Kim Grassie Konen works on the Etsy Support team. She started selling handbags and neck accessories on Etsy in 2008; her current shop is called GoneAgain and features tiny embroidered words that get stuck in her head. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Shane, a musician, recordist, rock ‘n’ roll trooper, and fishing enthusiast.
My husband Shane and I have a favorite lake spot in Wisconsin that we sneak away to every summer. When he asked me to marry him (while in a canoe!), we agreed that we should plan our wedding near our favorite lake in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
We started planning our summer wedding in the fall of 2010. It was difficult to feel inspired by the Wisconsin sunshine while trudging through the slush and wind of New York City. Our save-the-dates from GoGoSnap inspired us to theme the wedding around lakes and canoes. We followed up with invitations by TrulyNoted, which were adorned with a tiny row boat and an invite for supper and shenanigans after the ceremony.
With the help of our families, friends and the talented artists on Etsy, our handmade wedding blossomed. Our wedding took place in a large grassy meadow, with the lake in the background. The day was beautiful — the clouds looked like gigantic cotton balls and everyone pitched in to start the celebration. Our talented friends Mark and Galynne sang songs with acoustic guitars as everyone sat down. I asked my aunt Julie to sing Gillian Welch’s “Dear Someone” as I walked down the aisle with my dad. Shane’s parents built and decorated the arbor where we said our vows.
My parents found several vintage mason jars on Etsy, as well as their Texas flea markets. Each jar became a centerpiece at our reception. They also found three vintage frames that they stripped, distressed and painted light blue, which was one of the muted colors we chose for our theme. Our close friend Heather Grace flew up from Texas and did all of our flower arrangements — she’s an incredible artist and we trusted her eye. Our bouquets included lilies and thistles, which perfectly matched the lakeside surroundings.
Shane’s aunt Cheri, who is locally known for her wedding cakes, made us several flavors to choose from for our cupcake reception. (We weren’t sure whether to have cupcakes or go with a traditional wedding cake, so we did both!) I must admit that the cupcakes were a hit. And what’s a summertime party without some bunting? Our cake topper from Company B matched the long bunting banner I handmade from scraps of fabric leftover from my days of making handbags.
My aunt Julie not only sang during our bridal precession, but she also made over 200 tiny white chocolate hearts for everyone at the reception. She also searched Etsy for a sign and had one made that included our names, the date, and the song that accompanied me down the aisle.
My favorite part of wedding planning was buying gifts for our wedding party. Standing up in weddings can be so fun, but it’s also really exhausting, and we wanted to make sure each person knew how much we appreciated their friendship and support. Shane loves fishing, and what goes really well with fishing? Beer! He found handmade leather beer cozies on Etsy from Leatherworks4u and had them personalized for each guy.
I had been playing around with embroidery and found myself visiting Danielle’s Etsy shop quite often. I custom ordered four hand-embroidered necklaces, each unique, for my beautiful friends, as well as one for myself. For my wedding day, I chose a dress that was very simple and almost mod. I coupled it with a round feathery hairpiece from Twigs & Honey. For my dress rehearsal I wanted something more rustic and playful, so KT Jean and I worked together on a custom vintage slip dress. I felt so adorable in it, and it worked perfectly with a pair of vintage Frye cowboy boots from my mom.
After the ceremony we all gathered on a veranda overlooking the lake while my cousin Scott and uncle John played folk songs. As our guests entered the 100-year-old theater for the our reception, they were greeted with a rustic handmade place card holder from Treehouse Wood Designs. I was particularly moved by this seller because they had made the original place card holder for their own daughter’s wedding. I felt like it told a wonderful story, and right after our reception I gave it to our photographer, who was about three weeks from getting hitched herself. We were so happy to have all of our guests attend that we designed and screenprinted tote bags to show our appreciation. We filled them with beer cozies, handmade candy from my mom and tiny Wisconsin treats from Shane’s parents.
There are three essential items for a truly fun reception, in our opinion: good tunes, free booze, and talking the DJ into staying an extra hour so you can keep cutting a rug! But really, our friends and family made our wedding the warmest day of our lives. Our families, many of whom were meeting for the first time, were like old pals who hadn’t seen each other in years. After the sun went down, we were blessed with a huge thunderstorm, so everyone who was sweaty from dancing could run in the rain to cool off. Then we looked up and saw an aurora borealis. It was the perfect end to the most amazing day.
Thanks to Kim for sharing her special day! Do you have a handmade wedding to share? Submit your photos to our Flickr group.
Kim Grassie Konen works on the Etsy Support team. She started selling handbags and neck accessories on Etsy in 2008. Her current shop is called GoneAgain and features tiny embroidered words that get stuck in her head. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Shane, a musician, recordist, rock 'n' roll trooper, and fishing enthusiast.