What happens when two designers get married? They have a fabulously unique DIY wedding!

Lauren and Andrew had a DIY wedding with a forest theme. Their wedding was held at Stern Grove, which is a small redwood grove in San Francisco.

“We loved the symbolism inherent in redwood trees (continuity, adaptability, longevity) so we decided to use them as the theme for our wedding,” says Lauren.

The couple DIY’ed everything except for the food and the flowers. With a little help from their friends and family, they created a personal and meaningful event that everyone enjoyed (and that didn’t cost a fortune!)

Even Lauren’s goddess dress was handmade.

Lauren writes:

“I worked with dressmaker Theresa LaQuey to make a 40s-style goddess dress I designed for my wedding. She did a great job with the fit and construction and came up with the awesome knot in the back. It cost less than half of the typical off-the-rack dress and I got a one-of-kind gown that was literally made for me! The darker panels are actually green, which you can see in other photos.”

And check out the DIY invitations.

“This is the pride and joy of our DIY wedding efforts,” says Lauren. “I’m a product designer and my husband does graphic design, so these invitations were our big splurge item in terms of time and money.”

Lauren and Andrew created these chipboard invitation wheels to give guests a creative way to get all their information in an heirloom keepsake format. They are made from two circles of untreated, recycled chipboard diecut and letterpressed to look like an old planting wheel with redwood rings on it.

The couple came up with the design, including the die lines and color separations.  They ordered the die and the untreated chipboard and then had a letterpress printer use his press to do the actual cutting and printing.

“We did the final assembly of the wheel ourselves using wooden plugs and steel washers we got at the local hardware store.  We printed our reply cards ourselves using an inkjet for the back and a Riso Gocco for the front.  We ordered big, square, recycled paper envelopes and did all the assembly/addressing/mailing ourselves,” she says.

Total cost was about $10 each including $2 per invitation in postage.  Approximate time to make was 20 hours in total.

Now on to the wonderfully quirky table names. (I love what she says about the grandmas. That happens sometimes:)

Lauren writes:

“My husband is an artist, and one of his projects is a series of tiny disaster sculpture made with HO scale model railroad figures.  Our parents are always trying to get us to move back east by citing the myriad disasters we have here in California so we thought it would be funny to name each table after a California disaster.  We had table names like “mudslide,” “tidal wave” and “wild fire.”  Guests had to find the centerpiece sculpture that depicted their disaster in order to locate their table.  Most people had a good laugh over it but our grandmothers were confused.”

Guest name cards were made from wood.

“I made these by renting a mitre saw from a tool rental facility to cut a eucalyptus branch one of the gardeners at Stern Grove gave to me from the mulch pile.  I had my husband carry it up the stairs (it weighed nearly 100 pounds), fired it up, and had 90 cross-section disks in about 20 minutes.  The dust gets everywhere despite the dust bag, so I put down a tarp to do this (we don’t have outdoor space) and wore a respirator mask.  The disks that were cut a little too roughly I sanded down with my Dremel tool.  I then printed the text for both  sides onto clear inkjet labels and cut them out with a circle cutter. I stuck the labels in place and smoothed them down.  Our florist brought a tray with moss in it for me to display them,” explains Lauren.

There’s one more lovely little DIY project that Andrew and Lauren had for their wedding: The favors! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post.