If you’ve been following my blog posts the last few months you’ll know that I got engaged and have been planning a wedding. You can read about the planning process thus far in my posts Wedding Planning on a Budget Part I and Wedding Planning on a Budget Part II. In this post, I will be sharing how my mom and I have been using doilies, paint, scrapbook paper, ribbons, “K” stickers, picture corners, string, and old farm windows to make some really personal touches for both the bridal shower and the wedding.
Our world has looked something like this the last few weeks…
First, I LOVE being Irish and this was maginified after my trip to Ireland/Northern Ireland 2 years ago. Our wedding is ironically SO traditional that people think we’re being UNtraditional! One of the traditions that I fell in love with is hand tying or handfasting.
The Handfasting Ceremony is an ancient Celtic tradition symbolizing the joining of two people in marriage. There are many versions of this gesture illustrating the union of husband and wife and is the origin of the phrase “tying the knot.”
In the Celtic tradition, the Handfasting Ceremony includes 13 ribbons, each with its own meaning.
Hand fasting is an ancient Roman and Celtic wedding tradition which involves tying the bride and Groom’s hands together to symbolize coming together and remaining together. During the Roman Empire, the couple’s hands were tied together with grape vines and rope which explains the origination of the phrase “tying the knot.”
Handfasting was also later used as a form of marriage in the British Isles during the early Christian era. The couple’s hands were tied together with a cord in front of friends and family and were then considered legally married. They would have a formal wedding ceremony later when a priest was available to officiate.
Red – will, love, strength, fertility, courage, health, vigor, passion
Orange – encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty, kindness.
Yellow – attraction, charm, confidence, balance, harmony
Green – fertility, luck, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health, love
Dark Blue -for a safe journey, longevity & strength
Light Blue – tranquility, understanding, patience, health
Purple – healing, health, strength, power, progress
Black – strength, empowerment, wisdom/vision, success, pure love
White – spiritual purity, truth, peace, serenity and devotion
Gray – balance, neutrality
Pink – love, unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness
Brown – for healing , skills & talent, nurturing, home & hearth, the earth.
To begin, I got 12 rolls of 1 inch satin ribbon. I made 4, 3 strand braids.
- Dark blue, light blue, gray.
- Orange, red, yellow
- Pink, purple, green
- Black, white, brown
From those 4 braids, I braided them all together in a 4 strand braid. This is the pattern I followed, which was much easier than I thought it would be.
It took about 10ft of each ribbon to make this strand. After braiding it all together, I took it all apart. The ribbons will be laid out to have well wishes, blessings, and love, written on them by women who attend the bridal shower. Their love will literally be braided into our vows.
I love old farm house windows. I like old things in general more often than not. We had a few at our house, my future MIL had some, and she found a few on the side of the road from people redoing their house. Each mom made a window with pictures of Ethan and I, and a window of us through the years.
We used the windows, pictures, acrylic paints, clear picture corners, and window/chalk markers. They will be used to decorate both the shower and the wedding.
Other windows will be used for the hot chocolate bar at the wedding, favors/guest book, a memorial window, and one with a saying on it that we just like.
My mom wanted to have something to string across the front of some tables, and on the wall to create a little backdrop while I open gifts. We were really struggling to find something pre-made that we liked. The shower is pastel colors, I’m not really into gold or rose gold, so finding something to go with our theme was non-existent. Using doilies we got at Michaels, rainbow twine, and some square scrapbook paper, my ma made this really cute swags. All she did was fold the doilies and paper over the rainbow twine and secure them closed with a single piece of double-sided sticky tape. BOOM! Quick and easy AND they match the shower stuff perfectly! Each doilie pack came with 40, so we have more than enough to give each guest a doilie for their tea cup at each place setting as well.
You can see they made a great little addition and cute place to snap some photos!
Each guest is getting a jar of homemade strawberry jam, a honey stick from a local bee keeper, and 2 tea bags. I am all about the personal touches. I found these great “K” stickers at Michaels for a little more than $1. Each jar got a “K” just to add some personalization.
On each bag there is a folded doilie. On the doilie I wrote their name, their table name, and “How Sweet of You to Come!” We got basic white doilies, ribbon in a few different colors, and paper bags in a few pretty colors.
I’ve been to so many beautiful wedding and bridal showers that are just impersonal. You could remove the bride and groom and be at anyone’s wedding or shower. The personal touches are what make a wedding or shower, whether our own initials/monograms, or our guests. It is so easy to make your guests feel special and make your day YOURS.
Stay tuned as more decorations are completed over the next few months! Follow me on instagram@brunetteswithbrains to keep up with the latest posts and news!