Broke-Ass Category: Wedding Inspiration

9/21

Affiliate Disclaimer NewAs a DIY, oh-so-poor bride, I have always planned on making my own invitations. I have been fussing with designs, envelopes, and patterns for about two years solid. I even went through a phase where I planned on having an Etsy shop to give brides invitations on the cheap. Then I realized I have no artistic ability. Sadly, that’s kind of a prerequisite for being a designer. Well poop!

I wouldn’t exactly call a carnival-themed wedding unique, since I’ve seen a few recently. However, it is unique enough that mainstream invitations don’t really do it justice. Invitations are supposed to be sneak peeks of what guests can expect when they arrive at your wedding. If I went with lacy, thick paper covered in hand-drawn calligraphy, it might throw people. As it is, they’re going to be shocked when they pull up and see a bounce house outside. So no, I need to warn everybody before they get there.

Danielle Invites 2

Invitations designed by Alyssa Black

I’d had found some invitations that were perfect on Etsy a few months ago. I’d been in constant contact with the designer asking questions and double-checking information. A lot of invitations you get from designers on Etsy require you to buy them all (save the dates, invite, RSVP cards, etc.) in one shot, so you need to have all the details of your wedding set up front. I was waiting on getting the domain for our wedding website settled before I ordered the invitations. When I finally got that settled, I couldn’t find the listing anymore. I asked the designer and she informed me that she was no longer designing invitations … the same designer that had talked to me about the SAME invitations a week before. Ever heard the saying, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”? Let me tell you, it was clearly referring to a livid bride yo, I was ready to Hulk smash something or someone.

Alyssa blue invite

Original Invitation Design by Alyssa Black

THEN, I stumbled across my newest goddess of design, Alyssa Black. Girlfriend has got it going on. Awesome designs, polite, and just so dang sweet. I fell in LOOOOVE with her carnival wedding invitation set on Etsy. This was the same design she used for her own wedding. With a little tweaking and lots of sassy convos back and forth, she created these masterpieces for me.

Danielle Invites 1

MY INVITATIONS!!!! by Alyssa Black

So many levels of SQUEEE guys, SO MANY LEVELS! I feel like a proud parent, pulling out these and showing them to anyone with a pulse. Cost? The custom design (with wording change, recoloring, and extra TLC) ran me $110 for the whole shebang. So I have a full suite of slamming invites that are fully Vistaprint compatible in my possession. I printed up 100 save the date post cards, invites, and RSVP postcards on Vistaprint for a whopping $78. I will print the rest of the suite in house. When I throw in the stamps I’ve been hoarding for the past year, envelopes for thank you cards, and the A7 invite envelopes, it brings my stationery total to $247. *wildly dancing*

Ladies and Gents, go haul some tail and check out Alyssa Black’s designs. If she doesn’t have it on the website, she can whip it up for you like the total boss she is. Love you girl!

  • 9/13

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewWe love a good paper project, especially when that project can easily, beautifully and affordably replace a more expensive floral decoration. We’re huge fans of paper flowers as a broke-ass decor option, but that’s far from the only paper decoration option.

    DIY or DIE arbor decorationFor this project, made with the Cricut Explore Air machine for Cricut’s Wedding Campaign, “It’s Your Story, Make It Personal,” I found a beautiful lacy doily design in Cricut Design Space, enlarged it and cut multiple of the design (we’re talking about 16 here) and tied them together with twine to make a painfully easy arbor or archway decoration. The supply list for this DIY project is super minimal but the visual impact is huge. While I decided to use a design already available in Design Space, I also think a spirograph design (PicMonkey has a few) would be fun, or you could use cardstock in varying shades of the same hue to create a cool ombrè effect. After cutting the doily design, I added a little something extra with small flower accents. The options are limited only to your imagination!

    If you’re not familiar with Cricut and their cutting machines here’s the rundown: You know all those cool vinyl decals, precision-cut paper goods and unique lettered signs you’ve seen on Pinterest and moped over not being able to pull off yourself? Well, with one of these bad boys, you can. The Cricut Explore Air can cut over 60 materials, making it a veritable wanna-be DIYer’s dream come true (click here for a list of all the shizz the Cricut can cut). I was more than a little overwhelmed when I first got my machine, because, again: DIY-dumb. But after playing around with it (and feeling the overwhelming need to label my silverware holders), I got super giddy about all the stuff I could do with the machine. There are easy tutorials and instructions available on Cricut‘s site and YouTube, and there is pretty much no limit to the amount of creative awesomeness you can bring to life. Not to mention, Cricut is going to have some baller-ass giveaways and prizes every week this month — we’re talking wedding dresses, craft goodies, wholesale wedding flowers and even a honeymoon (OMG). Stay tuned at the bottom of the post for more deets.

