We said ‘thank you’…

… with something personal.

Favors are usually something small, most of the time something to eat. But that wouldn’t have made sense in our case. I wanted our wedding favors to be a reminder of our wedding, without being too much about ‘us’. And since there was a lot of DIY element to this event, these also had to be DIY. Looking back, it was quite a gigantic task, this was by far the most time-consuming project.

Without further-ado, let me introduce our wedding favors: a bunch of self-designed, self-screen-printed, self-sawn sauna towels 😉 It made perfect sense, since during the evening we had a sauna session, in a very cool old-style smoke sauna, and we also cooked outdoors right in front of it.

So I bought about 5m of 100% linen from a thrift store, though the fabric was brand new and had a natural colour.

It took some time to figure out what to print on them though, apart from making sure the paint worked in such extreme conditions as well. Eventually, I settled on a design of a single birch tree, albeit with a somewhat minimalistic look, placed on the side of the towel (in case the ink leaked and ‘marked’ the human bottom that was placed on it). I used a photo which I then sketched over in photoshop. Later we added the name of the place, but decided against including the date, which is probably only important for the two of us anyways.

The task of cutting out the stencil was left to H2B.

Unfortunately, our design was bigger than the screen we borrowed from my father-in-law. So we had to do it in two parts. That made things a lot more complicated and the process about 3x longer.

But of course I had to sew them first. I prewashed the fabric, and it was very difficult to cut straight after that, so I don’t know if it was a good idea… and I don’t have a long enough ruler either.

I ironed all the edges, turning twice. God, that was boring, but it looks a lot better, and I guess also made the actual sewing faster. In the last minute I also remembered that adding a hook could be a good idea, so they all got one.

And then onto the printing… in 2 rounds… and few mistakes, due to a not impeccable positioning in the 2nd round…

I would love to show the end result, but they were all given away before I could take a photo.. 😦

I can show something else though. It was a for a few of the guests we knew would not stay till the sauna. Again, of course, DIY from start to finish, from drawing to ironing.

The folk motif is called Matyó, from Mezökövesd, Hungary, which is very close to where I’m from. See more here.


Project no1… as of importance, my veil

So my veil… I’m really proud of it. I thought it would take ages, but I got ready with it reasonably fast.

What took the most time was to determine the actual shape I wanted. A lot of pinning, then repining, then repinning again. I used the same lace edge that was on my dress. I had about 4 meters to play with.I had enough tulle for double layer cathedral length veil, but I only wanted a single layer tip-length, aka, ending just under my bum. Once I was ready with the shape and length, with the lace still pinned on, I basted around with a green thread (only one half, as I wanted it symmetrical, so I just folded it and after removing the lace pinned the two halves together). Then came the scissors and the no way back. I left a tiny piece of material on at the middle on top as well as the bottom, just to help me navigate. I didn’t want puff on my head, but needed a tiny gathering none the less (the amount between the pins-arrows).

On the photo there is a clear comb, but I ended up using a brown colored one, which was also much flatter and so kept the lace closer to my head. In any case, I wrapped a thin piece of tulle around the comb in every gap and made a double not at each end. Don’t have a photo of it, but the next step was to sew the veil to the comb.

And then came the lace. Mine was quite wide, so I spent some time adjusting it to the curve, fiddling with the pattern to make it lay nicely. Miraculously, I managed to pin it so (starting from the top) that the pattern overlap exactly in the middle on the bottom. You couldn’t tell where it starts and where it ends 🙂

Sewing the lace on was relatively easy. I sew from the bottom up, doing a short section on the left then on the right, then on the left again, etc. I did pay attention to keeping my stitches inside the pattern, as the yellow arrows show, unlike the orange arrows. You wouldn’t really be able to see, but I wanted it to be perfect 😉

If you have a little time, you should really do your veil, it’s a great feeling… Something to pass on to my daughter.

And this is how it looked in action:

Papers – fancy, tissue, legal!

Thanks heaven! Only one step left… this process really takes all the romance out of getting married!

So, this is what we went through (it wasn’t always very clearly communicated, and the Finnish system is lot more helpful than the Hungarian…).

At first, the usual way seemed quite complicated, but we managed to find another, less time-consuming one (I did spend a lot of time online, however, to figure out all the steps and the most cost-effective options):

1. Get information about your marital status from the registry in Hungary (Hatósági bizonyítvány – okmányiroda / 3500HUF)

2. Get an apostille to go with the 1., you have to request it in person (Ministry of Foreign Affairs / 5500HUF + travelling costs)

3. Get 1. and 2. to Finland (postal costs/flight costs)

4. Get 1. translated by official translator in Finland (45€ or over) !Note: Finnish office accepts documents in English – but Hungarian office only provides them in Hungarian 😦

5. Get 1., 2. and 4. to Maistraatti.

Now you are registered in the Finnish system as ‘single’ (if you were single).

