Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

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Inspiration Board


In this Inspiration Board: 

Martha Stewart Weddings

Sylvia Weinstock Cakes

Amy Atlas Events

The Bride Shop – At Zazzle





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Inspiration: Green   Leave a comment




Budget Tips: Reception   Leave a comment

My last blog entry centered around Budget Tips for Invitations.  Let’s take a look at Budget Tips for the Reception.  By all means, this is not exhaustive!  There are money saving tips all over the place!  Just take a look at some of your favorite Wedding Sites!

Beware of hidden costs!  They can sneak around the corner and get you!  So your Reception site vendor says that you can have chairs decorated with Tulle and a ribbon of your color.  The cost? $$$.  Do you need chair covers?  How about going with just a sash of your color?  Don’t be lulled into multiple menu/meat choices.  You don’t have to have multiple menu/meat choices.  Just have one meat.  If you feel that you would like your guests to have multiple choices, consider a Finger Food dinner, or work with your vendor to supply smaller portions of two different choices.  Don’t ever forget, Vendors will negotiate.  The worst they can say is “no”.  Skip the dessert course, you already have cake!

While we are on the topic of vendors.  Look for a one-stop venue to save $$
(your Wedding Ceremony and Reception will be held in one location).  Also, look for a location that will let you bring your own caterers, alcohol, food, etc., without penalty.  This will take some organizing, but will save you lots of your hard-budgeted dollars.  Consider having your Wedding and Reception on an off-day.  Even Friday nights are cheaper than Saturday.  Sundays are cheaper, too.  When you call to get estimates and quotes, don’t tell them that you are getting married, tell them that you are holding a dinner for X amount of people.  You will find that the estimate is a lot different!  Take a step back and take a look at your family and friends.  Maybe someone has a beautiful home or property (even a barn!) that would be willing to host your Ceremony and Reception.  If you have your Ceremony outside, you have the natural decor, which means less flowers, less ribbon, less cost!  You could even have a backyard BBQ!  Most of the time, outdoor locations = free Venues!

When it comes to your Wedding Cake, you definitely have alternatives.  Lots of them!  You could have a Candy Bar, Pie Bar or a Cupcake Bar.  Use Butter cream Icing instead of Fondant, or consider using fruits, flowers and/or ribbon.  Also consider a smaller cake along with a sheet cake, or even a Fake Cake.  Yes, I said a Fake Cake. At Cake Rental, you can design your own, or use one of their pre-designed cakes.  Some locations and/or bakeries will make you a cake that is part real and part fake!


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Or take a look at Fake The Cake.

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Or check out Ultimate Fake Cakes.

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For your Reception decorations, use your Ceremony flowers at the reception.  Delegate a family member to help transport.  For your centerpieces, consider fruit or vegetable centerpieces, intertwined with fresh cut flowers or greenery.  Remember the greenery is less expensive than blooms.

Don’t get caught up in favor overload.  Skip the favor or have something small, such as a candy bar in a small cellophane gift bag.  Make sure that favors can be re-used (or edible) and the packaging can be re-used.

For alcoholic beverages, check to see if your venue will let you bring your own (this is a much cheaper option, sometimes).  Check out an alcohol superstore such as Lukas Liquor.  Make sure that they will allow you to bring back unopened bottles.

Okay.  I think that’s it for now.


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Budget Tips: Invitations   Leave a comment

There are lots of ways to trim your budget.  Let’s talk about Invitations.  Let’s face it, Invitations can be a big drain on your budget.  There are ways to get around this.  This first and most obvious is DIY, baby!  But let’s talk about ways you can trim USING DIY!

Save-the-Dates.  This is quite a simple way to DIY.  Most craft stores (and some department stores) have Save-the-Date’s in a kit.  As with other elements of DIY invitations, use a Postcard as your Save-the-Date.  A tip: USPS has postal rules for Postcards, too. Vista Print can make you Save-the-Date postcards any way you want them!

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Inserts?  Who needs those?  You don’t!  Most of the information can be provided using your Wedding Website, including directions, local hotels, etc.  This way you can save on postage (weight = $) and save some trees! Forget the Ceremony Programs and Menu Cards.  Again, keep your guests in the know with your Free Wedding Website!  You can let everyone know who your attendants are, and exactly how your Wedding Program will occur.  Or, DIY!

When you decide to go DIY, you will definitely need some tools.  Don’t scrimp on the paper, you don’t want to run out.  But DO test out a sheet before you order bulk.  Your printer might not like your paper.  Or, if you DIY the invites, you can get a pretty good deal sometimes at a local copy center.  Spray adhesive is the best (not glue), but use it in a well-ventilated area.  And, it can get VERY sticky!  DON’T use scissors.  DO buy a paper-cutter (and extra blades), it will be the best $15 that you spend!

