Monday, April 24, 2006

misc ideas: Timelines

This is a cute addition to the 'Out of Town' bags your Hotel hands out, or even as a part of your program or pre-festivity Bridal Party information. You want everyone to be informed, but realize that most people won't bother to wade through your bridezilla-length email or note... so, this is a nice way to get your information across in a cute & informative way.

All you really need is some clip art for each event & you're all set! Most Microsoft Office programs (Word & Powerpoint) come with built-in clip art, or google for 'free clip art ***' (where *** = the image you're looking for) and you'll find tons.

I had to include some of my favorites here... The one up top uses all song names for the events (such as Get Me To the Church on Time, Be Our Guest) ~ how cute is that?! You can see an example too of how cute this can be as the last page of a ceremony program.

Here are some girl- and guy-specific ones, perfect as examples of what to give your bridal party:

And while many brides opt to keep this fairly simple, the cuteness factor goes up when you incorporate your colors & make it match your other paper goodies, like the one here.

Now nobody will have an excuse not to know the plans for the day!
i heart weddings,

Thursday, April 20, 2006

reception decorations: Folded Napkins

I have been cutting things out of magazines & saving them for as long as I can remember... I save ideas for projects I'd like to try, or maybe just a pretty color combination or pattern that inspires me. Just because I cut them out, don't assume I have an organized way of keeping track of them or referencing them... that would be way too convenient! While digging through my pile the other day, I came across this article that I thought you would like...

I admit it, I am a total sucker for napkin folds. Yes, a wierd thing to love, but I never tried to pretend I was normal... It's just that, since they'll be on the table anyway, anyone who takes a little extra effort to make the napkin just a little more special & festive gets a gold star in my book.

The top picture is too cute... and what a great way to add some cheaper, DIY flowers to the room. And I know lots of brides like to place menus into napkin 'pockets', so these easy instructions should help (just put your menu where the cutlery is in the pic).

Instructions for the folds follow:

flower tuck:
  1. Fold the napkin in thirds, and position the open edge at the top
  2. Turn napkin over
  3. Fold one end in halfway to napkin's middle; repeat with other end
  4. Fold both ends in again so they meet in the middle.
  5. Trim the stem of a gerbera daisy (or other resilient flower, such as an orchid) and slip bloom into gap in the center

cutlery (aka menu) pocket
  1. Fold napkin in thirds, and position with open edge at top
  2. Fold top layer down about 1.5"
  3. Turn napkin over
  4. Fold ends to meet in the middle
  5. Fold napkin in half so ends are inside
  6. Slip flatware in picket; tuck placecard under cuff

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

reception idea: Make your own Photo 'Booth'

At one point, I really, really, really wanted an old fashioned Photo Booth at my reception. Seriously, how fun would that be? I knew it would garner all sorts of great, unique shots and that our guests would have a ball with it.When planning a wedding on a budget, you simply can't do everything you've dreamed of... but I still try & push the idea to my friends getting married. If they can afford it, then I still get to have fun! ;)

I recently came across some information to make your own 'Photo Booth' & had to share... while it's not a booth in the traditiional sense, it's still a place where your guests can pose & smile to their heart's delight!

Here you can see some of the resulting pictures from knotties h_flee and Mrs.Razpswrl, as well as what the setup looked like for Mrs.R.

Directions for doing this at your event (courtesy of knottie h_flee):

  1. Set up an area with your backdrop (could be fabric or a wall)
  2. Set up your camera on a fixed tripod (h_flee used a digital camera)
  3. Test the exposure/on camera flash and framing a few times and make adjustments as needed
  4. Mark off the maximum area (with tape) that your guests can stand in and still be visible through the lense
  5. Have your guests use a remote control or cable release to take the pictures themselves (Be sure to have easy instructions to let your guests know what/how to do this... we made a simple illustration and had it framed next to the area)


    Have someone man the area and take the picture for your guests.

*Have someone (the band/DJ) announce to the guests to remember to visit the photobooth before the night ends.
*Place the booth in an area where there is some traffic but not too much to distract.
*We used professional lighting but an on camera flash will work as well.
*We also had our guests write a message to us before their picture to place next to their picture in a photo guest book album...
* Have fun!

i heart weddings,

Monday, April 17, 2006

outfits: Loving Long Veils

When it came time to determine my bridal attire, I initially didn't want a veil- it's just seemed too old-fashioned & traditional for my taste. Still, once I tried one on I was hooked... it was just so... well, Bridal. Took the whole outfit from just an expensive, pretty, white dress to a Wedding Dress.

