For my final wedding preparations post, I thought I’d include all the little DIY items I did that, put together, created a big impact.
I’ll start with the things related to the kids in the wedding party. Look at those cuties.
Flower girls need flower baskets. I bought plain white flower girl baskets and pink ribbon from Michael’s (don’t forget the 40% off coupon, which applies throughout this post). I had some black ribbon laying around from my first pomander try, and I even had pearl flower-shaped buttons from a craft kit I’ve had for ages. I hot glued the black ribbon down the middle of the basket first, starting the inside. It wrapped around the whole basket, including underneath. Once it dried, I did the same thing with the pink ribbon. I cut a small pink ribbon square and glued that to the inside bottom of the basket, so you didn’t see the edges of the long ribbons. Finally, I glued 3 pearl flowers onto the ribbon. Coincidentally, the flower girl dresses had pearl flowers on the skirt, so it matched perfectly.
I was recently told at least one of the baskets is still kicking and has been re-purposed as a container to store Barbie clothes. Nice. Total per basket: around $6.
Another quick money-saving tip related to the flower girls – buy your own roses and pull them apart yourself. I can’t remember the exact amount the florist wanted to share us for the rose petals to fill 2 flower girl baskets, but it was a bunch cheaper to run to Costco the day before the wedding and buy a dozen roses there. My mom pulled them apart the morning of the wedding. And she had enough left over to decorate the food table when she hosted some family at her house in between the wedding and the reception. Total for the flowers: about $15 for flowers for the aisle and a couple small table arrangements.
Though I don’t have a photo of the ring bearer pillows, I kept the cost down for those by buying the pillow that matched the flower girl basket (it had small pearls on it) from Michael’s, and using the thin pink ribbon leftover from the bubbles to tie a bow where the rings would have been. No, my ring bearers weren’t trusted with the actual rings. Total per pillow: about $6.
Also related to the kids was the cute hot pink and lime green beach buckets that I filled with toys, games, and coloring supplies for them – all from the dollar store. The pink bucket held stuff for the girls, the green bucket was for the boys.
I knew the kids wouldn’t sit still throughout dinner, and kids running around during a meal drives me crazy. With the stuff I gave them, I didn’t hear one peep out of them all through dinner and their little butts stayed put in their chairs. I consider that to be well worth the $20 or so I spent.
I really enjoyed the wedding bubbles we handed out to our guests with the programs. Actually, our flower girls handed them out. We bought the bubbles in bulk from Wal-Mart (100 for $15) and headed to Michael’s for some super thin ribbon in black, pink and green. I think each roll was under $1 and we got 6 rolls, 2 in each color. I found the basket at my parents’ house and my crafty aunt made the fancy bow. Grand total: about $20.
As you can see from this awesome photo taken outside church, the $20 bubble expense was well worth it.
One of my favorite little DIY projects was the wedding ceremony programs. Unfortunately, I have no picture of it, but what made it super special was the little little stories we included about each wedding attendant. Each bridesmaid and groomsman had a small paragraph about them in the program that shared something about them and the history they had with Dan and I. So many times I had been to weddings where you see the attendants and wonder who they are. I wanted our guests to know them since they are pretty fabulous people.
Speaking of stationery, the programs, guest book, invitations, and place cards all matched. So should the unity candle! I didn’t DIY for this project though. The thought of matching the candle to our stationery didn’t occur to me until a few weeks before the wedding. By that time, I had so many other things on my mind that I knew I wouldn’t have the time to make the candles. I looked on etsy to see if anyone could make the candles for me, and I found wreathartist’s shop. We sent her a copy of our invitation, and she worked with Dan to create a design. I love the way she put the “c” and “d” on the separate candles we used to light the middle one.
I think the cake toppers were my favorite little wedding thing. I found a woman on etsy (fanciefanniesbridal) who created little wooden versions of the bride and groom. She asked about every detail – the color of Dan’s vest and tie, what kind of flowers were in my bouquet, how I would be wearing my hair, the style of my dress (she requested a photo of it), and even our eye colors. The little me looked so spot on, I wouldn’t even show it to Dan before the wedding since I was keeping my dress a secret from him. This woman is seriously a wood painting genius.
Though this last tip isn’t really cost cutting, it is a way to do good and give back on your big day. We decided not to give out favors, and instead gave the money we would have spent to charity. We chose PAWS Chicago. I had always wanted a dog, and we knew that before long, we’d be adding a canine addition to our family. Dan’s work matched our donation, so we were able to double our gift. Ironically, we didn’t find our Phoebe girl at PAWS. She came from another amazing no-kill shelter, Orphans of the Storm. I highly recommend going the donation route. To let everyone know why they wouldn’t be receiving a favor, we made a small sign telling of our donation that we set next to the guest book.
So there you have it. I’ve shared all my wedding prep tips and money-saving tricks with you. I hope they helped you, and saved you some serious dough.
Be sure to check back on Sunday, June 5 for my last wedding-related post on the wedding itself!