This gorgeous Military wedding is full of DIY details! Don't miss it!
Shea Shoemaker
Shea Shoemaker January 16, 2019

Gorgeous Handmade Purple and Gold Wedding in Durham

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“Natasha and Joshua’s special day was filled with beautiful, heartfelt, and unique touches that truly reflected them as a couple. Family and friends traveled from all over the US, Canada, UK, and even Germany to join in the celebration. The beautiful bride used her crafty and artistic skills to complete the DIY projects herself over the year and gave me the most incredibly prepared handbook I have ever received from a bride. From the handmade ceremony decor to the crepe paper bouquets and boutonnieres, Natasha’s plum purple and gold dream turned out even more stunning than she had hoped. Plum purple and gold were the perfect colors as they not only transformed the space to look royal and elegant but also matched Joshua’s Army Service Uniform colors! The special touches throughout were endless, one of my favorites being the shawls for the bridal party hand sewn by Natasha’s mother.” –Aneesa Glines of Harmony Weddings and Events

What is your favorite wedding day memory?

This is a tough one! Both of us felt complete and utter happiness the entire day. I didn’t realize that we were smiling non-stop until we received the pictures back from the photographer! If I had to pinpoint a specific thing, I would say that my favorite memory would be the moment our priest announced us as Mr. and Mrs. and said, “you may kiss the bride.” Josh was so nervous and I was so excited that I started to shimmy right there at the altar. It made him, the priest, and the whole crowd laugh right before we kissed. I think it definitely broke the wall of nerves we had built up over the course of the ceremony. Our first kiss as husband and wife is a memory we will never forget.

What did you DIY for your wedding?

Oh, my goodness! What part of our shindig wasn’t DIY’d? Haha! There were handmade elements in every single aspect of our wedding. Plum purple and gold were our colors and I wanted it to be reflected in everything. I had a very strong vision in my head of how I wanted everything to look but we had a budget! Luckily, I love creating things with my hands so my creativity was able to shine throughout the process. I felt that simply noting everything in a list didn’t really do the projects justice, so below are descriptions of some of our DIY elements!

Invitations: I loved the look of the invitations that had a laser cut cover and were tied with a ribbon so I wanted to incorporate a similar style for our invitations. First, I designed our invitations and RSVP cards and had them printed online and shipped to us. Then, we purchased large gold paper doilies and I sat for hours cutting, folding, and gluing them to our invitations. After that was completed, I tied everything together with plum purple bow. I wanted our color scheme to be evident from the moment our guests opened their envelopes!

Bouquets and Boutonnieres: I was completely inspired when I saw another bride have large paper flowers at her wedding. I loved how full the flowers looked and also loved that they would not wilt. We created paper flower bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids. We purchased the crepe paper and other supplies and I started the long process. It took many days to finish creating all of these flowers. Each flower took about an hour from start to finish. We also created paper flower boutonnieres for the groomsmen, the father of the bride, the mothers, the brothers, and the ushers. Everything tied together with white “baby’s breath” beads, green leaves, and the plum purple ribbon.

Bride and Bridesmaid Shawls: Our wedding was in February and we were certain it was going to be cold outside. My mother is an amazing seamstress (as a hobby) and I worked with her to make faux fur shawls for the bridal party. We purchased the fabric and ribbon and went to town. Even though I did not fully make these myself, they were 100% DIY’d and completely handmade! They were amazingly warm and the girls loved the gift! (Thanks, mom!)

Ceremony Decor: All of our ceremony decor was DIY’d. This included the flowers on the altar, the flowers and tulle garlands that ran down the aisle, the “chalkboard” Welcome sign, and the programs. Similarly with the paper flower bouquets, I loved the idea of having large flowers running down the aisle. I felt that it added a touch of whimsy to our wedding. First, I made all of the ceremony flowers which were nearly three times the size of the bouquet flowers. Then, I hunted in the backyard for some dry tree branches. After cutting them to size, we spray painted them gold and anchored them into ivory spray-painted pots using cement. After these cured, I adhered the flowers to the stems with hot-glue and tape, painted the tape gold to match the rest of the stem, made green crepe paper leaves and added those, and then finished off the pots by wrapping them in tulle and ribbon. Our aisle wasn’t the longest it the world, but I still needed a lot of tulle to drape down the aisle. I worked with and stitched over 100 feet of tulle for the drapes and the ruched garland that sat at the base of the pots. After making the tulle aisle decor, I made the altar bows!

