Michigan Wedding by Kelly Sweet Photography
April 8, 2011
DIY Inspired

I was dumbfounded when I discovered that this crafty bride created her Michigan wedding, photographed by Kelly Sweet Photography, almost entirely by herself (with a little help from friends and family).  There is a traditional element but, when certain conventional elements didn't appeal to them, the couple put their own unique spin on things.  I love the paper flowers that the bride handcrafted along with the gold painted branches for a touch of organic opulence in lieu of traditional floral arrangements.  Instead of a cake, the family of the groom baked dozens of yummy cookies in honor of a family tradition.  Check out the full gallery to see even more of this creative and elegant wedding!

Michigan Wedding I

Michigan Wedding II

Michigan Wedding III

Michigan Wedding IV

Michigan Wedding V

Michigan Wedding IV

Michigan Wedding VI

Michigan Wedding VII

Michigan Wedding VIII

Click here to see the entire image gallery!

From the Bride... I made all of the decorations myself, and no, they were not just forms....I was a very busy girl!  The paper flowers were completely serendipitous. I originally was thinking about making those tissue paper orbs that hang from the ceiling that you see a lot.  I went to Martha Stewart's website to see how they were made and as I went along, I found that although I wasn't getting my originally intended result, I thought what I was ending up with would make beautiful flowers if I just tweaked a few things.  So I then went about the task of making what felt about a million simple tissue paper flowers of varying sizes and colors of cream/white/blush (As a side note-- whatever they use to wrap purchases in at Anthropologie is the most gorgeous cream tissue paper!) and then embellished them with whatever cuteness I could find at the local craft stores or already had in my craft boxes.  After I had the blooms put together, I made stems and whatnot out of basic floral arranging items, threw in some pipe cleaners and feathers and I had a bouquet.

For the flower containers, I raided both my grandmothers' cupboards and searched antique shops for old bottles and filled the vessels with sand/rice to keep the flowers upright.  For the candles strewn about, I had my heart set on square candles in shades of cream and ended up finally finding them online.  I embellished the bottoms of some of them with gold adhesive borders intended for scrapbooking.  The table coverings were just burlap I bought wholesale online topped with a few of my grandmother's vintage handkerchiefs and some doilies found antiquing. The cookie table did have a bit of faux raw silk fabric I found on sale at Hancock Fabric. The branches were almost as labor intensive as the paper flowers since they were all handpicked by my VERY helpful mom and dad from the woods in their backyard and then spray painted gold.  I also included wedding day pictures from both sets of parents, grandparents, and my great grandparents in frames picked up for very little at TJ Maxx and Homegoods.  I bought the DIY type of invitations at Target and my dad helped me print them out, piece of cake.

After searching everywhere for a dress, I actually ended up getting the discontinued sample from the floor for $600 from Fantastic Finds in Lansing.  Shoes were a little tougher since I love me a sky high heel, but Mike and I are the same height and I needed to find something that was a little funky, but would not make me look ridiculous when standing next to him.  I searched high and low at every consignment/antique shop, but couldn't find anything to fit my boat-sized feet, so I settled for a shoe from Macy's. Same goes for jewelry. I scoured antique shops for the perfect accessories, but since I wanted over the top AND gold, it was hard to find, so I ended up getting the earrings and one of the rhinestone bracelets at Cherie's in the Centerpointe Mall in GR.  The dress did originally come with a brooch in the center of the bow, but I wasn't crazy about it, so I went antiquing yet again and a million shops later, I finally found the perfect piece at the antique shop in Eastown.  I also ended up stacking a bunch of my grandmother's vintage bracelets and wore my grandfather's wedding band, along with the original ring Mike used to propose on my right hand.

Instead of a guest book, we asked guests to write a small message to us on fabric quilt squares I had precut, with the intention of making a wedding quilt, however, the fabric pens ran out before everyone got a chance to use them, so that was a bummer.  Since we love to travel, we also asked guests to let us in on their most favorite "must go" place.  I set that little section up with the instructions for that in another picture frame and provided unused vintage postcards originating from either Grand Rapids (my hometown), Pittsburgh (Mike's hometown), The Netherlands (I'm Dutch) or Italy (He's Italian) for guests to write on.  Those were surprisingly easy to locate, and I found those for a steal at the antique shop on Wealthy/Charles in GR.  The vintage suitcase I used for displaying the postcards was found at an antique shop in Lake Odessa, MI.

The cookies/pastries were really none of my doing at all!  I knew I wanted one since I'm not crazy about wedding cakes and I thought it was a fun replacement for one. Plus, "The Cookie Table" is a tradition in Mike's family (his mom's not sure where it started, or if it's an Italian or Pittsburgh thing).  I just found different cake pedestals, interesting vintage dishes, turned to the grandmas yet again, and was able to find enough pieces to create a display.  The to-go bags were just handled brown bags I found at Joann Fabric and I stamped them with a cute image and threw some tissue paper in there.  Mike's mom/aunts/friends starting baking away for about a month before the wedding to create the enormous amount of cookies (his parents had to rent a van to haul the enormous amount of goodies and drove with the AC full blast all the way from Pittsburgh!) I am so grateful they went to all the trouble because I think the cookie table was the most beautiful thing at the wedding. Everything was made with love, nothing store bought and Mike's mom and extended family were the ones that created the whole look without much help from me and they did a WONDERFUL job.

Wedding Photography: Kelly Sweet Photography / Wedding Ceremony Location: The Brayton House / Wedding Reception Location: The Photography Room / Wedding Planning & Design: The Bride / Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo via Fantastic Finds / Bride's Shoes: Capparos via Macy's / Bride's Jewelry: Cheri's Bridal & Accessories + Vintage / Wedding Dress Broach: Vintage / Wedding Invitations: Target / Frames: TJ Maxx + HomeGoods / Cookies & Pastries: Family of the Groom