Letterpess is expensive.  It looks great but can use up a lot of your Budget $.  If you just can’t get away from the idea of Letterpress, DIY.  Yes, you can.  You can buy embossers….even at Office Depot (customizable)!

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If you aren’t DIY’ing it, only get one color on your invitations.  Extra colors mean extra $, too!  You can use a rubber stamp and any color you like, to use on the envelopes.

You can DIY your Save-the-Dates, your Invites, your RSVP card, Programs, Table Numbers, Seating Cards, Thank-You Cards, plus!  If you own Photoshop, you can do GREAT things with that program!  As mentioned above, you can purchase kits at many craft stores.  They provide you with everything that you need, including the templates.  Plug N Play Invites!  Or go partial DIY another way, buy pockets, pochettes or other cool enclosures from Cards and Pockets.  You will love working with the company and they even have samples!


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Just remember the postal rules.  It’s best to get an invite checked BEFORE you decide on the 7” X 7” Square invites.  Most of the Wedding Websites can offer you some great tid-bits of information as well as FREE templates and ideas.  Some even tell you every step in order to make those invites!




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Wedding Postage   Leave a comment

There sure are some cute, adorable Wedding Stamps out now!  Zazzle has some great stamps!  Engagement, Wedding, R.S.V.P, Thank You’s, etc!  You can browse by color too.  You can even create your own!  You can even insert your picture into the design and they have many different denominations.  At Snapfish you can create photo stamps also.

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Perfect Postage is another great site.  You can choose from their templates or make your own.  They have Monogram Stamps, Save The Date Stamps and Magnets, too!  You can get matching sets, too, such as the same design for Save The Date stamps, Wedding Invitation stamps, RSVP stamps and Thank you stamps.




Artistic Postage is another site that has a great selection. They also have coordinating postage, postage by Season and postage by themes (But they come from Zazzle!).

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Even the USPS has a couple of different designs that you might like (but they come from Zazzle).

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Guestbook Alternatives   Leave a comment

Okay, so don’t just go the norm.  Have something a little different!  Do something a little different!


1.  In your Wedding Invitation, insert a slip of paper that requests everyone bring a photo of themselves to include in your “guestbook”.  When guests arrive, they can adhere the picture to the guestbook, along with their names, a short comment, anything!  As an additional item.  Make it into a Scrapbooking Guest Book!  Go to Michael’s, or any craft store, and purchase scrapbooking paper, even a Wedding Theme!  You can even include little “dumafliggies” (you know, all those little stickers and add-ons that you buy for scrapbooking).  Cut the paper into squares and leave lots of colored pencils and/or markers.


2.  Instead of a Guest Book, how about a photo booth?  Very cool!  Your guests will have so much fun!  They can then insert them into a scrapbook using easy adhesive.  Or!  Find a Polaroid Camera and some film!  Set up an area where your guests can snap a photo using goofy props.  Then, again, they can use adhesive (easy to use adhesive) that they can attach the photos with.  In the space provided at the bottom of the snapshot, they can write a little message.


3.  Wishing Trees are becoming quite popular.  Use an artificial palm tree (or a REAL one!) and decorate it.  Provide a table with cut up pieces of heavy cardstock and pens so that your guests can write you a wish.  The paper should not be folded, so take care not to make the pieces too big.  Punch holes in the top of the cardstock piece so that it can be hung, using an ornament hook, onto the tree.  Make sure to leave some directions so that your guests aren’t scared away by not knowing what to do.



4.  Question and Answer Session.  Print out thought provoking questions on heavy cardstock paper (again, smaller pieces).  Place them in a neat stack on a table.  Ask guests to choose a question and answer it on the back of the card.  When they are finished answering the question, they put the cards into a large glass bowl.  These can then be left in the bowl for your new home, or mount the questions and answers into an album/scrapbook.  Ask questions like “What is the secret to a great marriage?” or “What is your best memory of the bride/groom?”  The more interesting the question, the better the answer!




5.  Have a picture frame with a mat.  Ask guests to sign it for a memento to hang up in your (new) home.



Have Fun!


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Invitation Boxes   Leave a comment

This idea is all over the web.  However, your battle with the box can be quite difficult.  They are definitely beautiful!  They can also be very costly, depending on “how” you do-up the beautiful box.

Here are some beautiful Wedding Invitation Box concepts.



Here is one woman’s battle with the box. Invitation Invasion.  They are beautiful.  I’ll give you that.  They can be VERY expensive.  Some of the sites that I checked out were satin boxes.  =$$$$$.  Just like the Bride above can DIY.  So can you!  Work?  Yes!

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If you decide to go DIY.  Check out some of the links that were provided in the article.  And….if you have any other great links to share, please do!




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Posted May 23, 2010 by Michelle in DIY, invitations, Pre-Planning, Wedding DiY