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THE PLANNING & PREPARATION STAGES

Photograhy by Celestine Aerden

WHEN
1 year before the wedding to days before the wedding

WHERE
Home office and around the house, I did a lot of the decor myself (even the bouquets!)

THEME
Woodland

WHY THAT THEME
We have always loved nature, the outdoors, the woods. I personally have always been a (wild) flower child, never polished, always free-spirited, even my personal style is more bohemian (I think it is the islander in me)... for me being one with the woods is a natural choice. We personally prefer the rustic farm barn camping feel and our whole wedding encapsulated that. 

SIDE STORY
For me, I was able to do all of these DIY's because I only work part-time and seriously I always say that Martha Stewart is my alter ego. I enjoy crafting and I rarely procrastinate. 

BRIDE'S TIP
If you are not crafty and you don't have lots of time, do not try DIY's. You see something on Pinterest and you think you can do it but believe me, no matter how crafty you are, those things take time and patience and lots of creativity. It's just better to buy something off of Etsy. 
Get a wedding planner and wedding (decor) stylist if you need to!
Also, I hate asking for help because I like doing things a certain way but you need help -- do not be afraid to ask for them, do not be afraid to tell people what you really want. Believe me, your phone won't stop ringing but in the end, it is so nice to have help. 

REGRETS...I HAVE A FEW!
I have always heard people say that from the time you start planning and preparing your wedding, you should only give yourselves 9 months. I didn't know why but now I do. When you start your preparation process, you are mostly done by 9 months. So if your wedding day waiting time is longer than that, you kind of lose the sense of excitement for some reason. Like for us, the 9th-11th month was BLAH and we just couldn't wait for the day and get it over and done with (you will understand this better once you are in this position). Needless to say, we wish we followed the 9-month rule.

(L-R, top to bottom) 
AK metal letters from Michael's (get them 40% coupons online or wait for a sale); Teepees at the venue during winter time; I made every single banner we used during the reception (I loved using the letters from HERE); Chalkboards were big part of our decor ($2 each from Dollarama); Mr & Mrs ring dish from Alchemy in Kelowna; Meeting with our photog and showing her our venue; Our wedding reception during winter time (Do a couple of ocular visits- MUST!); DIY envelopes and stickers for our wedding invitations (I used Kraft Paper from Walmart, around $6 for a roll and measured the envelopes myself; sticker label I made myself using the Brother Label Maker); DIY Matchbox labels (I got the idea from Etsy and just made myself a template. PS I have a computer degree so I'm quite good with computer stuff) - we were going to use matches for sparkler exit

(L-R, top to bottom) 
Seating chart using an old window frame, photos of the outdoors I took myself and the coordinates wood frame is actually a decor from our home (the coordinates represent where we got engaged); Our venue, Camp Kindle, during summer time; We decided not to have a dance floor and opted for a Bonfire instead for the after-party (for the after-after-party, we did Karaoke in one of the cabins); Our ceremony will be held here with a view of the barn; One of my fave projects- the newspaper of our wedding that I designed/wrote myself and printed off at Staples (use the Ledger size for newspaper and you can do a self-serve for a few cents each);  Another fave DIY project - the wedding altar macrame (I used ropes bought off of Home Depot and watched YouTube videos on how to make one. Otherwise, you are looking at spending around $500-$1000 for one!); back side of The Daily Vow newspaper - I made a personalized crossword puzzle about us; We decided to use picnic tables for our reception to keep up with the theme; More banner

(L-R, top to bottom) 
Our wedding reception table centrepieces by my mother-in-law (the planter boxes were custom from a local vendor but she kept those succulents alive for months in her own garden - IMPRESSIVE!); Patio lights from Indigo for our wedding reception; Trying out how the bar would look like with the banner I printed off (TAGAY is Filipino which means TAKE YOUR SHOT) and the plastic leaves I bought from Dollarama; Not a fan of wedding toppers but this one is Filipino-themed and given by one of my BFFs from home (Philippines); personalized AK wedding ring holder from Etsy (TIP: If you are from Canada, look for stores within Canada - support local! Also, shipping is faster and cheaper!); First and only wedding magazine (didn't find it useful, TBH) given to me by my fiancé ; DIY Notecards for gifts for our usherettes and other wedding vendors (just a nice gesture to give them a THANK YOU note with a little token of appreciation); My bridesmaids joining me for the quest to find my wedding dress; Photo wall chalkboard 

(L-R, top to bottom) 
Showing my sister-in-law my idea for the reception menus (we bought easels from Michael's on sale and vine is from Dollarama); Card box (I used my greenhouse from home); Yes, my mom and I did the bouquets ourselves (We bought some potted plants, some flowers from the grocery store and some were propagated by my mother-in-law months before the wedding. If you will go the same route, make sure that you do some trial bouquets); Also a trial look of the table setting (something you can show to your caterers or your helpers to copy); A&K labels from Etsy that eventually was used as table markers; Personalized mason jar glasses (jars were $1.25 each from Dollarama) for the reception that also acted as wedding favours; I always liked doing trial looks for set up so my helpers knew my vision (since I don't have a wedding coordinator  or a wedding stylist); TAGAY PA frame which my fiancé and I found funny, as TAGAY is Filipino (as am I) and the kid looks like he's having a pint in England (Andrew is half-British) -- we loved incorporating our cultures and languages in our wedding; Personalized A Lamarche and K Lamarche burlap labels for our wedding chairs (bought off of Groupon)

(L-R, top to bottom) 
Seating plan using places we love as a couple with corresponding coordinates; Personalized sticker labels I made for the mason jar giveaways (We have a fancy printer that's why I was able to do this on my own. I also used Avery Stickers and their online templates were user-friendly); Instagram hashtag label (I used a free template I found online - sorry, I don't have the link anymore); Photo banners of our memories as a couple and with our friends (I eventually used clothespin from Michael's and all the twine is from Dollarama. If you can't print pictures using your printer, Costco is really cheap and fast for photo printing.); DIY Polaroid/Instagram Frames for the photo wall station (I bought the cardboards from Dollarama); Birch Tree straws bought off of Etsy; Rice in pouches to throw on wedded couple after ceremony (Throwing rice on couple in my culture means prosperity); Andrew's chest from his grandpa used as throw/blanket container for when guests get cold; My MOH trying out some table napkin setting

THE NEWSPAPER: THE DAILY VOW
Sorry, I tried uploading the best quality but I was having troubles...here's a gist of the newspaper I made for our wedding. If you want me to make you one for yours or any other event, please contact me at kdfaustino at yahoo dot com

THE WELCOME NOTE
I am better at expressing myself in writing so I thought of writing this WELCOME NOTE to be placed on top of each guest's plate. It is also kind of what I would say if we made vows (I refused to do a personalized vow as I think I would just cry the entire time -- believe me, I cried when I was writing this note and each time I read it) as these were the emotions I have felt in terms of my relationship with Andrew. It is also an expression of as to why we chose these guests amongst all of our other relatives and friends. 

*** If you need any assistance on your wedding decor, please do not hesitate to contact me through kdfaustino at yahoo dot com ***
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