Amaze your guests with a magical wedding in a forest fairyland, just like Shakespeare’s
Set the scene
The play A midsummer night’s dream with its butterflies, fairies and woodland scenes was our inspiration for this charming table. Keep everything soft and misty and bring in touches of gold and silver to create a magical feel. Set the table with pretty glass and porcelain and combine these elements with a variety of vintage pieces to complement the theme. Add some floral decorations that you have made yourself. Finish off with soft candlelight for a wedding that no-one will forget.
Swing above the table
Hang a weathered plank in a tree or from the ceiling for a touch of childhood nostalgia. Tie the plank from rough string above the bridal table, decorate it with some Spanish moss, creepers, flowers and paper butterflies (see our templates on page 30) and arrange decorative glasses and old-fashioned books on it.
Use exotic flowers like orchids and combine them with white tulips and delicate wild flowers, all loosely arranged. Bring in touches of green with pieces of Spanish moss, branches and creepers, and don’t forget to add a touch of gold spray paint here and there.
Make gold table numbers and place them under glass domes. Cut out the numbers in the typeface of your choice (see page 55 for advice on how to choose your font) from sturdy cardboard. Work on newspaper, paint the entire number with a water-based craft glue and sprinkle gold glitter all over it. Place it on a piece of wood under the dome and finish off with moss, a gilded fruit and some butterflies.
Use apples and pears that still have their stems. Work on newspaper and paint the entire fruit with a water-based craft glue. Sprinkle gold glitter over the fruit and shake off the excess. Leave to dry and use as table decorations.
Use the wedding emblem as a motif running throughout the wedding. Scan the template on page 33 to your computer. Use a design program to add your initials and wedding date to the design in your chosen typeface.
Create this whimsical table plan with butterflies in gold frames. Copy our butterflies on page 30 in colour onto sheets of tracing paper and acetate and cut them out. Each brooch needs one paper butterfly and one in acetate. Use a glue gun to stick the paper butterfly onto the acetate butterfly with a small drop of glue. Fold the paper butterfly’s wings so it looks as if it is fluttering. Glue a small brass safety pin onto the back of the butterfly with the pin tip facing up and outwards. For the frames, we used pages from an old book as the background with a sheet of tracing paper over the top. Cut thin sheets of polystyrene to mount in the frames and stick the two sheets of paper over the top using a suitable glue. Cut strips with the table numbers and the guests’ names. To put it all together, open the butterflies’ pins and press them in place inside the frame. Glue the table number to the frame and stick the name strips below the butterflies in their correct positions. As the guests arrive, they take their brooches and pin them on.
Use the template on page 28, enter the details and print out. Place them in envelopes that match the cards.
Use the template on page 29 and create the invitations in the same way as the save-the-date cards. Tie them to an old picture with twine and finish off with a wax seal.
Copy the envelope template on page 92 in the desired size and cut it out from our handwriting paper (paper 31). Glue it onto gold paper with spray glue, cut it out and fold it. Seal the side edges with double-sided tape.
Use our templates on pages 32-34 to make runners for your table. Type your menu onto one of runners for each table. Print the templates out on A3 sheets of paper and use a small machine stitch to sew the sheets together. For a neater finish, you can stick them together with double-sided tape.
This guestbook (below) is perfect for the Shakespearean theme. Buy small envelopes and stick them inside a large gold frame with double-sided adhesive tape. Lean the frame up against the wall. Copy our letter template on page 29, cut out and place a pile of them on a little table along with a feather pen and jar of ink.
Labels for cutlery
Copy the ‘thanks for sharing our first meal’ label on page 28 onto cardboard, cut it out, punch a hole in it and tie it onto the cutlery with a piece of twine.
Instead of ordinary chair bows, you can be quite creative and make chair decorations that fit in with the rest of your décor.
• Decorate some of the chairs with moss, creepers and fresh flowers.
• Decorate other chairs by draping fabric with a fairy motif over them.
• Make paper butterflies using our templates on page 30 and attach them to the chairs.
• Tie a vintage bottle onto each chair’s backrest with rough twine. Hang a place-card label (see below) from the bottles and place a few flowers in the bottles.
• Hang special boards on the newlyweds’ chairs, like our Mr and Mrs ones.
The place cards double as extra chair decorations. Scan our place-card label on page 28 to your computer, use a design program to enter the names in the typeface of your choice and print out on cardboard. Cut them out, punch a hole and thread through a length of twine. Tie each one to a vintage bottle, fill the bottle with flowers and hang it from a chair backrest.
Decorate a two-layer cake that has been iced with fondant. Gold bottom layer Mix edible gold powder food colouring with a clear alcohol like vodka to make a gold ‘paint’. Use a large, flat paintbrush to paint the mixture over the sides of the cake. Keep a neat edge along the top. If the paint becomes too thick, add a few more drops of alcohol. Leave to dry overnight. Top layer with flower wreath Mark the wreath’s gold twigs with a needle around the middle of the cake. Pipe royal icing around the cake using the marks as a guide. Leave to dry for an hour. Use a small soft paintbrush to paint gold over the royal icing. Use royal icing to stick fondant flowers and petals (you can make your own or buy them from a baking shop) onto and around the twigs to form the wreath. Brush an edible lustre dust over the wreath for extra shimmer. Leave to dry overnight. Finish off with some butterflies.
