If you’ve seen Part 1 of Sophie and Peter’s uniquely beautiful cornfield wedding, you’ll know how much heart, soul and hard work went into it.
Every detail of their day was handmade or repurposed and Sophie’s aunts catered the whole wedding for less than $2 a head because they grew all the food on their farm!
The marquee, which was surrounded by fields of corn, was decorated with an abundance of rustic textures including burlpap, wood and slate as well as vintage books, mismatched china, oil lamps, buttons, fabric bunting and lace.
They even made a plastic outdoor toilet look pretty by creating a vintage washstand and hale bay sofa for hanging out on. And their genius snack bar / dessert bar idea was perfect for guests with a savoury and/or sweet tooth!
(FYI this is a looong post but it’s filled to the brim with inspiring ideas so I figure you guys won’t mind.)
Sophie shares all the DIY details:
The button oil lamp centerpieces we built ourselves out of 2-quart mason jars. The other centerpieces were gallon and half-gallon sized mason jars that I put barley and wheat in that we got from our neighbor’s crop. Around both types of centerpieces we put rope that was hand braided/rolled by my dad.
We used old milk jugs from our friend’s dairy for water on the table, and I decorated them with strips of the burlap and some lace trim that I found in my grandma’s basement.
Peter and I wanted to have “heritage food” of sorts, so we combined favourite dishes from our homes.
Love Is Sweet / Love Is Salty
Peter loves nuts. And I love candy. So, we decided to form that into our little pre-dinner snack.
Dad and I used the old pig scalder (a big, wooden tub) for the nuts. We used old nail kegs for the individual nuts and mixes, and then filled the rest of the scalder around them with regular peanuts with shells.
The candy table was a mix of all of our favorite candies. We collected glass containers from all over to put them in.
Another really fun activity was making the peanut and candy bags that we gave to each person; they also helped people find their tables. We traced and cut pieces of tobacco paper (used for tobacco plant processing) from a roll of it that my dad had in the barn.
Then we put it through the printer to add our “brand” of sorts. After that, we folded and glued the bags, punched holes and I handwrote each guest’s name. After putting the table number on a little map circle on the back, we hung them between two posts with twine at the entrance.
Two of our favorite “thinkers” and “authors” are St. Augustine and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, so we put a quote about sweetness/love from Augustine on the candy bags and a quote from Bonhoeffer about saltiness on the nuts bag.
Me, my mom and sisters collected random china for months. We borrowed a lot of it from friends, and the rest we bought really cheaply at local second hand stores.
Though we were washing and packing china sets away by table for a solid day, it was an awesome, inexpensive, beautiful alternative to renting china for 200 people… or eating off plastic plates.
Hand Twirled Wire
Dad had a coil of rusty iron wire that he twirled by hand to make the stands for our table numbers/photos and also our drink signs. Then we sawed field corn cobs in half and used those as the holder. I handwrote our drink signs on more floor underlayment paper.
I drew him a curly “S” and “P” and Dad curled those two letters out of the iron wire for our cake topper.
One of my favorite parts of our reception was the sash (old windows) that we had hanging around the tent.
When I was in the beginning stages of talking to our tent rental guy, I totally was not into the idea of using those sides with the fake windows, so I got the idea of hanging sash as real windows. It just so happens that my dad had probably 50 old windows of different shapes and sizes in the loft of the barn.
I knew I wanted a little seating area in this space. I asked Dad if it were possible to make a bench-like thing out of square bales. An hour later Dad came in the house and said I needed to go to the barn with him—the glamorous hay bale couch was born!
The pump sink was probably my favorite. Dad and I found the old pump in the barn, and Dad stripped the paint off and gave it a coat of varnish. Then he built the wooden base, and ran a hose up through it. He actually borrowed a new urinal handle from our plumber friend to use as the foot pedal to turn on the water. Then he also built new legs for the trough and we had ourselves and awesome outdoor hand-washing station!
Our friend Jen made our wedding cake, and our friends Erin & Tristan made our wooden cake stand. Instead of putting our cake on a table, I turned a few milk crates upside down and put it on top. My aunts and cousins and close family friends graciously made pies for each table.
I am in love with doilies in general. So, I decided that I wanted to make a big paper mache lamp of doilies. This was really complicated, actually, and I credit my mom with purusing this on her own after I gave up, and making it happen.
Our coasters: My dad got limbs of cedar from back in our woods and we worked in the shop to cut it into round pieces and sand down both sides. We only put 2 coats of varnish on one side, so that our guests could use it in their sweater drawer, if they wanted, or as a coaster. I then hand-wrote every guest’s name on the varnished side.
Our jelly: At my parents’ house, we grow strawberries in the garden. The raspberries sort of started as a weed and aren’t well-kempt, but they grow behind the shed in between the lumber pile in the billions, so we had plenty to take on the project of making jelly for our guests.
I think this might just be the ultimate DIY wedding!
I must say a great big thank you to Sophie for sharing such beautiful insight into your wedding. Hope that you and Peter are enjoying married life.
And many thanks also to Mary Dougherty Photography for sharing these stunning images.
So dear readers, what’s your favourite DIY detail?
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