W is for wedding.
The lead up to my wedding was my first experience of crafting. It was my mother-in-law who first suggested hand-made invitations. I had no concept about the level of work or effort involved (and certainly no concept of what it would lead to!), so she very kindly made an example invitation for me to look at. I wanted something simple and elegant, but easy enough to make that I wouldn’t be spending hours on each one. She came up with the idea of a heart peel-off over a lilac handmade (textured) paper backing. I saw her example and instantly loved it. To make about 50-60 invitations I needed about 3 or 4 heart peel-off sheets, another couple with saying ‘wedding invitation’, two A4 sheets of handmade paper, and a pack of white card blanks. This came to well under £20. The inserts were printed on the computer onto matching lilac paper also.
The final design was so straightforward that once I’d prepped the handmade paper (by using a paintbrush to lightly wet it in rectangles, then tearing it neatly along the wet lines) each card took less than a minute to construct. I glued a rectangle of the handmade paper to a white card blank, placed a heart peel-off on top, then put the ‘wedding’ peel-off above, and the ‘invitation’ peel-off below the heart. Glue in the insert and voila – one handmade, personal wedding invitation in my perfect colour scheme.
By the time I’d completed those, I was completely hooked on crafting. I decided to make the place-name cards too. Lilac card, holographic silver card for layering, and the name printed onto matching lilac paper meant everything matched perfectly. The addition of the same heart peel-offs really set the design off. Again, these were so simple to make, and the only really time-consuming part of the job was deciding which font to print the names in!
After I’d finished those I was ready for a challenge. I remembered that I would need wedding favours, usually five sugared almonds wrapped in cellophane, tied with a ribbon. As my husband-to-be and I had already decided that we didn’t want almonds, we chose (well, okay, *I* chose) to use Minstrels instead as they were nice and flat (and yummy!) and easy to fit inside a handmade flat box.
I can’t remember how I designed the box – probably trial and error. They were much more time consuming than the cards or place-names as each had to be individually cut out carefully, folded, taped together, hole punched, filled and ribbon tied through the tops. Of course, the addition of the ‘one Minstrel for you, one for me’ rule helped proceedings along no end! Finally, another peel-off heart set off the perfect match again.
As if that wasn’t enough, I decided to make one final thing for my wedding. Unusually, this time not paper-craft! Having looked for a tiara and not being able to find one to my liking (that didn’t cost a fortune) I decided that I couldn’t be too hard to make, so bought a plain silver Alice Band from eBay for a few pounds. I ‘invested’ in some silver craft wire (again, a few pounds, and I still have heaps of it left), and an amethyst stone bracelet from a market stall, which was no more than a fiver. The genius of using amethysts from a bracelet was that each stone already had a perfect little hole in, ready and waiting for my craft wire.
The tiara took a long time to get right. I had the vision in my head of how I wanted it to look, but I couldn’t quite get it perfect until I’d fiddled around with it for some time. However, I was really pleased with the final result, and the pleasure in being able to tell my visiting family that I had made it myself was wonderful.
PS My husband is not impressed that I am posting this picture of us on our wedding day as he says he looks too fat in it. He wanted me to edit him out, and I refused as that’s not the point (it was *our* wedding after all!), so the compromise is that I point out that he has lost lots of weight recently and now looks much slimmer 🙂