I didn't personally have a long veil- I decided on something shorter (fingertip length, I think it was called) and more manageable that I could wear all night. Plus, seeing as the 'aisle' I was walking down was outdoors & more of a stone path than anything, it didn't seem practical. (Especially once it was raining all morning the day of, so the ground was nice & muddy...)

Still, when I see pictures of brides in their super-long veils, I have a twinge of jealousy... they're so gorgeous & flowing and make for the most amazing pictures. Long veils seem to have a life of their own, and the air of unexpectedness (especially outdoors!) adds a certain charm. I had to share some of my favorite long-veiled brides- enjoy!

If you're debating lengths, maybe this will push you towards the longer option...
i heart weddings,

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

paper goodies: Hidden Message STD's

So, I was reading my newest Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine (Spring 2006) last night & came across an article on Save The Dates... yippee! How exciting to find two things I adore (Save The Dates & all things Martha) together!

Of course I found just about everything included adorable, but I literally said "That is SOOO cool!" outloud at this idea. I was reading in bed and my husband looked over & sighed... probably either because I am still reading wedding magazines, or that I could actually find a card 'sooo cool'. He just doesn't get it!

Anyway, the basic idea is that the front of the card reads 'Save the Date', but then you open it and the letters are actually part of a larger message! My mock-ups of the closed & open designs are shown here (since the pics on her website are kinda small)- I added a dotted line on the 'open' view so you can see the letters that form the 'Save The Date' message.

Instructions from their website:
Making The Secret Message Save-The-Date
1) Download the template here.
For the borders at the top and bottom of the card, highlight each date, and type in your own; once you've changed the first two dates, the rest should automatically update.

2) Subsitute your wedding date in the first line of the card. You may need to change the wording slightly if your date takes up more space (for instance: “saturday, september 23: we would love to have”) or less space (for instance: “saturday, march 1st: we would be happy to have” or “sunday, june 1: we would be so honored to have”).

3) Highlight each name in the bottom line and fill in your own.

4) Click the "print" button on the template when you're ready to print (don't use your web browser's "print" button). Adjust your page setup by clicking the "preferences" button. Select the "paper" tab and set the paper size to “tabloid” (11x17 paper); then select the "basics" tab and set your orientation to “landscape.”

So cute and unique... plus the template on her website makes it easy!
i heart weddings,

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

reception decorations: Numbered Tables

A lot of brides nowadays try to come up with creative ways to number their tables... rather than using numbers, many will name the tables after Cities that they have visited together or lived in, or landmarks in the city of their hometown or reception city.

This idea still uses the traditional numbers, but with a creative twist. For our table numbers, we placed a picture of each of us at that age on the table number card. For example, table 5 had a picture of me at 5 years old and one of Jason at 5 years old. It turned out really cute and was a conversation piece for the tables... many guests were even walking around, looking at the pictures on the other tables!

Our venue wasn't really set up in a way where you could easily show a slideshow of pictures, so this was a really nice way for us to incorporate them in a more subtle fashion.

How I made them:
* I made the backing sheet out of colored cardstock... to save on paper, I made the signs each 1/4 of a sheet
* I printed the table numbers on Vellum (make sure you buy the kind made for your printer type, or the ink won't dry!), also were sized at 1/4 page. I made my table numbers 2-sided, so printed two of each number
* I gathered the pictures of us at different ages... I didn't want to use (& potentially ruin!) the originals, so I scanned all the pictures, made them black-and-white, & then had them re-printed (I used because they have great prices)
--If you don't have a scanner, I recommend going to your local copy shop & making color copies. When copying an original photograph, the quality is great- almost looks just like the original photo! You can set up the copier to print black-and-white too to get the same look as shown here. Shop around for pricing- Staples in my area does copies for $0.39 - Kinkos is much more expensive for me!

