Posts in the 'DIY' Category

Real Bride Meg: When Pinterest Can Be Your BFF and Your Worst Enemy

Raise your hand if you had a wedding board on Pinterest before you were engaged. Is it possible you made one before you were in a relationship?!

Ladies (and gents), the wonderful, whimsical world of Pinterest can be just that — a fantasyland when it comes to wedding planning. If you are just starting to plan out your wedding day, I feel that it is my duty to tell you to take caution! Your wedding day will not — I repeat, WILL NOT — go as smoothly or beautifully as your Pinterest board makes it out to be. It just isn’t realistic. I tell you this because I care about you, but I won’t stop a girl from dreaming.

Let’s start with the bad side of Pinterest — there is a lot of DIYing involved. For the budget-minded bride, this seems like the most logical route to take. Yes, making things yourself can be a lot cheaper than buying them, and yes, craft stores love sending coupons. But, DIY is very time-consuming, and as Broke-Ass Brides, you’re working hard for your money!

Here’s a reality check: you can’t do it all. For starters, not everyone has the talent to pull off their Pinterest finds. Not only that, but if you take a look at your wedding board right now, I bet you’ll find tons of DIYs you want to do between now and your wedding. I don’t think I need to tell you how precious your time is when planning a wedding. Be realistic and take on what you can. You’re the only one who will notice if something you pinned isn’t on the cake table.

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest via itsalwaysautumn.com

A perfect example of what can turn into a DIY nightmare are paper flowers. I plan on sprinkling a few into my own decor to save a couple of bucks, but I’m also aware of how much time it takes to make them look how you want.

Now, let’s focus on the good side of Pinterest. In my opinion, it is the best tool for organization and ideas, especially when you’re in the very beginning stages of wedding planning. I think it is such a great tool for organization that I’ve started making individual (secret) boards for each part of my wedding, from wedding day looks to ceremony readings and floral arrangements.

And yes, it’s also good for DIYing — in moderation. While I use Pinterest less for DIYing and more for keeping track of my ideas, I have found some really cute table decoration ideas that I’ve altered to my own liking.

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Pinterest’s version of a bar decoration. Photo courtesy of Pinterest via projectwedding.com

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My version of a Pinterest bar decorationDIY– made to match our personalities (and hobbies). Photo courtesy of Meg

My advice is this: every 4-6 weeks, go through your wedding board and weed out whatever you don’t like, or don’t think you need anymore. You’ll have more realistic expectations about how much time you can make for your DIY projects, and in the end, you won’t end up with more than makes sense. With that said, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your bridesmaids may be dying to get involved somehow, so reach out to them and have a DIY day. It will totally take some of the stress away and be a great way to bond.

And when all else fails, visit Etsy or Aftcra. It will definitely be a bit pricier than doing things yourself, but if it’s something you truly want on your wedding day, you’ll find that it’s worth it when you’re less stressed and/or in a time crunch. More to come on that!

Where are you finding your wedding inspiration? How do you manage your Pinterest time?

Lemme Ask Y’all A Question: What Do You Want?

Guys, as we see a new crop of brides move into the wedination stage (cue: Empty Nest Syndrome), the team here at The Broke-Ass Bride is conjuring up new and awesome ideas for you. But! Since it’s for YOU, then we’d be remiss if we didn’t actually ask you the question of what you want. So, darlings, there are three categories: Hair & Makeup, Ceremony Readings and Flowers.

The Broke-Ass Bride Wants to Hear from You!

Hair & Makeup:

Girl, I get it. You don’t want to (or can’t!) plunk down some serious skrilla on trials, site visits and day-of beautification. And since you’ve spent all that time on Pinterest, you know exactly what you want (#duh), but how do you actually make it happen? We’ll work with a couple rockin’ peeps to make step-by-step tutorials to make it as easy-peasy as possible … and will totes be open your own how-to quandaries!

Ceremony Readings:

Y’all, your ceremony doesn’t have to be by the book. But it can be super tough finding passages that work with your wedding scheme and dream. So, we’ll spend our time scouring the Interwebz and real actual books to find great readings that would work during your ceremony.

Flowers:

I’ll admit it: I’m a little flower dumb. I know the basics, but I don’t know what’s in season or when, how much they cost, what a more affordable substitute would be or how best to pair them with other blooms for your decor. And if I don’t know that after many years in Weddingland, I figure some darling souls out there must be in the same boat.

So, chickens! Cast your vote! Which of these ideas pique your interest

Got an idea that’s didn’t make the list? Sound off in the comments below!

