I found a great manifesto on Pinterest to live by as I'm planning my wedding and I thought I'd share it with all of you. It's all about enjoying the process, not winning a competition or showing off!
I made this centerpiece in less than 10 minutes. It's perfect for a rustic, outdoor, or nature themed wedding... Really for any type! I'll be using this or something similar for my own. The best part? It cost less than 7 dollars to make!
Materials and Prices:
Once you've found some branches, cut off any parts of it that you don't like. You want it to look as clean and simple as possible, so don't leave any tiny twigs poking out.
Arrange the branches in the vase to your liking.
Take the moss out of the bag and arrange it until it is as flat as possible. Make sure there are no gaps between the sheets.
Fill the vases with water. It's up to you how much you want to put in, but I recommend stopping at least two inches from the top so the candle can float safely inside.
Arrange the vases on top of the moss. Make sure they are steady so they don't fall over. Then place the candles in the smaller vases and light them. For extra lighting, add a few candles between the vases. Just be sure the candles are contained, especially if your venue has a "no open flame" policy.
I'm thrilled about the way this turned out, and I can't believe it was so cheap! For less than $65 I will be able to decorate 10 tables (remember I only used three tea lights and each bag comes with 10 or so).
Are your centerpieces similar? Tell me about them!
Nothing is worse than a reception with a terrible music selection and/or performers. It's a huge waste of money, not to mention the fact that it's completely awkward when three people are dancing to the "Cha-Cha Slide" and everyone is sitting down staring at each other. You want a party, so much so that even your grandparents will dance!
So how can you make sure you have killer music for your wedding reception/ "I just got married!" party?
Three Primary Options
The Hiring Process
Tips For Killer Reception Music
You want your wedding reception to look like this: Party!
Not this: Can you say boring?
YouTube channel: mi1stranger
So here are some tips to get everyone on their feet!
1. DIY String Lights
You can use white Christmas lights too if you don't like the colored look. Borrow some from the family! A pack of 144 ping pong balls is $13 on Amazon. Now you don't have to shovel out money to rent or buy string lights.
2. Flowers to Toss
Instead of buying petals from a flower shop (can someone say expensive?), start collecting flowers at least one month before the wedding. These can be from your backyard, the side of the road, etc. Hang them up to dry upside down. Once dry, you have perfectly dried petals for guests to toss during the recessional. And it's free!
Here's a great video tutorial by ModernMom on how to make those paper cones!
3. Photo Booth Backdrop
For the frame:
For the backdrop:
4. Candy Buffet
Buy assorted vases and candlesticks from Dollar Tree, paint the candlesticks, glue the vases to the top of them and voila! You have adorable candy holders. You can buy candy in bulk (in specific colors if you want) from Candy Direct! Purchase some favor bags from Dollar Tree as well and your guests now have a favor to take home. How perfect is that?
5. Make Your Own Trees
To add a little nature and soft lighting, all you'll need are pots, thick branches (find some in the woods or trim a tree of yours), lights, spray foam and moss to cover the foam (you can purchase bags of moss for $3 at Walmart).
6. Paper Lanterns
You can buy them in bulk for pretty cheap at The Paper Lantern Store. This will allow you to create the perfect lighting for your reception without breaking the bank by hiring someone to uplight your space.
7. Sparkler Exit
Sparklers Online sells them in bulk for a great price. Their 36 inch sparklers last up to four minutes! Perfect amount of time to get a few great pictures.
8. Pomanders (Or As I Call Them, "Those Flower Ball Things")
Just buy a styrofoam ball, some ribbon, straight pins and fake flowers and you're good to go! You can use these as aisle decor, centerpieces, bouquets, etc. The Ornament Girl has a quick and easy tutorial for you to check out! For a more natural look, use real flowers.
9. For Just the Right Amount of Shine
Adding hints of sparkle to your wedding will make your decor pop in just the right way. Spray paint some baby's breath gold or sprinkle glitter on a branch using mod podge. Use them as part of your centerpieces and you've got the perfect touch of shimmer.
