Posts in the 'DIY' Category

Get Inspired: Host a Lovely Brunch to Ask Your Bridal Brigade

Ally, one of my favorite local DFW photographers and one half of the extraordinary team at The Purple Pebble — you may remember them from brides in glasses fame — recently got engaged (yayyyy!!!) and threw a lovely luncheon to ask her ladies to stand by her side on her wedding day. Of course, throwing a luncheon in and of itself can be a little spendy, and when you add special flare to it because it’s not just any luncheon, the costs can add up quickly. While she still shelled out a pretty penny for the party, Ally managed to be pretty resourceful with a lot of the details and definitely put the BAB credo to work: Creativity is our currency!

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Budget Bridesmaid Brunch

The girls I chose as bridesmaids are what I call my “lifers.” Those friends who you can be your true self with, who have proven that no matter what, they’ll be there for you. In my case, these girls are family, high school friends, college friends and girls I met in adulthood. Each one of these girls has been there for me and each one of their friendships means the world to me. When I thought about asking people to be a bridesmaid in my wedding, I knew I wanted to ask in a special way. What a better way than a nice, little brunch celebration? When I asked each girl if she was available for a Sunday brunch on a certain date, they all said yes! Five of the girls in the wedding live where I do. 

Bridal Luncheon Personalized Cards

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As I got to planning, I thought of what kind of costs would be associated with this. After looking over everything I wanted to do, and the fact that I had 9 bridesmaids and 2 house party members, I knew I needed to save where I could. First step, host the brunch at my apartment.
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For the tablescape:
My mother grew up in the Midwest and has inherited lovely china from her grandmother and mother. I asked to borrow a set. White china with a gold rim was what I went with since my wedding accent color is gold. I also was able to borrow gold silverware. Crystal is timeless and elegant and I thought it would be a nice mix with the china. I was able to borrow crystal water glasses as well as a beautiful round, crystal vase that I put white hydrangeas in. I already had the clear glass tea light holders.
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I enlisted the help of Facebook friends for a table runner and had a work colleague let me borrow a gorgeous rose colored sequin runner. I also used Facebook to find another unique piece for the table: I wanted antlers, however, most of the places around town that sell antlers sold them for $25+ a piece. I didn’t want to pay that much for a single antler that I was going to spray paint. I had luck when my fiancé’s mother replied to my post saying that she had a set of antlers in her garage that I could have. Absolutely perfect! I spray painted them gold.
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For food and drink: 
I wanted to keep the food low cost and light. I purchased fruit and donut holes to make kabobs, went to a local shop to get kolaches and baked Pilsbury cinnamon roles.

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For the mimosa bar, I purchased orange juice with a coupon at a local grocery store chain. As the day of the brunch grew closer, I had multiple girls contact me asking if they could bring anything for brunch. Three girls each brought a bottle of champagne so that was covered!
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Accents:
I purchased adorable black and white striped paper straws from the $1 section at Target. And I was able to find 2 boxes of Libby champagne glasses on sale at Walmart. Two days before the brunch, my mother received a large, beautiful floral arrangement for her birthday. I was able to borrow that for extra decoration. I had a super cute card from my future sister-in-law that said, “You’re Engaged!” and I decided to use that as a cute little accent piece!
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Favors: 
Here is where I wanted to really personalize things for my girls! A wedding planner friend of mine created personalized cards for them. They cost $7 a piece. I went into Michael’s craft store for something a month before I put on the brunch and saw that there were colorful block letters in one of the bins in the $1 section. I was able to find a letter for each girl and each letter cost me $1.50.
Bridesmaid Luncheon Personal Letters
And my favorite part for my crew … a custom cookie! I had a local bakery make me diamond engagement ring cookies for $3.75 apiece. I had to buy a minimum of a dozen so I spent $45 on a dozen cookies. It was 100% worth it … the cookies were decorated with silver metallic paint and large sugar crystals were used as the diamond! They were also very good! For the favors, I spent $12.25 for each lady.
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Photography
Being a photographer, I was able to photograph all this goodness at no cost!
All in all, I spent $200 on food, favors and accents such as flowers, straws and champagne glasses. Everything else, I was able to borrow. And it certainly helped that my girls brought champagne! For those who do not live in the same city as me, I shipped them a card, letter and cookie from the Post Office so each package was anywhere from $5-$7 to ship.
The girls were all so surprised at the brunch when I asked them all to be bridesmaids! They had no idea it was coming.
I was able to pull off a great, affordable brunch with lovely ladies!

How did you ask your crew to stand by your side, BABs?

BAB Throwback: Fishing For Budget Decor Has Never Been Easier

This post was one of the first that made me really, truly fall in love with The Broke-Ass Bride when I was planning my first wedding. I loved the colors and the non-floral aspect … not to mention the budget-friendliness. I remember thinking it’d be so great to have one of these at the wedding, then use it for house decor as a little, frequent reminder of that awesome day. The vibrant colors in the LGBT shoot we featured yesterday reminded me of this post all over again, so we’re bringing it back with this BAB Throwback.

