Matt and I decided to DIY (or hybrid-DIY) some of the details of our wedding. We started early and have done a little at a time which has kept everything pretty low stress. If we hadn’t had a year and a half to plan I don’t think we would have done as much ourselves. It would have been way too much for my sanity.
I added the “hybrid-DIY” above because of the invitations and other stationary. We printed, assembled, addressed, etc. on our own but we worked off the templates of others. We bought our invitations one box at a time from a craft store each time I got a 40% off coupon in my email. We saved a ton of money on these and we love them! I stole an idea from Pinterest about addressing envelopes. We printed addresses in very faint gray on each envelope and then traced with a calligraphy pen. They looked great! I must say that I regretted it about half way through because it was so tedious, but they look hand-written and are not in my less-than-fancy handwriting, so I’m happy.
For our other paper designs we looked to Etsy. We found an affordable set of templates that match our colors exactly. We used these for programs, table numbers, the seating chart, and welcome basket notes in guests’ hotel rooms. The paper was cheap (yay sales!) and the ink was costly (boo crappy printer!). I am not sure how much we saved here by going the DIY route, but I am happy we got exactly what we wanted.
Our other DIYs were centerpieces, the guestbook, favors (talked about in the last post), the ceremony backdrop, games, a picture display, and our flower girl baskets. For centerpieces during cocktail hour we cut the bottoms off of wine bottles and will place candles inside. I love glass cutting so this was a really fun project. Our reception centerpieces are simple and we are using vases, rocks, mirrors, and candles provided by the venue. We will have a single submerged flower stem, ordered wholesale online, in each vase. They will have rocks below and candles above. Easy peasy.
The guestbook may be my favorite thing we are doing. We have tons of blank postcards from a variety of sources. My grandma gave me a couple of large books of postcards before she died and we had others from different trips and vacations. We are having guests write us a postcard and they will be mailed to us by my mom throughout the first year of our marriage. It will be so fun to get all those notes in the mail from our big day!
I looked up images online for ceremony backdrops and saw a really neat one made with carnations. We ordered bulk carnations online and will be stringing them on fishing line to hang from the arch. The backdrop looks like hippie beads made from flowers. I love it! Hopefully I will have plenty of help a couple days before the wedding for the actual assembly. It does not look difficult, but does seem like it will be time consuming. I will practice a couple ahead of time with supermarket carnations to check out the timing situation.
Matt is in charge of the games for the cocktail hour and reception. He and his step dad are making Giant Jenga from two by fours. It is going to be awesome! Matt’s mom made fabric tic-tac-toe games that I am completely in love with. She made several to put out on the cocktail tables. The third game is beanbag toss. I sewed the bags out of fabric I had lying around and Matt made the wood part. We really wanted to have other things to do besides dancing and are pretty excited about the games we’ll have. Plus, they are going to be great for future get togethers that we will have as a new family.
Our picture display is pretty simple. The wonderful moms provided us with childhood pictures and Matt and I picked some out from our adult lives. We will be using clothespins to attach the pictures to twine. There is a perfect spot to hang them above the guestbook table. This idea will work much better than a projector and slideshow in the type of venue we have. It will also allow people to wander and look if they want to or ignore it if they don’t.
Finally, I made our own flower girl baskets. We have two flower girls and the baskets I saw were about $20.00 per basket. That’s ridiculous. Plus, what the heck am I going to do with it after the wedding? I got two simple baskets after Easter (Don’t worry. They aren’t in pastels…) and lined them with lace. They look just fine and cost me $5.00 each instead of $20.00. We also skipped the ring bearer pillow and are using a small heart shaped box my grandparents gave to me years ago from a trip to South America. Overall I am happy with the amount of DIY we chose to do and the things we left to the pros. I think it will all come together nicely next month.