DIY & DIT
If you’ve been following along for a while now, you may recall that last spring the APW staff took a field trip to my house (a.k.a. The Pony Farm) to execute a series of easy, no-nonsense hair and makeup tutorials. Of course, almost immediately after that wrapped, we were given an incredible opportunity to work with Procter & Gamble Beauty & Grooming on a series of complete hair and makeup looks, and spent the summer bringing you things like braided updos, smoky eyes, and makeup for freckles. But now, finally, we get to show you guys the long-awaited pony farm hair and makeup series that we worked so hard on last spring. And we’re excited.
If the P&G hair and makeup tutorials were all about showcasing rad ways to put together full wedding looks, this series is more about getting back to the basics. Think: easy cat-eye makeup, foundation basics, and some of the laziest (and hottest) wedding hairstyles you could hope for. (Seriously. The skill level required on these is about a two. The result is a ten.)
So starting tomorrow, we’ll be going back to our lazy roots and starting at square one. Which, let’s be serious. As much as the staff loves playing dress up and getting pampered by a team of stylists (more to come on them in a minute), most of us are pretty novice when it comes to anything more than your basic sheer foundation and lip gloss combo. That said, we also don’t want to sell ourselves short. There was definitely some of this happening:
And this (surprise, surprise.)
And because the universe loves us and wants us to have nice things, some of this.
You know, we don’t get to say it enough on here, but we get really excited when you send us stuff inspired by something you saw on APW. The staff reads every email you send us (even if we can’t respond to all of them) and we give mental fist bumps every time we hear that APW has helped you make a decision that’s right for you. In short, we care about what you’re up to and we love when you share with us.
But it’s seldom that we get to actually see what you do with our content. Which is why we were beyond excited when Rachel sent us photos from her wedding, featuring ombre table runners created using this tutorial from last spring. And because she’s nice, Rachel even offered up some extra tips for making this project easy and successful. Here she goes:
On a sunny and windy Saturday afternoon in Chicago, my family took over my aunt’s backyard and dyed fifteen table runners varying shades of “Sangria,” the color you get when you mix equal parts purple, wine, and violet RIT dyes. My mom was awesome enough to buy all of the fabric ahead of time and sew it into table runners, so all we had to do was dye them. It should also be mentioned that my dad thought it was a pretty terrible plan, and seemed acutely afraid that we would end up dyeing my aunt’s entire backyard a light shade of maroon, but he was still super helpful the day of! Some tips for doing this en-masse:
*Sam, Semi-professional Writer & Stew, Professional Nerd*
We’ve talked a lot about DIY (and DIT) on this site. The good. The not so good. The ambivalent. It’s one of those topics that ends up being surprisingly polarizing. I think maybe because most of the wedding industry seems to have bought into that Batman tagline about it being not about who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you. (Am I the only one who knows that movie by heart? Embarrassing.) Because the next logical step in that thinking is that if you do more for your wedding, your wedding will in turn be more. And that’s a lot of pressure, especially for those of us (raises hand) who are slightly less crafty/maybe just a little bit lazy. Which is why I love Sam & Stew’s grad post today. Because as Sam points out, it’s not really even about what you do or don’t do, what you make or what you buy. What really matters, is the why. Because chances are, whether we choose to DIY or not (and if you fall into the latter camp, may I suggest this brilliant post from a few months ago on choosing not to craft for your wedding?) if our wedding-related decisions come from an authentic place (and if we can just resist the urge to listen to those niggling WIC voices), then the end result will be exactly enough.
—Maddie for Maternity Leave
Last year, in September, I married my dinosaur-for-life on a beautiful morning, in our home country, South Africa. We cried, we laughed, we ate, we danced. It was fab.
But, I feel like I need to come clean before continuing… My name is Sam, and I was a DIY bride.
And, I don’t mean we wrote our own vows. I mean we designed a bespoke monogram, we hand-stamped favour bags, strung-up escort cards, and made beribboned swizzle sticks to match the paper straws in the mason jars. There were hand-tied bouquets, cutesy fabric buttonholes, handmade cookie favours (with hand tied tags), hand-stitched (don’t ask) programs and incredibly complex self-assembled paper invitations, homemade chalkboard menus, carefully collected soda bottles… And you know what? I friggin’ loved it.
We DIYed for a couple of reasons—sometimes, it really was cheaper; it matched the laid-back, slightly wonky feel we wanted for the whole day; it allowed us some control over the finer details (we were planning a wedding in Africa, from London); but mostly—because I love making stuff, and I have a verypatient partner. I find solace in creating things and can happily lose myself in a day (or a year) of gluing, folding, and cutting.
