Monday, February 7, 2011

"Throw" Your Own Wedding!

It goes without saying that most of us who are looking to make our weddings personal and reflective of our style, consider ways to incorporate our hobbies and interests into many aspects of the wedding. From favorite colors to professional accomplishments, we use our backgrounds and experiences to spice up our receptions and let our friends and family really get to know us.

For some people, this means engaging in art projects that reflect our tastes and aesthetic choices. While for others, it may mean literally putting our art or creative objects on display at our weddings. For Jake and I, it was obvious to us that we would somehow include our photographs in the wedding--whether via the table designations, the wedding website we created, our thank you cards, or the photos we displayed on the guests' tables.

But another thing I considered was displaying my ceramics. I have long thrown pottery and have amassed quite a collection. I have so many vases, vessels, trays, and random pieces that most are packed up in cardboard boxes in our basement storage space. And there are still plenty strewn about our apartment. So it seemed natural to me to try to use my ceramics as decorations in the wedding. I thought about using them as flower vases, or to display the seating arrangements, or just putting them out as decoration on some of the tables. I even considered giving them away at the end of the event to guests. In the end, we didn't go with any of these ideas, mostly because we had so many other ideas that would not involve carrying fragile pieces across 5 state borders to our wedding destination.

But aside from using your already existing art, it occurred to me: Why not begin a hobby with the intent of using it/displaying it at your wedding? It almost seems to good to be true. I suppose if you only have a few months to plan your wedding, this may not be ideal. But if you aren't in a rush--think about it! Turning your procrastination into something you can concretely utilize to decorate your wedding is not a bad way to go.

Why not take that ceramics class you have always wanted to take, and create pieces with your wedding in mind? Take it from me: While initially frustrating and seemingly impossible, it does not take long to become proficient in wheel throwing. And if you take a hand building class, where you assemble cut pieces of clay together by hand rather than machine, the process is even easier and instantly gratifying. While I am primarily a wheel thrower, I do make hand-built pieces sometimes. I can't tell you how easy and wonderfully satisfying it is to make a simple rectangular platter, or a simple serving dish.

A sampling of my platters (so easy to make!) and funky vessels:

The point is, we all have those classes, skills, crafts we have put off doing and learning. And we know that planning a wedding can be stressful and Wise Ones are always telling us to make sure to take breaks and make time for fun too. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Take that long awaited class! Learn that unique skill! Master that craft you have long dreamed of mastering! Reduce your stress and do something fun during those long months of planning and thinking. And then put your goods to use at your wedding.

Glancing through the YMCA and JCC's catalog, I realized how many wonderful skill classes would come in handy at your wedding:

  • Cooking classes: Catering your own wedding? Ask for a cooking class as a gift for your next birthday and make that special something for your wedding.
  • Ceramics: Make vases, small trinkets for wedding favors, trays for your food or cake. You can make personalized vessels with you and your honey's initials/names on it! The possibilities are endless, and you can continue creating long past your wedding.
  • Photography: Take a basic photo course. Who needs to hire a wedding photographer for your "engagement photos"-- do it yourself!
  • Jewelry making class: Forget buying your wedding rings! Make them yourselves for a truly unique and special token of commitment. Take the class with your partner and make your final project a wedding ring for each other.
  • Collage and Mixed Media class: Learn this amazing and simple craft and use it for your invitations, table designations, thank you cards, etc.
  • Drawing: I have a friend who took a drawing class with no previous experience, and 5 classes later was drawing images for her own wedding invitations and thank you cards. They were simple and amazing! A huge hit at the wedding and she (and her hubby) were so proud.
  • Sewing: This is really an instant gratification thing. In no time, you can sew runners for your guest tables, placemats, incorporate fabrics in your invitations, or sew little wedding favors for your guests.

Why limit yourselves to taking dance classes for your "first dance," when there are so many other--more useful (in my opinion) ways to incorporate your work in the wedding? Go for it and have FUN!

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