About six months before our wedding, Maria came to me with an idea she wasn't too sure I would be a fan of. While looking for wedding inspiration, she saw this post about personalized snack trays on the Project Wedding blog.
Maria loved the concept and wanted to know what I thought of us woodburning dinner plates for our wedding. She thought I would hate it. I shocked her by saying I thought it was an amazing idea. Maria had no way of knowing it, but it was an amazing personal touch to our wedding for my family.
My Papa (as we called my grandpa on my mom's side of the family) was a prolific woodburning hobbyist in his retirement. He worked as a lathe operator for most of his life; he even had a lathe in his basement and I used to love watching him work on it and playing with the metal shavings. I so wanted to work with him on that lathe, but I was far too young to operate it. But he and I worked on several wordburning projects together and I loved every minute of it. He passed away when I was in the seventh grade and only just getting to know him more than as a child.
So you can imagine my reaction when Maria, completely out of the blue, suggested that we have woodburned plates for our wedding. I was actually so stunned by it that I didn't react for a minute and Maria figured that I was skeptical of the idea. I had to explain that my stunned silence was because it moved me so much and not because I hated the idea.
We started by purchasing the suggested materials suggested by the Project Wedding blog, including the Walnut Hollow Woodburner Value Pen, the Walnut Hollow Letter Hotstamps, and the Leafware plates. After some experimentation, we decided that the Leafware plates were not right for our reception. They just looked a tad rougher than we wanted our wedding plates to be. Instead, we opted for the Bambu Round Veneerware Plates, which were sturdy, burnable and had a more polished appearance.
The woodburning itself is pretty straightforward: screw in the hotstamp, plug in and turn on the burner, give it a few minutes to heat up, and then apply the hot hotstamp (ha!) to the plate. It's just fairly slow and requires a lot of patience.
Like, a lot of patience. We made 200 woodburned plates (not counting the ones I had to redo because of errors). And each one of those had “Gavins Est 2015” across the bottom and a different phrase across the top. Woodburning in the evening after work was a pretty constant task in my life in March, April and May this year.
Fortunately, I am a patient man. Give me a repetitive task and some podcasts and I can woodburn for hours. Which I did.
Our woodburned plates turned out to be quite the hit at the wedding. We received a lot of compliments on them and the guests enjoyed reading the different messages on each other's plates.
Maria loved how perfectly they paired with the vintage salad plates and antique flatware we rented for our dinner service.
What I really loved was the connection the plates brought back to an important and cherished part of my family's past. Especially as Maria and I start our future together as our own family.
Like what you see here? Check out the pictures from our vintage wedding.
You can read more of our wedding planning details looking at all our other Wedding Wednesday posts.
More Moments from Our Wedding
Want to see more of our wedding moments? These posts highlight some of our favorite memories from our big day. Click any of the links below to see more.