DIY Autumnal Wedding

The last week of October I embarked to South Carolina to spend eight wonderful days in the presence of my dearest friends. All of us flew in for a week long celebration of love, family and friendship. The occasion? A wedding of course! Traveling from Seattle, Chicago, Portland, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Madison, New York and even Poland, the wedding guests came in from around the globe to witness the union of a beloved couple: Natalie & Reid.

The bridal party arrived in Beaufort several days early to prepare for a grand task: Plan the ultimate eco-friendly, vegan and local wedding soiree. So in true DIY spirit, we spent hours crafting, consorting and conniving all in the name of throwing a handmade shindig for our two dearest friends.

Our first challenge was coming up with materials. All of us flew in with little more than a carry on bag – so we’d have some serious hunting to do. Scouring local thrift stores, we gathered up a variety of fabrics with which to concoct the wedding decor. We found vintage crocheted doilies, printed pillowcases and curtains and cut them up to make bunting, centerpieces and fun accents. Our color scheme kept the look cohesive: Deep reds, purples and golds with pops of white, cream and teal. Rather than working against the cacophony of fabrics and textures – we embraced them – to create a fun, romanti-chic, country-vibe.

The wedding bouquets and table pieces were all compiled using locally sourced flowers, as well as cuttings from around our rented home, which were plopped into thrifted mason jars and vases. Katy, bridesmaid extraordinaire  artfully combined each floral collection to compliment the event’s palette. Her detail-oriented eye meant that no frond or leafy green was out of place.

With the extra flowers and greens I made Natalie a traditional Polish “wianek” to wear in place of a veil or tiara. With her family visiting from Poland, it only seemed appropriate to re-visit this Eastern European tradition.

The main course was easy for us to tackle because it was outsourced! The bride had solicited the services of a local vegan restaurant to cater the event – which took a big load off our plates! Not only did they cook up delicious gourmet food – they also stocked each table with large carafes filled with cool sweet tea and melon infused water – seducing us to hydrate between dances.


And then there was the wedding cake! This tasty vegan concoction was artfully crafted by two of the wedding guests who slaved the night before to create a dessert as tasty as it was beautiful. Made with lemon zest and raspberry jam, this delicious confection was also tiered to perfection (no small task). It was also topped off with a silhouette of the bride and groom that we had crafted using the pages of an old book and a pair of lollipop sticks.

We also used the leftover book pages and paper sticks to create fun props for our photo nook – which also included painted vintage picture frames, a bale of hay and a hand-painted sign featuring the guests of honor.
So how did we fare in the end with our assigned task? Pretty darn well I’ll say! You can see the full Flickr set of the event here and judge for yourself.

Not only did hand-crafting each portion of Natalie & Reid’s celebration create a one-of-a-kind look and ambiance to the affair – it also infused each detail with the knowledge that it was made with love. And for a special event such as this, there’s no more appropriate way to plan a wedding.


5 thoughts on “DIY Autumnal Wedding

  1. Natalie Saaris says:

    I am soooo grateful for all the work what went into this wedding – it was absolutely the best gift any bride could hope for. It was unbelievable how all the trips to thrift stores, hours spent cutting, sewing, arranging flowers, etc, transformed into this amazing wedding. The hardest part was letting go of all the beautiful handmade things once the evening was over. Luckily, I’ve dried my wianek and bridal bouquet, and brought back with me as many things as I could squeeze into my carry-on! Enormous thanks to Lydia and all the friends who put in the effort of making the day so unforgettable!

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