I have now been married for a week shy of two months. It still feels weird to say that I’m married. In a lot of ways it doesn’t feel any different than being unmarried. I’m still living with the man I love, no change there. Really it’s like the only thing that’s changed is my surname!
One other thing may have changed actually. Our bank balance. But not as much as it could’ve done.
I’ve heard tell that the average wedding costs around £20,000. That’s a lot of money. A lot. If we had waited to save up that much money we probably wouldn’t have been able to get married this side of, well, ever. Our wedding cost us far, far less than that. Probably about a quarter at most.
I would’ve liked to do it for less but logistically that would have been difficult. S and I both come from relatively large families and felt it wouldn’t be right to not invite everyone. Of course there were still some people who couldn’t come. Especially as we had to move the wedding from England to here in Finland less than 6 months before the wedding. That was… not ideal.
I’m pretty pleased with how well we managed to keep the cost down. The main reason we were able to was because we did as much ourselves as possible. I made the cake which my mum decorated. S and I made the save the dates and the invitations. We made the place-cards (with some help from others). The wedding favours were put together by the people staying in our flat prior to the wedding (there were 8 of us!) – I set them up in a production line of sorts. We made our own guest book-tree. We made our own ceremony – okay that didn’t save money, but it was nice. My mum did all the flowers… We did a lot of things ourselves!
One of the things we made was a decorative string heart. Red on black, to include two of our wedding colours. The third was ivory, if you’re wondering. We had this so it was behind our heads when we were sat at the table for the wedding breakfast.
We got the idea for this heart from Green Wedding Shoes after coming across an image of it on Pinterest. Hearts, incidentally, developed into a theme at the wedding. We had this, the tags for the guest book-tree were hearts, the tags on the favours (doubling as place cards) were hearts, and the favours themselves consisted of different sweet, heart-shaped goodies.
The heart itself was actually very easy to make. We made it together and had fun in the process. And it was even approved by Lola!
To make the heart you will need:
A square of wood in the size of your choice, painted the colour of your choice. I think we went for 60x60cm, which was of course in black.
String in the colour of your choice. We found a very nice shade of red. The amount of string you need will depend on what size your board is. I’d say it’s best to buy more than you think you will need.
A box of nails. The nails should have a reasonable sized head so that the string won’t slip off. I think we used approximately one hundred nails. This again will vary depending on how big you are making your heart as well as how much space you want to leave between each nail. An inch / 2.5cm is recommended.
White paper for making the heart guideline.
Firstly decide if you are happy to draw the heart or if you’d rather print it. If you are drawing it on the paper, go ahead and do that. Make sure your paper is the right size (we used A4 and just placed them together to make the right size.)
If you can’t draw a heart as well as you’d like (I got very frustrated trying…) then do an image search to find a template you like – it should be fairly plain, nothing too fancy – and print it to the size you need. We copied the template we found into Paint, resized it to the required dimensions, then printed it out. Make sure you tell it to print the actual size, not scaled to fit the paper.
Tape the paper with the heart template onto the wood. Masking tape is good for this – make sure whatever you use won’t pull the paint off when you remove it.
Next, hammer the nails around the entire outline of the heart. Be consistent in your placement. If your template has a thick line make sure you are consistently putting the nails on the outside or the inside of the line – choose one and stick to it. Likewise try to keep your spacings consistent – we used an old earring box to give us a guideline to space the nails.
Once all the nails are in you can remove the paper as it is no longer needed. If you can’t reuse it for anything, make sure you put it to be recycled!
Take your string and tie a knot with it around the head of one of the nails. It doesn’t matter which one you start with. String backwards and forwards across the whole heart until every one has been stringed at least once. It doesn’t matter which order you string them in. Be impulsive! The more randomly you choose the better it will look. When you think you are done, step back and take a look to see how it looks. If there’s anything you’re not happy with then tweak it. You may also like to go around the outside of the heart once or twice to give it a nice outline.
And that’s it! You’re all done. I told you it was simple. This didn’t cost us very much at all – literally just the price of the string and the nails. Appi provided and painted the wood for us, and the paper we of course had on hand.
Now that the wedding is over the heart is living on a shelf in our bedroom, and it still looks fabulous.
Did you/would you DIY your wedding? Got any tips to help keep weddings inexpensive?