6. Request impediment check at Maistraatti prior to wedding (form is available online, needs to be presented in person, or witnessed by two / no fee) this is also the time to notify about desired name changes.

Now you are free to marry! Yippee 🙂 And then:

7. Request marriage certificate in English (yeah, you can get it.. and English-Hungarian translation is cheaper than Finnish-Hungarian).

8. Get apostille for 7. (costs – yet unknown).

9. Get 7. and 8. to Hungary.

10. Get 7. officially translated (costs – yet unknown).

11. Get 7. and 8. to Okmányiroda. Then the Hungarian registry is updated.

Now, the next step is not yet figured out, as name change is kind of happening automatically in the Finnish system, but apparently need to request that in person in Hungary. So will I have two different names until I go home? Or is it only for those who live there anyways? Gah…

Somebody please, make this simpler!


It’s soon been a year since we got engaged… meaning we are soon getting married!! Gash… and still so much to do!

Unfortunately, it was never possible to get all my family over here for the big event, but we wanted them to be part of it in a way, so we are, well, actually my uncle, is going to throw a garden party in his back garden for us. Just some well deserved chilling, cocktails perhaps (I wish…) catching up with people, some good food, hopefully lot of sunshine too. I thought it would be nice to send invites out for that as well. So I made a few more, similar, but different at the same time.

I used the leftover brown paper we had for protecting the floor during painting the walls, then painted it haphazardly with white acrylic paint (no blue this time) and doodled some flowers over it with black markers.

And that’s how they turned out (the odd bit is the address being covered up :). Cheers!


Inspired by Alisa Burke.

… the rose that belongs to me

And so… flower, the expression of love, an essential part of every bridal appearance in the form of a bouquet  as well as the decoration.

I love flowers! All colours, shapes and sizes… my favourite flowerbed tho, has to be the one we have in the garden back home where my grandma, my mum and me have planted rose bushes.

Anyhow, its quite a pain to choose something for my bouquet… I feel a bit sorry for cut flowers, I don’t like to see them die, so I mostly have planted ones. Can I carry a pot down the isle?? I was also seriously thinking just making paper ones, like these:

Or nowadays its quite trendy to use vintage brooches:

However, this is not my style at all! I think I would miss the freshness and smell of real flowers. I might end up just collecting something from the meadow on the day! Or… I received a blue hydrangea for women’s day… shall I just snip off a couple flowerheads? If it is in bloom now is it going to be in bloom in 5 months as well?? Isn’t it pretty?

I’m also about to plant some sweat peas (tuoksuherne – lathyrus odoratus), baby’s breath (kesäharso – gypsophila eleg.) and lobelia (lobelia – lobelia erinus) all in white. Also some pompom poppy (pioniunikko – papaver somniferum) in a very light shade of lilac. We’ll see which one turns out the best.

In the meantime, I really got hooked on fabric flowers. If not for the bouquet, I will definitely use them for decoration. I got a few done already. There are a zillion tutorials on the internet. The bigger issue is rather to find the ones that you actually like. The fabrics I used were all remnants and scraps, or old curtains or something similar. What is the afterlife you might ask… 🙂 Well… a future little girl’s dress can always do with a few flowers 😉 or they will adorn other accessories, bags, headbands, etc.

A few more different styles to come, as I managed to get my hand on some more fluid fabric 🙂

Back to basic physics

It is quite important that we won’t create much waste as a result of this wedding. This means that we try to also think about the afterlife of all the things we make. Are we going to be able to use them in a different capacity? Is it recyclable/compostable? Would it end up on landfill?

So, as it is going to be a mostly outdoor wedding (fingers crossed!!) we need some sort of lighting for the evening hours. Even though it gets dark quite late, like 10pm or something, lights also help with ambience, creating the mood… and not the least can be perfect background for photos.

Now, being true to the DIY spirit, the lights will also be our creation. What kind of light thou? There are many options. Finns have a very cool thing for winter time called jätkänkynttilä, which is basically a log that is cut down half way in a few segments, filled with some flammable material and then lit.

by Jan-Erik Finnberg

This site has a tutorial as well as showing a new way of utilising this ‘candle’. It looks awesome, no problem with disposing, but might be slightly dangerous when wee girls and boys are running around.

There is a craze about mason jar candle lights – or any glass jar for that matter. It’s pretty simple to make, very cost effective, not wasteful, but doesn’t provide very much light. An example from CasaSugar:

Or another non-hanging option from Pinterest:

If we look further than candles, I really like this idea I found also through Pinterest:

Well, yea, so what does physics have to do with all this? Khm, it seems I have to relearn everything about currents, watt and voltage and stuff. After all, we gonna make our own lighting… you know, using LED diodes, wires, capacitors, resistors, etc, etc, etc 😉

The plan is to create a light curtain using (warm) white LED lights, and hopefully not electrocuting ourselves on the way. For this we popped in to Helsinki Hacklab yesterday. Do I need to mention I was the only female there? Anyways, these hacklabs are quite cool places, there is one probably near you (if not, set one up ;-). They have a 3D printer there among many other gadgets. I don’t want to include any photo of how I imagine our curtain to look, cos we might end up having something totally different, whatever we manage I will be happy with 😀

And what is the afterlife? It will take pride place in front of our window every Chritmas (and be a reminder of what makes a happy marriage ;-))

Happy DIYing!

