Rustic Love Note Box for Engagement Photos

Guys, I can’t even tell you how excited I am about wedding week.

Wedding Week

There is just something about weddings that makes me all ooey gooey inside. Even before I was ever planning my own wedding, I had a fascination with this momentous event. I never missed an episode of Four Weddings or Say Yes to the Dress, and I dreamed of the day I could plan my own big day.

But now that it isn’t just a dream, and it’s a reality…I’m completely anxious and freaked out. What if I make the wrong choice for flowers? What if no one likes my dress? What if our food tastes bad? And worst of all…what if people don’t like our decor (the pressure is on when you have your own craft & DIY blog!) All of these thoughts are spinning around my head as I work to check things off of my mile long wedding checklist.

The thing is we have so much time until our big day. Our wedding is set for October 11th, 2014. So I’m afraid that if I start any project now…I’ll hate it in a year.

So this wedding week posed a bit of a challenge for me. What could I do now (a year and 2 months ahead of my own wedding) that I would still like later on? And how could I incorporate “something old” into my project?

Wedding Week from Casey and Bridget

That’s when I thought of doing a project for our upcoming engagement photos! We’re getting our pictures taken in October and I wanted to do an outdoorsy setting, maybe with a picnic, or playing games on a blanket. Something totally us…comfy, relaxed, and fun!

Here’s some of our inspiration…

Engagement photo of a couple on a picnic, kissing behind a book
Engagement photo of a couple laying on the grass, surrounded by books, sheet music, and a guitar
Engagement photo of a couple having a picnic in the park
An adorable couple having a picnic in the park with vintage soda bottles and a gorgeous lacy canopy
An engagement photo of a couple laying on the ground surrounded by a lantern, books, and a vintage typewriter
All pretty gorgeous right?!
I decided I want something for us to do while our pictures are being taken. That way we can avoid the awkward posing, and instead just relax and have fun with it. I decided to go with the idea of reading all of our old love notes to one another.
Finn and I started dating back in high school, long before we ever had text messaging.  Back then to stay in touch throughout our school day, we would write one another long love notes. They were all done with good ol’ pencil and paper, and we would fold them up tightly into different shapes. We would pass them to one another in the hall, or sometimes we would even have some of our friends act as love note messengers throughout the day.
Old love notes that Casey and Finn shared back in high school
The crazy thing is we both still have most of those love notes! They’ve moved with us to each place we’ve lived, staying packed up in various plastic baggies and boxes.
I’m thinking for our engagement photos it would be romantic and sweet to bring out all of the old notes and read them to one another. I imagine us having a picnic, cozied up on a blanket, the notes spread out all around us, laughing and reminiscing as we go through each old piece of paper.
So, for my Wedding Week DIY I made a rustic love box to hold all of those old notes.
This DIY love note box is the perfect place to store the treasures gathered during a relationships
It took me hardly any time at all to transform a boring wooden box, into something rustic and romantic.
This small wooden craft box is less than $5 from Michaels
I found this box at Michael’s for less than $5.
Wood finish and a small sponge brush are all you need for this DIY love letter box project
I then did a light coat of stain on both the inside and outside of the box, letting it dry overnight.
Here's the wooden box after the final coat of wood stain
Once it was dry, I was ready to add a few personal touches.
Use a wood paint marker to add some personal touches to the love note box
I used this wood paint marker to draw a heart and our initials on the top of the box (Michael & Casey) and a few words on the inside.
Add some personal touches to the love note box with a wood paint marker
M & C in a heart on our love note wooden box
We stored our love notes and cute paper hearts in our love note box
While transforming the box, I read a few of our old notes.  Most of them were hilarious (our priorities as 16-year-olds were pretty funny. “Wanna come over after school and have dinner with my family?” “Whose house are we going to after Homecoming?” “Did you study for that physics test? I’m so nervous about it!”) Some of the notes even discuss how we hope someday to still be together, getting married, and growing old together.  It’s so crazy to think that it is now actually happening and I’ll be marrying my high school sweetheart.
Casey and Finn in 2004 when they first started dating
Our engagement pictures are still over a month away, but I’m excited (& prepared) for a wonderful time capturing the love between me and my best friend.