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Meaningful Wedding Details Made Just for You

Apr 2, 2015

by Lisa Butterworth

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

If there’s one day in your life that deserves to be special, it’s the day you walk down the aisle. Whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony at city hall or inviting everyone you’ve ever known to an elaborate to-do, it’s a moment you’ll remember for years to come — and one that should feel as unique as your union. Thankfully, shopping for custom wedding goods on Etsy is like having an entire event-production team at your disposal to personalize every element of your wedding. For these makers of rings, bridal party gifts, and matrimonial memorabilia, the answer to the question, “Do you take custom orders?” is always the same: “I do.”

Sentimental Jewelry Bouquets

Jennifer Rose Diehl and her husband Jason spent their 18-month engagement carefully designing every detail of their wedding. Once they got married, they didn’t want to stop — and thus The Ritzy Rose was born. The two now work side by side (she designs, he handles the photography and accounting) to produce distinctive, one-of-a-kind bouquets, boutonnieres, hairpieces, and dress embellishments from her huge collection of vintage jewelry; she’ll even incorporate the bride’s own sentimental pieces on request. Her creations, while uniquely eye-catching and far less ephemeral than actual flowers, can also be incredibly poignant. “One of my brides surprised her groom with a boutonniere that we made from bullet casings shot off at his father’s funeral. I got a message from the bride that he was crying when she gave him the package to open,” she says. “I am humbled that I get to work with such meaningful pieces. What a privilege!”

Spirit-Animal Cake Toppers

A beautiful tiered confection merits a topper to match, and for animal lovers, Sofie Skein’s creations are, well, the icing on the wedding cake. Her shop Bonjour Poupette is a veritable menagerie of cuteness fashioned from polymer clay, and an adorable way to eschew the standard plastic bride and groom. Do you fancy your fiancé a fox? Are the two of you obsessed with your pet terriers? Perhaps you want to call out a critter that’s indigenous to your destination wedding’s setting — whatever the reference, Skein’s toppers can reflect it. “I know that the animals my clients choose are meaningful to them, and that the figurines will be cherished as keepsakes and family heirlooms,” she says. Skein can even represent your wedding colors with tiny flowers and other adornments — but it’s the personal details of each relationship that Skein works in that make her toppers truly exceptional. “One of my favorite stories was about a hippopotamus who had won the heart of a magical kitsune fox with homemade cinnamon rolls,” she says. “I made miniature cinnamon rolls for the hippo groom to carry.”

Wood Wedding Bands

Wearers of Steven Wyatt’s exquisitely crafted rings — which pair titanium, gold, or silver with a variety of woods — have his PhD dissertation to thank. Wyatt discovered his love for making the rings during grad school, and his gorgeous procrastination tactic has become an in-demand business, Wedgewood Rings. For Wyatt, the material is the muse: “I am obsessed with rare and extraordinary woods,” he says. But it’s also his aim to bring out the hidden beauty in more humble or humdrum specimens — and he particularly appreciates crafting custom rings from a cherished piece of wood, however unremarkable its grain. “Usually, the most special rings involve materials that a couple sends to me,” he shares. “Some recent commissions include rings made from a bourbon barrel stave from their own distillery, a barn beam from a family farm, a skateboard, a piece of driftwood, and the simple black walnut of a rifle butt stock a veteran brought back from Afghanistan.”

Three-Dimensional Paper Portraits

For most people, paper is a vehicle for to-do lists and jotting notes, but for Brittani Rose, it’s always been an artistic inspiration. What started as paper doll–making when she was young turned into collaging as a teen, and as an adult she hit upon the idea of using her favorite medium to create custom portraits. Capturing a bride and groom on their big day was a natural fit. “Weddings have always been so romantic and magical to me — the perfect dress, a gorgeous location, and flowers blending together beautifully,” she says, “and especially the emotion behind what this special day symbolizes.” For Rose, whose clients fill out an extensive questionnaire when they place an order, details are of the utmost importance. “Not only do I want to get all the intricate beadwork and lace on the dress correct, but I also want to make sure every freckle is in its given spot, height differences are considered, hair is properly placed, and flowers are accurately portrayed,” she says. Her connection to customers goes well beyond the portrait. Keeping in touch through Facebook and Instagram lets her watch the real lives of her paper subjects unfold, from being newlyweds to homeowners — and often on to parenthood, too.

Photograph Accessories

Building on her background in photography, Lauren Beacham of Jerseymaids first used her own images — which she covered in glass and set in jewelry — to create her one-of-a-kind accessory collections. But it wasn’t until her own wedding to Tyler Oyler that she was inspired to make the custom pieces that fill the shop the two now run together. The brooches, bracelets, and cufflinks she adorns with her clients’ photos are perfect for brides, grooms, and the wedding parties they want to show their appreciation to. “In planning our wedding, we wanted to add as many personal touches as possible to the gifts we gave and the accessories we wore,” she says. Creating that opportunity for others has made the couple’s handmade business even more inspiring. “There is something so electric about working with brides and grooms; their anticipation is intoxicating,” Beacham says. “Since so many of the custom pieces we create for people are either memorializing a loved one who passed away, celebrating a new life, or capturing a fond memory, we feel a great intimacy with our clients. They are letting us into this very personal piece of their life, and allowing us to take this moment in time and turn it into something tangible and lasting.”

Heirloom Lace Keepsake

It’s fitting that Dayna Bezila’s custom wedding jewelry is designed to honor a bride’s lineage, given that it was Bezila’s grandmother who instilled the Olde Dog New Tricks designer with her love of handmade goods. For her wedding lace heirloom necklace, Bezila uses an actual swatch of a wedding gown (the bride’s own, her mother’s or her grandmother’s) to make an impression from the fabric’s pattern, which she then transforms into a patinated silver pendant that’s laden with symbolism. It’s a beautiful and long-lasting way for a bride to honor a loved one who could not be present for her wedding, or to keep a special person close to her heart as she makes her vows. “I love creating sentimental pieces,” Bezila says. “And I especially love personal pieces of jewelry that have a secret meaning,” she says. “These pendants could easily be treasured even without a backstory; only the owner of the necklace knows the source of the image — unless she chooses to share!”

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