Broke-Ass Category: Event Design & Reception Decor

7/17

We’re in the home stretch for the wedding now. The countdown is at seven weeks. Last week, at the eight-week mark I had a mini panic attack about how close the wedding was and how much was undone. To calm myself, I sat down and tried to do two of the larger tasks that were left. I was finally able to tackle the program and the name cards for the tables.

At first I had these grandiose plans of designing my own wedding programs. I wanted it to be sort of like a poster advertising the circus with each section being acts. So the officiant would be the ring leader, we’d be the main event, etc. I knew I wanted the programs to be attached to a wooden stick so they could be used as fans. I always get hot at weddings so I might as well make something that can be used well as a fan instead of a flimsy piece of paper.

With these grand plans in mind I sat down at my desktop to see what I could crank out in Publisher and quickly realized this was a task for Photoshop. I dusted off my college laptop (the only computer in the house with Photoshop) and sat down to get to work. Then cried. I don’t actually have any serious design skills. I can dabble and do something simple, but nothing as beautiful as what I had envisioned. After a good hard melt down, I got onto Fiverr.com and Esty to see what I could find. Maybe someone had a template I could work off of or I could just find a pre-made program and to hell with designing.

Program Template by Etsy Seller BirDIYdesign

BirDIYdesign came to my rescue. After a fairly thorough, weeklong hunt I found a nice simple, not at all what I had originally had in mind, program that cost me $16. ($5.60 for the template, $10 for two color change). I’ve come to realize I have a price where I will pay for something that will take me hours, possibly days to make myself. If I can buy it under $30, its worth it. My time is my money.

Ticket Template by Etsy seller Eudanedigital

The name cards I was willing to spend hours of work on to create. I knew exactly what I wanted. I saw a pin on Pinterest of some name cards an Etsy seller made that I absolutely adored. I tried to find the seller again to see if they would make them for me, but they have vanished off the face of Etsy. So instead I found a seller that had a template for them that I was able to make my own. Eudanedigital makes some snazzy, stupid cheap templates for editing. I found this one and was able to use my limited Photoshop skills to make these name cards. 

I’m stupidly pleased with these, they came out really well and only took me about four hours to pump out. The part that took the longest was editing the image of the ferris wheel to go in the background. There are so many nooks and crannies between the spokes. Each table will be a different theme like ferris wheel, carousel, dancing bear, etc.

Getting tasks complete lifts a HUGE burden off my shoulders. I do still need to print up the programs and name cards, but I can’t physically print them until I have all the RSVPs in and I hear back from the officiant on her official title. Next up will be the ticket booth and signs for the wedding. I can calm down, these tasks aren’t nearly as daunting as I originally thought.

How’s your countdown going? What big projects do you have left?

  • 5/10

    Pinterest is a wonderful wedding planning tool.

    There are so many options, suggestions and design ideas that quite possibly anyone, even without a “crafting thumb” could follow the instructions and make something wonderful.

    For months, I have collected these ideas on my special secret wedding planning board and I even shared with others that my planning progress was right on track, primarily because I had this board with a million ideas “pinned” and I felt somewhat accomplished.

    Then I had a lightbulb moment and I sat down to read through all of my pins and figured out what ideas would become a reality.

    It was a mess!

    I was all over the place and needed to figure out what DIY projects would fill my to do list. I tried to do this by myself by printing out everything, laying it all out on the floor and checking to see how much it would cost to make my design dreams come true. Again, the process was a mess!

    I needed help.

    I called Leigh Strong a real life Superhero but also known as a designer and stylist. Leigh assured me that she could whip my plan into shape and we scheduled a meeting.

    Leigh Strong, Designer Extraordinaire

    We started talking at 7 a.m., and two hours later I had a solid plan and realized that I would save tons of money by focusing on what I REALLY wanted vs being solely inspired by my Pinterest board.

     

    Planning on a budget? Make sure you think about the following:

    • Pinterest ideas still require time and money. Do your homework before you commit to the DIY project, price out how much the materials will be as well as the investment of your time!
    • It’s amazing how a little instruction/how to lesson can open your eyes to the additional items that you will need to make DIY project come to life! When I made my wedding budget, I  didn’t plan on buying power tools or a Cricut machine.
    • DIY + non-DIY projects, are not always created equal. Take inventory on what you plan to make, buy and/or rent and ensure there is a good design flow. You don’t want some things to look better than others.

    How did you organize all of your creative ideas? What tips do you have? Share in the comments below!

     

     

  • 4/21

     This sponsored post is brought to you by Evite® and Olive Garden as part of the Evite® Influencer Program Wouldn't we all love to jet off and have a romantic destination wedding, especially somewhere as gorgeous as Tuscany? Unfortunately, with Broke-Ass budgets, dreamers can dream ... but, in that same vein, doers can make a dream come to life without even stepping on a plane.…

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    3/3

    Place card holders are a great way to dress up a place setting, but if your guest list is more than, uh, 20, it can quickly add. But creating your own diamond place card holders out of cement makes for a unique aesthetic. This simple DIY combines a couple of my favorite trends -- the industrial-chic look and modern, geometric shapes. Bonus: They're a functional gift once they've…

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    1/31

    My Pinterest board is filled to the brim with ideas. I've considered everything from building an altar from used pallet boards to growing my own rose garden and assembling the bridal bouquet. It's time for an intervention! I've known for years, well before I was officially engaged that I would be a "do it yourself" bride. Not just because of the cost savings but also…

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    1/10

    I mentioned a while ago that we planned to use fake flowers when it came time for bouquets, bouts, corsages and decor. So that's what we did. Other than my bouquet, every other piece of flowery goodness was made with artificial flowers, and we were insanely happy with how they all turned out. We had two separate seating areas since dinner was outdoors, and dancing…

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    12/20

    Our wedding was the best day ever, so naturally we wanted some really fun ways to remember it. I talked about my way too expensive Instax guestbook a while back, and while it did cost a pretty penny, I am SO glad we ended up doing it. I am obsessed. There was a time when we had no idea where the guestbook was going to…

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    12/6

    On top of having super yummy carnival eats for dinner, we had some sweet treats for our guests, too. Even though funnel cakes and elephant ears are some of the best desserts on the planet, I knew I wanted a wedding cake to cut as well. I can take or leave the actual cutting of the cake while everyone stares. And the whole smashing thing?…

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    11/16

    I have always planned on having different centerpieces at each table. I saw a photo of another bride’s wedding that had her escort cards as little ticket stubs with each person’s name on one side and the name of their table on each. I completely fell in love with the idea. Unfortunately, the Etsy seller who made her cards no longer makes them. I found…

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