When it was announced that my baby brother was getting hitched – I could barely contain my excitement! Not only was I a mega-fan of the bride to-be, I also knew that this wedding would be different. Between the creativity imparted on Phil by our family, and the uber-crafty cunning of Katie, I had no doubt that this would be a DIY wedding to remember!
First things first, the bride made her own handy-dandy wedding planner in which she would list all the elements that would need to come together for this rustic, meets shabby chic, affair. Delegating out tasks across the familial pool, we each had an important part to play. The Krupinski side of the family was in charge of flowers, bridal party accessories, favors, and a portion of the food and centerpieces.
By inviting family and friends to take the lead in the preparations for their special day, Katie and Philip ensured that their wedding would hold sentiment for them, and all the guests who attended.
Wedding Favors: With a little elbow grease and some heavy duty diamond tip blades, my father made over eighty drinking glasses for the guests using old soda bottles. Talk about being green! Each one was then scripted with the event date and initials of the bride and groom making them an elegant and functional wedding favor.
Centerpiece Stands: My brother and dad also gathered used wooden candlesticks and wood from a recently fallen tree trunk, and assembled the most ingenious centerpiece bases (which I plan to steal for use in my own home – shhhhh). White washing each candlestick and gluing the top to a cross-cut of the tree trunk, these homemade cake stands were used for elevating the light and whimsical baby’s breath table bouquets.
Homemade Pierogi: As the pierogi-making queen of our clan, my mom was assigned the creation of mushroom-stuffed Polish dumplings for the event. The premise was to add a bit of my brother’s ethnic heritage to the food spread, since everything else on the menu was wholeheartedly American. Over the course of one week, my mother handmade, then froze, over three hundred pierogi. The woman’s a machine!
Bouquets & More: Our instructions for the bridal party florals were fairly open ended. We were told to aim for the wedding color palette, which was mint, mustard and cream, and beyond that, were entrusted to our own creative musings. Hopping down to the south-side of Chicago to a “renown” wholesale florist, my mom and I left with nary a stem. The selection was poor and the prices were a bit too steep. So, instead, we swung by the Lakeview Trader Joe’s and Jewel and found everything we were looking for: yellow micro mums, a variety of roses, mint carnations, peach privet berries, cream hydrangeas, white snapdragons, and the bride’s favorite, baby’s breath. Katie’s floral wishlist also included calla lilies – which we could not find in any of the stores. My mom’s brainy solution? To head to Home Depot, by a few calla lily plants, cut off the blooms and plant the rest in her garden. Brilliant! The final touch to each bouquet, boutonniere, and corsage was the sprinkling of wild greens that we had picked from an abandoned lot the day before – adding a much needed burst of texture and whimsy to each piece.
Pierogi Picnic Petticoats: Last, but certainly not least, the wedding wouldn’t be complete without a pinch of Pierogi Picnic! So the bride requested that I create eight custom-made petticoat slips for the bridesmaids. Not only would this give us more freedom of movement at the reception, it would add a bit of flair to our ensemble. So gathering up bits and pieces of vintage lace from some of my favorite local resale shops, the bride and I sat down to design and make each underskirt. And the result was perfection!
The Venue: The wedding itself took place in a farm turned event space in the nearby suburb of Willowbrook. A perfect blend of charm and honky-tonk, the venue allowed for the ceremony and reception to take place at a single location – eliminating the need for guests to burn additional fuel to travel to two separate sites.
One of my favorite elements from this phenomenal DIY wedding (besides all the goats, horses and geese that joined in the festivities) was the double-door entryway that the couple created. Since the vows would be exchanged in an open field, they felt it was important to ground the space while making it feel more ceremonial. Using two massive vintage doors, they rigged them up in a way that would gracefully lead the wedding party down the aisle.
Making this wedding their very own, and including those closest to them, made it quite the affair to remember.
All of these beautiful wedding photos were taken by the talented Zipporah. Check out her website here.