Tips for a hand made wedding!

I want to be clear, we didn’t set out to have a themed wedding >.< but after throwing it around as a joke we realised that it felt right! So we created a brief; ‘Wes Anderson meets the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance from Back to the Future’. This meant it ended up having some strong Life Aquatic vibes but we were definitely also inspired by Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel. The theme was important as we referred back to it in all our decision making plus it helped prevent us from falling down the wedding vortex of what you ‘should’ do! So I actually really recommend building your day around a concept!

Wedding suite designed by the Bride, Jacqueline Colley

Wedding suite designed by the Bride, Jacqueline Colley

We started off with a Save the Date which you can see centre top, the inspiration was a vintage ship’s luggage tag; all our guests then thought we were getting married on a boat! The invite came later and was risogrph printed on ‘Candy Pink’ GF Smith Colorplan paper. At the point of designing it we’d really gotten to grips with the concept of being ‘Under the Sea’ and so it clearly illustrates that. Though a lot of our guests still thought we were getting married on a boat! After the Save the Date I made some nautical flags using felt and wonder web which we bought from Abakhan when visiting Manchester. Firstly I designed them in Photoshop based on the colours we had, then I printed everything out as line templates to follow; cut and stick. Lots of ironing later and we had three large pendants. Nathan finished them with some metal tubing and slim rope! You can see me and my mum sat under the third design below. (weird face as I’m picking me teeth!)

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Next we really wanted some 3D decorations so I got to work recycling our take away pizza boxes and the wrappings from our Who gives a Crap toilet roll into Jelly fish! To make the Jellyfish I cut two cardboard shapes that would then be sandwiched together (4 for each jelly) These were painted on one side. Then I used double sided sticky paper to double side the loo roll wrappers for tentacles so that they could be long and sturdy. They were then cut into long strips both straight and wobbly! The tentacles were stuck to the unpainted half of the jelly fish before the two cardboard halves were sandwiched together with a glue gun! Finally I cut a slot halfway up in the bottom of one half and a slot halfway down in the bottom of the other. Before finally slotting them together to make a 3D shape! Hopefully the pictures below make this a tad more clear! Meanwhile Nathan was sticking together and carving layers of polystyrene to make a 3D Shark! Which he then paper mâché-d before we painted it Jaguar shark style!

Steps to making a cardboard and paper painted jellyfish!

Steps to making a cardboard and paper painted jellyfish!

Recycled jellyfish alongside one of our light boxes by Lord and Duplooy

Recycled jellyfish alongside one of our light boxes by Lord and Duplooy

With all these craft projects going on we decided it was time to take a trip to Leylands to pick up some paint which really cemented our colour scheme. We chose colours that we’d already used in the invites plus colours that complemented the streamers that we’d purchased from Party Puffin to create the ‘Waves’ above our heads, after all we were going under the Sea right?! FYI loads of streamers left so if you need some get in touch! ;)

The Colours! Streamer and card swatches on the right

The Colours! Streamer and card swatches on the right

A 3D shark and streamers to create the ‘Waves’ all adds to the Under the Sea feeling!

A 3D shark and streamers to create the ‘Waves’ all adds to the Under the Sea feeling!

Nathan runs a fine art framing business Lord & Duplooy so he started to bring home large sheets of cardboard; the packaging from his acid free papers. Those we started cutting into coral and seaweed shapes as well as seahorses and anchors using the paints to bring them to life! He also made us some bespoke Lightboxes with stands which you can see 3 images above, for those all I did was design some typography and get vinyls printed with Nutmeg Studio

The giant painted cardboard cut out shapes!

The giant painted cardboard cut out shapes!

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Now we are getting close to the big day and there is just a few jobs left; Place names which I decided should be sardine tins! These I designed as you can see above and then got Risograph printed using Medium Blue and Fluorescent Orange! Then I wrote in everyone’s names using a colouring pencil that was a good match for the blue ink!

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Table decorations behind the beautiful ARD Bakery Cake

Table decorations behind the beautiful ARD Bakery Cake

The other job was pretty mammoth and basically went on till very close to the day; paper cutting coral for table decorations, you can see some work in progress above! I also wanted to turn some of them into a bouquet but that didn’t work as they were too flat. But my fave craft blog; House that Lars built came to the rescue with this excellent paper flower bouquet tutorial Luckily I have an excellent ‘everything’ shop near me where I picked up some mouldable wire and pink tissue paper, everything else is printer paper, white tissue and the card we were using for the table decorations! Phew!

Last minute bouquet’s dot com!

Last minute bouquet’s dot com!

So the most important tip for hand making your wedding is give yourselves lots of time! We started making bits about 9 months before the day and just ramped up making more and more the closer and more panicky we got! :D

Also this post got so long that I decided to cover my wedding dress in another post which you can read here and if you want to know all the suppliers we used and helpful websites head here If you’d like to see more I’ve deep dived into my inspiration and work in progress files over on Pinterest

Any thoughts? Pop them in the comments below!

I might do another post with more photos from the day or update this one with more snaps when I get them!

Jacqueline x