10. Paint Chip Escort Cards
Paint chips are free at stores like Lowes and Home Depot. Plus they come in all sorts of colors, so you can match them to your theme! Why not use them as escort cards if you're having assigned seating? Write the names of your guests and the table numbers on each and you're good to go!
Materials and Prices
6. Large Black Cardstock ($8 for pack of 50 at Hobby Lobby)
Total Cost: about $19. I used the cardstock and skewers in the DIY Photo Booth Props With Templates tutorial as well, so not bad!
No one provided free templates online, so I got crafty! I found images of the Disney princesses and villains I wanted and hand drew everything for my props. I'm not a great artist, but I don't think they turned out too bad. Use them to your liking!
I don't have a scanner, so the best I could do was take a picture of my drawings and upload them here.
If you simply can't get the images large enough, your local office supply store or printing shop will be able to print them on larger sheets of paper than the standard 8X10. They'll work with you!
If you don't like that method either, try free handing using my templates as a guide. "Bah! I'm not an artist!" Give a shot, you never know!
Trace the templates onto the colored cardstock (depending on the character) and the black cardstock, which will be used on the backside of the foam as extra support.
*Be sure the outline of your tracing is on the opposite side of the side you want displayed so the outline doesn't show.*
Cut the outlines.
Using the hot glue gun, glue the black cardstock cutout to the foam sheet, then cut the foam. On the reverse side, do the same thing with the colored paper.
If you want smaller pieces such as earrings or bows to stand out, glue those shapes to foam and cut them. Then hot glue them onto the prop. This will give the props a 3D feel.
Use the hot glue gun to glue the bamboo skewers to the back of the prop.
This is a great way to personalize your wedding if you love Disney without making it an overriding theme. Check out these two pictures from my own wedding! I would show more, but since we had an open bar, it's safer not to. I don't want my friends to yell at me for posting drunk pictures! Ha ha.
Let me know if this works for you!
Are they necessary if you're on a budget? YES! Don't neglect the people who helped you. Here's how:
Who Gets Them?
What to Get Them
Don't get them something with the bride and groom's name and wedding date engraved on it or anything that says "bridesmaid."
Do get them:
Don't get them something generic like a gift basket. They raised you, put some more effort into it!
Do get them:
If you don't know them that well, getting them something personal isn't completely necessary. If you do know them well, personal is always best.
By no means have I covered all possible gifts, these are just a few suggestions based on the research I've done and my personal thoughts. Have any more suggestions? Received a great gift you want to share? I'm curious! Let me know!
Pinterest is going through a sort of chalkboard sign faze. And why shouldn't pinners share the idea? It's adorable! Unfortunately not a ton of people know how to do it. That's where I come in. Here's an easy how to tutorial for you!
First Things First:
Wear old clothes! You'll be so mad at yourself when you spill, splatter, drip, or smear paint on your favorite pair of jeans.
Materials and Prices
Total Cost: about $30. The fewer signs you have, the less it will cost. I purchased in bulk.
Paint one coat of the Valspar 4000 paint onto the front and back of whatever you chose for your signs. If you used wood or another heavy material, paint two coats to ensure none of the surface shows through.
Let dry, then touch up any areas that you missed. Pretty right? I must admit, this took me a few days, but I got there!
This part is tricky and takes some time and effort.
Below are some of the ones I created, save for the photo booth sign which was created by Enchanted Prints. You are more than welcome to use them!
Once you've printed a design, rub the back of the paper with a piece of chalk. Make sure the entire area is covered.
Using a pencil, trace the outline of the image onto the surface of your sign. Make sure you press down hard so the outline transfers.
Use the paint pen to fill in the outline. This will ensure that your sign will last while maintaining that chalkboard feel.
Once the paint dries, gently wipe the excess chalk away with a cloth. If you acidentally drew outside the lines or smeared paint, use the black paint and a small paint brush to clean it up.
As you can see, I'm not near finished. These are the only three I've done so far and I have yet to touch up on them. This project takes time, concentration and effort depending on the type of design you are doing. I'm not going to lie, the photo booth sign was absolute torture to paint. Good luck!
This should have been one of the first posts published as it's one of the first things you do once you're engaged. I'm sorry, I'm only human! The guest list will help you browse through venues much faster. If you have a number, you can skip places that won't house that number. Huge help!
