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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Craft Fit For A Dad

Where we will actually be standing for our ceremony is pretty bland, aside from the surrounding scenery of a frozen lake and *hopefully* snow covered landscape, so this is where my dreams of a handmade arch came into play. For our wedding arch, we wanted something natural and rustic, to compliment the outdoor winter setting. Aspen trees are plentiful in our part of Colorado, and to us, are the perfect winter tree. The white bark is beautiful all by itself, even without the foliage to compliment it.
Every year we go out into the National Forest surrounding Durango, hand pick and chop down our Christmas tree. It's a tradition I've done with my family for years and years, and now that I have Mr. Honey by my side, it makes the tradition even more special. This year, in addition to the Ponderosa Pine we would be chopping down, we added Aspen trees to list. We bought a permit for $22 which allowed us to cut 20 Aspen's down. This not only provided enough trunks to hand build our arch, but we helped thin out our forests, too. Yay for preventing forest fires!

My dad happens to be the most handy, creative man I know. He can build anything, fix anything and tends to go big when doing so. I left this project in my dad's very capable hands, after showing him a couple pictures of what I was envisioning, something like this:

Image via Elizabeth Anne Designs/Photo by Apertura Photo 
While Mr. Honey and I were scouting for our perfect tree, my dad was busy chopping down Aspen's.

We loaded the trees into the truck and then posed by the collection of Aspen trunks:

My dad spent five hours cutting the trunks, leveling them to the right height and securing them all together. Again, I left the design in his hands, and when we showed up to my parent's house for Christmas, we were blown away. My dad created an arch so amazing that we couldn't have expected anything more if we wanted to.

Zeus happily stood under the arch with me!
The arch is a total of 10 trees. My dad chose to go with a design that you can resembles a Chuppah, and that is because it made the arch more stable. Come wedding day, the 2x4's in the above picture will be removed, those were put in place to help stabilize the arch when we move it. This thing weighs approximately 400 pounds, not something that's easily moved. My dad works with heavy equipment and has friends with access to even heavier equipment. When you have a work of art weighing in at 400 pounds, this comes in very handy. Christmas Eve morning, my dad's friend came over with a crane. Yes, a crane...to move the arch onto a trailer so we can transport it to our venue in a few short weeks. It took my dad, Mr. Honey, my brother and Friend Troy, plus the crane to move this beaut:

I snapped the pictures but was holding my breath simultaneously, I did not want to see the arch go crashing down while being lifted by a crane, and fortunately it didn't. The guys safely moved it onto the trailer without any problems.

We are going to string the arch with soft white lights and hang a few yarn spheres to add a little whimsy to the rustic feel it currently has. To say we are smitten with the end result is an understatement, it turned out beautiful, all thanks to my wonderful dad. It was the perfect way for my dad to contribute something amazing to our wedding, since dresses and flowers aren't his cup of tea. To boot, Mr. Honey and my dad created a pedestal for our mailbox to match the arch.

The best part? We are going to be able to use the arch after the wedding, in our yard, to help serve as a daily reminder of our vows.

Is there a manly project making it's appearance in your big day? Let's give a shout out to that special guy who crafted something beautiful for your wedding!

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