DIY or DIE: Terrarium Centerpieces with PopShop

Have you guys heard of PopShop? Well, it’s a really cool little design fair where you can browse around for arts and crafts and other goods, as well as get your mitts dirty with a little DIY craftiness of your own. This weekend, PopShop Houston is hosting a Handmade Weddings event, where you can get down with some rad crafts with a wedding-y slant, find other fun doodads for your big day and maybe even find your wedding gown! In honor of their awesomely DIY-centric event Sept. 20-21, in Houston, PopShop shared this rad little terrarium how-to with us. If you’re in the Houston area this weekend, be sure to stop by PopShop Houston and get your craft on with the lovely ladies there! And keep an eye out for PopShop events in your ‘hood!

Looking for a hip and minimal way to bring the outdoors to your wedding table? Try terrariums. They could even be a fun gift for your guest to take home. They are easy to make, easy to care for and quite affordable. You can use colored sand rocks and seashells in a million different colors and match any terrarium to the style and color palette of your special day. A terrarium with multiple plants, like in the video, will cost about $20 to make.

How to Make Terrariums from Pop Shop America on Vimeo.

Ingredients:

1. A Shallow Bowl

2. Rocks for Drainage

3. Cactus Soil or Regular Potting Soil

4. Several cacti and succulents

5. Colored sand, crystals, or seashells for decoration to fit the color and style of your wedding

6. A sunny window

Start with a shallow bowl. A shallow bowl allows the plants to absorb water easily. Add a layer of rocks on the bottom. This will help the soil to dry completely in between waterings. Gently pack and firmly place the succulents in the soil. You can add all kinds of decorations like colored sand, crystals, seashells or miniature toy like objects such as birds or deer. Place your terrarium near a sunny window and water once or twice a month. Let your plants dry out in between waterings. Succulents will start to look sunken in when they’re dehydrated. Look for visible signs to know when to water. Feed every three to six months.

About Pop Shop America:

DIY means something to us. We think that everything in life should be meaningful and made with care. At Pop Shop America, you’ll find a curated series of events and online boutique that showcase handmade & vintage fashion, art, and indie products. Our goal is to create a super fun setting in which artists can earn a living and shoppers can find products that they’ll love for a lifetime.

Real Bride Tiffany: When to BUY, not DIY

Thanks to the wonders of Pinterest, I often convince myself that I can create ANYTHING. Even though my brain and my severe lack of patience tell me otherwise. Even so, my wedding crafting to-do list reached about 10 items too many. To resolve this problem, I turned to my best Internet friend, Etsy.

BABs, if you are unfamiliar with Etsy, get outta town! But keep reading first. Etsy is like that one friend that can do anything and everything and oh, how you envy her skills. And every now and then you find such a well-priced handmade item on Etsy that you just simply can’t turn it down. Because the cost of supplies and patience to create it yourself are outweighed by the joy in making that little click to buy a homemade, handmade item from a small business. Here are some of the items I purchased for our wedding:

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1. flower girl bracelet from Stargazing Lily | 2. cake topper from The Path Less Traveled | 3. clipart from Shh Maker Design | 4. garland from Funky Frills UK

Etsy browsing has become one of my many online hobbies, and I’ve purchased from quite a few different sellers. These ones in particular (with the exception of the clipart because you get to download it immediately and there is no interaction) feature great customer service and fast shipping. And trust me, I’ve had my bad Etsy experiences. We’ll talk flower girl dresses at a later date, maybe. But you guys already know my … ahem … skills as far as DIY is concerned, so for me it sometimes just made sense to throw money at it rather than try for the potential headache.

So BABs, my advice to you would be to take the time to browse a variety of Etsy sellers {Eds note: Aftcra is also a fabulous resource, and its wedding section is schamazing} before making a decision. Create lists of your favorites shops and items (within Etsy, not like actually on real paper). Check shipping costs and speeds. And if that cost is low enough, why not spend a little dough to check one of those many DIY projects off your list? Just click “buy” and let the Etsy pros do it for ya!

Real Bride Tiffany: DIY-ish Invitations

I have been completely hesitant about this post because: #1 I could talk about paper for days and #2 I OVERSPENT and am mildly shameful.

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It was DIY hell but totally worth it.

When I first started browsing invitations, I hated everything. Well, not hated. But I just couldn’t find what I was looking for. I was also, as per usual, mildly horrified at the cost. I knew what had to happen. I would have to do these bad boys by myself. With some help. Well, a lot of help. Here is what you need to DIY your wedding invitations if you are insanely picky like me.