Don’t get me wrong—it wasn’t all paper roses. There were moments (say, half-way through the eighty-ninth invitation) when I literally wanted to set fire to all the craft supplies scattered around our house. But, then there were also other moments. Like the evening me, my husband-to-be, and my future dad-in-law, sat painstakingly ironing (I know—craziness) the pre-folded outer covers of those same invitations in a pokey little room in Wales, watching cr*p TV and generally bonding. It is one of my most treasured and favourite pre-wedding memories.
Because, to me, that’s what the handmade DIYing was about—putting a little piece of ‘me’, of ‘us’ into as much of the wedding ‘stuff’ as we had the energy to do. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Sam & Stew
This week, we wanted to explore what Maddie called (to quote Batman), “It’s not who you are but what you do that defines you.” One of the things we want to talk about is how weddings and identities can intermingle. Sometimes you’re bringing yourself to the wedding, sometimes the wedding is trying to assign some sort of new identity to you, and sometimes you decide “F*ck it, it’s just my wedding. It does not have to define me.” Today Danielle is here with a post about planning I could have written back in my planning days (actually, I guess I kind of did), about (God-bless) the Lazy Girl Wedding. Because all kinds of weddings are ok, as long as it’s your wedding (crafty, not-crafty, unique, totally-not-unique-damn-it, whatever).I made a pact with myself—as many readers of this site probably do—to avoid consulting the internet for advice about my wedding (APW aside, obviously!). I am not crafty, not even a little bit, and I knew that if I went down the road of Pinterest, wedding blogs, DIY wedding idea sites, etc., I would feel somehow inadequate, as someone who considers herself a, shall we say, non-non-traditional bride.
What’s with the double negative action? What it feels like, out there in the interwebs, is that there are basically two kinds of weddings:
- The weddings that go all-out Wedding Industrial Complex, with big spending and lots of adherence to tradition (no judgment); and
- Super-crafty, artsy, DIY-type weddings, where, out of concerns about cost and consumption—or, often, out of a desire to have the most unique wedding ever—the betrothed spend hours upon hours thinking, theme-creating, making, crafting, tweaking, etc. (Again, no judgment. Just mild jealousy, maybe.)
My fiancée and I don’t really fall into either camp. As previously mentioned, I have no skills in the arts and crafts arena. We are not having the kind of rustic, farmhouse-y wedding that lends itself well to cute homemade decor; our wedding is in a Swedish modern venue. And, overall, I am not really a DIY kind of person. From the get-go, we knew that we cared about only four things: people, food, alcohol, and photography. We booked a museum space where everything, decoration-wise, is pretty much ready to go because we did not want to have to throw a big party and figure out how to decorate it.
Knowing all of this, with less than three weeks to go before the big day, I slipped up. Things on the planning front were running smoothly and on-target, and I began to have the creeping sense that I was slacking, that there would be nothing we had made at this wedding, and oh my god all of our friends had cool homemade things at their weddings; what have I been doing all this time?
So I stepped, gingerly at first, into the crafty wedding ideas pond. Maybe some paper pom-poms or something, I thought. They looked so funky-cool in the wedding-photo slideshows I kept stumbling upon. Those seem easy; I could rally some friends to help, I assured myself. Continue reading On Not Crafting for My Wedding (Even Though the Internet Really, Really Wants Me To)
This morning, Lynn (who wrote a beautiful post about being a Motherless Bride last fall), talked about the emotional realities, and her complex feelings about her wedding day. Now, she’s back, to talk about the logistical realities—what she learned, and what she wants to pass on. She talks about the reality of DIY (I’m now slightly desperate to have her knit me a sweater, which is clearly not supposed to be my takeaway from this post), and no-nonsense tips on everything from ordering food to facials to hairstyles. Seriously people, this is good stuff. So without further ado, I bring you Lynn:
The planning started with a list of things I knew for certain that I DIDN’T care about; my astrologer* says that is the Capricorn Moon in me, but what does she know? *We live in Eugene, Oregon where saying things like “my astrologer” or “my medical marijuana supplier” or “my tarot card reading revealed” are standard (and completely valid) references.
Primarily these “didn’t wants” revolved around clothing. I didn’t care about having a wedding dress or matching bridesmaid get ups or warehouse tuxes. I pictured all of us (bride, groom, maids and men) comfortably wrapped in warm hand knit sweaters, perfect for the fall and completely reusable in everyday ways. I pictured October. I pictured this exact cake. I pictured 75% of the decorations able to be thrown right back out into the forest floor where they came from.
I wouldn’t call myself a crafter, but I am creative, and if I picture something I can make it happen. In October 2009 I started knitting. I needed four sweaters in one year. Now, luckily both Maids and Justin are small…very small (and if you are or know a knitter you know the drastic difference between knitting a sweater for a size small guy vs. a size XL guy). By April 2010 I was still knitting (and suffering from tight shoulders and neck aches) and by August 2010 I was calling in last minute knitting support otherwise we would be walking down the aisle sleeveless.
Who’s idea was THAT…knitting sweaters.