Use our butterfly templates on page 30 and make a colour copy in the desired size on medium-weight cardboard. Cut out the butterflies with a craft knife and cutting mat, fold them and attach them to the cake with small pins. You can also decorate the butterflies with a bit of gold glitter.
This sweet ‘tree’ is a perfect fit with the enchanted theme.
Makes: 40-60 Preparation time: 20 minutes Baking time: 1 hour, plus drying time Oven temperature: 120oc
4 large egg whites, at room temperature 2ml cream of tartar 200g (230ml) castor sugar 2ml vanilla essence edible gold dust
1 Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar and a pinch of salt and beat until the egg whites are stiff. 2 Add the castor sugar – just 25ml at a time – and beat well after each addition to dissolve the sugar. 3 Fold in the vanilla essence together with the last 25ml sugar. 4 Line baking sheets with baking paper. Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe small circles onto the baking sheets. Bake for an hour in a preheated oven. Switch the oven off and leave the meringues to dry in the oven for two hours or overnight. 5 Cover cone-shaped florist’s foam with gold paper and place it on a pretty cake stand. Use toothpicks to attach the meringues to the florist’s foam. Finish off with edible gold dust and a butterfly cut from gold glitter paper.
Flower paper lanterns
These pretty lanterns will not only add to the atmosphere at your wedding, they will also look lovely in your home afterwards. Buy Chinese paper lanterns in the size of your choice and decorate them with faux flowers – remove the stems and sepals first. We glued some crystals onto strings of wire with a glue gun and added flowers, butterflies and pearl decorations. Remember, for the lantern to hang straight both sides must be decorated in the same way. Hang the lanterns from ribbons at different heights above the tables.
Create a magical background for your guests’ photos. Find a quote that you like, type it on your computer and print it out over two A0-size sheets of paper. Join the paper into a long strip by sticking the sheets together with double-sided tape. Attach it to a branch that is decorated with flowers and butterflies and hang it against the wall.
Choose different types of A4-sized paper that fit with your theme and cut them in a square. Turn the paper so it forms a rhombus and fold into a cone. Seal the open edge with double-sided tape at the back of the cone. Punch a hole in the top tip, fold it over and mark where it goes over the top edge of the cone. Fold it open and punch a hole at the place that you marked. Cut strips with a suitable message on them out of tracing paper. Punch a hole at the top edge of the strip and cut a V-shaped notch at the bottom edge. Fill the cone with confetti, place the message strip over the legs of a paper brad and use the brad to seal the cone. Finish off by gluing a paper butterfly over the open legs of the brad. TIP Use a pattern punch to make your own confetti from the pages of an old book.
Book ring holder
This romantic ring holder is a wonderful prop for your wedding photos. Choose an old book and place a sheet of acetate just in front of the title page. Close the book firmly so that all the pages are tight against each other and paint wood glue around the paper edges so that the outside edges stick together. Place something heavy, like a brick, on the book and leave it to dry overnight. The next day you can take away the brick and carefully remove the sheet of acetate. Use your craft knife and metal ruler to measure the opening on the inside and cut it out. Cut over the same line again and again until the opening is deep enough and the corners are as neat as possible. Place a little moss in the opening and finish off with a butterfly or two.
This bouquet could belong to a wood nymph! Copy our butterflies on page 30 in different sizes onto cardboard, tracing paper and acetate and cut them out. Decorate some butterflies with a bit of gold glitter after first spraying them lightly with spray glue. Spray lightly over a few butterflies with matt gold spray paint as well. Bend over the tip of a length of green florist’s wire then glue a butterfly onto each wire with a glue gun. Tie them into a bouquet along with delicate twigs (also available from florists) and a gold organza ribbon.
Make a necklace that matches your bouquet. Use our page of butterflies again, enlarge it and copy it onto acetate and tracing paper. Cut off the wings and press a metal eyelet into each one. Thread them into a necklace using gold cord and make a knot after each wing to keep it in place. Finish off by gluing smaller butterflies onto the wings with a glue gun. Spray some of them lightly with matt gold paint, if you prefer.
by HANNES KOEGELENBERG extra projects LIZEL CLOETE and CARIN SMITH cake TANI KIRSTEN photos ED O’RILEY
Chandelier, pink glasses, gold bowls, large gold frame and decanter from Plan B Vintage. Candleholders and candles, glass domes, cake stands, porcelain items, champagne glasses, vintage bottles, gold frames, Mr and Mrs boards, old books and wooden boards to hire from My Pretty Vintage. Fairy fabric from Mitat. Background photo from galloimages/gettyimages.com. Printed by Acorn.