Today, I’ve got some of the MOST important wedding details for you — the flowers and the decor!
Each of these things was extremely important to me in creating my perfect wedding day, and most of it came together by creating it myself — with a little help from some very lovely family members. 🙂
We’ll start with the single most daunting task of all of my wedding planning – the flowers!
Almost the entire theme of my wedding centered around one single item — the book flower. I shared this tutorial in creating your own roses out of book pages a while back, and I shared how I intended to use them for my wedding. When I first created those flowers, I never quite realized just how MANY flowers I would end up making by the time of our wedding. I created both plain book flowers, as in my tutorial, and I also painted book pages with water colors before making flowers so we would also have some color. I stuck with blues, turquoises, and purples for the water color book flowers.
We incorporated the book flowers both into all of the bouquets AND all of the centerpieces. Alex’s mom came for a weekend in January, and we spent an entire 8 hour day on creating book flowers. Talk about a test in making sure you like your future mother-in-law — just sit at a table together ALL DAY LONG doing a menial task like creating these flowers. It’s lucky we like each other a LOT, because we definitely would’ve been at each other’s throats that day otherwise! 😉
I used book pages only from Pride & Prejudice, along with one single book flower with pages from the Chronicles of Narnia that I stuck into my bouquet for fun.
The next task was to figure out how to create bouquets with the book flowers, incorporating artificial flowers in there as well, to make beautifully wild and rustic accessories for us to carry. Luckily, my dear, dear auntie Lisbeth came in from Denmark and saved the day with her amazing flower design skills. She, my uncle Kenny, and I spent 2-3 days the week before the wedding creating every bouquet and boutonnière.
We made the mistake of starting with my bridal bouquet — we were just adding and adding flowers together until we got overwhelmed and realized we needed to step back. We went for a nice long walk, came back, and made every bridesmaid, grandmother, and mother bouquets, along with all of the boys’ boutonnières. Then my bouquet came along quite nicely the following day. I then of course had to sneak around when my aunt and uncle weren’t looking to make them each a bouquet and boutonnière to wear as well. 🙂 I definitely could not have done it without their help!
Each bridesmaid bouquet had 3 large book flowers, each grandmother bouquet had a single medium book flower, and each mother bouquet and my aunt’s bouquet had 2 large book flowers. Each groomsmen, father, my uncle, and my brothers-in-law had a single small book flower in each boutonnière, and Alex’s had 3 small book flowers. We finished each bouquet with burlap/lace ribbon, and mine had navy ribbon with some “Happily Ever After” ribbons as well. 🙂
For the flowers we put in along with the book flowers, I used a few varieties of spring flowers from Michael’s (i.e. the blue flowers in the mother and grandmother bouquets) and then my VERY favorite artificial flowers came from Silk Plants Direct. They kindly offered to send me some of their flowers, and I am so glad I decided to go with them! I chose these two flower sets to use for my wedding flowers — the Lavender Bush and Star Flower Bush. They were highly incorporated into my bouquet, as well as the bridesmaids’ bouquets. I used some of the lavender bush in each boutonnière, and I used single stems for centerpieces (which will be shared below).
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For the ceremony, we kept things simple and just made one set of flowers on the archway outside. I love it, and it’s now going to be on my mantel!
Next up, the CENTERPIECES! This was another thing I was majorly excited for. To go along with my book/geeky theme, each table was named after one of my favorite book couples.
I used the same flower clip art and water colors from our stationary to create framed signs for each table with the couple’s names, and then we set different glass bottles filled with a single book flower and a couple artificial flowers on top of the books that each couple came from. Each table had a blue wine bottle (which came from one of our favorite wines), a purple apothecary bottle (left over from my sister’s wedding — they are from Michael’s), and a teal milk bottle (also from Michael’s). I used a blue apothecary bottle at Alex’s and my table so it wasn’t too tall. Each table had two books on it that the couple originated from — luckily, most of them were series, except for Pride & Prejudice. That wasn’t a problem, though, because I have way too many copies of Pride & Prejudice anyway.
We ended up with 13 round tables in total.