To assemble, I first attached the pictures to both sides of the backing sheet. I used photo corners, but regular craft adhesives would work just as well (and be less of a pain!). Then, I assembled all 3 layers- Vellum (with table number on it), Backing Sheet (with pictures glued down), second Vellum sheet. I punched holes in the top corners & used Eyelets to hold all the layers together.
--You can buy Eyelets & the Eyelet Setter tool at most craft stores... holding all the layers together with ribbon would also be cute!

We just used the table number stands that our venue had & they worked great- you can see a (not great) picture of one on a stand here:

-People will want to lift up the vellum to see the pictures, so only attach the layers at the top (or one side)
-We only had 17 tables, so this worked well for us... just something to think about if you're really young or having a really large wedding (i.e. 30 tables and you're only 20!)
-Don't be ashamed of your awkward phases... we did feel like we needed to apologize to the guests at tables 12 & 13 (not our best years!), but it was a great conversation starter!

Another nice reason to use numbers over named tables is that it's easy for guests to find their tables... someone at table 9 knows they are near 8 and 10, but someone at 'Milan' won't really have the other tables to guide them.

i heart weddings,

Monday, April 10, 2006

paper goodies: STD for Summer

For all you summertime (or destination wedding!) brides, I came across these Save The Dates and immediately loved the idea! It’s personal & unique, but also easy to do and inexpensive… always a good combination!

This knottie just bought inner tubes at her local drugstore & then wrote on them with a permanent marker. A quick jump in the pool with a friend as photographer, and you’re all set! Would make a really cute postcard Save-The-Date or magnet.

Just goes to show you that not everything needs to be complicated to be cute!
i heart weddings,

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

misc ideas: personalized water bottles

I must preface this post by saying that yes, I realize that this is totally unnecessary & over-the-top. I do know that. Still, it's super cute, easy & cheap- all good ingredients for a DIY project!
It would make a personalized touch to an Out-of-Town bag, or a welcome addition to an outdoor venue.

The label can be as simple as just your initials or monogram with your wedding date on it. Make it in your colors or with your 'logo' to help carry through the theme.

In this example, the back of the label mimics a real ingredients label, stating:
Serving Size: 1 Happy Couple Love....100%
Laughter.... 100%
Respect.... 100%
Bottled with love for x and y's wedding
Making the labels is easy- to determine the size, just rip the original label off one of your bottles and measure. You can fit several labels on one piece of paper & then cut... a few pieces of double-sided tape finishes the project!

Also, found some pre-made labels here... the bonus is that they will be water-resistant when you're finished!

i heart weddings,

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

reception idea: homemade table runners

When looking to decorate a reception location, the hardest thing to do can be to bring a splash of color without breaking the bank. Colored table linens are a great option, but may be out of reach for many bride's budgets (it was for mine!). A nice alternative is to add some color with easy, no-sew table runners!

How many runners to make is up to you... Knottie UofMWedding (picture above) had her green ones on every other table). At my wedding, we only had runners at the Cake Table, Escort Card table, and Guest Book table.

Supplies Needed:
* Fabric (get a coupon for JoAnn's in the paper or sign up to receive their email neweletter to save some money!).
* Stitch Witchery or other iron-on hemming material
* Scissors - Sewing scissors are best, cause their sharp edges will make the fabric easier to cut
* Iron


  1. Cut your fabric slightly larger than the final runner size, leaving about 1-2" of extra length around the edges

  2. Start making the hems for the 2 longer sides... work slowly down the length of the fabric, folding the edge in. As you fold, iron down the 'hem' (no Stitch Witchery yet!)... for best results, GO SLOW and fold in the opposite sides at the same time. Periodically, measure that the width of your runner is staying consistent. You may want to use pins to hold down your edge as you iron it to make sure you don't burn your fingers!

  3. After the folded edges have cooled, lift up the 'flap' you just made and line the crease with the Stitch Witchery.

  4. Iron again, the Stitch Witchery securing the hems you created.

  5. Fold over the final 2 sides in a similar manner

* Inexpensive cotton quiliting material has been recommended by several brides... I used a more satin-y fabric and the results weren't quite as good - something with a bit of sheen will make the 'hem' edges more obvious. Go for a nice, matte fabric for a better end result.
* The size depends the size of your tables. Still, many brides make the runners 1.5-2' wide and have the edges hang over the edge of the table about 2'

From different accounts I've read, these will end up costing about $2-3 each... much cheaper than just about anything else you can do to make such an impact!
i heart weddings,