How To Make Your Own Wedding Decorations and Accessories
Weighing up the cost of the Reception
When you are planning your wedding everything is dependant on cost. You may be on a budget or save in some areas so you can splash out in other areas.
Initially you look at the main points when planning: The church, reception, dress and photographer. All of which can prove quite costly. But even when you think you're doing things on the cheap, the hidden costs of those little essential details may come and bite you on the behind.
So, what are these smaller and important details? When you are in the process of booking your wedding and reception, you will go through:
- Cost of meal per head
- How many courses
- Evening buffet
- Welcome drinks per head
- Hire of venue
This can add up, even if you are having an intimate wedding breakfast. But you then need to consider your room layout.
When you think about that, you realize the extra costs (which will probably be offered to you - at a price). These are all the accessories, table cloths, napkins, chair covers, favors, etc, etc. All of which are not even thought of at the beginning of your preparations.
You may get a good deal on certain items. If you are pretty creative though and don't mind getting involved you can design your own accessories to make your wedding personal, whilst possibly saving a bit of money.
Get a little Creative!
Where to begin? Well I reckon it would be the invitations. These can be made easily with the help of your PC and printer.
You can make your own design if you wish by adding text in the font, size and color of your choice. Decide if you want to make them into cards which open, a postcard (design on the front and details on the back) or a simple A5 paper invite.
For an A5 invite, everything will be on one page. Design a nice header with an simple image relating to a wedding. Bells, cake toppers or horseshoes are appropriate. You can use a scanned image, photograph or drawing or download one from the internet. Make it stylish and unique.
Add your text underneath including who is getting married, who the invitation is for, the date of the wedding, time, location and an RSVP (with your address, telephone number and email address).
For postcards or folded cards, do the same, but with a full image on the front and text on the back/inside. Add a bow or ribbon to the front or glue some sequins or jewels for a nice touch.
Embossing images of flowers or butterflies, or cutting out heart shapes makes for a good effect. To make it simple, just use both of your names for the front of the card in a bold or italic text.
Send a separate RSVP form, and include a map of the venues and a list of local hotels and guesthouses.
This can be done very simply and can cost you next to nothing when done yourself.
The bigger the reception, the better it is for guests to be able to find which table they are on. Having a seating plan against the wall enables everyone to see where to go (eliminating chaos).
You can be as creative as you like, as long as it's clear.
Using large card stick on images of the tables as they are set out in the room. Next use neat colorful circles with guest names inside to mark out where everyone is to sit.
If you want to make it a little different use several pieces of rectangular card and stick them to the large piece of card (or directly to the wall).
Make the rectangular cards attractive with ribbon, images of your choice, or cut them into heart shapes. List the guests on each piece table by table. Number them to tally with the table number to make life easier for your guests.
Use an easel for a rustic touch. Or for the computer geeks, project your plan onto a screen or plain wall. Design your plan on your computer.
Another nice idea for a seating plan is to create a frame (use cheap picture frames, or knock one together if you're clever).
Use thick card and style them into the shape you want (hearts, butterflies, flowers), then print or emboss the names on. Hang them from the frame creating rows for a sweet idea.
For a low key look, peg the individual cards to rows of 'washing line'.
Incorporate the look to the theme of your wedding. For example If you are having a cherry blossom theme, make a cherry blossom tree out of papier mache and hang the names from it. If it is sci fi theme, use alien shapes or images from Star Wars ;)
If you are happy to print out cardboard place names then it can be as simple or as flamboyant as you want.
Laminating place names with your guest's name in fancy text is a cheap and lovely way to do it.
You can be a bit more alternative, personalizing playing cards as place names, scrabble letters, embroidered place mats with your guest's names on, or making cocktail stirrers with names on.
Place names can double up as wedding favors which will save you money and make your wedding just that little bit more personal.
Some great ideas include:
- Writing the names on pebbles found at the beach
- Icing names on cupcakes or heart shaped cookies
- Making jams or pickles with the name on the label
- Putting sweets or sugared almonds in cellophane wrapping. Tie with a bow and put the guest's name on the label
- Use glass paint and stylishly write the name on each of you guest's wine glass (fill with sugared almonds or rose petals)
- Use mini bottles of wine with the name on the label
- Make mini top hats out of shiny card with the guest name written on
- For a boho feel, buy a roll of plain material, cut into circles and tie with string or ribbon to make a small bag. Fill with sweets and embroider the name on
You can use any material to create a place name. Cutting shapes out of wood, using small pieces of slate or using pieces of fruit are just some examples.
Be as imaginative as you can!
Some people do spend a lot of money on wedding favors, kind of as a thank you to friends and family.
I recently went to a wedding fair where a lady was selling gorgeous little bags she had made. I thought they were lovely (and just got some ideas to make my own), then she announced that at her own wedding, she placed a cafetiere in each bag for each guest. The cafetieres also matched the color scheme for the wedding, which in her case was red.
If I could afford to do that on top of everything else, then I would. Those favors were very nice (but imagine the amount of guests there are....).
The nicest and most simple wedding favor I can think of comes from the Italian tradition. They would give each guest five sugared almonds to represent: health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity. The gift is called bomboniere. Simply tie them in little bags or handmade boxes and if you wish, write guest names on each.
You can use any type of candy as wedding favors: jelly beans, love hearts or coins of personalized rock. Put them in mini jam jars or put some high quality chocolates in a little box.
If you don't want to use sweets, put wedding table confetti in pretty mesh bags.
If you want to spend a little bit on your wedding favors, mini scented candles or jeweled picture frames make nice gifts.
Make your own with potpourri wardrobe hangers, hand painted fans, homemade picture frames or cross stitch anything you want onto mini cushions.
If you can sew a little then why not make your own table napkins? Going to a fabric outlet or warehouse means you can get a roll of material for a bargain price.
All you then need to do is cut you napkins to size. Ensure they are all of equal size, then fold over the corners and sew them to make a neat hem.
If you have a sewing machine, sew in your guest's name (then they can take it home). You can embroid anything you wish onto them, or just leave them plain.
You could do the same for the table cloths (without the personalised touch) if you can get hold of enough material.
For an even cheaper option, use paper napkins from a discount store!
You can use just about anything as a centerpiece for your tables. Cut flowers in your chosen theme or color are simple. Just place them in a clear vase.
Candles are a nice touch, but be aware of health and safety if you light them! You could make a candle garden with different sized candles or tea lights, or accessorize them with flowers or glass beads.
Your table number could be nicely decorated in a stylish stand as a feature.
Use fancy table runners (make as above), or decorate your table with party poppers, glass jewels or table confetti.
Use pine cones for a different look. Spray silver or gold, or keep them natural. Another idea would be to use sea shells as a centerpiece.
Stack some funky colored sweets or sandwich cookies (use glitter icing) for a cute centerpiece. Small cake stands with mini fairy cakes iced with colored piped icing also look good.
If you choose to make some of these ideas it may save you a lot of money. The time and effort put into your handy work will make you proud on your wedding day.
It may be time consuming, but get your friends and family involved to help you out. It may even be a great alternative hen night!
Happy craft making!