You, your fiance, his parents and your parents should each make lists of who to invite. Sounds crazy right? "I don't want my parents to dictate who comes and who can't!" Hear me out. You and your fiance will include your best friends and closest relatives. Your parents, however, will likely include family members whose names you forgot, the neighbors who babysat you for years and years, etc. Let them feel included, especially if they're paying for the big day.
Show No Mercy
For the Visual Learners...
Check out this helpful guide by Simply Bridal.
Photo booths are a huge wedding trend right now. Personally, I think they are adorable and will be using one at my own wedding to serve as a guest book. Plus, it is so easy to create the props yourself! Grab some bridesmaids to help and you're good to go!
I'm not much of an artist, but if you are, you can create your own. If you aren't talented like the rest of us, take advantage of free templates. Here are the ones I used:
Know of some other great free templates? Share them in the comment section below!
Materials and Prices
Total Cost: about $46. This seems a little expensive, but remember I had to print the templates at Staples and I didn't own an x acto knife.
To save some cash, borrow a friend's printer along with any other item you can!
Cut the props. The edges don't have to be perfect. I quickly learned to leave plenty of room (you'll see why in step three).
Use the Elmer's Spray Adhesive to coat the backs of the cut outs. (Don't do them all at once. Switch between steps two and three until all are glued onto the cardstock). I used an old poster board as a backdrop for this. I highly recommend this as the glue is incredibly sticky and is hard to clean off of surfaces.
Place the glued pieces onto the heavy weight cardstock, then cut each prop piece out, using the x acto knife as needed (I used the same poster board to bare down on when using the knife). As you can see, I left plenty of room so that I could make sure my edges were clean and I didn't cut too much of the actual prop away. This happens when you cut neatly the first time around.
Using the hot glue gun, glue the bamboo skewers to the cut outs. Switch up the sides on which you glue the rods on so that guests can hold one in each hand when taking photos. It would be difficult if all rods were glued on the right!
Set the glued pieces aside to dry. Don't worry about the frame, it was drying because I accidentally broke it. Typical me.
If you want to glitterfy some props (yes, glitterfy), add a layer of mod podge using a sponge brush. Once you've tapped off the excess glitter, spray with the Elmer's Spray Glue to set it.
Paint the frames whatever color you choose or glitterfy them to add some flair.
Paint the back, front and sides of the signs black, then spray the front with a layer of chalkboard paint. Let dry, then spray a second layer.
If the photo booth is also serving as the guest book as mine is, these signs will allow people to write advice or messages to you!
Photo booths aren't just for weddings. Use them for a party or get together with friends and family! I got the vases for $1 each at Dollar Tree and I'll be purchasing a few more so guests can easily search through the props.
For the big day you want perfectly white teeth for those hundreds of photos. Good news. You don't have to spend tons of money to do it. Here are two quick DIY routines to get those pearly whites:
1. Hydrogen Peroxide & Baking Soda
What You Need:
Mix the baking soda and peroxide together to create a paste. Add a little bit of water to delude the mixture. Brush your teeth with the paste for two minutes (don't scrub too hard or it will irritate your gums!). Do this no more than twice a week as you don't want to wear away the enamel of your teeth.
*Optional: If you have a mouth guard or purchased one, put the paste in it, then put the guard in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Do this once a week.*
That's it! Easy Peasy. I recommend beginning well before your wedding day as this process takes some time.
2. Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel
For this, you can either purchase a full kit (mouth tray and rinse included) or just the gel. Either way, you won't pay more than $5-7 for this product. I love this stuff. It works so well! Just be careful to follow the directions so that your teeth don't become sensitive. Second, don't use too much at one time or it can burn your gums. Yikes!
Negatives aside, I saw improvement after two uses! If you purchase just the gel, using a mouth guard like the one mentioned above works best. I usually take a shower when I use this so it can set for a good 15-20 minutes.
If you're looking for a cheaper and less harsh alternative, I would stick with baking soda and peroxide. If you're unsure about this method, check out this video review/tutorial by leighannsays: