Friday, February 01, 2013

Handmade wedding

Bethwyn and Steven just married 
When my dear friend and 'Frugal with the Bruegel' collaborator, Bethwyn, got married last weekend to her sweetheart Steven, it was a completely unpretentious affair. Not small, not plain, but a charming expression of her creativity and that of her many creative friends.  Some of my own contributions surprised me- many of the things I've made and given to Bethwyn since we became friends featured in the wedding, giving me a little frisson of pleasure every time I noticed another one.

Handmade paper garland
My wedding gift to the couple was a book I made a few years ago for the poem I wrote called Do the Dishes.I loaned my bunting which hung alongside the bunting shared by at least two other friends. The many metres of handmade bunting (each maker's character making the different strands distinctive)  first decorated the trees shading the ceremony, then appeared again at the hall for the reception.

Handmade lace garter
My two main (intentional) contributions to the wedding were worn by Bethwyn.  I spent many months crocheting the lace for a garter, then stitched it onto a vintage velvet ribbon. The lace pattern is one I invented called Denniston Lace after a white frothy plant I admired on my visit to Denniston Plateau last year. Making lace is really hard on my eyes and this garter may sadly be the last lace I make. I love to do it, I love the idea of it, but I'm not willing to sacrifice such an essential sense for it!

Bethwyn trying on the garter on the morning of the wedding, with freshly henna'd hands

As it comes off the hook, the lace is naturally scrunched up on itself and doesn't look much until it is starched and blocked.  I worked though a few iterations to get the starch right for wearing against skin.

Blocking Denniston Lace
My go-to home made starch recipe is designed to stiffen hand made lace for exhibition   The garter would have been as scratchy as bark to wear and I wanted the barefoot bride to feel completely comfortable in it.  It spent most of the wedding day hidden beneath her long dress, but every chance I got I made her lift her skirts to show me again!

Show me that garter again please
She also wore a garland in her hair, made by us together in our altered book collaboration.  I suggested using cut up books when she said she wasn't going to wear a veil and didn't want fresh flowers either.  Bethwyn kept saying she couldn't visualise how my proposal would turn out, but she trusted me enough to spend about 5 hours two weeks before the wedding working with me to make it.   She was so relieved when it turned out well. I wasn't completely sure how it would work but I also trusted my skills and imagination to try something new.
Planning the layout of the cutouts
Together we cut out images of leaves, flowers, birds and insects from two copies of An Edwardian Lady's Country Diary and attached them to florist wire to make a wreath.  A few coats of sealant made a very resiliant headpiece which complimented Bethwyn's cream and brown gown perfectly.

Half finished garland
I was just one of many friends and family  members with whom Bethwyn shared the pleasure of making the wedding.  So many weddings seem to be bland displays for which a couple starts their life together deeply in debt.  This one was a celebration of community and creativity as well as Bethwyn and Steven's love and committment to eachother.

The garland in action

1 comment:

Joseph said...

Awesome wedding crafts. I like all the displayed images.

Thanks for sharing such creativity.
Handmade gifts