Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Prior to the wedding, a bride must always think about her own back up plan.  Yes, sometime things can go wrong.  If you don’t have your own wedding coordinator to help you think about these things, take a tip from me.  You need to pack a Bride’s Emergency Kit.

Emergency kits for brides are readily available for purchase, but they can be costly and you may already have all the stuff on hand.  It’s just a matter of packing and organizing, which will make this task successful.

I prefer to have one small travel bag to carry the bigger items and a smaller case to hold your makeup and other necessities.  The travel bag should be the size of a weekend travel bag.  It’s not too big or too small either.  One that you can just stash and carry in a moment’s notice.  Here are some suggestions you should keep in mind, but according to your preference, you might need some other things, so create your own check list.

In your travel bag, you should pack:

  • Comfortable shoes or slippers
  • Hairspray
  • A water bottle (to drink)
  • Baby Powder
  • Extra underwear
  • Extra nylons (if you are going to wear any)
  • Feminine pads or tampons
  • Lotion
  • Perfume
  • Energy bars

Depending on size,  medium  items should be placed in freezer bags for the travel bag and small items should be placed in sandwich bags.

The smaller case is going to be your mini kit.  It’s small enough to have one of your bridesmaid or a close friend to carry for you.  In you mini kit, you should pack:

  • Makeup powder
  • Lipstick
  • Bandage
  • Aspirin or any headache pills you prefer
  • Travel toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Antacid
  • Emergen-c or Airborne
  • Tissue
  • A stain remover stick or towelette
  • Gum or hard candy

The smaller items should be placed in sandwich bags for the mini kit.


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For the past few years the popularity of having a candy bar has been on the rise.  There are benefits to having a candy bar at your reception.

  • We love sugar.  Whether it’s hard candy, sour candy, chocolate, and jelly beans, it’s all good.  You will have no complaints about that.  On the contrary, your guests will remember the candy bar as one of the highlights of the reception.
  • A candy bar can be elegant and beautiful as a compliment to your wedding and reception. You can get candy to match your color scheme or candy to match your nostalga theme.  You can also get your favorite candies to to share your personality.  Most importantly, you can get personalized candy to commemorate you big day!
  • Little to no work at all.  Yes, we love that.  No hours of packaging and tying up little ribbons.
  • Well, this is a fact.  Your guests will be at your ceremony and will also be a little drained from waiting, so the sugar rush will be exactly what they need.

DIY instructions:

  1. No matter the size of your table, make sure you use a table cloth. It’s the most basic instruction to the “wow factor” for your table.
  2. Get containers (glass, ceramic, terra cotta, silver, wood, baskets).  I think getting the same type material is more attractive, ie. all glass.
  3. Arrange your containers from tall is the back to shorter ones in the front.
  4. Buy candies and over flow your containers.  Don’t forget to have your little scoopers.
  5. Make your baggies, take out containers, or paper bags readily available on the side.

Here are some of my favorite candies for the candy bar.

  • Rock Candy
  • M & M’s
  • Dum Dum’s
  • Button Candy
  • Jordan Almonds
  • Jelly Beans
  • Hershey Kisses

Here are some sites to buy candy in bulk:

Here are some ideas for different kind of “bars”.  Mix & match.  For the backed goods, don’t forget the milk.

  • Cookie
  • Doughnut
  • Candy Apples
  • Popcorn Balls
  • Brownies
  • Cupcakes
  • Potato Chips
  • Pretzels

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I have a true story to tell.  One that involves my aunt, uncle, and grandfather.  They were invited to a wedding in San Diego and had to travel from Los Angeles.  They didn’t have a GPS system, so they pretty much have to rely on written directions.  No map was included in the invitation.  They were lost for 3 hours, never made it to the reception, reluctantly made it back home.  They didn’t get to share in the memories of a cousin’s wedding.

When you’re about ready to send those invitations out, you should always keep in mind to attach a map.  Those from out of town will surely appreciate it.  If your wedding is out of town, everyone will appreciate it even more.  I can’t stress the importance of having a map included in your invitation or even emailed out.

