We are in LOVE with this dreamy handmade forest wedding!
Shea Shoemaker
Shea Shoemaker March 02, 2020

Dreamy DIY Forest Fairytale Affair

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What is your favorite wedding day memory?

Besides dancing all night surrounded by all of my friends and family, my favorite wedding day memory would be the first look with my groom. Our photographers took us down a hiking path along a stream in the woods behind our venue, and there were these noisy frogs making funny croaking sounds and we ended up laughing about them in so many of our photos. It was a romantic spot and we were so excited to see each other – but the moment had a tint of humor to it which was just so us and typical for our relationship.

What did you DIY for your wedding?

So much DIY! My favorite two projects were full of purple flowers. I made a giant paper flower chandelier for over the dance floor. I loved the tent for our reception but felt it needed a little “pop”. So I constructed a paper flower chandelier with the help of some friends, cutting paper, curling and taping each flower, then stringing them together and attaching to a hula hoop! Finally I topped the hoop with artificial eucalyptus branches for a complete look. My uncle is a metal worker and created a clamp based on my design drawing – which was able to tighten to the pole high up. We had so much fun dancing the night away under the flowers!

I also constructed a photo booth backdrop from silk flowers, a photographer backdrop stand, and a purple sheet. The best part about this project is that everything was given a second life/up cycled. I approached a store in NYC that was going to toss their spring window display at the end of the season, and saved dozens of purple, pink, blue flowers. I found a huge purple sheet at a garage sale, and bought the stand from a friend who just got married as well. All in all the project cost me maybe $30, and was well worth it! First step was to seam rip the sheet to create a “sleeve” for the poles to run through. Then I took floral wire and tied strings of flowers together and bent the top as a “hook”. So once I had about 18 strings of flowers I could quickly assemble the photo booth backdrop. I topped this off with a green garland across the top to hide the hooks.

We also DIY’d the wedding favors – we baked homemade chocolate chip cookies, and filled mini mason jars with them. I cut out a mix and match of purple fabrics to cover them and wrapped them with ribbon. I hand drew a chalkboard sign for guests so they knew they were for taking and which ones were Gluten Free. We decorated the backdrop for the sweetheart table; a wooden platform was provided by the venue but we draped it in fabric, string lights and floral pieces made from silk flowers. We created a cupcake display out of wooden disks and branches to stack all of the cupcakes for our guests. This was accompanied by a hand written chalkboard detailing the many flavors. Before dessert was ready we had framed photos on display of the bridal couple over the years. I painted them all gold so they would match. My husband and I wrote our own vows and I made vow booklets for each of us. We collected hundreds of jars and bottles over a year and a half to place candles in for the ceremony and to fill flowers with throughout the property and centerpieces. My mother filled planters of flowers which we placed all around the property, they bloomed beautifully! I made a hand-fasting cord for our ceremony out of 6 ribbons. My husband and I chose a color, and we asked each of our parents to choose one as well to symbolize the combining of families. I hand stained, painted, and decorated an event timeline for guests to know what to expect next. I made our cake topper with wood skewers, twine, pearl beads, and paper. All of our table numbers were made with watercolor paints in blue and purple. Indoors I had painted frames of wedding photos of our parents and grandparents, for guests to enjoy. We asked guest to submit wedding haikus which we displayed during cocktail hour in double sided frames I painted. There was a curio cabinet inside which I asked both moms to fill with memorabilia from their wedding days. This included my moms veil, his mothers ring bearer pillow, and so much more. Of all of the chalkboard signs, I hand wrote notes to our guests & covered them in hand made paper roses.

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

Staying organized is key! I kept a spreadsheet with each project and detailed what I’d need to buy or make and then I put everything in a timeline making deadlines each month. This way the last six months leading up to the wedding I was able to stay calm and make progress on each DIY project without stressing about doing everything last minute. -Daria, the Bride

Event Credits

Photographer: The Markows // Venue: The Inn at Millrace Pond // Catering: Frungillos // Officiant: Rev Michael Savage - Hand in Hand Matrimonial Services // Florist: Peggy Patton of the Flower Mill // DJ: Posh DJs // Musicians: Dolce Ensemble // Hair + Make-up: Ore Makeup Design