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TNWC Real Brides: Emma’s beautiful DIY wedding details from viola pops to gold animals on their tables

Charlie

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Back in July our lovely TNWC Real Bride Emma got married in a beautiful wedding in the heart of Liverpool. Emma is back today to share some stunning pictures from their wedding day and the final few details they made. In Emma’s first blog post she said: 

“It might seem a contradiction, a natural wedding in the city, but I’m determined we can made it happen!” And I’m sure you’ll agree from the snippets below that her and Shane most definitely made it happen.

Over to Emma…

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Three months ago Shane and I said “I do!” in a city wedding in Liverpool with a natural, handmade flair. The day itself was full of smiles, laughter and love, and I’m looking forward to telling you all about it and sharing more of our photographs soon! But first, I want to share some of the personal and handmade elements we brought to our day.

Viola pops and meaningful keepsakes

It was important to us to make our wedding as personal as possible, not just in terms of reflecting who we are but letting our guests know what a significant part of the day – and our lives – they are.

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Something that was quite a simple idea but very popular was the name tags I made using my granddad’s old typewriter. I was very close to my grandparents growing up and they’re sadly not with us anymore, so despite the fact it’s not in the best shape I was determined to use my granddad’s vintage Olympia and not just any old typewriter!

I bought some lovely cream luggage tags from a local craft store and typed the names directly onto them, but the black ink smudged terribly no matter what we tried. After a bit of trial and error, I found that the red typewriter ribbon smudged much less so I typed them in red ink instead!

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To make them into keepsakes for our guests I typed out the meaning of their names on the cards too. I was surprised at how many compliments they received, which was rewarding as they were a real labour of love and it took a lot of time and many mistakes before I got them right! I finished them off with some blue and white striped twine. Shane loved his and has kept it.

For favours we made up seed packets and edible flower lollipops – we were inspired by the viola pops featured on The Natural Wedding Company and used a friend’s family recipe to make the viola pops a summery amber colour. My mum grew all the edible violas in her garden and my sister made the lollipops in her kitchen. They looked so pretty and tasted like candyfloss!

North West by Pacific Northwest

We wanted to bring elements of our home in the Pacific Northwest into our day and so we collected figurines of North American animals like moose, bears, and deer, and spray painted them gold – why not?! Some of our guests kept them as mementos and we brought a little deer family back to Canada with us, too!

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I also found some brilliant felt animal masks on Etsy by Mahalo that I gave to our little guests as favours, so on the day we had little woodland creatures running around!

We named the tables after special places we’ve visited while living in Canada. These included sites around Vancouver, like the beach where Shane proposed, and Grouse Mountain, which we climbed on the anniversary of Shane’s big move. Our talented carpenter friend Paul Norman carved the place names into log slices for us, and then surpassed himself by copying the monogram from our invitations into the reverse!

My sister also etched the monogram onto glass jars which my mum decorated with fabric, lace and buttons and filled with flowers from her garden. My mum did all the flowers for our tables and surprised us with an extra special bouquet of sunflowers, lavender, and fern fronds for the ‘top table’.

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All our projects involved people pitching in – it’s worth remembering that your friends and family are actually really happy to be involved in the preparations. Having a bunch of generous, creative and talented friends really helps!

Paper hearts

I wanted to weave some literary love quotes (and Michelle Obama!) into our day and printed some favourites onto scrapbooking cards using funky fonts and my home printer, then decorated them with dotty gold washi tape. We bought small wooden easels to display them.

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Paul also carved some quotes into planks of wood for us – we had “You Always Look So Cool” on display underneath the reception venue’s dressing table mirror, a line from The Great Gatsby.

I used a kit of scrapbooking cards from Project Life for several elements, including the table plan and guestbook, asking guests to choose a card and write their message. I plan to collect them in an album along with the portraits from our awesome photo booth (more about that in the next post!).

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A couple of friends told me their guest books were collecting dust and they were sorry they didn’t look at them more so I wanted something very visual that we would always treasure.

Our heart programs were also popular and were downloadable freebies from San Francisco-based “Hello! Lucky”. I didn’t want to use too many templates but I loved how fun these were and we knew we could make them personal with the text. All we needed was some red card stock, PVA glue, and giant lollipop sticks. My sister very lovingly cut all the hearts out and Shane and I had a jolly old time sticking them together!

We had oodles of plans for handmade elements for our wedding but didn’t have the time or resources to implement all of them.

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My advice is to prioritise your projects and focus your energies on the ones that are most important, and not to worry too much if something doesn’t turn out as you’d hoped – no one will know about those trees you bought in the spring to fill the ceremony venue that still looked like twigs come summer, or the glassine envelopes that didn’t arrive in time for the confetti, or the giant balloons you forgot to buy helium for, unless you put it all down in a blog post!

What stays with you long after the confetti’s been thrown are the lovely memories of working with the people closest to you to create a beautiful day. What’s more, the last minute improvisations and inevitable imperfections are the things you’ll laugh about as newlyweds – embrace them, and keep things in perspective!

Happy crafting!

Images: (1) MCS Photo; (2 – 9) Claire Penn Photography

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