Now that I made you think about that, consider having your your map made.  I have found 2 in mind:

  • www.weddingmapper.com – this is a free service and a great tool. It’s very easy to use, it does all the research and you can also make a free wedding website.  The concept it DIY. You can also map sites of hotels, local amusements, restaurants, you name it….great for out-of-town guests.  I even used it for my wedding.  In my experience, I did get a little stuck trying to figure out how to print it though, but through their customer service and emails, they helped me out in no time.
  • www.idoweddingmaps.com – this service is a little different.  They create map for you and you can purchase a pdf file of a map or printed ones already, so you don’t have to worry about the technicalities.  Some people just want to have it all done for them without  the hassle.  On the downside, you can’t target all the local spots on the map like weddingmapper.com.  But if it’s basic info that you want on a map, then this website is for you.

I hope you got some idea or direction (LOL) as to how you want to map your wedding location out.  Please don’t forget the map!

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1. Get ideas from wedding magazines, cut them out, and create a collection.  A folder, a shoe box…anything to hold your ideas together.  You can later narrow out your favorite pieces and also choose which flowers you like most.

2. You should think about your theme and colors.  This is important information to give your florist.  They can suggest flowers to you regarding colors and also theme.  For example, if you were having a wedding in a winery, you would like to have darker, rich colors, and maybe throw in some ivy green and grapes.

3. You should think about the season of your wedding.  Different seasons, different flowers.  Also, keep this in mind, when you choose the flowers of the season, it’s easier on the budget.  But if you must, most all flowers, including roses, are available all year round.

4. Your cost factor shouldn’t hold you back from having a luscious wedding.  If you have to use more common, less exotic flowers, your wedding still can be beautiful.  Here’s some trick you can use:

  • Use flowers of the same color. Choose to be monochromatic.  It’s very elegant and you can get away with less expensive flowers.
  • Same concept as the prior, but this time use one type of flower and add mostly greenery.  I think that you can achieve a whimsical, woodsy feel for the flowers.
  • Consider using all baby’s breath.  Good for decorations, bouquet, bouteniere, centerpieces, everything.  It looks elegant, beautiful, timeless, and like clouds.  A bonus for this choice is that it’s cheaper.  Request for “Million Stars” baby’s breath.

5. If you are doing your own flowers, choose easy and elegant.  You can choose this option to save costs on labor by florists.  You can always buy flowers at Costco or your flower mart. You can order flowers on many websites that mail the flowers to you such as Costco or http://www.Fiftyflowers.com.

6. Choose your style:  It’s always one or the other on each of the given lines.

  • Simple vs. Elaborate Designs
  • Classic vs. Modern Designs

These are some ideas to think about.  You may originally think of one floral design, but due to budget and seasonal constraints, you might have to change your designs.

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Designing your wedding style will drive you a little crazy, but may be worth a little extra work when you see the finished result.  When I look at magazines, I notice the beautiful receptions with the lanterns, so I decided to investigate where I can find them. The idea of a DIY wedding is to have a great looking wedding/reception without the grand cost, especially on decorations.

Here are some websites I found that are very helping to get the hard to find decorative items:


  • This website is great.  There are paper lanterns you can attached to strands of party lights.  They also sell hard to find paper parasols which you can use to give to your guest to shade the sun.  I love this website because they also have many pictures to show examples of how you can use their products for decorations.


  • This website is soooo helpful. There’s many products for decoration, including those ostrich feathers that you place in vases for centerpieces, which have been very popular in retro chic receptions.  This site also has lots of pictures to show decorating examples.  Other products include balloons, lighting, tulle, tree branches, silk and dried flowers, etc. The list is endless.


  • This website is all about the ostrich feathers (well mostly).  You want to create that mood of classic 1930’s-40’s feel, then this is the place for you to get your decorations.  On a side note, I found sparklers sold here for that extra drama.  I think those would look fun in your pictures.


  • For the little odds and ends of decorations, this is the place to get your stuff.  It’s even more convenient if you can walk into the store that’s near you and search within their decorating selections.  I think Joann’s has more DIY project potential.


  • Michaels is the crafts store.  I like them because you can find a little bit of everything there.  The best thing about Michaels is their sales.  Right now, if you go on their website, you can get a coupon for 50% any one item with a coupon printed online (April 5-10, 2010).


  • Although some of the decorations available on this site is a little bit on the generic side, you can’t beat their prices.  You can mix and match and also create some DIY projects without spending much at all.  I love looking through their site because they always come up with new designs and they can match most color palettes you have.  They have everything from balloon to banners and everything in between.  I do actually love to recommend this site because you always find something unexpected.

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Wooden base SThe trend now is to have sparkle-y things in weddings. Call it “wedding jewelry”.  The most common accessory is bling on top of your cake.  I really wanted to get one, but I wasn’t willing to pay over $20, expecially for a plastic one.  I know I should be so frugal with this, but when am I ever going to use it again?  This is my thought, I can make one for a lot less money, have creative personalization, something meaningful, and a keepsake to show my future children. Guess what?  I made one for less than $10 and it turned out real cute and will be special on my cake.  Here are the steps to making my sparkle-y alphabet topper:

  1. I went to a crafts store (Joanne) and bought a 3″ small wooden “S”, my future last initial. I also saw small styro-foam letters at Michael’s if you want to look for that.  It has  to be anything that’s light because when you add the rhinestones it will get heavier.  Other items you will need are paint (color depends on the color of rhonestones), a paint brush, glue, toothpicks, a bag or two of rhinestones (shapes and color depends on you), a small piece of cardboard, and a wooden stick for the base.
  2. First paint the letter cutout.  I painted mine white because I’m using clear rhinestones with silver backing.  Paint both sides.  Make sure the paint is thoroughly dry before you start glueing the stones.
  3. To make it easier, I found, is to pour some glue on a piece of cardboard, so you can reload your toothpick faster.
  4. Also, lay out your rhinestones with the backside facing up, so it would be easier to put glue on it. Now, you can start the process of covering the areas.  If you are working with various sizes, I found it easier to glue the larger pieces first and use the smaller ones to fill in the other spaces.
  5. Cover one side first, let it dry and proceed to do the other side.
  6. Once completed, you may attach the wooder stick on the bottom as the base.  I would give it 3″-4″ in length for the cake.

I’ll be posting up a picture of my wedding cake as soon as that day arrives.  Good luck with your toppers!

Finished TopperWedding cake

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The popular trend with current photography packages is to get all your photographs on a CD.  It could range from hundreds to thousands of images. Your photographer may or may not color correct your images, with photoshop, but again it depends with your contract.  Of course, it would be best to ask your photographer if they could sign a release on all the photographs so you can reproduce the pictures on your own.  With this being said, and I know that a lot of couples are trying to cut corners with expenses, like myself, their packages may not include a photo album.

This is the situation that I’m facing, although I would very much like to have an album.  My photographer says that it’s going to cost me about $800-$900, of which I don’t have at the moment.  I opted just to get the CD of images and get an album done on my own.  During my research I came across two types of albums that peaked my interest: the photobook and the flush mount album.  To understand the differences, the photobook is more like a coffeebook, which has thinner pages, a hard cover, and costs very inexpensive. I’m planning to get a few for my family as gifts.  The flush mount albums are more elegant and more for keepsakes.  They are beautuful, more handicrafted, and costly as well.  This I will keep for my own.

Here are a few website that do photobooks and some to flush mount as well:

Here are a few websites that do flush mount albums.  Since most other companies only deal with photograhers directly, I found these companies that also deal with brides:

I don’t work with any of these companies.  I was just doing research for my own album and came across these companies.  I have yet to try them out and when I do try one or a few, I will update with future comments.

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