DIY Wedding in the Heartland by Paper Antler Photography
Posted by Kate. Filed under Real Weddings

Today, a little handmade prettiness from the heartland.

Josh and Heather married in Oakland, Iowa this past October.  It’s not often that we feature weddings from Iowa… Not for any reason of course, we just don’t hear much from the Iowan folks… so it’s such a treat to have come across this gem of a wedding, photographed by our friends Jonny and Michelle of Paper Antler.

The bride is an artist and she created nearly all of the cute little details and things shown below!  She-so kindly- sent over all of her DIY instructions too, so that you can see how she pieced everything together!

DIY Whimsical Signs
Supplies: Old wood (both flat & in stick form), paint, wood glue.
Paint a white background almost to edges on flat wood. When dry, add letters (J + H) or words
(Wedding with an arrow or Just Married or Mr. & Mrs.) using a bright color (I used teal). Glue stick to
sign with wood glue and allow it to dry. Dig hole and secure in ground or nail signs to trees.

DIY Invitations
Supplies: Card stock, bird punch, edge punch, silver thread, computer, RSVP template, glue stick.
Print invitation information on card stock for RSVP cards and wedding invites. Punch edges to give them a classy, professional look (I used Martha Steward brand for edges and the birds). Punch out 2 birds on
invites. Wrap thread around top of invites. Add a fun scrapbook paper under the bird cutout using a glue stick. I made postal stamps using my artwork (bird-themed) at easy and affordable.

DIY Happy Tears Table
Supplies: Old table, old picture frame, paper, hankies, sweet little bin, spray paint.
Find an old table, sand it down and spray paint it a color you like (I used robin’s egg blue). Make a sign
that says, “Happy Tears, Please Take One” and frame it. Arranged old and new hankies in a bin you
enjoy and place on table for guests to use during the ceremony.

DIY Treats Table
Supplies: Old-fashioned or favorite candies and treats, vintage bowls, decorative take-away bags, cloth.
Collect candy and treats (I made white/dark chocolate covered apples) and arrange them neatly in vintage, decorative dishes. Cover table with a vibrant cloth. Have guests take away candy using fun bags. If you
desire, make a fun sign to hang above table (mine said, ‘sweets’  and I used leftover paper and glue).

How lucky we are to get a peek into this DIY maven’s planning process.. Thanks, Heather!

All the best to You and Josh!

Photographs by Paper Antler Photography

Ceremony & Reception Site: Big Grove Country Inn

Paper Goods & Décor by the bride- Heather McDonald- of Wildflowers & Grace

See her etsy shop too!

From the Bride: Riding home on the airplane from San Juan, Puerto Rico, I was elated after accepting Josh’s sweet proposal to me in a garita at Castillo de San Cristóbal, a fortress built by the Spanish in 1783. We opened up my journal that I take everywhere and penned our autumn, vintage-themed wedding, “Elegantly Antique.”

We excitedly planned October 8th, 2011 and hoped this wedding would be enchanting- boy was it ever! We wanted to showcase who we are as people while making everyone who would attend feel relaxed and at home.  Joshua is a brilliant writer and I am an artist who finds creating to be my therapy, so much so that I am studying to be an art therapist; we had ideas aplenty. We put our love-struck minds together and let our creative energies flow in hopes of making the vision of our dream wedding a reality. We scoured many antique shops in Wisconsin, where I am from and in Nebraska, where Josh is from, collecting trinkets and unique finds until we ran out of space to store them. I was busy designing wedding invitations, wedding programs and much of the décor that would grace the wedding site.

We stumbled upon an adorably perfect, four acre, rustic Iowan wedding site which included a Bed and Breakfast, a 100 year old chapel, a one-room school, a quaint reception hall, horseshoes and a merry-go-round, and an outdoor patio with a fire pit and scenic cornfields as far as these excited eyes could see.

Being a lover of nature, I found myself drawn to white birch trees, whimsical birds and various shades of goldenrod and aqua. I envisioned a palate of these colors on my bridesmaids and groomsmen as they stood in the charming country chapel.

Josh’s sister was busy making yellow antique rosettes for my maids’ hair and one for me made out of a blue antique flower pin and fabric from Josh’s grandmother’s wedding dress. We gathered old-fashioned candy for our loved ones to nibble on and mason jars to make hanging lanterns out of. The summer flew by as we made paper and pom-pom garland. I printed beautiful framed 4”x6” prints of my artwork to hang from twine with clothespins that would be parting gifts for our guests- to take a small piece of us with them when they went.

The wedding plans started to come together and finally the day arrived. Everything was lovely and even the weather decided to cooperate. My favorite part of the day was the beauty of love bringing all this together, that and, after the ceremony, a vibrant rainbow appeared in the sky over the Iowa corn and we ran out in the misting rain to capture shots of the glorious moment.

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  • Erin O’Brien

    Aw, lovely to see something out of Iowa! I live near Oakland and it’s nice to see a small-town wedding affair. Congrats to the bride and groom!

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