A graphic designer

Everyone knows someone that is a graphic designer, right? RIGHT. Well, hopefully you do. If not, browse Wtsy for an unreasonable amount of time until you find a designer’s style you like and pray that they will do custom for you! I was fortunate enough to use my MOH’s best friend and her impressive design skills. I am not even joking when I say that she designed exactly what we wanted. A modern, clean, brewery themed wedding suite. I still can’t get over it.

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Envelopes

Did you know that square envelopes cost significantly more to mail? NOW YOU DO. They looked so good though. 

Did you know that your printer will eat your expensive envelopes if they are too thick? NOW YOU DO. Ugh, this though. This hurt me. I “splurged” on getting pre-lined envelopes from Cards & Pockets and our printer ate most of our “extras.” Thank goodness for those extras!

I downloaded the fonts our designer used to make a super sweet envelope template in MS Word because it is 2014 and handwriting should be outlawed. If you think guests appreciate the time you took handwriting their names, then I shall tell my guests how I individually hand-fed each envelop through the printer all whilst holding my breath that it wouldn’t jam. All of this sans alcohol, because calories and wedding dress and stuff.

A  reliable and affordable print vendor

We used Cat Print for the Save the Dates and invitation pieces. I will also be using them for our programs. Their pricing is fantastic for the quality of paper they offer. I chose 130# stock because I like to give people paper cuts. And also because it looked and felt expensive. Want round corners? They can do that too. Want free paper samples? HECK YES I DO. That might have been my favorite part of this entire process and left Justin completely perplexed about the intricacies of paper textures.

A small posse to assemble all the pieces

We only had 67 invitations to mail out. And I decided that they needed that monogram AND twine. After assembling 10, I was done. Justin was a HUGE help as was my little sister (even though he can’t lick envelopes and she doesn’t know how to tie things … ). It took a little over one week to get everything done once I had the final printed pieces in hand.

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You can bribe helpers with beer and also things to play with.

The final cost? Let’s break it down, shall we? This includes our save-the-dates as well.

Design: $160. for 8 hours of design
Printing: $157. 4 pieces, 80 of each with bleeds, rounded corners and on 130# stock.
Envelopes: $127. square, lined and RSVP.
Postage: $132. Those damn square envelopes.
Misc. supplies (twine, eyelets, replacement eyelet tool for the one I broke … ): $35

Total: $611 for 80 pieces. Or $7.60 each.

Is that more than I wanted to spend? Yes. But they are incredible and completely us, so totally worth it!

Winning Wednesday: Glam Up Your Wedding withThe Rustic Wedding Handbook

Rustic weddings are gorgeous. Duh. There’s a pretty whimsical feel to them that helps make your wedding day a little extra special and romantical. And they tend to be pretty DIY-heavy, which adds a great personalized touch.

Maggie Lord, the schamazing mastermind behind Rustic Wedding Chic is kinda sorta the guru of rustic weddings. Remember when she did this rockin’ tutorial for us? Welp, that’s just one of many many beautiful how-tos. In her book, “The Rustic Wedding Handbook,” she shares even more how-to goodness, plus she gives some great tips and ideas on how to style your own rustic wedding.

Winning Wednesday Glam Up Your Wedding with The Rustic Wedding Handbook

And, of course, she wants to share with you, BABs! Get yourself in on the game by completing each task below to earn entries to win “The Rustic Wedding Handbook!”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Real Bride Tiffany: Chalk This Up as a DIY FTW!

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One of the few wedding trends I embrace is chalkboards. Mostly because they complement our space really well; otherwise I would’ve shunned them like I do everything else. I originally liked the look of stained wood signs, but with our venue remodel we are now surrounded by a lot of awesome reclaimed wood. Which led to the official chalkboarding decision.

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Colorful chalk monogram from Green Wedding Shoes. Chalk wedding program from Style Me Pretty. And my own photo of the glorious reclaimed wood in our remodeled venue.

Once again, using my exceptional (and excessive) online shopping skills, I quickly came to the conclusion that holy sheesh sandwich-board chalkboards are NOT budget friendly. BUT WAIT. My mom is crafty! She used to toll paint in the ’90s! She hand-saws and everything! We could totally do this.

I reserved a weekend with her (because that is what I have to do so my other sisters don’t snatch her up) and sent her a few options for our DIYing. A simple one, and one that was a little more jazzy. The Friday prior to our DIY weekend extravaganza, mom went to Home Depot to get supplies so we would be ready to go. My youngest sister’s boyfriend, Logan, accompanied her and very carefully helped her choose all of the supplies we would need for the weekend.