Moving into our reception… we handmade all of the hanging banners, created the signs for the escort cards/favors, made all of the table numbers and the menus on each table. We even decorated our toasting glasses and DIY’d our dessert table! We did so many things for our wedding, I’m certain that I’m missing a few.

Place Settings and Decor: We used gold paper doilies (the same kind used for our invitations) as our “charger plates” and designed and printed menus for each place setting. We also brought over our ceremony flower decorations into our reception space which saved us the need to make multiples! We placed a row of aisle flowers behind the head table, and the second row behind the dessert table. The two pots from the altar were placed on either side of the head table. We also created a photo tree for our reception space to display pictures from throughout our relationship. We did this by spray-painting a tree branch and hanging handmade photo “ornaments” decorated with gold doily fragments and plum ribbon.

Favors/Escort Cards: Ferrero Rocher chocolates are our favorite and they fit perfectly into our purple and gold color scheme. We wanted to use these as our escort cards as well as sweet favors for our guests. We hand-made the signs for each chocolate and stuck them into the center with toothpicks. We used remnants of the gold doilies from the invitation cut-outs to add a touch of glam to the cards.

Banners and Dessert Table: We created all of the bunting banners that hung at our reception. We used the same ivory paper that was used on the menus and the escort cards so everything tied together. We also used pieces of the doilies to add the gold element to the signs. Rather than having a traditional tiered wedding cake, we opted for a dessert table that offered more options as well as our favorite coconut cake from a local restaurant. I visited a few thrift stores to collect some of the ceramic dishes for the desserts and made the cake stand with a glass platter and base and adhered them with E-6000 glue. We also made all of the tent cards that sat in front of the desserts.

Table Numbers and Guestbook: I fell head-over-heels in love with the “When We Were…” table numbers that I saw on Something Turquoise! We just had to recreate the look for our wedding even though my husband swears it’s another boy in his photos and not actually him. Using that inspiration, I designed our version of these and changed the wording on some to be more appropriate for our photographs. It was the perfect touch to personalize our reception space. Our guest “book” was also inspired by the signature trays that we saw on Something Turquoise. The idea of having something practical that could also remind us of our wedding really spoke to us rather than something that could sit and collect dust.

What was your something old, new borrowed, and blue?

I struggled with this for the longest time! My something ‘old’ was the wedding band of my late Aunt. I wore it as a part of my bridal attire the entire day. I planned for my something ‘new’ to be my wedding dress, but my husband surprised me with a pearl bracelet on the morning of our wedding. This became my new ‘something new!’ The something ‘borrowed’ was not physically on my person, but it was the vintage silver cake knife that belongs to my mother. We used it during our cake cutting. Finally, my something ‘blue’ was the undergarment that I wore under my dress!

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

Planning your wedding in the middle of an already hectic life will feel like you are experiencing a whole new level of stress that you didn’t think existed. Just breathe and know that it will all work out! Girl, you’ve got this! My nuggets of advice would be…

1) Stay as organized as possible. Create a central place where you organize all of your wedding-related details. I planned our wedding myself so for me, this was a folder and a spreadsheet on Google Drive. I could check it from anywhere and didn’t have to worry about forgetting a binder at home. I combined at least 3 different “Wedding Planning Checklists” into one master checklist and made it specific to us and our wedding. Envision what your wedding day will look like and what additional things you may need and edit your master checklist accordingly. After you have your checklist, take a mental walk through of your wedding day from start to finish and think about what could possibly go wrong. Then, build in action items into your checklist to help circumvent running into these issues.

2) Strive to have all of your DIY projects finished a few months before your wedding. The earlier you are able to get those done, the more relaxed you will be. As you complete projects, box them up and put a label on the box describing where the box should go, such as “Ceremony site” and what is inside.

3) Hire a day-of coordinator. Trust me on this. Having someone else know every detail of your wedding {besides you or your best friend} will truly give you complete relief on your wedding day. You will be able to sit back, let everything happen, and eat your cake!

4) Remember why you’re doing this. As time counts down, you can get bogged down with all of the little details and may feel overwhelmed. I won’t say that those details aren’t important, but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture… you are marrying the love of your life, rain or shine, with or without chair covers! – Natasha, the Bride

Event Credits

Photographer: Zoe Litaker Photography // Ceremony Venue: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church // Reception Venue + Catering: Hilton Hotel Near Duke University // Day-of-Coordination: Harmony Weddings and Events // Bride's Attire: Lana Addison Bridal // Bridal Alterations: Just Sew Bridal Alterations // Bridemaid's Attire: David's Bridal // Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

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