wooden disc to the bottom of each knot.
- Clay pots with annuals from the local garden center served as an inexpensive alternative to floral centerpieces on the high tops. COST SAVINGS TIP: look for clay pots in the off-season for discounted pricing.
- Cut flowers in simple vases for tables. COST SAVINGS TIP: order from the local florist and arrange by family members in simple vases for tables.
- Birdcage for cards, painted in clover and lined with the fabric from the table linens to keep the cards from slipping through.
- Children's activity books and crayon holders.  DIY TIP: use the bride and groom’s names in the activities you design, such as dot-to-dot, coloring, word search.
- Rubber stamping on various signage (bathroom baskets, guest book, buffet) to add color and unity among spaces.
- Guest book calendar, requesting that guests sign in on their birthdate.
- Escort cards in calligraphy by the mother of the bride, attached with clothespins to an antique quilt rack.
- Ceremony programs featuring three layers and clover ribbon.  COST SAVINGS: Design, print, cut, and tie ribbon ourselves rather than paying for them to get made.
- Handmade pew bows for the church.  COST SAVINGS TIP: layer two different types of ribbon as a cost-effective way to incorporate some of a more expensive product.
- Hand embroidery in the bridal gown lining, stitched by the mother of the bride: a unique “something blue” which includes names and date.
- Jars of handmade pickles as favors, made by the groom (a chef); jars were embellished with a ribbon and a “made with love” custom label.