February 29, 2008

DIY Menu Project

Posted in Budget Friendly Ideas, Centerpieces and Reception Decor, DIY Projects, Stationary at 12:47 pm by Jess

Individual menus on each place looks fabulous. They are an added detail that makes the table swoon with color and attention to detail. Here are a few that I enjoy immensely:



Dauphine Press

However, I am not making individual menus. Today I officially scratched that off of my list of things to do (which is now only four pages long) and it felt sooo good. Pick your battles people, and you lower the stress enormously.  We are having a buffet and even if we were plating dinner, it’s not like they actually get a choice. Plus, I’m concerned about using too much paper, and not being environmentally conscious. One friend told me wittily, “It is not like someone is going to make it all the way up to the buffet, grab his/her plate and then say ‘Daaaaamn, I just cannot choose! I must go back and look at my menu…'”

Instead of menu cards, I have done a DIY Buffet Menu Card Project. This way each food has its own label which will go in front of each serving vessel. They are large enough for everyone to read, and in our matching colors, for the grand total of 10 dollars.

Step 1: Buy small white frames from a store, I bought mine at IKEA at 2 dollars (I assume, I bought for 3 Francs a piece) for 2 frames.


Step 2: Print your logo or monogram onto the reverse side of the paper insert


Step 3: Taken from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Gild the Edges with a Paint Pen. You have to press the paper into the frame to find out if you have gilded in far enough as the frame covers the margins of the paper.



Step 4: After allowing them time to dry, use another (Same or different color) pen to write the name of each menu item, 1 per frame.


If you are not having a buffet, you could still incorporate this idea, and save a lot of paper by having ONE Frame, of a medium side, placed vertically on the table with the menu (either printed or DIY) inside. I promise, people will not mind passing it around if the tables are small, and if you have one long table, place a few of them in incremental distance.


February 25, 2008


Posted in Budget Friendly Ideas, Flowers at 10:47 pm by Jess

The Single White Flower debate: Is one White Calla Lilly flower enough for a “bouquet” for my bridesmaids?

In theory, especially for a budget-concerned bride, this is a great idea. However, once we think about actually sending our gorgeous bridesmaids down the aisle, the idea of one flower falls a little flat.

Or does it?


The Single Flower idea works best if you:

~Use a large flower, like the calla, or even a Bird of Paradise, and make sure your florist knows to get a large one.

~Are not using many flowers at all in your ceremony. I am not, therefore flowers are minimal and the very few that we use will be seen. Having an outdoor location with its own natural beauty helps here, and my budget!

~Play with the flower by adding a large bow, or having the girls cradle the flower in the elbow like shown below.

What do you all think? Have you also thought of doing just one flower (like Emahlee mentioned in her comment here) and felt that it was not enough? Have you done a poll to your friends who are NOT getting married? Go ahead, ask some random people who attend many weddings: “Do you remember the ceremony flowers?” Perhaps one flower is enough, but if not, even two or three of a striking, long stem can be cheaper and elegant.

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February 21, 2008

Casual Outdoors

Posted in Budget Friendly Ideas, Centerpieces and Reception Decor at 7:34 am by Jess

These photos are meant to showcase a casual summer dinner setting, but for me they inspire thoughts of an outdoor wedding dinner. With just a little extension – maybe one vase of low-height flowers and a tablecloth that covered most of the table (but leaving some of that gorgeous wood to show on edges) this would be a beautiful, simple and budget-friendly reception table for an outdoor wedding.
Photos by Studio Dreyer Hensley

February 10, 2008

Lightbulbs Reused As Vases

Posted in Budget Friendly Ideas, Eco Friendly Ideas, Lighting at 2:05 pm by Jess

With This Ring recently posted this simple lighting idea. A budget-friendly idea would be to take old lightbulbs, or buy new ones in bulk, and unscrew the top, then use a long wire to string them all together.

First you would need to CAREFULLY hollow out the top of the bulb. Second, you would need to wrap the wire tightly around each bulb neck, then leave a straight portion between each bulb. It would look very similar, but would also be budget, and environmentally friendly.

photo from With This Ring

Or, alternatively you could hang one bulb from each chair along the aisle, and it would look something similar to this:

Photo from EspritCabane

February 8, 2008

Planning: Necessary for Planning

Posted in Budget Friendly Ideas, Planning Your Own Wedding: Step by Step at 4:04 pm by Jess

The very first thing that I did when I realized I had an entire wedding to plan, was buy a Blank Book and an Accordion File. Just about every person who has done a wedding would recommend that you buy an accordion file for your wedding. They ain’t lying. You spend hours looking through Bridal Magazines, researching online, and then you have this big stack of messy papers to deal with. Or, you could file them away tidily in separate pockets for separate issues. Mine happens to go chronologically, starting with Hair and Makeup Ideas, and ending with the stack of Miscellaneous Ideas that I would like to do, which are filed under “If I have any budget left…”


The Paper Source has this red Accordion file for 36.00USD. Very practical, but a little steep for a folder on my budget.


I went to a local crafting/scrapbooking store and found the “Accordion Album Kit.” You are intended to cover it with your own hand-picked papers. This is a great option if you wan to pick a pretty paper that goes along with your color scheme. Personally, Color Schemes and I have an ongoing battle, so I left the file Cardboard, labeled them in Black Marker (very unchic, and yet oh-so un-distracting to the eye) and tied it all up with a huge ribbon in a base color that I liked.

Total cost: 7USD

If this is too plain for you, Thoughtful Day has already posted a nice assortment of different Accordions.

I am less of a paper collector and more of a list maker. I knew that lists would be critical so I went to Barnes and Noble and spent a good hour looking through their journal and Blank Book section (a favorite past time of mine, wedding or not). I finally selected a hardcover book with large pages so that I could sketch out ideas and even paste in invitation ideas, and strips of ribbon. It also has perforated edges, in case things get messy and I want to tear something out. My only complaint is that I wish I had gotten something spiral bound. A normal spiral sketchbook would work, and you could certainly cover the outside.


I found this pretty sketchbook by BlowfishDesign on Etsy.


Here my cat shows off my book, purchased at Barnes and Noble.


Here you can see that I pasted in examples of invitations that I picked from all over the web. I was able to see clearly what styles I liked (not having a favorite color means less focus on color, more on style for me) and what some of the consistencies were.

The book is also where I sketch out plans, and keep all my lists, including the Brain Dump.