If you've been reading my blog in the past 3 months, you might know that I'm getting married. For some reason, until now, I haven't talked about it much in posts (other than calling Justin "my fiance" over and over and over again...). But, now, I've added a "Wedding" portion to this site, and will be talking about it a whole lot more!
I wanted to share what I did to "propose" to my bridal party. The way I see it, Justin had to put everything together for the perfect engagement - from designing the ring to orchestrating a photographer, from coordinating with our parents to duping me into thinking none of it was happening... so, why shouldn't I have to do some proposing, too?
Here are the basic tools I used:
- Wood Box
- Blue and White Twine
- Scrabble Tiles
- Craft Tags
- Martha Stewart Small Bunting
- Alphabet Stamps
- Black Ink Pad
- White Spraypaint
- Silver Spraypaint
I created a box for each of my girls. I wanted these boxes to symbolize my wedding, so I included a lot of natural elements along with some DIY touches. I hand stained the boxes to a very dark color, then laid a piece of lace over the top and did a layer of white spray paint, then a layer of silver spray paint to leave a very neat lace pattern on the top.
I am envisioning chalkboards being a big part of my wedding, because I love the old school vibe they give off. So, on the inside of these boxes, I hot glued a chalkboard. Because the phrase "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" seemed too hard to fit onto the chalkboard, I opted to break the phrase into two parts.
I hand stamped "Be" and "My" onto two miniature bunting flags per box, then strung them on small blue and white twine that I hot glued to the top corners of the inside of the box lid. Then, I glued the chalkboards with the word "Bridesmaid" in the center of the inside of the lid.
How did I get the chalkboards to be such an awesome and fun shape? To be honest, this was just a piece of cardboard cut from a shoe box, which I then cut into the shape I wanted before painting over with chalkboard paint. But, it was the cheapest and easiest way to ensure I got chalkboard pieces that were exactly the right size.
As I mentioned, I wanted to bring in some natural elements to these boxes. I lined the inside with one layer of thin burlap that I purchased from Hobby Lobby and one small layer of a gauzey/lace-like material that my sister had on hand. I thought it was kind of fun that, once you opened the box and saw the "Be My Bridesmaid?" question, there was still a bit of a "gift" to open.
I filled the insides with goodies, and no two boxes were exactly the same. I wanted some items to be in every box, but some items to be unique.
I included champagne corks to signify the celebratory nature that weddings have. Also, I love champagne, so it wasn't hard to collect the corks.
In some boxes, I included dark gray felt flowers to represent one of the important colors we are incorporating into our wedding as well as symbolize the fact that my girls will be carrying flowers as part of their bridesmaid job.
Some boxes also included a sample name card holder that is made from birch wood. I got a set of these at Anthropologie, and they really evoke the feeling of "the outside in," which is part of what I am hoping to achieve. Our wedding is going to be in a huge loft with a skyline view of the city, so we want to mix elements to combine the city life with nature.
Some boxes also included a CD of fun, girly, lovey music that I put together. It includes love songs from Disney movies, as well as more contemporary songs that are meaningful to Justin and me. I wanted it to combine the exciting feelings we have about love as children with the excitement I have about marrying the love of my life. I wrapped the CDs in blue and white graph paper, because I wanted to add another interesting visual element without adding any new colors.
Also, I included Scrabble Tiles that spelled out each girl's name (or a nick name, if applicable). This was my mom's idea, and I loved it, because Scrabble Tiles will also be making an appearance at my wedding!
All five of the boxes also included a set of four cards that I made, which were wrapped in the same blue twine I used to hang the "Be" and "My" flags. I printed these on some manilla folders I grabbed from my parents' den at their house. Basically, I cut those pages to be a print-appropriate size, and arranged all four pages to be about the size of a post card, so that they would all fit on one page and I could cut/separate them later.
Then, I glued thick, brown labels on the top of each card. The shape of these labels mimicked the shape of the chalkboard, and I hand-stamped the phrases "The Job," "The Girls," "The Dresses," and "The Timeline" on them.
I also used one of the fonts I'm using for my wedding. It's called Modern No. 20. It is also part of my Save The Date, so I am excited about the continuity there. It's the little things...
On the card "The Job," I wrote them a heartfelt note about why I wanted them there and what I wanted them to do. I didn't get strict or specific - I just told them that I loved them and that I wanted them to feel wonderful in their dress, to hold beautiful flowers, and to be there to support me as I marry Justin/
On the card "The Timeline," I just broke down the key dates that we have so far - things like an Engagement Party, Cocktails and Crafts Day, Bachelorette Weekend, Rehearsal Dinner, and Wedding Day. I kept it simple by putting the date, event name, and general location (like Chicago, IL or Libertyville, IL), so that they could plan ahead.
On the card "The Dresses," I put a description of what we're thinking to have them wear. I wanted them to know what to expect, so they could visualize themselves on that day.
On the card labeled "The Girls," I named each of my bridesmaids (so that they could start getting familiar with each others' names) and a short, silly, one sentence description about them. For my friend Kelsey, for example, I put "Most likely to give me a pep talk in baby talk," or something like that. The idea was just to keep things light and silly.
Finally, I closed the boxes. I gave two of these boxes out at a family party on the same day, so for those two, I tied some twine around them and added a hand-stamped name card.