With wedding season approaching, I thought it would be fun to do a post on our wedding DIYs. I’ve always liked doing arts and crafts but I think my love for crafting really developed when Josef and I started planning our wedding. After getting a few quotes for wedding invitations we quickly realized that costs were going to add up FAST if we did not make some things ourselves. Though the process of doing a DIY wedding can be super stressful and time consuming, it’s also really cool to see the end product and be able to share it with your loved ones.
When deciding on the type of invitations we wanted to send out, we wanted to keep with our modern theme and have something unique, so we decided on invitation booklets. When getting quotes, designers were going to charge us $8.00 – $12.00 per invite. Yikes. Our guest list was upward of four hundred people (yes, I know!), so you could do the math and calculate how much that would have cost us. So, we decided to take a leap of faith and make them ourselves. With some self-taught Adobe Illustrator skills, Josef was able to create the graphics that we wanted for each page. We had them laser printed since the gray background we wanted could only be done with laser printing. Once they were printed, I used a Martha Stewart Scoring Board to make a one inch margin on each of the pages. Then, I punched two holes and set two white eyelets with a We R Memory Keepers Crop-a-Dile. We also opted for electronic RSVP options (email, phone, website) to save on stamps and avoid having to print out RSVP cards for people to mail back to us. All in all, we estimated that it cost us about $3.50 to make each invite! We mailed the invites in brown kraft paper envelopes and just used our home inkjet printer to print the addresses.
Reception Programs & Menus
We continued with our modern theme to create our reception programs and menus. Again, Josef designed them on Adobe Illustrator. Since we were going with a white background, we were able to print them out on our home printer. Using the same technique I used on our invitations, I punched a hole in the top corner and set a silver eyelet with a crop-a-dile.
Place Cards & Meal Tickets
We wanted to do something different for our place cards and meal selections that was fun and functional at the same time. For our place cards, we printed each guest name on a 4″ x 9″ envelope and also stored the utensils inside of it. We included a fork and knife graphic as well as our names and the date and location of our wedding reception at the bottom.
The meal tickets served two functions. The top portion was used to tell the servers which meal option each guest chose (meat, veggie or kid’s meal) when they RSVP’d and the bottom was a favor ticket. We decided that instead of spending $300+ on individual favors for each guest, we would raffle off three Nexus Tablets (we’re an Android Family) throughout the reception. I used a Fiskars Rotary Cutter with a perforation blade to make it easy to tear off the bottom portion to place in the raffle bowl.
Our cocktail hour was held in a separate room from the main reception so we were able to put our seating chart and guestbook/gift table in this room. We kept our seating chart simple since we had about three hundred people to list. We separated the names alphabetically by last name and printed them out on white card stock. I made the alphabet tent cards out of brown kraft paper card stock and chalkboard paper. I bought wooden frames and used chalkboard paper for the large signs. Finally, I made our guestbook out of 5″ x 7″ chipboard and white card stock and used binder rings to hold them together to form a ring bound book.
We also put up a gallery of pictures that Josef got enlarged and actually used them when he proposed to me. The easels were hand made by Josef as well, so I have no idea how he made them, but they turned out great!
Most Filipino weddings include the infamous money dance and ours was no exception. Instead of having someone pass out the pins, we thought it would be more efficient to have them on the tables already. My sister came up with the idea for the pins storage. She used small styrofoam balls to stick the pins in. She used a Cricut Machine to cut out the bases out of yellow card stock. She used the Octagon Box image from the Tags, Bags, Boxes and More 2 Cricut Cartridge. She finished them off with a small label made out of a toothpick, twine and gray card stock.
We used wooden frames and chalkboard paper for pretty much all of the signs we used for our reception decor. We used the Tolsby White Plastic frames from Ikea for a few smaller signs and for all of our table numbers. All of the signs were had written with chalk markers by my lovely sister. She has since taken up hand lettering and modern calligraphy (IG: @smudgedletters) if you need any custom lettering done = )
Looking back, I learned quite a few things about doing a DIY wedding. First and foremost, just like everything in life, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! We ended up sleepless and stressed the last week before our wedding trying to get everything done in time. Secondly, ask for help. That’s what your wedding party is there for! It’s always been difficult for me to ask people for help, but enlisting the help of our wedding party turned out to be such a big help, especially that last week of craziness. Utilize them and delegate tasks that don’t need to be done by you. And lastly, don’t sweat the small stuff. Your wedding is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and it goes by fast! Five and a half years later our friends and family don’t really talk about our invitations or the signs we made for our reception, but rather they talk about all the fun they had celebrating the day with us.
So have fun with it and enjoy crafting your Happily Ever After!