For anyone visiting for the first time, to get the background on this story, read anything in my archives called "My Best Friends Wedding" and/or labeled "Panama Wedding". Too many posts to link to, but I will link to a few throughout.
So the biggest design element of the wedding ceremony was the chupah. I came up with the idea almost immediately after Zett and Bryan got engaged, and am thrilled that they loved the idea and trusted me with the implementation.
The idea behind the chupah ended up having even more meaning once they had settled on the idea of a destination wedding.
The idea was to send every invited guest a piece of fabric with their wedding invitation, and invite them to write some sentiments for the bride and groom on the fabric, and then return it with the response card. I would then take all of the squares of fabric, and make them into a "quilt". Then the "quilt" would be hung from four poles, held by dear friends, and Zett and Bryan would be married underneath the chupah made from all the love and best wishes from their friends. Of course the even more sentimental piece was that the fabric was representing the presence of some friends and family who could not travel the distance to Panama.
To get the ball rolling early, I spent a long time in JoAnn fabric trying to decide on what patterns of fabric would be good to use.
Back in the beginning stages of the wedding planning, we decided on a color palette of turquoise, orange, and red - as discussed HERE.
Then, I found these 5 fabrics and decided that they would make a wonderful quilt.
Then it was time to design the invitations. What a stroke of luck that one of the fabrics I chose, and the rubber stamp we decided to use had a very similar flower!
The fabric, and...
The rubber stamp detail on the invitations. See more about the invitations HERE.
So I cut up all the fabric into 10"x10" squares. Each invitation got a square of fabric - no preference as to who got what color - just random.
(Note: the Obamas have not yet returned their fabric!)
Once the responses started to roll in, it was time for me to start sewing.
First, I randomly paired up two squares at a time, and sewed them together side-by-side. I didn't exactly use precise measurements either - some people wrote pretty close to the edge so I tried my best to show all the writing. I had rough guidelines I used on my sewing machine - basically a half inch in from each side is where I started stitching.
After I got all the squares paired up, I laid them out on my living room floor - trying to make a totally random pattern - but also having no two alike patterns next to each other.
At this point I was still waiting for some fabric - don't worry I had enough to make a rectangle!
I had Zett and Bryan write messages to each other on separate squares. These two squares were the center of the quilt.
Then, I just sewed everything together (the lines were mostly straight!) to form a rectangle. I decided against making it a real quilt because I thought it would be too heavy for the poles. Good call I think based on the good breezes we had during the ceremony.
I offered to make it into a real quilt after the wedding if they want one. Or it could stay as is as a wall hanging. Their choice.
To finish the quilt I made sure to trim all the loose threads on the back, and then just edged the whole thing in some teal colored quilt binding.
Then, to be able to have a way to secure the quilt to the poles, I simply sewed two long lengths of satin ribbon to each corner.
The quilt was finished! I folded it up and brought it with my carry-on - I could not risk that getting lost!
After the rehearsal on Saturday, we discovered that we would need a little something more than just a knot to keep the chupah tied to the poles.
Luckily I had brought my trusty hot glue gun with me, so we just hot glued the knots to the poles. Actually, Jim did. Thanks babe!
The end result was just as I imagined it. Colorful, meaningful, and beautiful. I think everyone loved it.