• By: OLM Staff

DIY Your Big Day

Wed by Hand is one of five alternative wedding shows across North America, according to Krista Leben, co-founder of the event.

In Fall 2009, Leben said she was inspired to merge a craft show with a wedding show and Wed by Hand was born. In 2010, she partnered with a budget bridal show and organized the first Wed by Hand in under 30 days. “[Wed by Hand] is to show people the types of alternatives that are out there for weddings, because there was such a large, kind of craft movement starting in 2005,” she said.

At the third annual Wed By Hand show, over 35 vendors from Ontario and Quebec showcased various wedding services and products at the Glebe Community Centre on Feb. 11.“We look for [vendors] who have quality work and unique work, you might not be able to find elsewhere,” said Leben.

One vendor, Bridget Redmond, a filmmaker, specializes in creating vintage wedding films. Redmond’s booth for her company, First Kiss Films, displayed an antique film camera, which projected a black and white film of a bride getting ready for her wedding. Redmond shoots on film, rather than digitally and said the turnaround time for developing footage can be over a month, which provides nostalgia in a time of instant gratification.

Another vendor, Danielle Wojtyniak, creator of Six Modern Paper Goods, makes stylish and fun wedding stationary. Wojtyniak calls her business a “passion project”. She also works as an industrial lighting designer.

Wojtyniak led a DIY wedding invitation workshop at the show. She encouraged brides-to-be to try their hand at designing their invites on a program like Adobe InDesign, to hunt for interesting card stock options, print on a everyday inkjet printer and crop the cards with paper cutting tools found at Michaels craft stores. Wojtyniak said to start the process backwards and choose the envelope first because there are limited size options. “You don’t want to be stuck with an invitation that won’t stuff into your envelope.”

Leben said this year, the number of DIY workshops was increased due to popular demand. These included bouquet and boutonniere making, wedding budget planning and yoga and meditation for wedding stress.

A “Tasting Room” was also added to the venue, which featured local, artisanal food producers. “It’s going to be a foodie destination within the show and all the samples are actually free…It will be like doing five cake tastings all in one place,” she said.

Leben said her wedding show attracts couples who don’t want the typical, cookie-cutter wedding. “Weddings are not one size fits all…A lot of people are wanting to make things themselves or connect with the people who are making it for them, rather than just ordering something online.”

Lauren Dalbello, is getting married next Fall. She said she will be “DIY-ing” her invitations, flowers and decorations. “A lot of wedding shows are focused on buying really fancy, glitzy, detail-y sort of things and this wedding show seemed like I could actually learn something with the workshops and also seemed like it was catered to real brides on real budgets,” she said.

Wed by Hand created a blog to help “real brides” with all aspects of the DIY wedding planning experience. “From start to finish,” said Leben.“I think it’s such an important and personal day for people that being hands on and really creating parts of their wedding is really rewarding and it can really help people reflect their personality.”

 Other helpful links for brides-to-be: