Being the slightly neurotic and type A person that I am, one of the rules that I enforced for our wedding decor was that if I could make it, I would. I knew early on the feel I wanted for our wedding which made it easy for me to get started on decor early on. To make things more simple, I wrote a list for each “area” I wanted to tackle and got to work. I started on decor and decorations about six months out and that gave me plenty of time to finish the list of crafts I had. One of the things I loved the most about the DIY decor I made was not only did it make our wedding more personal, after our wedding was all done, I now had personalized decor that could go in our house! Win win! As I have many newly engaged friends both offline and online, I figured I would share what were the highlights of my DIY crafts as well as how I did them, where I got supplies, etc.
I will be honest that I found most of my inspiration via Pinterest and what I didn’t find ON Pinterest, I pinned. Having that digital file of “ideas” really helped me. I was very picky about what I pinned to my “wedding board” as so it didn’t get full of ideas that I liked but weren’t necessarily going to make it into our special day. In the end, I had so much fun making and creating the decor for our special day. With sites like Pinterest, I sometimes feel like we get caught up in trying to do EVERYTHING. Here are my few pieces of advice for simple, beautiful, and DIY decor.
- Form a vision and stick with it. Sure, I came across SO MANY awesome ideas on Pinterest. But I couldn’t do them all so I had to choose. When choosing what ideas to create and what ideas not to create, I kept asking myself. Does this fit the vision? Does this fit my husband and I’s themes and requirements for the wedding? If not, don’t be afraid to realize it isn’t for you.
- Don’t be afraid to break tradition. Who says you have to have paper programs? Who says you have to eat cake at your wedding? Some of the best ideas we had at our wedding came out of breaking tradition. Remember that you want your day to reflect you and your husband. Not some cookie cutter wedding that anyone could have.
- Beautiful wedding decor doesn’t have to be over the top, expensive, and a ton of work. Simple decorations can be beautiful decorations. Taking some old jars, gluing fabric on them, and putting some flowers in them serve as a beautiful centerpieces, plywood painted with chalkboard paint and fun sayings written on them can add to the simplest of venues.
- Make it personal. I have been to many weddings in my day and the ones I loved the most were the ones that were full of things that just screamed “them”. Including personal touches that relate to your own lives make your wedding memorable. Guests won’t remember the decor, maybe they will remember the venue, but what they will remember is the special touches you put into the planning to reflect the two of you as a couple.
- If you can, pick a venue that reflects your vision. If you want a black tie wedding, you aren’t going to pick a barn for a venue and vice versa. One of the reasons we chose the venue we did was because it fit our vision. And it complimented our vision very well! Lots of my decorations blended in with the decorations she already had at the venue. I understand in small towns sometimes you are limited in venue selection. Again, don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Rent a tent and have your wedding in a field! Use hay bales as ceremony seats. Anything can be done, you’ve just got to be creative. You can have a wedding venue anywhere, don’t be afraid to use your imagination.
Here are just a few of the easy DIY ideas I did for our wedding.
I had seen these customized prints via Etsy and I just loved the idea! Instead of a framed print though, I wanted a canvas. I pick up canvases in bulk via Blick art. They have the best quality and bang for your buck when it comes to canvases. I LOVED their all wood canvases too! For this, I basically just printed out the map of North Dakota on cardstock, cut it out, and used it as a stencil. I used acrylic paint and for the letting, I used sharpie paint pens.
I love the idea of sharing a bunch of photos of the two of us prior to our engagement and wedding day. I’d seen several great ideas on how to do this. Window + chicken wire or even a clothesline of photos. I worried though about wind and keeping the photos pinned down. When I received this size canvas from my order, I just started playing around with the photos and lo and behold, they fit perfectly. I wrapped this canvas with fabric I ordered online at OnlineFabricStore.net . They have a GREAT selection! I used my Cricut machine to cut the letters out of vinyl and then transferred them onto the fabric. I sealed the entire thing with ModPodge so in case it got water on it, none of the photos would bleed.
I saw this original post on Pinterest and I have loved it from the very moment I found it! Luckily, I had planned on both my husband and I wearing boots for our engagement photos so I had a personalized photo to use. I had the photos printed by a lab versus my inkjet printer.. I’ve learned from previous times that Modpodge over inkjet printouts make them bleed. I glued the photo onto an 8 x 10 wood canvas (bought from Blick) and then cut the saying out of vinyl using my cricut machine. My cricut was a life safer during this project, however, I was not thrilled I couldn’t custom designs on my cricut but can only use cartridge designs. I am not looking into a Silhouette which you can cut any custom design using your computer. I sealed the entire thing with ModPodge too.
I saw this idea multiple times via Pinterest. It’s mostly on a chalkboard, but instead I used a window. My mother in law actually had a bunch of windows just sitting in her garage.. SCORE! To write on the window, I used Sharpie Paint Pens as they didn’t smear nearly as easy as the regular chalk paint pens I bought via Amazon. This really gave those guests of ours who weren’t sure about the specifics of how/when we met just a little bit of background on our Love Story!
Being that both my husband and I are fairly active people in social media, we established a hashtag for our wedding so that when friends and family memories wished us well, took photos, or shared anything related to our wedding using the hashtag, it will chronicle all of that digitally. Now I can go onto Twitter and search #markjenny13 and see photos and what some of our twitter friends wrote to us on that special day. I found this idea via Pinterest but instead of a chalkboard, I had windows at my disposal.
To the left of this, you can just barely see our program. Versus paper programs that nobody saves anyway, we wrote it all down on a window instead. It was sitting at the entrance to the aisle so before everyone took their seats, they could check out the windows to know the details about our bridal party and ceremony. Since we were getting married at such a scenic location, I knew I wanted to have our altar decor simple. I chose to continue with the old window theme and made this window to go behind us when we got married. I LOVE this window and it now hangs in our home. To make this, I used my Cricut machine to cut the vinyl letters and numbers (ordered the vinyl from Cricut). I found the lace ribbon that was used over and over again on multiple decorations at Hobby Lobby. Then to make it even more personal to our wedding, I hot glued sunflowers on the corners as sunflowers were a key theme for our wedding.
These chalkboard panels were actually at the venue and were an after thought. But it was one of the things people loved the most at our wedding. My maid of honor came up with the idea to write lyrics on them. We also wrote our menu and a few other “housekeeping” things on the boards. These could be SO easy to do for your wedding. Any kind of light weight panel painted with chalkboard paint. You’ve got a HUGE chalkboard to use and you aren’t spending a fortune on already made chalkboards which are all the rage now a days.
Instead of spending a fortune on a wedding cake, my brilliant husband came up with the idea to have cheese! We cut our “cake” before our cocktail/social hour so everyone could enjoy. We ordered the cheese from Alp and Dell Cheese and buying it in bulk gave us a pretty good price break. Everyone LOVED the idea. I made our cake topper from an idea I saw on Etsy. I basically just took burlap and hot glued lace on it. I found the wooden hearts at Hobby Lobby and used paint pens to write our name of the heart. I used Baker’s twine to secure the burlap to skewers that stuck into the “cake”. To decorate our “cake”, we basically just used leftover crafting supplies I brought along to the venue. There was some burlap ribbon, lace ribbon, small sunflower heads, and some decorative fabric flowers. I am so glad we decided to go this route, everyone loved the cheese so much more than a typical wedding cake. For the dessert lovers, we also served pie later on. Both the pies and “cheese cake” cost us way less than a wedding cake would have cost us.
Burlap and lace were a theme throughout our wedding. I picked up all kinds of pint and quart jars from friends and family, either ones that they couldn’t can with or weren’t using anymore. For the pint jars I simply hot glued lace ribbon around them and tied a kraft ribbon around the top. We filled them with a little bit of corn (any grain or bean could work) and put votive candles in them. For the quart jars, I first hot glued burlap ribbon around them, then the lace ribbon. We used these jars as centerpieces. I ordered all the flowers I wanted from the florist and we put the centerpieces together ourselves. It was simple, yet beautiful.
I also chose to put a different love quote on each table. Although we didn’t have assigned seating, this could make a great way to designate table numbers. I ordered 5×7 flat cards from Paper Source and printed them at home. The sunflower “holders” came from Etsy.
For our favors, I decided to make a cookbook of recipes from both my family and my husband’s family. I have had this idea for forever and have kept it to myself for a long time (basically until I got married). I have seen it done rarely before. I love to cook and we both love to eat. It was the perfect idea for us. I designed and ordered the books using The Book Patch. I did have to apply for an ISBN number as it is an actual book versus something like a photo book from Shutterfly, etc. It was much cheaper per item to use the Book Patch versus any other site. They did a GREAT job with them and everyone loved them.
For our guest book table, as with anything else, I wanted it to reflect us. I got copies and printed both my husband and my parents and grandparents’ wedding photos. I also added some other family photos of loved ones who have passed on and weren’t there to share our special day. I also added a few knick knacks that represent both my husband and I. For him, I brought along a replica Harley and a John Deere tractor. For me, two vintage cameras represent my passion in life. Instead of a regular ole guestbook everyone signs, I made a Photo Guestbook I found on Shutterfly. It has all sorts of fun little things for guests to fill out. There is a mad lib page, future predictions page, and then gives plenty of room for guests to sign throughout. It was fun to put photos of my husband and myself while we were dating and engaged throughout the book. And after our wedding was done, my husband and I have something fun to look through rather than just a book with names signed in it. Five years from now, we can pick it up and see if any of our wedding guest’s future predictions came true 😉
For other posts on some things I made and bought for our wedding decor and planning, visit these related posts:
Wedding Countdown: One Month!
Did you DIY any projects for your wedding? If you were to get married again (for all my pre-Pinterest brides), would you do it differently?