Weddings here in Brazil are completely different than American weddings. I discovered this when I got engaged. Here, NOTHING is do it yourself.. whereas in the United States I see so many friends getting married and doing it ALL by themselves. So when I decided that I wanted to do the greater part of my wedding DIY, most of my Brazilian family and friends did not support the idea. After much convincing, my fiancé was finally supportive of the fact that I wanted to participate in the planning and making things for our wedding, not just hire someone to do it.
When we first started looking for a place to have our wedding we were having some trouble finding a place that would be easily located for everyone to attend and also have enough space and parking. Venues here in Brazil are craaaaazzzyyyy expensive and our church didn’t have a place that we could rent on the cheaper side. We decided that we didn’t want our wedding at our church because due to the set up, we wouldn’t be able to decorate things as we wanted ( they had three rows of pews that couldn’t be moved, so half of the church would be decorated and the other half practically abandoned ).
We ended up finding a hotel downtown that had a great space to work with ( except for the carpet which was old, but other than that it was great! ) . The people who worked there helped us a LOT in terms of setting things up and being there for us to ask questions, etc.
The majority of the decorations we did ourselves. My lovely fiancé made the table centerpieces which were made from marbles and mirrors. The florist sold me the flowers for the going price for a packet and on the morning of the wedding a friend and I went to finish setting things up ( met hubby there too!)From the beginning I had decided that I wanted something hanging from the ceiling. I love the look of dangling things. My pastor’s wife gave me the idea of DIY string lanterns, which I made as you can see here:
Since I was on the DIY trail, I decided that I also wanted material hanging balls, which you can see in the background of the picture above, or you here:
I made three different sizes and colors. The small ones were yellow and blue, the medium ones yellow and the large ones blue. I tried to follow a tutorial, but it didn’t help me much, so I kind just ended up doing my own thing . Which actually involved tracing millions of circles, cutting them out then folding and glueing them onto a styrofoam ball.
It isn’t a custom at Brazilian weddings to have a Guestbook, but I knew that it was something that we would enjoy looking at in years to come. So after much research, I decided that I would make one using envelopes and small pieces of paper that I cut out the corners of with a paper cutter.
Another thing that I did on my own was buy picture frames and set them around everywhere. I also covered chalkboards in material to use in the decoration. I initially wanted black chalkboards, but they were impossible to find here in Londrina. ( See how I reused them after the wedding here )
I had seen some pictures where the bride and groom set up a picture line, I almost didn’t do this because I was running out of time, but the day before the wedding a friend of mine convinced me to do it saying that it would look amazing ( and it did!)
In Brazil it is a custom to have what they say is “lembrancinhas” for people to take home, usually it’s some kind of sweet or something like a napkin holder with the bride and groom’s initials.. definitely something that I didn’t want to do. Another thing that I didn’t want to do was have a cake. I reaaaaaaaally didn’t want a false cake and real sheet cake coming from the kitchen.. no thanks. This one was really hard to convince my fiancé of and we ended up arguing a bit over it ( Brazilian customs,again) but in the end we agreed and everything came out wonderfully! For the “lembrancinhas” and the cake situation, I pulled both together and had a cookie/cupcake buffet. Thankfully I have am ore than talented sister who made ALL of the cookies and cupcakes for the wedding. At the end of the part people went crazy for them, haha. I had prepared little baggies with ties for everyone to take some home with them.
The ceremony we did the traditional Brazilian way, we had our youth m]pastor “marry” us and it was more than spectacular
I have a very talented sister-in-law who makes decorated boxes to sell. For out wedding she made three for us use! Men’s Bathroom Box filled with men’s toilletries and medicineWomen’s Bathroom Box filled with women’s toilletries and medicineRing Box No pillows for me- too old fashioned!
There were many other small details such as my nails:
I had to teach the manicurist how to use the finger nail stamp to do this!
The Brazilian “Cutting the Tie” Tradition
Although not due to the wedding itself, I can most certainly say that it was the happiest and most awaited day of our lives. We had been dating for two years and 5 months and couldn’t wait to finally be married!