Originally posted on Spylight
I’m calling BS on anyone who pompously declares, “it’s wedding season!” Once you hit your 20s, it’s always wedding season. When I got married last year, I was the first of my friends to do so, and am now well-versed in wedding tips and tricks to more recently engaged friends. So, hello, my name is Amy, and I’m here to tell you how to save money on your wedding. No, really. Upon beginning to plan anything, I discovered a whole new world of crippling expenses I had never been exposed to before. “Weddings. Are. Expensive,” your older relatives will cluck at you. Well, sorry, Aunt Debbie, but they actually don’t have to be.
There are dozens, hundreds, thousands of ways to DIY it up and cut back on supposedly “important” expenses. This excellent infographic is a great place to start. Also, there are a myriad of ways you can get crafty with your decor, making your day every bit as chic and lovely as you’d like it to be, at very little cost.
Don’t believe me? The proof is below! Here are my top picks from around the interwebs, for hosting a five-star wedding without taking out a five-digit loan.
1. Save on chairbacks: Ribbon Tie Chairbacks
Renting chairbacks can pretty much put your back out (ha?) when you see how much it costs. And, for a few bucks at Michael’s, you can purchase ribbons in your color scheme that will add a splash of pretty, subtle color to your venue. We were inspired by this achingly beautiful, super-fun wedding featured over at Green Wedding Shoes.
2. Save on props: Butterfly Paper Rice Tossers
It wouldn’t be a wedding without throwing a ton of paper/petals/etc.—much to the chagrin of the clean-up team—at the bride and groom, right? Think of all those iconic, candid wedding portraits with the happy couple surrounded by swirls of confetti. Style Me Pretty featured this fabulous, cheap little crafting project, inspired by the ladies at Posh Paperie, which would be the perfect way to while away a rainy afternoon with some girlfriends!
- Butterflies (found at a craft store)
- Cardstock: different colors and patterns (thinner works best!)
- Photocopy of “Tags”
- Hole Punch
- Red Tape
- Cut 5 x 5 square of cardstock of your choice.
- Tape right corner with small piece of Red Tape.
- Roll to form cone & secure with Red Tape.
- Punch hole at top.
- Fill with rice, confetti, petals, etc.
- Write desired phrase several times (approximately 1/2″ apart) on paper and photocopy. Cut into strips and cut bottom edge on an angle.
- Fold top over and mark (with pen) hole on cone top with desired location for second hole on cone.
- Connect: Thread butterfly wire through top hole. Line up tag with hole in body of cone. Thread wire through tag and body hole (from the top down).
- Pass out to guests for a darling “rice tosser”!
3. Save on flowers: Make-Ahead Flower Centrepieces
You don’t have to be a florist to make these, and just think of all the money you’d save on flowers! Julep’s excellent blogging team came up trumps with this one. Again, this’d be a fab way to spend a morning with a few bridesmaids and champagne in the lead-up to the wedding; the flowers last a good couple of days in the floral foam.
- Flowers (pictured are kale, roses and green filler)
- Florist foam
- Run some tap water over your florist foam for 20-30 seconds until it is completely soaked. Place it in your shallow dish making sure it extends 2-3 inches above the sides of the dish. This will allow your flowers to fall over your container for a nice effect. Put some water in the bottom of the dish and allow the foam to soak it up for about 30 minutes before you start.
- Meanwhile, cut your flowers on the diagonal about 2 inches high from flower to stem end.
- Push your biggest flower into the center of your foam. Make sure it is in far enough that just the flower is above the foam.
- Begin arranging your other flowers. Put your second biggest flowers in first (in this example, the roses).
- Finish by adding your green filler. Here, the author pushes hers into the sides of the foam as well so that they dropped down and hide the foam neatly.
4. Save on Programs: Framed Blackboard Wedding Program
This way, you’ll have a beautiful chalkboard you can take to your new home, instead of spending an arm and a leg at Staples Copy Center on printing. But of course, in the right surroundings, this chalkboard program could be used as part of a photo booth, so your guests will be able to keep a copy of the program!
This DIY is crazy simple! You’ll need an old mirror: go thrifting with your beau, trawl Craigslist, or just head down to Target to buy a similar style. Then, paint over it with chalkboard paint. Then write your program info on in your cutest handwriting!
5. Save on favors: DIY Personalized Mugs
In my opinion, the best wedding favors are ones that last, and these mugs will be a gorgeous reminder of your day for years to come, whenever your friends and relatives get up for morning coffee! The effort to make them is minimal, but the impact they’ll have is great; everyone loves a thoughtful DIY gift. Plus, you can pick up ceramic mugs for one or two bucks from Walmart, which ultimately ends up being far cheaper than the ten or so per person you might spend on, say, potted plants or artisan candy. Once again, Green Wedding Shoes comes up trumps!
- Ceramic Mug (we used Lauren by Ralph Lauren Whipstitch Cream Mugs)
- Porcelain Pen
- Carbon Transfer Paper
- Scotch Tape
- Pen/Pencil (preferably colored)
- Bundled Up Monogram (download the monogram design here)
- Print your design, cut it down to size. Cut the same size piece from carbon paper, too.
- Tape the carbon paper to the mug first, and then tape the design over it.
- Pencil over the design. The carbon paper will trace the design onto the mug.
- Go over the tracing with a porcelain pen.
- Allow the mug to dry for at least 24 hours, and then gently wipe off any remaining carbon tracing off the mug.
- Bake the mug according to the instructions on the porcelain pen. Voila! Fill with paper shavings and candies and place at each person’s designated seat.
Will you be attempting any of these DIY wedding hacks for your big day? Let us know the ways you’re saving money in the comments!