I have been measured!

In a previous post I mentioned I would most likely get my dress custom made. I am 🙂 I can’t say I am a girl who planned her wedding her whole life, but it certainly has been on my mind for a couple of years now… I had done some research even before I got asked. But I did change my mind several times.

And I learnt something from a silly BBC series, Don’t tell the bride. It really doesn’t matter whether your dress is a satin A-line or a tulle ball gown, what matters is that you tie the knot with the guy you love 🙂 (I still want to look pretty, though… )

Accordingly, my preference for the dress has changed slightly a few times. And I also admire dresses that I myself would never wear (not just because of the price). The first design I seriously considered was from Maggie Sottero, it is now discontinued.

I always try to check how these dresses look on real brides, because the material does crease, the shape of the skirt does not hold, the lighting effects the feel of the materials, etc, etc… these photos are so misleading sometimes.

After a massive amount of online searching, editing, reconsidering, I stuck with Sottero. I also wanted to see how these would look on me, so I popped in to a bridal salon in Edinburgh. Of course it was after having been asked! I don’t just go trying on wedding dresses 🙂 Among a few others I tried these:

This latter one was actually in blue and silver… gorgeous! But way above my budget 😦

I did decide on lace, but the design will be based on a few different dresses (not shown here) and I will keep it a secret for a while, since H2B also reads this blog, and we take it very seriously that he can only see it at the altar 😉

What I can show is the fabric sample I got from the seamstress, who is, by the way, extremely talented and I am really grateful I found her.

So, corded lace it is. Recently, I also came across a design that is made from the same (I think), so to have a better idea, see how it looks as an actual dress; it is a bit daring, but love it too! I might get it made for another special occasion 🙂

You can zoom in on the details here.
The last photo for today shall be my mum’s custom wedding dress. Even though she still has this dress I can’t wear it, as I am not as slim as she was… On the other hand, I wanted to borrow her veil, but she doesn’t have that anymore… gah.  That made me decide to make my own, but that will be another post.

Come! Welcome!

We have started posting out invitations, so I think I dare to show them here too.

Now, like I said in the other post before, we don’t want to follow schemes and such. There are just way too many things we like to stick with one style. Even if it is just the stationary bits. So, there most likely won’t be any theme going on with regards to invites, order of service, etc… I think the whole thing is a bit of a game for us (or for me at least) having the chance to try out different ways, create freely.

I really like Alisa Burke’s creations using old books, like this one. First I was a bit apprehensive about ‘ruining’ books, things that are quite highly regarded… however, there are quite a few second hand books lying around this household, so I asked H2B if there is one he can spare. It was written in Finnish, which made for some funny (embarrassing?) moments. The story was about a rape-murder case. I have already painted the sheets I wanted to use, so he had to read through to make sure Finnish guests won’t get pages that contain something not so nice or ill-fitting to a wedding…

So, here they are.

I used watercolour, but to write on, it didn’t cover the text enough. Then I remembered I had a tube of white acrylic paint somewhere, so I managed to fix that issue. However, watercolour made the paper somewhat, well, not flat. And I didn’t like that.

H2B suggested I should iron them… Erm, iron? paper? I went and ironed all the sheets… see the difference:

I was pretty pleased. I could start drawing on them 🙂

And then there are the envelopes.

Coral-peach-ocean blue.. tangerine

Have you heard? Apparently this year’s (2012) fashion colour is ‘tangerine tango’. Sounds very.. mm.. hot. Shall I use it for the wedding?


I’ve been checking all sorts of colour palettes lately. There are a zillion beautiful colour combinations, and loads of websites trying to help you find YOUR own. One of such is the Design Seeds. Lovely palettes. If you want to create your own just take a photo that appeals to you in whatever way, then pick the colour selector and click on a few different places on the photo, that is using photoshop, for example. Or, there is the Kuler. You can also play around there, but only with max 5 colours. Like this:

Of course the most popular place for inspiration nowadays is Pinterest, with endless resources!

Yeah, so, I’m not going to use any such thing. I feel a palette is just way too restricting. Our venues (both church and reception) are beautiful without any decor anyways. They are natural and showcase tradition and local characteristics, which I love. I moved here, after all…

That’s not saying there won’t be any decor, which leads to the other point. Since it will be DIY + cost effective, I will work with whatever I find and represents us best. So that’s it. I’m not searching for THE perfect palette, we are creating OUR palette.

Venue – church (4) final?

Last weekend we took a longish trip to check some churches finally. Some were rather large, tough very nice, but it would look slightly awkward to have less than 100 people trying to fill a space for 500/1000/1200…

Here are few shots from the trip.