Craft ideas for weddings: the DIY revolution

DIY is so popular these days. You can hardly go to a wedding without finding some type of DIY element. If you’re a bride-to-be looking for ways to maximize your budget, DIY might be for you. Here are some DIY ideas to craft your way to the perfect dream wedding.

Decide early on where you can give in your budget. If flowers aren’t as important to you as food, consider scaling back. Coffee filter flowers may sound like an art class project you were assigned in third grade, but lately there have been stunning projects showing up online. Look to Pinterest for tutorials that turn coffee filters into gorgeous ethereal paper flowers.

Sometimes it’s just easier to buy the bones of a project and then embellish your way to the perfect final product. This is true for favors most of the time. Buy wedding favor boxes in bulk in a color that works with your palette. Use craft paper to cover the lids of the boxes and create a fun and eclectic look. This way you can control the color and the patterns on the wedding favor boxes without doing too much of the work (i.e. creating mini boxes from scratch). This is a DIY shortcut without biting off more than you can chew.

If you’re doing your flowers yourself, you might consider making the centerpieces. This is easily done with mason jars or empty wine bottles that can be covered in yarn, paper or paint. Again, look to the wedding blogs online to see all the things you can do with an empty wine bottle. The best part? You’re responsible for drinking all that wine before your wedding day!

Finally, consider adding some of your own art to the space for a personal touch. Whether that’s a painted canvas in your wedding colors or you use some of your personal photography to decorate, it will really personalize the space. Artwork also has a tendency of warming up the place, so that’s another bonus!

DIY doesn’t mean you have to do everything and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to do any of the main items. No one expects you to make your own wedding cake! But it does mean being resourceful and paying attention to the details. This is easy enough with all the ideas out there on the Internet—just be sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew!

7 ways to use your wedding photos

You spend a lot of money making sure your wedding photos are absolutely perfect. But after the big day is complete and the album is on the shelf, what do you do with all those photos? Here are 7 ideas to use the photos you paid so much for.


1. The first and most common way to use your wedding photos is to get a few framed to display in your house. This is especially nice if you’ve just purchased a house together and are in need of art on the walls.


2. Another way you can use wedding photos is for your thank you cards. Putting a photo on the thank you cards is especially nice because it gives your friends and family a memento from the day.


3. Although engagement photos aren’t from the big day, they are often included in the wedding photo packages. You can use these photos for your save the dates. This is a nice touch because people love photos and it’s a very popular way to send your save the dates. What’s more, you can even order postcards to save on postage and the time it takes to stuff envelopes. Sites like have a variety of options where you can even customize the cards with your own information.


4. Is your wedding scheduled for the fall? If so, you can use wedding photos for your holiday cards. Even distant relatives that may not have been invited or able to make it to your wedding will appreciate seeing a glimpse of the big day.


5. Photo albums are popular for the bride and groom and often the photography package includes a photo album option. But chances are that your parents would also love and album to keep the memories. Use a site like MiDesign@Michaels(TM) to create photo albums for your parents as well. This way they can show their friends when they’re entertaining and show off the event.


Other ways of using your photos are surely out there. Great places to look are websites dedicated to photography like Photojojo. You can also look on Pinterest for ideas and of course all the wedding magazines and blogs will have some ideas as well. The important thing is to keep the memories alive and to make sure that day is a fixture in your lives and your home.

Are Save the Date Cards Required?

To answer the title simply: No, save the date cards are not required for brides and grooms. This, however, does not mean that they may not be necessary for any given wedding, and there are good reasons for and against having them as a part of a complete wedding stationary order.

First, what you already know. Save the date cards are small, postcard type mailings that go out well before the wedding invitations and inform people, quite simply, on which date the wedding has been planned. This informs guests to keep that day open and not plan other events on it if they can help it. It is also a pre-invitation, and lets people know well ahead of time if they should expect or not expect a formal invitation later. These formal invitations are typically sent half a year or so before the wedding, sometimes sooner, and have the full names of the bride and groom, their parents, the address of the wedding, time, location and time of the reception, and other details.

As far as style, save the date cards tend to be fun and unique, often including objects (buttons, candy bars…) printed with the details or (very popularly) having an image of the couple with the date and ‘save the date’ written on their bodies somewhere. Invites are more decorative and usually leave off actual pictures of the bride and groom, instead sticking to formal names, calligraphy, and elegant colors and construction.

The case against save the dates involves redundancy. The two cards do much the same thing: why not just invite the guests instead of warning them to be invited? And indeed, for my wedding, that was the case. We were getting married in June and had already informed most of our extended family when the wedding would be. Thus we could wait and send invites when we were ready.

But save the dates are incredibly valuable when things get rushed. For instance, say you are planning a wedding in six months: the date will be December 22. Unlike June, December 22 is not a date where most people will be free. Quite the opposite in fact. In this situation, putting together a quick card and sending it out immediately will help people set aside some time, in turn giving the wedding planners time to arrange a location, a time, and design good wedding invitations to be sent out a month or two later.