And what happens next 1) proves that he is awesome and 2) saved mom and I a TON of time and stress.

You guys, he built them all by himself.

At first I thought, “well shoot there goes my DIYing.” And then I remembered that I’m not really good at DIYing and became totally thankful for Logan’s entire existence.

He didn’t just build one — he built four, as not to waste any supplies. My picture does not even do them justice, but we ended up with two large sandwich-style chalkboards and two small ones all for approximately $120, aka nearly the price of one of these bad boys on Etsy (yes, it would have been cheaper if we had used reclaimed would but ain’t no one got time for that).

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I am really bad at that whole “bloggers taking pictures of everything” thing. But this is his final masterpiece.

So my advice to you — not-so-DIY brides-to-be — make sure there is a handyman in the family willing to take on these projects for you. So you can tend to more important things such as jewelry shopping!

Now who wants to come hand-letter these for me? Anyone? Bueller?

Winning Wednesday: Toast To Love with Darby Smart’s DIY Etched Champagne Flutes

We’ve talked about my DIY skillz before (read: they don’t exist). If I were set out into the wild of crafting land (Michael’s), I’d have no freaking clue where to start, what kind of goodies to get, etc. I mean, it’s very likely I’d get caught in a vortex of “Oooh! Shiny!” and “Lookit all the pretty coooolllloooorrrrsssss!!!” and I’d walk out with paint and glitter and nothing to affix them to.

So, naturally, when I discovered Darby Smart and their very no-nonsense “We’ll send you all the shit, and instructions, and you just have to sit down and DO IT” approach to DIY and crafting, I was totally intrigued. Because I like making things and showing them off, but I kind of really need cut-and-dry instructions and no wiggle room to mess it up. Though, it’s very likely I will still find a way *foreshadowing*. And then looking at Darby Smart‘s website, and ogling at all the things I could actually like, do, the world very quickly became my wannabe-crafty-DIY oyster. Really, they got me hook, line and sinker with the animal figurines affixed to … anything.

So, of course, I hollered at them, and they happily agreed to send me a kit. I really wanted the Champagne flutes — they have two kits for Champagne flutes, and I didn’t really care which one, I just knew I needed to have them. A few days later, an adorably turquoise-and-chevron box arrived on my doorstep.

And then it sat on my table, and then under my table for a while. Because you guys, DIY is intimidating.

Until this past Sunday. That handsome guy of mine had to go into work for a while and I was kind of binged-out on Netflix and it was a fairly sunny day, so the light in our living room was awesome and my workspace was calling to me. So I poured some wine and got to work (yes, it was past noon, and no, DIY can’t be done without alcohol in the circles I run in).

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Much to my surprise — though it shouldn’t have been, because the instructions were like, stoopid-simple — it was easy. 

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1. Tape off design you want — the kit comes with stickers (shown on the “Drink” flute) and I used electrical tape for my own stripey design. I also taped off the top part of the glass where lips were to touch it, because I have this super weird thing about texture and the texture of etching makes my teeth hurt.

2. Slather on the etching glue. No, seriously, lube that baby up. Protip: Brush all in the same direction to give a smoother appearance. And watch out for clumpage, because that’ll also make it look, well, clumpy.

3. Let dry. Wait. Drink wine.

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4. Rinse with warm water. You’ll want to make sure all that clumpage I talked about rinses off.

5. Untape. De-sticker. Revel in your masterpiece.

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OK, so maybe they’re not some grand masterpiece (maybe I should have just etched the inside of the letters instead of the whole thing) but they’re still pretty freaking rad. And now I have Champagne flutes! Certainly those ladies with more DIY skillz than me will be able to conjure up some baller designs.

Oh, and hey, BABs, you can totes get in on this, because Darby Smart is giving away one of these Etched Champagne Flute kits!

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As per usual, each task earns an entry. Open to US residents only (sorry loves!) Good luck, BABs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Real Wedding: Courtney and Carli’s Sentimental, Intimate, Barn Loft Nuptials

You guys, ever since one of the brides, then the photographer, made contact with me about featuring this wedding, I was dying for the whole thing to land in my inbox. I knew it was a story full of love, but I didn’t know all the deets nor had I seen any photos yet … but I just knew it was one that would tug at my heart strings. And oh man … You can actually feel the love emanating from the words and pics. The wedding was held at 11 a.m. in the loft of the barn where one of the brides had ridden horses prior to their move to South Africa. Their sweet pup, Kobane, even joined Courtney and Carli — bedecked in a bow tie and all — for the reception. As conservationists, the brides had their wedding bands made from recycled silver and formed to resemble budding twigs. All of the decor was reminiscent of their relationship through the years, or was an actual piece of their history! So sit back, relax and enjoy all the love from this gorgeous Canadian wedding!

