Thursday, January 23, 2014

DIY Weddings: Adding Custom Touches

It's been a while since I wrote about wedding planning, but even though the wedding is over, I still have plenty to share!

Sometimes when you're planning a wedding on a budget, you may worry that it won't be unique or reflective of you. The last thing a bride wants is for her wedding to look like "everyone else's" wedding. I wanted to make sure my wedding reflected both my personality and my groom's, so I looked for opportunities to customize, personalize and create.

One of the ways I did this was by creating my own customized guestbook with Shutterfly. I had already used Shutterfly to create a little engagement photo album, and I knew it was easy to use and often offered discounts (either on-site offers or coupons). So I decided it would be the perfect way to put my own touches on what could otherwise be a very generic guestbook.

If you decide to create your guestbook with Shutterfly, you'll find that you can start from scratch or use a pre-designed template. I went with a template to save time and stress. The template also offered some ideas--like creating pages for just the parents or the wedding party to sign--that I never would've thought of on my own. I filled the pages with photos from our engagement session to make sure the book maintained a sleek, professional appearance. I was also able to choose from various page layouts, embellishments, and creative designs.

I also had fun personalizing and getting crafty with the bags we put together for our out-of-town guests (see the full post here with photos). It was a chance to turn something inexpensive, like simple paper bags and swing tags, into a customized masterpiece filled with goodies and relevant information.

We also decided to save money by designing and printing our own programs for the ceremony. It wasn't a complicated program, just a half-sheet of glossy card stock paper (which we found on sale), printed front and back. We designed a monogram letter with our names to adorn the top and added some simple swirls as breaks in the text. My advice, if you're going to design your own program, is to make use of creative fonts. We used one for the "M" in our monogram and another for the swirls. If you don't have many fonts--or ones you want to use--on your computer, you can download just about anything you'd want from

Finally, I looked for ways to add personal details, handmade items, or finishing touches to the ceremony site and the reception. Items like decorative paper fans (how-to is in this post), cardboard or wooden monogram letters, antique bottles, paper confetti, or handmade tags tied on with decorative string, are all simple ways to personalize.

Please feel free to ask questions or share your favorite wedding crafts, suggestions and tips in the comments!

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