    DIY or DIY: An Easy Arbor Decoration With Cricut Explore Air

    Supplies:

    Easy Arbor Decoration SuppliesCricut Explore Air

    1212 Cardstock (I used 15 pieces, fitting an arbor about 4.5 feet wide, with 4.5 feet of decor down each side)

    Twine or Ribbon

    Standard Grip Cutting Mat

    Weeder Tool

    Spatula Tool

    Scraper Tool

    Wine and a Great Soundtrack

    How To:

    Step 1:

    Launch Cricut Design Space. Click “New Project.” Click “Insert Image” and enter “doily” in search box. Click on design so green checkmark appears and click “Insert Image.”Selecting Doily Design

    Step 2:

    When design is imported, drag it to the farthest upper left corner of the Design Space grid — this will help maximize the amount of paper used and ensure Cricut Explore Air cuts from the appropriate spot. Stretch the design to 11 inches — if you go all the way to 12 inches, it will be too large to cut.

    Placing Design in Upper Left Corner

    Stretching Design

    Step 3:

    Remove background layer from design by clicking on eye in lefthand sidebar under “Layers” tab.

    Removing Background from Design

    Step 4:

    Affix cardstock to the standard grip mat (ProTip: I had two mats at the ready, so as soon as one was done cutting I could load the next one, expediting the process.)

    Click “Go” in Design Space, make sure your Cricut Explore Air is powered on and open and follow the instructions in Design Space. (Hint: You can change the quantity of pieces you’d like cut on the instructions page.)

    Cutting Design on Cricut Explore AirStep 5:

    Pour some wine and set Pandora to your favorite station, because this takes a while.

    When each mat is finished cutting, carefully peel away outer border. Using the spatula tool, gently lift the design from the mat.

    Lifting Design from Cutting Mat

    Once the design is separated from mat, use the weeder tool to remove any small pieces that remain within design.

    Removing Small Pieces Using Weeder Tool

    Clean mat by using the scraper tool to remove small negative pieces left behind.

    Repeat steps 4 and 5 until desired number of designs are reached.

    Step 6:

    Lay out cut designs side-by-side in arrangement that will fit your arbor or archway. Gently tie designs together using twine.

    Optional:

    Affix additional decoration, such as paper or live flowers, glitter, etc.

    Tie Designs Together Using Twine

    Step 7:

    Affix finished garland to arbor or archway using nails, tape or twine.

    Step 8:

    Finished Arbor DecorOgle your handiwork!

    This Week’s Cricut Contest:

    Win $1500 in Wholesale Wedding Flowers from FiftyFlowers!

    Cut out the middleman with FiftyFlowers and get wholesale flowers delivered fresh from the farm to your door! FiftyFlowers prides itself on excellent customer service and delivering a wide variety of fresh flowers to DIY and budget minded couples.

    From peonies to roses to protea and beyond, couples can use the FiftyFlowers website to shop by color or flower type. And for those who want to forego the DIY, FiftyFlowers offers gorgeous pre-arranged centerpiece, gift arrangements and other specialty pieces.

    Fifty Flowers Badge

    Head on over to Cricut to enter to win $1500 worth of wholesale flowers from FiftyFlowers!

    christen
  • 8/31

    confettipopper

    They add up! I mean when you buy things, they accumulate. Math was never my strong suit, but that is an easy one ... and holy shit. It's adding up. With under a month to go until our wedding, the time has come to concentrate on the little details. My mom and I collaborated on a giant list (109 items!) of stuff we need to…

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    8/23

    agate geode DIY display

    If you're anything like me, you've been mad crushing on all the gorgeous agate and geode details popping up in wedding and home decor lately. With a little investigation, you probably found that lots of these pieces aim to break your budget super-fast, so that's why I'm hear to share the fruit of my trial-and-error labors. A word of warning: this project calls for Mod…

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  • 8/10

    Real Bride Lucinda married Chris under sunny skies and amidst a gorgeous northern Massachusetts backdrop in a classic wedding celebration. After DIYing some seriously huge aspects of her wedding -- including her wedding dress, veil, signage and paper flowers for decor -- the couple celebrated with family and friends while the talented Maria Burton Photography captured their day. In a typically super expensive wedding market (about $40K on…

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    8/5

    Etsy bomobob ferris wheel carnival photograph

    One of the main requirements that Russel and I had when it came to choosing a venue was the ability to choose any caterer/food option we wanted. There were several reasons for this: 1) You can't have a carnival wedding without fun carnival food and I don't think most traditional caterers are down with all fried everything; 2) We knew that a lot of companies…

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    7/27

    Credit: Maria Burton Photography We did it! On June 4, 2016, we tied the knot on a beautiful (and hot!) day outside of Boston, Mass. After over a year of planning, everything came together just like we wanted, including everything we DIY'd with all of our friends. The biggest DIY of them all was my wedding dress, which was probably the hardest and most time-consuming sewing project…

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  • 7/7

    dinosaur centerpieces

    Continuing to work with couples long after my I Dos have been said, it's easy to get this feeling of, "Ah, damn! I wish I had done something like that!" From impossibly cute to just downright creative, I'm constantly amazed by how inventive and fun the couples I get to work with through Little Wedding Extras can be. Now that we've put away three weddings…

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