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Entertaining
“I Do” It Yourself: Craft Your Dream Wedding Reception
Creating your dream wedding is just a few crafts away. See how to personalize your event with vintage flair!
Written by Jickie Torres
Photography by Bret Gum
Styled by Sylvia Asmussen and Jickie Torres

Looking to put the sweet in your sweetheart table? These adorable crafts not only add personal charm to any event, they’re destined to be keepers. “I always advise customers to think about what memory or feeling they want to leave with their guests,” says wedding and event specialist Sylvia Asmussen. “Then we pick special vintage elements to complement that vision.”

As proprietress of Madam Palooza, a vintage prop rental company that specializes in creating special settings for one-of-a-kind gatherings, she’s an expert in using vintage showpieces to create “wow” moments.

Wedding Chair Groom Seat

DIY projects not only help with the budget — they get everyone involved. Sylvia’s top tip for brides is to encourage groom to participate, make choices and create. “Get your fiance involved in the décor,” she says. “It’s important to involve both people. Don’t make it one-sided—make it fun, go to a flea market together to find cool chairs or toasting glasses. It’s rewarding to know that you spent the afternoon shopping and working because at the end, you can say, ‘Look what we made!'”

Stage a Photo Station

To make the evening a dynamic affair, create a special spot for people to have fun with photos. “The trend in photography is to not just having your bridal party shot in the venue. It’s all about styled shoots at the wedding,” says Sylvia. “Create a fun photo op for your bridal party or the bride and groom.”

Vintage Wedding Bike

Marry Old and New

This setting we created at the Madam Palooza combines a fresh modern feel with the charm and nostalgia of vintage elements. “Vintage represents our past, and what better way to celebrate the union of two people than bringing meaningful elements from each of their lives that they can create together?”

Coffee Filter Garland

Make a Coffee-Filter Garland

Use a combination of white and unbleached coffee filters for a one-of-a-kind ruffled look. Dye a few white filters with your wedding colors, using a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of food coloring. Once dry, string them all together using an embroidery needle and embroidery floss—just pierce a hole through the center of the garland and alternate colors for a fun look. Bunch a few together for a pom-pom look; you can keep them in place with a knot of ribbon or a tab of washi tape.

Sweetheart Table

Top Trend: The Sweetheart Table

If the head-table is not quite your style, try something more intimate and special: the sweetheart table—a small spot reserved simply for the new husband and wife.

“Sweetheart tables are starting to be a highlight because you are the center of attention from the moment you sit down to the moment you cut the cake, all eyes are on you—just as your guests like it,” Sylvia says. “It’s also all about highlighting your event and putting something individual into your décor.”

Wedding Cake Mayne

Signature sweets.

Vintage styling is a trend on the menu, too. Kim Mayne, the owner of Sweet Layers Cakes & Pastries designed our wedding cake inspired by fun retro modern charm. “Ombre has been around for a while, as well as the rosette look, but I wanted to tweak the effect by creating a nostalgic geometric-retro feel to the texture.”

Retro Treats

Kim says it’s fun to get nostalgic with the wedding sweets.

“Childhood memories, brought on by certain flavors and desserts, are fascinating to us,” she says. “Here I did spice cake with a maple frosting, but think carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting, and a traditional yellow cake with coconut pecan topping.”

Top Trend: Multiple Cakes

“We are starting to see a lot of DIY couples opting for a bakery to do small one or two tier cakes for photos,” Kim says. “Simple designs embellished with fresh flowers are big. Cupcake liners or wraps have added a level of panache.”

Get a Cake with Personality!

Don’t forget to carry your theme into your cake. As a cake artist, Kim works the event’s theme into the cake décor by asking for inspiration boards.

“This way we get the tones, colors, and styles already choreographed by the customer,” she says. “We also like to choose key pieces from a theme that will tie it all together.”

The full version of this article appeared on pages 98-103 of the Spring 2015 issue of Make it Vintage with the title “DIY I Do.”