Here is a list of the couples I narrowed our tables down to:
1. Lily & James Potter from Harry Potter by JK Rowling — this was the head table, as Lily & James are my ULTIMATE fictional couple, especially because most of their relationship is down to my own imagination. 🙂
2. Harry & Ginny Potter from Harry Potter by JK Rowling
3. Eddard & Catelyn Stark from A Song of Ice & Fire by George RR Martin
4. Molly & Arthur Weasley from Harry Potter by JK Rowling — fittingly, this was the table our parents sat at — the best parents of Harry Potter for the best parents of my life!
5. Elend & Vin from the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson — I put our best man and some of Alex’s friends at this table, as Doug (the best man) was the one who introduced me to this series and was likely to be the only one who understood it!
6. Remus Lupin & Tonks from Harry Potter by JK Rowling
7. Aragorn & Arwen from Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
8. Daenerys Targaryen & Khal Drogo from A Song of Ice & Fire by George RR Martin
9. Elizabeth & Darcy from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
10. Ron & Hermione from Harry Potter by JK Rowling
11. Mr. Tumnus & Lucy from the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis — not exactly a COUPLE, but one of my absolute favorite fictional friendships, so they had to be included!
12. Jacky & Jaimy from the Bloody Jack Series by LA Meyer
13. Jon Snow & Ygritte from A Song of Ice & Fire by George RR Martin
I created table lists and we hung them on old shutters down in the cocktail hour area. I also painted a sign from a wood pallet plaque from Michaels that says, “Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite” to go in this area.
Percy & Annabeth from Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan
Lord Voldemort & Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter by JK Rowling — rejected because this is just a speculated couple AND I didn’t want to offend people 😉
Mia & Michael from the Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Arthur & Francine from Arthur by Marc Brown 😛
Jesse & Suze from the Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
Cersei & Jaime from A Song of Ice & Fire by George RR Martin — again, didn’t want to offend anyone by the incest… 😛
Noah & Allie from the Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Mary & Matthew from Downton Abbey — decided not to delve into TV
Robert & Cora from Downton Abbey
Marianne & Colonel Brandon from Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
Other decor that featured in the cocktail area was what we called our “grandfather table.” It was a table with a couple of quotes, one featured by Sirius Black, and pictures of each of our grandfathers to honor them, since they are no longer with us and could not be there to share our happy day. I love how this turned out.
We kept our cocktail area fairly simple in terms of decor… a few wine bottles with the bottoms cut off with tea lights inside and a few flowers on top, a table for our guest book, and that’s about it!
For our guest book/gift table, we had bottles ready for the girls to stick their bouquets on for the night so they didn’t have to worry about carrying them, and a cute little banner that my sister made for my bridal shower that we carried over to the wedding!
For the reception upstairs, things were also pretty simple — we stuck with pretty lights, a couple of signs that nodded to our geek/book theme, and that’s about it! I painted all of the signs myself with wood pallet plaques from Michaels and chalkboard paint. I also painted a couple of big wooden hearts to hang behind our seats at dinner painted with Mr and Mrs, but you actually can’t see them in any photos, haha! Woopsie.
Finally, to wrap up our decor, let me show you our cookie table! The cookie table is a Western Pennsylvania tradition at weddings, where all sorts of family members and friends each bake cookies for your wedding day. You have a huge assortment, and you munch away on cookies all night long, then take some home with you at the end of the night in a to-go box. Such a fun tradition and definitely not one we wanted to skip out on!
My mom created a banner for us, and my sister, Jenny, made the chalkboard sign to share the tradition of the cookie table to guests that were not from the area. She also made chalkboard signs to identify EVERY cookie! We also put frames on the table with wedding photos from the generations before us — my parents, Alex’s parents, and each of our grandparents. Such a fun way to show wedding through the years along with this tradition!
I had so much fun putting together all of this decor to bring our wedding together… stay tuned next for all of the FOOD and drinks we had!
And just for fun… take a look at how I’ve been extending the life of wedding decorations into home decor in the new house! Using the flowers from silk plants direct and my book flowers! 🙂