Every girl, no matter how practical she may be, tends to turn into a bit of a romantic when it comes to her wedding day. You naturally want your wedding to be special, as special as you and the one you love, but how do you personalize your big day without spending the next 10 years of your married life paying for it?
The answer lies in three simple letters—DIY. Adding a personal touch to your wedding will make it memorable and set it apart from any other wedding. And of course, it will save you a good deal of money.
Here are seven simple yet creative DIY ideas that you may want to incorporate into your upcoming ceremony and after party.
Photo booth wedding invitations
As you probably know if you’ve spent any time scouring the Internet for affordable deals and special offers, something as simple as a wedding invitation can end up costing you a lot of money if you leave it to the professionals.
Instead, create your own wedding invitations with photos of you and your partner. Take a series of “cute couple” photos and line them up photo-booth style with any photo-editing program. You can then add all the important info either on the front or back, or even add little check off boxes for “yes” or “no.”
This is a pretty adorable example of one such wedding invitation. Let your imagination run wild, and create your own invitations that match your theme and individual style.
Personalized napkins instead of place cards
Place cards are one of those necessary but seemingly wasteful wedding accessories; you want to show your guests where they are sitting to help things flow smoothly, but spending money on something that will be thrown away after being briefly glanced at can be a terrible shame.
An original and affordable alternative is to have your guests’ names and table number printed or written out on napkins that they can pick up upon entering the hall. Or, how about stamping the napkins with different sayings, song lyrics or even the story of how you met?
Homemade cookie or cupcake favors
Wedding favors are another one of those wedding accessories that tend to be shockingly overpriced and incredibly unoriginal. Rather than spending $2 a piece on satchels of foul tasting sugared almonds, just bake up a batch of tasty cupcakes or cookies (these sugar cookies look delicious), and wrap them in cellophane or paper with your own homemade cards.
Get creative with the centerpieces
There’s no rule that says your centerpieces have to be standard flower arrangements, so have fun with it and choose something that is more “you.”
Anything from repurposed jam jars filled with freshly picked daisies to potted plants, candles or even carved pumpkins or handmade paper flowers can make excellent centerpieces that your guests will remember for years to come. Here are 10 creative centerpieces, including the above sheet music centerpiece.
Let bridesmaids pick out and pay for their own dresses
This may seem stingy, but if truth be told, your bridesmaids will probably be a whole lot happier if they get to pick out their own dresses that they feel comfortable in.
They can spend as little or as much as they want on their dresses, and they can go with anything from secondhand vintage to handmade to hand-me-down, and best of all, because they like it, they’ll probably end up wearing it again at some point in the future, so it won’t be a complete waste of money.
Do make sure to let them know if you have any theme or specifications for the dresses they choose, like a specific color or shade or length or style.
Have the guests bring dessert by organizing a pie/cake baking contest
Desserts are an absolute must at any wedding, but rather than paying for a massive cake that will feed all your guests, simply choose a modest (in other words: small) wedding cake and have other types of desserts for the guests to enjoy.
One great idea is to hold a pie or cake baking competition amongst your guests, and have them all bring their creations to the wedding. This is a great way to engage your guests while also saving a good deal of money.
Use bicycles instead of an expensive wedding car
Traditionally, you’d hire a limo or vintage Buick to drive away in after the ceremony, but why not break traditions and cycle off into the sunset on two bicycles or a tandem bicycle instead?
This can be a really fun way to end your ceremony and will also significantly cut down on car rental costs. You may even want to get everyone involved and have your guests bring their own bicycle to cycle to the reception on.
Of course, this may not always be an option depending on what kind of dress you are wearing, but coming up with entertaining alternatives to the standard wedding vehicle can be a good laugh.
--Aileen Pablo is a Filipina Event Management blogger from Open Colleges.
[Top photos by Our Labor of Love]