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My DIY Wedding



East Anglian Railway Museum Wedding

So I’m afraid that last year Ma’Kai Creative took a bit of a backseat while I planned my own wedding, bought a house, etc etc… It wasn’t all about me though, I was still lucky enough to work on a few amazing projects which, now things are a bit quieter, I’ll be posting over the next few weeks.

But first I wanted to share my wedding with you, all the things I created and the new skills I learnt along the way!

As a wedding stationery designer, I have helped many couples achieve their vision of their perfect day. So when it came to my wedding, I was so excited that I could finally design something for myself. I got a bit carried away, and what started off as just creating my own wedding invites turned into learning quite a few new skills and becoming quite the DIY bride. I found someone locally to teach me letterpress so that I could print my own invitations. I also made my own table plan, signs, guest ‘book’, centrepieces, place names, cake decorations, dancing shoes and after quite a few YouTube tutorials, I even did all my own flowers. I loved creating so much for our wedding. It made it truly unique and personal, plus it kept the all important costs down!

My husband and I were lucky enough to have the most amazing venues – Colchester Castle for the ceremony and East Anglian Railway Museum for the reception. They are such iconic venues in our local area and they have so much character and history, they certainly got everyone talking. There is even a viaduct near the railway museum that you can climb into. I’s so pleased with the photos we got in there, they look epic (worth climbing up a stepladder in a wedding dress for!)

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When it came to designing my own wedding invitations I felt a great deal of pressure to do something fantastic and a bit different and when I stumbled across a local letterpress workshop looking for a guinea pig to try out their membership programme I jumped at the chance. Being a designer and having a long line of printers in my family tree, I found learning letterpress fascinating. After spending every day for the last 15 years sat in front of a computer it was amazing to learn how things used to be done, before we had Macs, getting my hands dirty for a change and learning the art of real typography! It was a steep learning curve but by the end of the process I was so proud of what I had made and there aren’t many people who can say they hand printed their own wedding invitations!

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By the time brides and grooms come to me, they have their colour scheme completely sorted out. I was particularly envious of this when I started out as I had no idea about my colour scheme at all. Choosing colours kind of evolved naturally the more I found ideas and accessories that I liked. Rather than choosing one or two colours, I ended up choosing colours that were tonally similar. The bridesmaids picked their own dresses, i didn’t want anything too traditional, and they ended up getting metallic dresses. I wasn’t too sure about them on the hanger but when they put them on they looked stunning. The reverse of the material was slightly pink which actually showed through the gold and complimented the colour of my dress. We then got our flower girls a gold/cream dress so that we were all in similar colours. The more I bought for the wedding the more the colours evolved into pinks and creams. It was never a conscious decision, just colours that worked with everything else.

With all of these natural and feminine colours, tulle and lace it made me realise that i also wanted the look of the decorations to be natural and quite feminine too. It made the prospect of doing the flowers a whole lot easier! Out went the structured bouquet, in came the hand-tied gypsophila, lavender in jars and heather in terracotta pots. I even spent the day before my wedding making all the button holes with gypsophila and lavender wrapped in lace and secured with a button. Seeing as this was my first (and possibly last!) venture into floristry, I had no idea how many flowers to order. Thinking it was better to be safe than sorry I ordered way too many, but this was a blessing in disguise as it meant I could create beautiful crates containing masses of soft white gypsophila and pretty pink heather to place around the venue.

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For our centrepieces, to represent Mat’s love of music, we made pinwheels out of old music paper and put them in little milk bottles, we also used records for the table numbers. We loved the pinwheel idea so much that they featured heavily on our big day. They are so fun and whimsical. We made everybody a pinwheel for the place name and we even used them to decorate our cake.

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Guest book sign Suitcase wedding card box Rustic hessian and ornate frame wedding table plan Hearts in frame DIY guestbook Wedding disposable camera

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