Friday, May 3, 2013

Guest D.I.Y: Making Your Wedding Unique and Classy On a Budget, Part 2, by Erika

If you missed this post last month by Erika of Stethoscopes, Style, & Grace,  featuring some of the prettiest, pinkest, and easiest wedding D.I.Y's I ever did see, do yourself a favor and check it out right now.  As if her gorgeous and thrifty invitation, table decoration, and Save the Date projects weren't enough, Erika was nice (and ambitious!) enough to share four more ideas for today.  It's enough to make me wish I could've been at her wedding, not just because she's so sweet, but to see all of her handiwork in person.  Read on for plenty of reception craft inspiration!

Picture and Quote Table

Jillian J. Photography

I envisioned a table when our guests walked in with pretty chalkboards with quotes and one with important events in our relationship. I found lots of inspiration on Pinterest (you can find more chalkboard ideas on my wedding board here). We also shared a few engagement pictures and pictures of us as kids…

The table backdrop is actually a pale pink girl's window curtain that my mom found at Target (from the Shabby Chic brand) and draped behind the table!  We also put a couple blue mason jars with flowers on the table that I found thrifting, along with the milk glass vases.
What you’ll need: chalkboards (I found inexpensive ones at Hobby Lobby and DIY’d some smaller pink-edged ones…great tutorial here), chalk, your favorite quotes, frames that fit 6-8 pictures (I found ours at Target and a local discount store).

Seating Chart

Jillian J. Photography
Continuing on the chalkboard theme, this is what our seating charts looked like. I found all sorts of fun chalkboard seating chart ideas on Pinterest and loved the ‘shabby chic’ feel. On my initial search for chalkboards, I couldn’t believe how expensive they were on Etsy and in a few local stores, but I ended up finding these large chalkboards for (gasp) $7.99 at Hobby Lobby, which are still available here 

What you’ll need: chalkboards (I found ours at Hobby Lobby), stands or easel (I found our stands at Hobby Lobby also), chalk.


Wedding favors can really break the budget. When we were planning, I realized that for many of the weddings I’d gone to, I either didn’t remember what the favors were or ended up accidently leaving mine behind at the end of the night. I still wanted to do something simple to say thank you to our guests, and so we filled little tulle bags with a few candies in our wedding colors. We also stamped favor tags on both sides, one with a quote and the other with a personalized thank you message.

What you’ll need: tulle favor bags (I found ours at Michaels, you could also make your own with pieces of tulle and ribbon), favor tags (I found these at Michaels too, but you could easily make them by cutting pieces of cardstock), ink pads and stampers (the “all you need is love” stamper is from Michaels and the personalized one we had made a local store), ribbon

Bride & Groom Signs

Jillian J. Photography
Last but not least are these lovely “Bride and Groom”signs from These were incredibly simple and incredibly fun.

What you'll need: free download, blank cardstock, tulle ribbon

Resources I found helpful for D.I.Y. inspiration and projects:
  • Wedding Chicks Freebies: Lots and lots of free downloads that you can print yourself (anything from Save-the-Dates to invitations to reception decor), in a variety of patterns and colors.
  • Pinterest: I found most of my D.I.Y. inspiration on Pinterest.  You can check out my board here.
  • Style Me Pretty: My all-time favorite wedding blog.  Although many of the weddings showcased were on a much higher budget than ours, I still found lots of inspiration for our wedding decor and projects here.
  • Michaels: This was my go-to place for blank invitations, cardstock, ribbon, blank favor tags and place cards, table number holders, pretty ink stampers for our place cards and favors, and tulle favor bags.  We never purchased anything without a 40% off coupon, so make sure you check online and your newspaper for coupons!
  • Hobby Lobby: I found our chalkboards there for an unbelievable price.
Finally, it's easy to get wrapped up in a wedding planning frenzy, but always remember that the wedding is just one day and marriage is a lifetime.  It's funny to look back on our wedding day and realize all the little worries I had that really didn't matter at all.  Have fun planning and preparing, and I hope these D.I.Y. ideas help you find less expensive ways to make your wedding classy and unique! 

Amazing, right?  Be sure to visit Erika's blog, and leave her some love here in the comments!


  1. Just a mention: as someone who sews, I'm going to mention that unless you're only making about four little tulle bags, the opportunity cost is better to just buy them. Even only twenty or fifty is a LOT to make each one by hand. (So basically just buy them and save yourself literally dozens of hours of frustration.)

    1. Agreed! I sewed about 10 organza (handles a lot like tulle) for my wedding before finally breaking down and purchasing the remaining 150 on Amazon--it was much less expensive than Michaels and I was able to get them "fair trade" from women apparently much more skilled than I at making pretty little bags.

      Other than that, I LOVE the chalk-boards and pictures table, the permanence of love displayed in the ephemera of the moment--great symbolism!

    2. That's a great point! I can't imagine sewing all of them :) One of my friends actually just wrapped her favors in tulle squares and then tied it together with a ribbon on the top (no sewing involved). It didn't have the same look of course as the ribbon drawstring pouches but was still pretty. Another no-sew option using cotton fabric is here:

      Buying them fair trade is a great option! I wish I would have found them like that!

    3. I can't, either! Thanks, ladies!



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