Adding some last-minute personality to your wedding

Adding some last-minute personality to your wedding can certainly be done with the help of family and friends. Here are some resources as a general starting point, as well as photos from a wedding of one of my most resourceful brides.


Table number examples: Style Me Pretty Table Numbers and Martha Stewart Table Numbers
DIY ideas from: 100 Layer Cake DIY blog, Green Wedding Shoes blog, Project Wedding DIY, The Knot DIY section, OneWed,
General decor inspiration: Decor from Style Me Pretty

Below are photos from Alexa and Andrew’s wedding overlooking the sea at the Crane Estate on Castle Hill in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

wedding guestbook ideas for an outdoor summer weddingguestbook frame pinkCastle hill wedding photographerCrane Estate weddingCrane Estate Ipswich wedding

DIY Info:
When Alexa first started envisioning what her wedding would look like she knew she wanted to add lots of personal touches and make a lot of things herself.  She and Andrew tackled many DIY projects together and their families also pitched in to help.  Alexa wanted all of their décor to meld with their wedding venue, Castle Hill for an “elegant casual seaside” look.

crane estate castle hill wedding photos from ipswich, manavy blue and gold wedding stationery table settings for the head tableShe pulled inspiration from a variety of sources and pulled it all together by using coordinated paper products from Anna Griffin and the matching fabrics, also by Anna Griffin. The biggest project the couple took on was the escort card pinwheels.  They made each pinwheel by hand and they were a huge hit at the wedding. The pinwheels also made an appearance on the cake, those pinwheels were also made out of paper, just mini sized. The bride and groom’s other projects included-paper pomanders to decorate the aisles, pennant banner to decorate the bar and the lawn, drink stirrers, table numbers made with photo frames featuring the couple’s dog, menus, programs (which she hand printed with a gocco).

wedding pinwheels DIY projectpaper pinwheels DIY projectwedding cake DIY paper pinwheelspinwheelpennant banner for summery outdoor wedding DIYDIY card box project with paper They baked over 1000 cookies for a cookie buffet which had custom labels from Green Apple Paperie.

cookie jar labels from Green Apple Paperie

Their mothers really came through for them and did a lot of sewing, making all of the table overlays. Alexa said “l the work and details we put into the wedding made the whole evening the special event that it was. Everything that we and our families made was made with love and creativity.”

photo frame table numbers

About the Wedding/Theme:
Alexa had dreamed about getting married at Castle Hill from when she was a little girl.  When she and Andrew first got engaged they were living in Virginia and later in Chicago.  She had sent her mother to check out venues and luckily she loved Castle Hill just as much. Alexa have always been drawn to bright summery colors, but Castle Hill is a pretty traditional venue, so they always had to keep in mind melding bright colors with the look of the venue. They used bright pinks and greens coupled with navy blue to achieve a summery look. The groom and groomsmen wore lighter colored suits perfect for an outdoor summer wedding. The custom ties ordered on Etsy complimented the color choice of the boutonniere.

etsy wedding tie customnavy pink green beige wedding colors for bridal party attireWith a seaside venue, a lobster set on white and navy blue wedding stationery and invitations set the tone for their wedding.

wedding invitation lobster seaside weddingTheir décor had a subtle nautical theme, with shells and coral prints on our paper and fabrics. Since the couple met while they were at Vanderbilt, they included a few southern touches, including a signature cocktail of sweet tea vodka and lemonade. The couple was both active in greek life, and the bride had their pins soldered together and pinned them to the bridal bouquet.  They actually got the idea of attaching the pins from the groom’s grandmother, who had her and his grandfathers pins soldered together after they were married.

Crane Estate Castle Hill weddingWhile traditional and historical venues can easily lend themselves to a formal and traditional wedding, there are always ways to incorporate the ideas of a modern couple.  By using bright fun colors, and playful touches like ribbon drink stirrers and pinwheels they maintained a casual fun feel without clashing with the historical venue.

DIY drink stirrers for custom wedding cocktailswedding programs paper goodscastle hill crane estate wedding venue in ipswich ma photos


Ceremony Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ispwich, MA
Reception Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ispwich, MA (capacity 200 guests)
Caterer: Swartz Catering
Officiant: Rabbi Judy Epstein and Father Bill Nesbit
Wedding Photographer: Heather Parker Photography
Wedding Band/Entertainment- The Return
Ceremony music Siman Entertainment
Wedding Florist: Bella Floral Design
Wedding Gown: Watters and Watters San Miguel
Bridal Boutique: Aisle Style, Elmhurst, IL
Custom wedding gown hanger: LilaFrances
Brides/Bridesmaid Shoes: Jack Rogers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla of Boston
Suits: JoS. A. Bank
Ties: Tux and Tulle (Etsy)
Invitations: Blush Design Studio
Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Kate Spade
Day of Coordinator (DOC)-Jennifer Potter, Dot your i’s
Table squares/overlays- Groom’s mother, fabric available from Anna Griffin
Chuppah: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company
Brides Clutch: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company

If you are interested in what adding decorative lighting to your wedding may look like, here are some examples below:

This wedding reception venue has both uplighting and monogrammed gobo lighting. There is nothing like walking into a beautifully lit wedding reception and hearing your friends and family say “Wow!”

decorative uplighting for weddingsHere is another example of both uplighting and personalized gobo lighting. Rather than cut a name into the lighting, some companies offer customized gobo designs such as these leaf patterns on the wall to set the tone for an autumn wedding:

wedding uplighting and monogram gobo lightingwedding uplightingPinspotting or pin spot lighting can be used to highlight certain things like centerpieces, cakes, or the head table as shown here:

pin spot lighting and pinspotting for weddingFor lighting design in Boston, I recommend: Cambridge Uplighting.

For lighting design in Chicago, I recommend: Frost Lighting or Chicago Lighting Design.