Recently we created lovely rustic wedding décor for my son’s wedding. Almost everything we used was recycled and simple and very inexpensive. We used a lot of seed pods, acorns, nuts, dried maple leaves and hessian (burlap) and twine.
Here are a few projects we created:
Succulent Plants in Tins
We all collected empty tins which we cleaned and allowed to rust in the months leading up to the wedding. A few weeks before the wedding, I potted the succulent plants and gave them time to ‘settle’. I cut out heart shapes from rusty tin with tin snips. I decorated them with a liquid correction fluid pen. I attached the hearts to some florist wire and inserted them into each tin.
We decorated each tin with unique combinations of hessian (burlap), ribbons, lace and twine. My youngest daughter and I cut and seared the edges of circles we cut from the satin off-cut pieces from the bunting material. Layering the satin circles with linen circles, and pinching the centres to create folds, we stitched the flowers and added pearl beads in the centres. We used beaded pins to simply attach the flowers to the tins on the day we set out the potted plants.
We used some recycled tins for candle lanterns. We drilled 2 holes at the tops to attach the wire handles and patterns of holes for the candle light to flicker through. We attached fabric flowers and some pretty ribbon to each lantern to soften the effect. We filled each tin with some pebbles. We bought some cheap battery operated LED ‘candles’ which flickered and lasted the whole night!
Table Seating Board
I covered a cork notice board with hessian (burlap) and crisscrossed ribbons which I stitched at each intersection with a small pearl bead. I cut out rusty tin into squares and wrote the table numbers with white correction fluid. My daughter inked the edges of the corrugated cardboard and coloured paper and we glued the name lists which we printed on brown paper on top. Using some brown ribbon, I attached the boards to the crisscrossed ribbons. We set the board up on a lovely easel at the doorway to the reception venue.
Fynbos flower wreaths for the bridesmaids and flower girls
My 14-year-old makes beautiful flower wreaths. She cut greenery and twisted this with thick florist wire to fit around her head. Then she cut slightly opened rose buds and flowers and hung them for a few weeks and allowed them to dry. She twisted these into the greenery. On the day of the wedding, she added some fresh buds and flowers to complete the wreaths. These wreaths last for ages and look lovely months later!
Proteas in metal buckets
My eldest daughter creates the most amazing, enormous flower arrangements. We all went out to cut protea, fynbos flowers and greenery on our farm. Many “fillers” are beautiful weeds that we cut to create the fullness of the arrangements.
She filled the buckets with arranged greenery and “fillers” and then placed her protea flowers into the greenery. She completed the arrangements with other buds, berries and flowering shrubbery. Fynbos flowers last a long time if the water is replaced regularly with fresh water.
The bride’s (now my new daughter-in-love) mother created all the table décor. She collected acorns, seeds, pods,and leaves, and decorated a variety of bottles with lace and ribbon. The table numbers were painted onto large dried maple leaves and inserted into bottles filled with nuts. She created ice ‘buckets’ using large canning bottles and decorated old wine bottles for water bottles with hessian and ribbon decorations. She collected and hung interesting seeds and pods onto long ribbons which she hung in the windows.
The chalkboard place mats showed guests their names and seating, and also provided lots of fun and entertainment as guests waited for the bride and groom to arrive! These were lovely thank you gifts for guests to take away with them.
A friend of the bride’s mom asked my girls to help her create lovely heart-shaped flower wreaths. She provided them with two twig frames that held double layers of plastic mesh filled with florist ‘green stuff’ (we call ‘oasis’) inside the heart wreaths. The girls filled these with Fynbos, greenery, proteas, flowers and buds.
Palm Pod Signs
Using large wooden pods which came from palm trees, we painted blackboard paint inside each and then painted names and arrows to direct family and friends to the venue. These will now hang in the drive on our farm to show visitors to Zahn and Rachelle’s new home!
Bunting and Hanging Beer Bottles
Our outdoors reception areas looked fabulously festive with bunting and hanging beer bottles. We bought a few meters of linen and colored satin cloth for the bunting. Using pinking shears we cut and sewed the bunting triangles onto 5m lengths of bias bunting and sewed the ribbon closed. We hung empty, cleaned beer bottles with twine on the stoep and placed a twig of fynbos greenery in each bottle.
This was a wonderful wedding, filled with lots of loving touches and beauty.
You could use these ideas for your garden parties and weddings!