I get loads of questions from brides seeking guidance on budget wedding planning, offbeat or green wedding decor, and I can relate! I had many a stressful day pondering how to not only afford decor that would pack a punch, but not lose my limbs paying for it, and still manage to make a statement with it.  But let me tell you, sisters, if you get yourself a roll of fishing line and turn on the creativity. There are loads of unique wedding ideas, affordable and simple opportunities to spruce up a space with little money, little effort, but MAXIMUM flavor, yo! Let me count the ways … Let’s take a walk off the beaten aisle for a moment, shall we?

Clear out the clearance rack at your local post-holiday sale, and string up a dazzling and reflective curtain that’s as festive as it is adorable….

Christmas Ornament DIY

Its raining baubles!
Christmas Ornament Decor
Clearance Ornaments + Fishing Line = broke-ass brilliance!

And use your leftovers to line your aisle, pile into glass vessels for centerpieces, and make a whimsical winter wonderland of it! Wouldn’t it be dreamsicle to hold your ceremony in front of such a shimmery sight?

Hit up your craft shop and go craft pom wild! String these babies up for a light and easy beaded curtain backdrop and give your wedding a modern take on retro design flare.

craft pom wedding DIY

Its the POM diggity!

For a tutorial, click here. And for more pom decor ideas, check out this post!

For the music-oving couple (c’mon rawkstar brides, put your hands up!) How about an edgy and modern (but romantically twinklingly loverly in candlelight) recycled compact disc chandelier or curtain?

Cd curtain at the Sci-port in Shreveport.

 

Turn up the awesome with a CD backdrop.

DIY CD craft

 

Colorful compact cuteness. Tutorial here

Whew! That was easy, wasn’t it? And that’s just the beginning – all it takes is a step outside the box and a little fishing line! The best part is, there’s no special DIY talent necessary.

What kind of unusual or found objects will you incorporate into your bad-ass, broke-ass design?

Real Bride Tiffany: Wedding Party Gifts That Are Pretty Rad

Hello again, BABs! While we very (im)patiently wait for our wedding album to appear, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite wedding related things: PRESENTS! No, not for us. But for our amazingly awesome wedding party members. I love, love giving gifts and finding amazing deals!

If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you know that I don’t like things that don’t have a purpose or that are severely cheesy. Basically, any traditional wedding party gift you could think of. So I challenged us to think outside that traditional box and get our wedding party gifts that aren’t etched with our names and likelihoods.

And here are the results!

FOR THE MENS: The obligatory tie (I know, did I just contradict myself? Its a really nice tie though!). And a Marvel bottle opener. Each groomsmen got a different character, purposefully chosen by Justin. Amazon has a surprisingly large selection of these, at which Justin was OVERJOYED. The cost of each opener varied, putting the total cost of the gift around $40-50.

mens gift

I was really, REALLY proud of my wrapping presentation. My handwriting? Could definitely use some work.

FOR THE LADIES: Kate Spade earrings in a BAB gift? BRIDES. I cannot yell this enough. Sign up for the Kate Spade newsletter and when there is a surprise sale just BUY ALL THE THINGS (and watch the deal and link roundup on Fridays, because you know the Ten for the Weekend will include it!). I snatched up 5 pairs of those gorgeous earrings for less than $100. RIGHT? Go sign up now, I’ll wait here …

Okay, so I may have gone a little overboard with the girls. The sequins on the bottom are actually from a clutch that I acquired from Brickyard Buffalo ($8 each). The bracelet on the left was custom made by a dear friend of mine. I commissioned her to make them for the Moms and she wanted to make them for all the girls. They were her gift to us and absolutely beautiful and special. The You Smell soap was just something my 12-year old self thought was hilarious (World Market, $2). The pumpkin pie flavored edible lip scrub is TO DIE FOR. Because naturally I got one for myself (because it was only $3.75 which was a STEAL and I’m going to buy all of my Christmas gifts from that shop).  And that little handkerchief situation was totally an afterthought because I knew there would be tears and I didn’t want anyone to be stuck without a wiping device. It was also a total hit ($12.99 for 9 hankies, or $1.44 each).

Total cost for each lady gift: $34.

girls gift

I actually think there is a Kate Spade sale going on right NOW.  Get those maids something shiny!

The littles got a variety of things but let me just give you a pro-tip: a sticker book will keep a child quiet and occupied for at least 45 solid minutes.

littles

I think this is the quietest he was all weekend. STICKER BOOKS WIN.

And because he has 4 daughters and has lost most of his sanity because of that, and because I love nothing more than giving my father a hard time, I made him a custom father-of-the-bride T-shirt. Seriously though, buy the man a drink!

FOB

Two down, two to go! #fatherofthebride. He only pretends to be this annoyed with me.

We went a bit over budget, but it is hard not to when you have an amazing wedding party that has been spoiling you throughout the entire process. We were really proud of our gifts and our wedding party definitely appreciated the thought that we put into them. But I mean, you can’t really go wrong with superheros and sparkly things, right?

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.

paper flowers

 

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:

etsy

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.

invites

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.

helpers

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