This time last year, my life was very different. I was frantically crafting my heart out for my wedding. I remember exactly what it felt like too. My future-husband and I had planned everything to a "T". We had spent 10 months brainstorming our items, purchasing all the materials needed (on sale, of course) and slowly putting things together.
Below is a collection of the items we made. (This was prior to my bloggy days, so please be gentle when criticizing the photos.)
First I have to disclose, I decided that to save money, I needed to spend a little money. During a Presidents' Day sale, I bought a really nice printer. We're talking $175 printer on sale for $99.99. This way I was able to print all of our paper items at home. I was also given an amazing paper cutter for Christmas that year. This was truly a godsend (thanks, Mom!).
To make life easy on myself, I used easy dimensions on all my items. Save-the-Dates and Invitations were 5"x7" so I would only have to buy one big box of envelopes. (Purchased from: Desktop Publishing Supplies) Dinner menus were also 5"x7". Programs were 5"x5". This made paper cutting quick and easy. For all my stationery, I used Ivory cardstock from Staples. Nothing special... I just bought a big stack of cardstock. Tip: Don't print black on ivory... it's too blunt. Try a gray tone. The only time we used black ink was for the date on the Save-the-Date and our names on the invitations.
In creating our stationery, we used three different fonts. This gave a professional look without having to shell out the money. Using a variety of fonts creates a sense of dimension and entertains the eye. Use the fonts consistently throughout your materials. We reserved one font for our names (because we're important!), one for headers, and one for details.
Finally, do something to make your stationery unique. Our wedding had a romantic tropical feel to it, so I thought the addition of a flower would be ideal. I used a Martha Stewart paper punch to punch out orange and yellow flowers. To add a little bling (what's a wedding without a little bling), I used Tacky Glue to adhere rhinestones to the center. These flowers ended up being perfect little accents to a number of other items in our wedding, tying everything together.
Escort/Seating Cards and Favors
Let me be completely honest with you. Most people don't take or use the favors you give them. It's a nice thought and if you can come up with a unique idea, go for it. But honestly, most people don't care.
For this reason, we decided to do something simple. All of our guests got two bamboo coasters (purchased on clearance from Michael's) with their seating information on a personalized card. We tied everything together with raffia.
Thank You Cards
Having Thank You cards that match your wedding materials truly does complete the experience for your guest. I know after everything is said and done, the last thing you want to do is more crafting, so make them ahead of time! It took me one day to stamp and decorate over 150 thank you cards (used for bridal showers and wedding gifts). People loved getting thank you cards that both had personal messages and were handmade.
Programs are meant to inform your guests of the ceremony and reception activities as well as entertain while they wait. My biggest tip is to personalize it. Tell your story... share some memories. My husband and I are both huge history buffs, so we included a "This Day in History" in our program. Don't forget to take this opportunity to thank you guests for coming as well!
We provided fans for our guests.
The average high for Arizona in October is 85*
We used $1 frames from JoAnn to house the sign.
This was an unfinished chest from JoAnn.
We used a drill to create an opening in the top.
We stained the box using a regular wood stain.
Then we distressed the box by hitting it with hammers,
screwdrivers and throwing rocks at it.
To finish the aged look, I wiped down the trunk with a rag
soaked in black acrylic paint and water.
We also used a lighter to burn edges.
Polaroid Guest Book
We went old school for our guest book.
This is my absolute favorite treasure from our wedding.
For more information (including printable pages),
Wood Letters + Scrapbook Paper + Mod Podge
These were hung from the back of our chairs at the head table.
Every wedding has tons of candles.
They just scream romance.
But instead of having a bunch of blank vases,
we decorated our with jute and ribbon.
You can buy rolls of jute from Save-On-Crafts.com.
No, I'm not kidding.
For our wedding, we served chicken wings.
Every place setting had two packets of wet wipes
tied together with ribbon.
There were also some in the restrooms with toothpicks.
Gotta keep those guests clean!
We were able to cut so many costs by doing things ourselves. I hope this inspires decor in your weddings!
Happy Wedding Crafting!