When people asked how things were going with the wedding, you could tell that they were going okay when my response was, “Oh, it's going great! Over 3 months to go and I've got blabity-blabity-blabity done!” (Which was getting the food, location, photographer, guest list, invites, DJ, etc being picked out and booked).
Now, when someone asks how things are going with the wedding, I let out a screeching yell, pull at my hair and scream, “I've got less than 3 months, my fingers are covered in hot glue, we have no use of the living room or dining room anymore and there's a TULLE MONSTER living in my studio!” (Don't worry, you'll get to see the tulle monster in a minute …)
Yea, panic has set in. But nothing that a relaxing night away from wedding planning and DIY-ing won't fix. Thank. Goodness. I could delete the app on my phone that gives me the countdown to the second from the moment I walk down the aisle … but, I find it to be a good reality check to keep my eyes forward and know that yes, this wedding is happening in t-minus 2 months and twenty-something days and there is still so much that needs to be done. And that means that it's time to prioritize.
I have a rather long list of items that I am DIY-ing for our big day. Since our wedding is outdoors at my mom's house in the woods and we are using the barn, there's a lot of decorating to be done. And that means a lot of stuff that I need to do to make a home into a wedding venue.
I started to tackle one of the biggest projects of them all – what I call my “Wall of Tulle“. Yea. It's pretty much that. I have been shopping eBay and Amazon and craft stores and websites left and right to score deals where ever I could on bulk yards of tulle. I have spent about $300 on tulle and have somewhere in the vicinity of 400 yards of it (and leftovers from the reception wall to use to decorate the gazebo and whatever else I feel Tulle-y about!). I found that tulle was incredibly expensive to walk into a craft store and just start buying by the yard, so, thanks to Hobby Lobby's 40% off coupons along with sales, and lots of online searching I was able to score the cheapest possible prices for the 400 yards of tulle for this wedding. Still cheaper than renting a venue for a reception!
My “Wall of Tulle” is going up in the barn to cover from ceiling to floor, and making the barn the romantic reception area I have in my head … and the process has been baffling as to how I was going to plan ahead to do this and make sure I had enough tulle to pull this off. I have searched high and low for a photo that shows what I'm doing … I am confident that it hasn't been done. Therefore, it means that either those who have never posted it on the interwebs or whoever has tried this has failed in an epic fashion … This is the closest thing I could find to showing “sort of” what I'm doing … But … I think I nailed it to the simplest possible solution to make the “installation” of said wall as easy as possible. We will have enough things to do the few weekends we have before the wedding and on a ladder stapling tulle and praying to the Wedding Gods that I had enough – not my idea of fun. So, here's my vision:
And here is how I executed it:
Step One: I took a piece of twine. With my mom's help, we held on end in one corner while the other walked to the other corner and then, tied a knot in the corner. Then, did the same all around the barn to signify the length of each wall and to identify where my corners were. Price of said twine – $1 for a spool of 50 yards.
Step Two: Figuring out how in the noodles I was going to spread out the twine in my condo once I got home in order to accurately attach the tulle. And THEN figure out what method of attaching the tulle would work best. So I started by using thumb tags and tacked the twine from one end of the condo to the other … zig zagging back and forth a total of 3 and 1/2 times.
Step Three. Cutting 400 yards of tulle for 12 foot pieces (the height at which we are hanging the “wall”). Then, I went and draped each section over the twine. Then it got heavy and the tacks couldn't hold it and it fell. So I had to break out the hammer and nails. And continued on with the draping.
Step Four: I decided to also cut purple tulle (one of our colors) from a small spool about 4 inches thick and tie it between each section of tulle. And then, after lots of deliberation and looking on Pinterest to see how other people executed similar projects … I found the easiest and less-painstaking way of doing this would be to simply tie the sections up – Each 54 inch piece of tulle I took the end and tied, then tied the other end as two seperate pieces and let the remainder of the tulle drape down. (We are being loaned a friend's Christmas lights – both “normal” and the hanging icicle ones and the icicle lights will be around the top of the barn perimeter across the top to cover the top of the tulle meeting the “ceiling”).
Step Five: I did it. Now … what in the world do I do with it? Tulle has to be stored carefully … in 3 months if I put this in a box and pull it out, I'm going to cry at all the work I'd need to do to get the crinkles and wrinkles out and I do not have a shower big enough for this monster. So, I took it upstairs .. It was going to hang in the corner of our bedroom .. until I realized I wasn't going to get into my dresser or my closet easily … and then the hook ripped out of the ceiling anyway.
So, I took it to the studio across the hall upstairs … I used my backdrop stand to drape it over. It keeps it out, unwrinkled and I keep the door shut so the cats won't tear it to shreds (and I'm 99% sure they were eyeing the tulle project and plotting while I worked on this all day in the living room!).
I still have more to do … it's about 90% done with another 100 yards of tulle (prior calculation above included this additional 100 yards) arriving in the mail this week to finish it up. Now, I'm fairly certain it will take up the entire back of my Mazda3 hatchback and will be one single trip to get it to my mom's house to get it ready to hang up the weekend before our wedding.
So I started out really unsure if the DIY on this was going to turn out … but when you have a venue for free and you have to turn it into a wedding reception area, you've got that money you planned on paying for a venue to put towards decorating. And the rough cost of the decorations with the tulle and balloons (which will be hung from the ceiling to decorate) right now is at $350 so far. The lights we are using are all loaned by family and friends at no cost. Tables are also being loaned and I have dark purple table cloths and pale yellow ones for each, and I am making “skirts” for all of them with torn strips of fabric and tulle (stayed tuned for that DIY post). Reception dance floor is being rented for $280 and we are renting 6 36-inch cocktail tables for in the barn at $10 each. The tablecloths added up to about $120 to buy (which I bought because the colors to rent were not the right color). No chairs – using hay bales to set around for seating with a few inside the barn and the rest outside and around the bon fire are from my grandpa's farm and covered in a thick fabric which I bought enough off Amazon to cover them all for only $30 with free shipping (Amazon Prime membership has well paid for itself). The centerpieces for the cocktail tables are mason jars I bought for $1 each at the dollar store ($6 total), clear stones in the bottom ($5 at hobby lobby for all we needed), floating candles ($10 for the pack) and I bought waterproof purple LED lights that will sit in the bottom ($10 for the pack of 8). Still, adding all of this up, it's WAY less than a reception rental venue!
I'll have the DIY's of the centerpieces (which I will also decorate with burlap, forgot about that, which was 50% off at Hobby Lobby for only $2.50 a spool and will barely use one spool for the centerpieces) and the skirts coming up in the next few weeks.
One DIY project down … umpteen million more to go (or maybe a few less … I may be overestimating!).