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Names: Courtney & Carli le Roux

Occupation: Conservationists

Wedding location: Rockwood Park Stables, New Brunswick, Canada

Wedding Date: 24 May 2014

Budget: $2500 CAD (~$2,305 USD)

How would you describe your wedding: A very intimate, quiet and special day full of small touches that are “us”; from the suitcase of letters we’ve sent each other, to books bound in twine that we’ve shared, hand written menu cards and an “our story” board.

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What was your favorite part of your wedding? We loved how intimate it was, and how every tiny element held meaning. Exchanging vows was the favourite part, because we wrote them in the same room at midnight the night before we were married, but didn’t get to read each other’s.

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What did you splurge on? Our photographer. Photos of the day are absolutely beautiful and we are a bit panicked even at the thought that we nearly didn’t have them.

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What did you save on? Food, venue, dresses, decor and rings. We self-catered everything in a brunch-style buffet. Our venue was the hay loft of the barn where one of the brides rides and was loaned to us for free, so long as we cleaned it out and set it up. We managed to find an off-the-rack dress that was not only 50% off, but fit one of us perfectly, and the other was handmade by Courtney’s mother. The décor was all handmade and items that we already owned – from old suitcases and books tied in twine, to an old typewriter and vintage camera with case, and we made our archway out of branches that had been broken in a recent winter ice storm. We used old tables that were already in the barn and covered them with inexpensive linen, and used items and dishes that we already had to decorate them. Our rings were handmade and found on Etsy, and were given to us as a gift by Courtney’s sister, Alishia-Marie.

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Was there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? We are really happy with how everything went together, but we really shouldn’t have spent so much time and energy worrying about the food. We stressed ourselves out about it and on the day, there was no need – we had far more than enough, and everyone who attended would have been fine even if there hadn’t been. The day was about us, not the food, the decorations, the dresses.

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What was your biggest challenge in planning? We planned everything in less than two months, and initially we hadn’t intended to use the hay loft and so trying to find a venue in such short notice was a bit stressful, until we were offered the loft. If you can, use a location that doesn’t require much decorating, and something that family or friends own – a nice, big yard, a cottage, a beach – it will save so much time and money.

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What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Whatever happens doesn’t matter – the day is about you as a couple, and nothing else. Anyone at your wedding will understand that. Relax. It isn’t actually as serious as it’s made out to be – the commitment you are making is, but the day itself isn’t. And have fun! The things that go “wrong” make wonderful stories.

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What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

1 – How intimate and personal it was.
2 – That everything in the room had some kind of meaning to us.
3 – That the place we got married at had so much meaning for us.
4 – I had a surprise FaceTime call from one of my closest friends, who was unable to attend because she is living in Korea.
5 – The ceremony itself. We rewrote the template ceremony given to us by our officiant, and it made it so much more special.

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Top 5 least favorite? We can honestly say that we have nothing to fill in here, other than we wish certain people had been able to make it.

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? Have favours! Print programs! You need this … You need that …
Basically, people forgetting that the wedding was ours and ours alone, and that we were free to do whatever we pleased.

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The best? Just enjoy it, and it’s about you. When we would get stressed out or worked up about something that really didn’t matter on the day, we were reminded of that fact. That all that mattered was us, and that we were happy.

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Any other bits of wisdom? We know that so many people say it, but it really is not worth the stress. All that matters is that that paper gets signed – everything else is just for fun.

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Budget breakdown?
$1000 Photogtapher Alicia Robichaud of www.arfoto.ca
$350 Dress for Carli, that needed no alterations
$75 Fabric for Courtney’s dress, hand mande by my mother
$250 Food, self-catered (and delicious!)
$275 Officiant
$100 Marriage License
$100 Hair for both of us
$100 misc DIY decoration supplies, linen, dish and chair rentals, etc.
$250 Wedding shoes, which were riding boots that are still being worn by both of us
$225 for both recycled silver wedding bands, given to us as a wedding gift.
$2500 Total

Congratulations, ladies!

Do you have  a wedding you’d like to submit? Email info@brokeassbride.com for details.