Eclectic, Handmade Wedding With A Bride Who Knitted Her Own Dress: Stephanie & Rob

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Stephanie and Rob’s wedding was nearly all handmade. They wanted it to have a laid back and unfussy feel but for it to be a little bit fancy. One of the biggest projects for the wedding was Stephanie’s dress, which she knitted herself!

“I designed and hand knit my dress from linen and cashmere yarn”, she explained. “I used some turn of the 20th century gowns for inspiration, particularly for the shape of the skirt, and combined a variety of related lace patterns. I was really, really happy with how it turned out, but I think the mirroring of the pattern on the waistband is my favorite part.”

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“After the wedding, I hired a pattern writer to work with my notes and the dress itself to write a pattern for the dress for anyone who’d like to knit one themselves. It’s not for beginners, but it really wouldn’t be that complicated for someone who has a few sweaters under her belt.”

To avoid wedding planning stresses, the couple called upon their talented friends and family to help out where they could. “Wedding planning has a terrible reputation for turning women into either monsters or weepy stressballs (or both!), but I didn’t really experience any of that”, she continued. “In fact, one of my bridesmaids started referring to me as a ‘bridechilla.’ That’s not to say that I didn’t have a pretty clear vision for what I wanted. I did, and I put a lot of work into executing it. But the projects I took on were all things that I really enjoy doing, including the organizational aspects and problem solving. And we really took advantage of the skills and strengths of everyone we know to a degree that I think is pretty unusual.”

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“I made my dress, half the desserts, the favors, the seating cards, and the table décor. Rob put the band together. A friend of a friend made my fascinator. Another friend of a friend made my slip. My mother-in-law made the string lanterns that hung on the patio. My dad hung the fairy lights outside. My mom and my bridesmaids made cookies. My mom and mother-in-law picked out the linen, glassware, china, and flatware rentals together. I bought soda syrups from an acquaintance. A group of us did the flowers together. The morning of the wedding, my parents and friends came together to decorate the venue. It was all hands on deck in the very best way.”

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The wedding was held at Silvermine Tavern in Norwalk, CT. “This place is actually right up the road from my mother-in-law’s, and while we looked at a couple of other places in the area (an art gallery, a fancy farm), I knew this was it as soon as I walked in”, she explained. “I liked how big and sprawling it was and how many separate spaces there were, I liked the huge deck, I loved the creepy mannequin. The price was good and the owner was incredibly accommodating about letting us store decorations and the band’s equipment there and come in the day before to do the flowers. He allowed the linens to be delivered early so we could set everything up that morning instead of having to wait until after the caterers arrived. It was basically the perfect venue and I would recommend it to everyone, except that it’s just been sold and we were the last wedding there before major renovations.”

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“One of my favorite moments of the whole day was when we were still taking photos when people started arriving and even though I’d planned to hide out before the ceremony and make a more traditional entrance coming down the aisle, I ending up staying outside and greeting everyone as they went in. It was so much fun. It was almost like a pre-receiving line, except I got to keep saying, ‘Welcome to my wedding!’ Even though I knew all of these people would be coming to celebrate with us, seeing them arrive and knowing that they were there because they love us and were happy for our happiness was incredibly moving.”

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“All things considered, we were pretty restrained in terms of what we spent”, Stephanie concluded. “That said, we didn’t stint on the food (it was really good and there was plenty of it), and when you add up what I spent on the yarn and supplies for my dress, my shoes, my fascinator, my make up, and my slip, it was pretty close to what we paid to rent the venue. However we saved a ton of money by doing the flowers and the other décor ourselves, as well as by bringing in the booze from offsite. We mostly did wine and beer and sodas, but I did sock away a few bottles of nice bourbon under the bar for people who wanted something harder.”

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