Because  of busy lives and unique designs, save the dates have been growing much more popular in the past decade, and are expected to continue to grow in popularity in this one. Their influence is even affecting the older tradition of wedding favors, so that it is much more common now to find photo wedding invitations like those available in the templates at This trend also correlates with a loosening of the rigid wedding wording standards of centuries past. Regardless of whether you choose to go with save the dates or just invitations by themselves, make sure you have the time that you need to put together a design that truly suites you and your wedding. 

Avoid these 10 Common Wedding Reception Mistakes

Every little girl fantasizes about her wedding day and wants everything to come off without a hitch. For those with professional wedding planners much of the stress is taken out of their hands. But if you are tackling the planning, organization, and execution yourself you should definitely pay attention to this article and avoid the following 10 common wedding reception mistakes.

1. Show up on time. This one is a problem so often it becomes absurd. No matter how much fun you may be having between the wedding and reception you owe it to your guests to begin the festivities (mainly, the food) on time. Too much delay creates a strange time where everyone is there, waiting, hungry, with nothing to do, in a room where they only know a minority (and often a small minority) of the other guests. Pick a time when you will arrive and be on time so that no one has to sit and check their watch waiting for you.

2. And don’t leave too early either. Your guests came from near and far to see you on your wedding day. Not staying the whole length of the reception could be construed as an insult. This is the only time many of your relatives will get to see you, especially with the week before the wedding usually consumed by planning.

3. Don’t seat older adults directly in front of the music entertainment. Older generations are at a wedding typically to socialize with their family and friends. They need to be able to talk over the music. Younger family and friends are usually a better choice to go near the speakers instead.

4. Set up and label all the tables ahead of time, even the night before if possible, so that when vendors arrive they can easily follow instructions and place your orders where they belong, so that things only need to be slightly adjusted and not totally rearranged later.

5. The bride and groom should not be drunk at a wedding. It should be a happy, but dignified, occasion. The bridal party has more leeway, but no one should be throwing up.

6. Make sure you greet ALL your guests. Going to a wedding and feeling sidelined, forgotten, and ignored because the bride and groom took no notice of you is hard, and should be avoided.

7. Avoid going past your reservation, and know what it will cost you if you do. Allow for cleanup time as well.

8. If you have fun wedding favors such as glow in the dark wristbands, disposable Polaroid cameras, or others make sure they go out at the proper time so that they are not used up before the dancing. Also keep kids out of them if possible. Candy favor boxes or other edible favors should go out before the guests arrive so that they have something to snack on before the party gets started.

9. Keep the music palatable to a general audience, as not all members of your wedding will like certain kinds of music that may be expected by others.

10. Remember to have fun! Busy as the wedding is the reception should be a  set of amazing memories, not just a blur as you try to keep things going smoothly.

8 Party Planning Errors And How To Avoid Them

Planning a party for adults can be tricky. Ironically weddings, for all the work that they are, often go better than simple dinner engagements because the vast wealth of wedding traditions help remind and insulate us all from forgetting things.  Check this list, copy it down, and hopefully you can avoid some bad situations before your big night, or big day, arrives.


Error 1:  Neglecting a guest list

When people feel excluded, even if they weren’t meant to be, it can hurt and cause deep rifts. This is especially true with family, and can be truer still if their exclusion was an oversight, an accident. No one wants to be a half hour through a party and then go ‘where Jack? It’s not like him to be late. Did he say anything?’ ‘How would I know, I thought you invited him.” Take the time to put together a thorough guest list and intentionally make sure that everyone who should hear about your party does.


Error 2: Sending the invitation out too late-or too early.

While party invites aren’t necessary for every single event, if you do mean to send them you had best do it in the right time frame. Too soon can cause guests to forget, commit when they really have no idea what is going on, and can even cause them to view your party planning attempt as ostentatious. Too late can, of course, cause your guests to panic if they are suddenly overbooked or miss the invitation entirely. Take the time that you need to pick, customize, and order your party invites so that they can be filled out and mailed with a few weeks to spare.


Error 3: Forgetting info on your invitations

Your party invites should let people know when, where, the atmosphere, the occasion, the condition of food, beverages, and what they should wear. Take time to include everything necessary.


Error 4: Not getting RSVPs

It may take phone calls last minute, but you need to make sure you have a good idea of who is coming ahead of time so that you can adjust your plan if you need too.


Error 5: Not considering your guests needs

When you host a party at home or somewhere you are familiar with it is very easy to view everything through your eyes, and not your guest’s. Consider where they will put their effects, where they will sit, stand, if the bathrooms are visible, what music they would want and how loud, and other little physical chores. Plan so that no one needs to stand around in confusion, waiting and wondering.


Error 6: Over or under inviting guests based on the space available.

Don’t crowd or leave people feeling intimidated by empty space. Tailor your guest list appropriately.


Error 7:Don’t rely on your guests to get the party going

Hopefully people will be happy to be there and conversation will break out on its own. If it doesn’t, if you have games or activities planned, take charge and lead the way. A good way is to go around and introduce shy individuals to those who they don’t know, suggesting a topic of conversation that they have in common.