If you’re getting married and are into crafts or baking it’s very tempting to decide you are going to make everything for your wedding yourself – but even the most ambitious bride (or groom) will realise they are just not going to have time. There is so much to do in the run-up to a wedding: OK, you’ve booked a photographer, but you have to give them a list of what family photos you want; OK, you’ve found a florist but you need to choose the flowers, find out who in the wedding party wants buttonholes or corsages, arrange when the flowers are going to be delivered, and decide what to do with them afterwards – every task on the to do list seems to split into multiple sub-tasks.
I realised this from the outset, but at the same time wanted some handmade elements for my wedding. As well as the personal touch, it also meant we could save money on certain things – though you have to be careful not to go overboard, thinking you’re saving money by making every guest a take-home gift when you can probably order a job lot from China on Ebay. But I do think that saving money is not the point of a DIY wedding – it’s about putting time and effort into something, making sure things are made with love, and getting exactly what you want because you’ve designed and made it yourself. Also, if you are into crafts it can be quite frustrating to buy something and think “but I could easily have made that myself!”.
As I’ve mentioned before, when I get married my name will be Caroline Cowe – pronounced cow. I’ve embraced my inner cow and am looking forward to being named after an animal (even though it’s a bit of a shame I didn’t ever meet a Mr Al Packer) so my fiancé and I felt that we needed to have a cow theme to the wedding. A subtle, elegant cow theme – we are not talking full on bridesmaid dresses in cowboy boots or a bucking bronco at the reception, but instead a few cow print touches here and there.
The wedding stationery was a good way to include cow print, we thought - it would hint at the fun and relaxed atmosphere we are trying to create at our wedding (it’s mainly outdoors and the meal isn’t a formal ‘which fork do I use’ affair). I started thinking about how to include the motif and design something simple that I could make in bulk without it taking huge amounts of time, and this is what I came up with.
For Christmas I received a set of three heart hole punches of varying sizes, and I already had some cow print paper in my craft stash (when it ran out and I couldn’t find any more to buy, we just photocopied it!). I used the largest hole punch to cut out paper hearts and stuck them onto blank white cards I bought from Hobbycraft.
The words ‘wedding invitation’ came from a sheet of outline stickers that only cost £1 in Hobbycraft and had 22 sets of word, so I bought three of these.
I stuck the words underneath the heart, but felt it still needed something else. After we first got engaged on a whim I bought some cowprint paraphernalia from a website called Cow Cool Stuff (can you believe there are other people obsessed with cows as well?) including some cow table confetti which I planned to sprinkle on tables at the wedding.
I found that the little cows looked really cute in a row across the bottom of the wedding invitations, so glued them on. On some of the invitations I interspersed the cows with hearts cut from cow print paper using the smallest of the three hole punches I’d been given.
We printed out the wording for our wedding onto A4 paper, and bought a guillotine, again from Hobbycraft, to cut the right size so we could stick it inside the cards, which were 6x6 inches. I glued the inserts into the cards, and glued a piece of ribbon (which I bought from Ebay, in the same colour as the bridesmaid dresses) along the centre of the card, and tied it in a bow on the front. Each card didn’t take that long to make and even though they definitely look homemade, I was really happy with them. We have used the same motif for our order of service and menu cards as well.