fiess gallery

The day before our wedding we had a few hours to decorate the Fish Hatchery, where we were holding the reception. 

It almost felt as if we were moving into the place, we we had to bring / supply so much. There were tables, chairs, and of course decorations. Most of the decorations were handmade items. When we were about halfway through decorating, a couple showed up at the door. They said they were looking for the Delafield Art Gallery. A friend of my parents told them wrong building, there was not an art gallery at the Fish Hatchery. However, I still think we should have charged them to take a look at some of the homemade items we had! 

I'm very thankful for my creative / talented family. Here's some of the items from the Fiess Gallery. 

My mom sewed a lot. A LOT. See all those table cloths in the first picture? She bought unbleached muslin and made them. She also made the burlap table clothes that were on some of the tables upstairs of the Fish Hatchery. Granted all this really means is that she cut the fabric / burlap and sewed the edges to make them look pretty, but don't let it fool you - it's a lot of work! 

She also made the banner that was hung in the church [and later above the appetizers as seen in the picture below.] 



I have already shown some of the work my dad did - he made both the picture stands and the wood that was on the bottom of the light-up signs. However, he also made some amazing bowls. These were not made specifically for the wedding, but I brought them along because I like them and we needed some bowls to hold Dum-Dums. 

I may not be as skilled [or as fast] of a sewer as my mom, but I did my best and made the little favors filled with candy for everyone to take home. I used unbleached muslin, made up my own pattern, and sewed about 100 bags. Afterwards, I added string so they could be pulled closed. I also stamped a little saying on each one and filled with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a Dum-Dum sucker.

 A few games we had on the game table had a lot of pieces to them. In order to keep everything together, I made a few more bags for things like Memory, Pick-Up Sticks, and Dominos.

Downstairs at the Fish Hatchery there were a few pictures that I wanted to cover up, so I needed to figure out a way to do so without violating any building rules. I ended up enlarging some of my photos from our Seattle / Orcas Island trip [where we got engaged] and hung a couple on each floor.

For our guest book, we decided it would be fun to get a picture of everyone and have them leave a message. [At some point I will put the pictures / messages in a book.] My cousin Samantha [although not a Fiess, but still a creative family member] was kind enough to go around throughout the night and take the pictures using an Instax mini camera. 

Upstairs we had a table where people could write their messages. I had placed a wire camera my brother had made in college on the table for decoration, but I'm happy to see how people ended up using it by putting their notes on it! 

Finally, there are the bowls that my brother made. If you haven't checked out his fantastic work yet, do so now and then come back to finish reading this. 

I asked him to make a few bowls for the tables and he ended up making many more - so each couple / family could take one home with them. We love how they turned out and how they really added a special touch to the table decor. 

Once again I just want to say how grateful I am for all the help we had with our wedding. We did a lot of DIY projects which took some time, but I would not have had it any other way. 

wedding flowers + plants

Planning the flowers and plants for the wedding was quite simple. I had a basic idea of what I wanted which made it easy. Probably the biggest conundrum was deciding where to purchase the plants. 


I knew I wanted my bouquet to include succulents and craspedia [aka billy balls / billy buttons]. When I went to the Avant Garden in Delafield, Sarah the wedding consultant was very helpful. She assured me that using succulents in my bouquet would work just fine [my mom was concerned the succulents might fall apart during the day]. Along with the succulents and craspedia, I wanted some white flowers - including queen anne's lace, although I was under the impression it was a weed. To my surprise, Sarah assured me there are different varieties of queen anne's lace, so they could use a non-weed variety. 

Both mine and Katie's bouquet turned out beautiful! Katie's was a smaller version of mine. 

Once the bouquet started to fall apart, I took the craspedia out and cut them to keep in a small vase Eric  gave me for my birthday last year.

I am happy to say the five succulents from my bouquet are still doing amazing! Currently I keep them in the bowls my brother made and a couple times a week I spray them with a bit of water.


I decided to buy my succulents online as it was less expensive to order them from California. Through a search on Etsy, I found Sanpedrocactus, a family that sells a wide variety of succulents. 

I bought both some rosette cuttings and potted succulents. The rosette cuttings worked great for decoration on the dinner tables in the bowls and sitting next to some of my photos. 

Also to my surprise - I still have some rosette cuttings that are alive! This may be a record for me.

The potted succulents came in a little reddish pot [shocking, I know] but I spray painted them gold. These plants found their way around the Fish Hatchery in the bathroom window ledges and other random places.


The air plants came from the Air Plant Design Studio located in Florida. I bought the large kit which included a variety of different air plants. These were placed on the dinner tables as well, along with other spots that needed a little extra something. 

I still have five of them [I told our guests to take some home, since I knew I would not be able to care for them all] and they are still doing well. Every time I talk about giving them a bath, people get confused. If you are part of that crowd, here is the run-down: 

Once a week I fill the kitchen sink with water and place the plants in the water upside down. I set the timer for 20 minutes. Sometimes either Eric or I will sing a bath-time song to the plants. After 20 minutes, I lay them on a towel and once they are no longer dripping wet, I put them back where I keep them.