DIY Rustic Wedding Decor – Part 1

Since Sunday was our one year anniversary, I am making this week an anniversary-palooza.  Well, not really, but just focusing today’s and Friday’s posts on more wedding stuff, the many DIYs we did.  You can see all of these in action plus more wedding pics in our Style Me Pretty feature :)

Our wedding, of course, was on a limited budget so we chose to spend decent money on more important aspects such as hiring a planner from the get-go, getting a really badass photographer, and of course, the best BBQ around.  Therefore, most of our décor was DIY by myself or my awesome friends and family.  I loved having this balance because, since I had comfort in the fact that we got really great vendors for the super important parts, the parts to DIY were manageable and comfortable.  I knew from the beginning I didn’t want to take on too much DIY (like making my invitations) because, while that is totally awesome, I knew I couldn’t handle the added stress and didn’t even want to try.  When you’re a bride, it is so very important to keep your burden light and rely on others to take care of as much as they can so that you enjoy this time and remember how great it was, not how stressed and busy you were.  I started these a year before the wedding so I wouldn’t have to mess with them when it came down to the wire.  It is a fine balance so know when to call it :)

This first post will cover projects related to the ceremony and Friday’s will be on projects for the reception.  All photos are from Rebecca McCoy Photography (check her out if you’re in the Hill Country, she is awesome).

Coaster Save-the-Dates
This was my favorite DIY of the wedding :)
Instead of a magnet or postcard, I wanted our save-the-dates to be something that people could use for a little bit instead of just tossing them aside so a coaster was right up our crew’s alley.  I bought 150 plain white chipboard coaters but didn’t want them to be white so I tried to tea stain them.  They didn’t take it very well and since they are paper, you can’t let them soak for too long.  I got a box of dark brown Rit, mixed up a bowl, and dunked a handful in.  They darkened to the perfect light tan immediately and stopped so it was really quick to do all of them.  I leaned them vertically in a cooling rack to dry.  I got a vintage-y custom stamp and stamped each one in a dark brown ink.  I tested all sorts of ink brands from Hobby Lobby with wet drinks on the extra coasters and none of them bled.  I didn’t make a frame to make sure the stamp was centered, that’s what alot of extra coasters are for :)  On the back I stamped a large oak tree in dark green ink, also eyeballed to center.  I wanted our guests to refer to our wedding website but I was adamant to not have that on the invitation so this was the perfect place to add it.  I ordered another custom stamp from Etsy along with these tags and tied them on with some twine.  Again, I had extra so I chose the best 125 or so to send out.  They were mailed in square Kraft envelopes.


Vintage Invitation Stamps
So this isn’t really a DIY as much as just a creative touch…. I hate when gorgeous invitations are ruined by ugly postage stamped onto the envelope so I wanted to add my own postage before mailing.  I scoured eBay for vintage botanical/wildlife stamps and let me tell ‘ya, the stamp collecting business is still hoppin’ cause these babies weren’t cheap.  Especially my pièce de résistance, the floral “Love” stamp circa 1982, it was a must-have (birth year AND adorable).  My invitations were quite thick and they were mailed in square Kraft envelopes which are an odd rate so they came out to about $1.70ish each.  It was a process to accumulate enough stamps for 125ish envelopes, and the post office wasn’t too happy with me, but I wouldn’t change it one bit, it looked so awesome!  Oh, and I bribed a coworker with awesome handwriting (wine and a spa) to address all of them.  I would KILL to be able to write like her!  


I wanted Matt and the groomsmen to wear something more unique than a bloom as well as something I wouldn’t have to worry about looking crappy as the night went on.  I saw a tutorial on Pinterest and it was perfect.  I loved that you can customize it to fit your style and make it bigger or smaller as you see fit.  And the guys loved that they didn’t have to wear a flower.
Old Fence Picket Signs
I knew I needed some sort of directional signage based on how out-in-the-boonies our venue was so I roughly painted some old pickets from my friend Kari’s house as signs to put around that day.  We put them at certain turns out on the roads and around the venue for restrooms, the reception area, ceremony, and this one to tell people to sit wherever.  We are keeping the top plank :)
Ribbon Backdrop
Our original ceremony space was in a clearing with trees in the background so I made this ribbon backdrop for that, however, we had to change where we had the ceremony when our guest list grew so it found a home behind the bar during the reception which worked out much better I thought.  It was 20’x 10′ made with a bunch of bulk ribbon, burlap, and fabric strips.  It would have been great behind us but it made the bar space feel much more specific and focused so I’m happy about that.
Random Chalkboard Signage
So I’ll end on my favorite little touch the day of the wedding.  I got a bunch of half off Hobby Lobby barnwood frames, took the glass out, painted the cardboard with chalkboard paint, and used them for various large signs around the wedding (gift table, favors, escort cards).  And please note, if you paint cardboard with chalkboard paint, it acts like it got wet and you can totally see the cardboard pattern afterwards.  But I didn’t care, I just didn’t want to tote glass frames four hours to and from the wedding.  Anyway, this sign was out during the ceremony and reception and it is a line from Texas country artist Cory Morrow’s “Always and Forever”.  Matt and I met at a Cory Morrow concert and this is one of the songs we danced to that night.  My aunt-slash-maid-of-honor drew it the day before as I read it to her but he actually says “that light in which I need” not “see” :)  Nonetheless, it is a gorgeous song, go listen to it.






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19 thoughts on “DIY Rustic Wedding Decor – Part 1

  1. So so cute! Love all your little touches for your wedding. Definitely so original to have a coaster as a favor have yet to see that!

  2. oh my goodness! love it, emily!!! i am featuring this over at the Enchanting Inspiration link party at 8pm tonight!!!

  3. Love the coaster idea! My daughter is getting married next year and I pinned several of your DIYs – the coasters, lavender toss and jelly favors. Beautiful wedding!

  4. How exciting Kim! We wanted something just a little out of the ordinary and something that could be useful (especially for our gang!) and they worked great. Enjoy planning and if y’all have any questions on any of them, just let me know!

  5. I also loved the fact that our wedding was the only event they booked for the day – yes, just one event each day – which meant the entire staff was focused on our event.

  6. Love the coaster, love the ribbon, fabric backdrop, love the signs, love the guys buttonholes.
    I think here in the UK the Royal Mail would probably have a problem with old stamps, they are SO quick to slap a “unpaid postage” fine and make the recipient go and collect/pay the fine, I wouldn’t risk it, even though it does look gorgeous. Maybe a beautiful envelope inside a boring one would work. I’m happy that your postal service was ok to deliver these.
    Now I want to pin these idea, there are so many I don’t know where to start!

    1. I’m so glad you like it all Julia!! And I definitely got some grumpy looks from the post office guy when I took these in but oh well :) Thank goodness we don’t have fines like that cause I would have definitely racked them up :/ My invitations were one of my top favorites from our wedding because of those stamps.

  7. Oh Emily, I love all of these beautiful touches from your wedding! I’m sure it was a gorgeous day. Happy (belated) anniversary! – Bre

  8. Those coasters are so great! I love all that you did. Looks like a beautiful wedding. Thanks for sharing at our Motivational Monday party!

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