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University of Chicago DIY Wedding

white purple and green bouquet

These two lovebirds grew-up more than five thousand miles apart! Their paths crossed in the Midwest while attending the University of Chicago. It only seemed fitting to hold the wedding on campus at the Smart Museum of Art so their families could ‘meet in the middle.’
Hand painted details popped up at every turn. Bright golds and greens were accented with soft whites and vibrant purples. Get the scoop on all the projects from this University of Chicago DIY wedding when you keep reading and view the full gallery here, captured by Tamara Gruner Photography.

wedding rings

lace wedding dress

champange bridesmaid dresses

plants and lantern ceremony backdrop

Tamara Gruner Photography

DIY Details & Floral Recipes

The majority of our DIY energy went into the reception decor. An early trip to the IKEA marketplace provided some of the inspiration. We added hurricane and Moroccan lanterns, brass candlesticks, votives in gold, silver and green mercury glass, and a variety of purple glass candle holders on the tabletops. Most of the glassware was purchased at Michael’s once it was 50 percent off. On our IKEA trip we also found metal containers with lace-inspired perforated edges which we sprayed antique gold and used as planters and luminaries. We brought the garden to each table using oblong metal planters we filled with salvia, joey, flowering kale, coleus and ivy, purchased and potted the week before our wedding. We added to the tabletop garden with single stems of fern, blue thistle, agapanthus, gomphrena, scabiosa or allium in a variety of purple glass bud vases.

candle escort cards

purple vases from ikea

Easy Escort card DIY

Easy AND cheap DIY: get some self-adhesive vellum labels and a few bulk packages of clear votive holders. Run the labels through your printer to make your escort cards (Paper Source even has free templates you can download). Peel and stick on to the votive.

From the beginning, I knew that I wanted a paper crane chandelier to be the focal point of the reception décor. Following our engagement, my guilty pleasure was to spend a weekend afternoon folding paper cranes while watching wedding shows on Netflix. Folding those things became a pretty good outlet for all of my wedding excitement. Before I knew it, I had a 1,000 plus. Really, the hard part was stringing them and figuring out how to assemble the chandelier that could be hung from the twenty-foot peak of the tent without a ladder. My super-crafty friend Chris (and two of my other closest friends, Lauren and Irem) stepped up and took over the project of stringing the cranes. My aunt helped me design the bamboo pole structure that we could hang the cranes from and found a pulley so that the chandelier could get hoisted up and suspended from an eye-hook in the center of the tent.

purple wedding ideas

hanging purple paper cranes

garden wedding ideas

table number ideas

penguin cake topper

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