Meghan and Eric’s wedding was, in a word, amazing. Their ceremony was held at the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest here in Washington state and their reception was full of creative DIY ideas. From Meghan: Our goal was to have a laid-back ceremony with a fun reception in surroundings that really reflected who we are and the things we love. We are geologists and find our spirituality in nature, so the old-growth cove in the forest was the perfect place for our ceremony. This place means more to us than a chapel, church, or manicured park. It’s a natural cathedral that will remain unchanged for hundreds of years to come. The trees are deeply rooted, the forest peaceful; we liked the way this reflects what we want our marriage to be.
We wanted our wedding day to be as much for our guests as it was for ourselves. So we gave everyone seven hours in between the ceremony and the reception to go out and enjoy themselves. Some people hiked around the forest, went to the farmers market, or the beach. Then, for the reception, we wanted everything to be super colorful and cheerful, while still having bits and pieces that reflect who we are (table cards, fossils, Michigan pie, emphasis on the 80’s & 90’s dance music, etc). We skipped some traditions that tend to break up the reception like cake-cutting and bouquet toss, and opted to just dance most of the night. Fortunately, we had a lot of young people with plenty of fancy moves to keep up the atmosphere.
It took a lot of convincing on my part to get Eric to agree to table assignments. Part of it was he thought we were spending too much time on making things already (which we probably were), but I really wanted to incorporate our books into something for the wedding and since we didn’t put them out on the tables (Eric was afraid they’d get spilled on), this was my best alternative idea. Eric and I collect old scientific books, journals and maps. We are both geologists, so most of our collection is Geology related works, but I am also infatuated with scientific line drawings from other fields.. so we have a variety of books. So, Eric and I scanned some of our favorite images, grouped them by theme/table, and assigned everyone an image. Then I created a playing card-sized table marker for each guest. We also made the cork board/frame the cards were pinned to.
The table runners were my very first wedding project. I started it early last summer (we were engaged two years) with the idea that I should start any DIY projects early. I decided I wanted a lot of color on the tables, so first I thought I was going to make full table cloths…then I realized how much fabric that would take. So I reeled it in and decided on round-ish table runners. The design inspiration came from a pillow I saw on Anthropologie’s website. Eric helped me pick out the fabric (he’s great at it!), we drew out the petals and cut them, I laid them out and pinned them, and my mom sewed them onto the backing fabric! I plan to make them into a quilt now that the wedding is done. The centerpieces were quite simple. I’m an avid stalker of the Antique Mall downtown, and last summer on a whim I started collecting those colorful tins. I stocked up on enough for three per table and filled them with living flowers/moss and beach rocks Eric and I picked up on our various outings/fieldwork over the last year. Our families helped us plant the flowers. They are lined with plastic bags so that we can reuse the tins and replant the flowers in a more permanent pot.
The ceiling at the Broadway hall is really beautiful, but it’s very tall, and in scanning through other people’s reception pictures, I noticed that the tables looked super short compared to the ceiling. It left the room with an empty feel that I didn’t like. So, I decided to try and hang something from the ceiling to become part of the table decoration, but also mark the table numbers. I knew we’d have the windows open, and I loved the idea of a bunch of colorful mobils blowing in the wind. I doodled a few designs, and then took the plunge when my mom and I found a bunch of birdcages on clearance at Michaels. The rest is plastic tubing from the drug store wrapped in fabric with paint chips strung on fishing line.
The scratch-offs were my other project last summer. I got the idea when my friend sent me a DIY blog about save the date scratch-offs, where you scratch off three numbers (day, month, year). Instead, I wanted to make a scratch-off prize game…but my mom didn’t want a game where there were losers, so then it evolved into a game where everyone is a winner, and their prize is the type of wedding favor they get to take home. We definitely wanted to support local businesses and send everyone home with a part of Bellingham, since so many people were spending a lot of money to come out for our wedding, so we had many different types of favors… honey, jam, chocolate, fossils Eric and I collected, coffee, tea, etc. Each had a corresponding image (bee, berries, truffle, fossil, percolator, tea pot, respectively), and if you got three in a row, you got to take that prize home. Just Something I Made was the source for many of the detailed borders and headers for almost all of my DIY projects (Invitations, Save the Dates, Table Numbers on the mobils, etc.). She’s fantastic, and she puts out a lot of free fonts, vintage labels, etc. on her blog for people to use.
One of our favorite memories came at the end of the night. Almost everyone stayed until the music turned off at 11. Eric and I got on the microphone and thanked everyone for being part of our big day, then to our surprise, every single person turned around and started helping to clean up. No one asked them to stay and help, they just did, without hesitation. Tables were down in a matter of seconds, and everything was done within 30 minutes. Eric and I’s parents were completely bewildered. When my brother asked one of our geologist friends what was going on, she said “This is just how we are out here. We help each other out.” It was the single most out-pouring moment of love from friends and family that we’ve ever experienced.
Photographer: Aubrey Joy Photography / Ceremony venue: Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest / Reception venue: Broadway Hall / Catering: Avenue Catering /Pie: Traverse City Pie Company / Cupcakes: Katie’s Cupcakes / Her ring: Yellow Gold, Kunzite Center Stone estate ring picked up at a shop in Port Townsend, WA / His ring: Tungsten Carbide from Silvery Moon, Fairhaven / Dress: Jenny Packham – Eden / Bridesmaids attire: shirts from Piperlime & skirts from American Apparel / Groom’s outfit: Banana Republic and J.Crew / Groomsmen shirts: Urban Outfitters / Wedding coordinator: BB Jean Events / Invitations & save the dates: DIY