Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm Poor, but I Wanna Get Married - DIY and Being Thrifty

Hello! I realize it has been a while since I posted last. What have I been up to in the world of wedding planning? Gathering projects and getting started. So, this blog is about DIY - with a dash of being Thrifty in the process.
DIY (do it yourself) is sometimes necessary for the Budget Bride, and being Thrifty IS a necessity. Especially when you are DIYing. Contrary to popular belief, not everything DIY is cheaper. Sometimes the price of the materials you need to make the item is more than it costs to buy a ready-made item. Sometimes. It depends on your style, what it is, and what you can get the materials for.
This is where being Thrifty comes in. And if there is one thing I am good at, it is being Thrifty. I think it is in my bloodline. My mom does not give herself enough credit for this, but she is the one who taught me by example how to decorate simply, but prettily. Being a props person has also taught me a thing or two about decorating appropriately on a tight budget. So, I am most fortunate.
Here are some tips: get to know your local second-hand or thrift stores. You will be surprised what you will find in there sometimes. If you don't like items second-hand, then you will have a MUCH harder time, and I have to ask you: what is wrong with you??? Bonus: it's Green to Re-use! Another tip: if you can, join any Barter, Re-Sell, Exchange groups or sites in your area. There are a couple locally for me that I check, and I have been able to find some amazing things. Another thing on your side: people love to help out with a wedding! I have had a number of responses on my posts about needing items for a wedding, as well as some offers for cheap services too. Former Brides generally love to help Future Brides out.
The downside to this is that you will have to swallow the sometimes bitter pill of Compromise. Get used to this. Sometimes it will be heartbreaking. This is where the priorities of the wedding will help out. Its okay to have those items where you don't want to compromise, but generally, if you are on a tight budget, you will have to get used to it. I've had to. I always dreamed big for my wedding because it was not reality, but now that it is, I have come to keep those old plans as dreams, and look to the more simple side of things. But that doesn't mean that I am compromising style a bit - it's just changed, that's all.
So, I've been looking for easy (because I am NOT a DIY goddess) projects that I can do which will eliminate some expenses. Most of the ideas a decorative, but some are more practical. Here's another thing to keep in mind: after the wedding, what are you going to do with the items? You could give away, re-sell, or keep. Me, I am a fan of keeping. Generally, most of these projects are things that I wouldn't mind keeping ahold of and using in my home. I also like the idea of passing on some items to my kids or other family who are getting married.
Enough chatter, and time for pictures and more chatter :P
INSPIRATION: Burlap Ring Bearer Pillows
The Practical Side: I bought a throw sized burlap covered pillow for $1 at a local Thrift store. I needed 2 small ring bearer pillows, so took it apart and made two smaller pillows. Other materials needed: scissors, thread, other decoration as desired.
REALITY: Now, because I am not the best sewer there is, and because I don' t have a sewing machine, I just hand stitched them with colored thread (to match our "colors", and so we could tell which ring goes to which kid and carries what ring) so there would be a rustic looking frayed edge. Now I just need to decorate them. Here is what they look like now:
INSPIRATION: Burlap roses!
I can't tell you how excited I am by this! I'm not going the traditional route with flowers for this wedding - too expensive. No bouquets for the bridesmaids and no petals for the flower girls. Instead, we are going to do a Rose Ceremony, which basically involves the passing out of flowers to random members of the congregation and having them and the attendants place roses in a vase indicating the support from friends and family of the couple in their marriage. That pretty much eliminated the need for bouquets. But I still wanted to have something to toss. Then I found this. PERFECT!!! Now I just have to determine if I want to do all flowers as burlap. I'm still not sure about how far I want to take this. I could make boutonnieres and bouquets from burlap, and the flowers for the Rose Ceremony. Hmmm ... still have to think of this.
The Practical Side: Burlap cut into strips, glue gun & sticks, floral sticks, opt decorations (pearled hat pins & ribbons. I found burlap sacks for sale at our L&M Fleet Farm @ $.49 a sack! There is a possible down side: since these are used sacks, there is colored writing on them. However, since we're cutting it into strips, I think a dash of color here and there will be a nice dash of color. I've also gotten some pearled corsage or hat pins from my future MIL, so I've got a nice start on what I need. This will be more time than money, I think :)
REALITY: (haven't been able to start this yet)
INSPIRATION: Card Suitcase
This is one I am incredibly excited about!
Two great parts about this: #1: easy transportation for cards, wedding album, and guest book from ceremony to reception site. #2: instant storage for wedding memorabilia after the wedding. You won't have to wonder which box your wedding album is in - you'll know exactly where to find everything!
The Practical Side: this could be costly, or it could be cheap depending on your taste, and just plain luck. Vintage suitcases can be kind of pricey in antique stores, but if you look around, you can probably find something cheap that will do, or you can get something from friends or family. (Note: the type of suitcase you get can also compliment your wedding look. I saw one of these on a site for a 60s california theme that was so retro, it was adorable!) Aside from that you can do just about anything. If you buy craft items and fillers, it can be expensive, but this is where thrifty comes in. I use found items, and I also like using what little craft talent I have, so most of this is going to be pretty cheap.
REALITY: I've got the suitcase! I got it for free on a Barter/Trade site from a woman I am working with on a show. Isn't it perfect? I will keep you all updated on this as I work on it, but this is what I have to start with:
INSPIRATION: Burlap and Doily DIY projects
Isn't this adorable?!?! I was researching old wedding customs and I came across one that said the couple walked from the homes to the church behind a banner. This is kinda the reverse of that, and I just think its cute. So, the flower girls will be the first to exit, carrying this sign as we leave the ceremony. Another good thing: This can be attached to the head table, and displayed in the home for the first couple of months or so. It also makes an adorable hand-me-down.
The Practical Side: Items needed: clear burlap piece, yarn, ribbon, fabric flowers (or items to make your own). I'll keep you posted when I start this!
How much do I love this? SO much. Simple, but adorable. Just take a bunch of paper doilies of various sizes and shapes and put them on christmas lights. If you want color, you can use colored lights or paint the doilies to match your theme. And how adorable would these be on valentines day???
The Practical Side: Items needed: various paper doilies and a string or two of christmas lightsDoily and burlap banner. Again, simple, but versatile. You can spell out words with the doilies, or use felt or other fabric over the doilies for letter, or just leave it as is for simple decoration.
The Practical Side: Items Needed: scissors, thread, burlap, doilies, any additional decorations.
I couldn't find a picture of the finished product, but this is doily flower garland. Just imagine strings of these adorable "buds" creating a curtain around behind you. Even better if you are using a canopy of sorts - especially adorable if the wind is slightly blowing!
The Practical Side: Items Needed: various round doilies, thread, needle
INSPIRATION: The Soundtrack of Us
This is one of the pet projects that I will probably not be able to do, but I love the idea so much that I wanted to share it with all of you:
Make your own wedding/relationship soundtrack! Think about it: music is key in most weddings, and each wedding has its own required playlist. You think you have amazing taste in music, and you think others will enjoy it? Make your own soundtrack!! (I imagine there might be some legal restrictions about selling these, so be careful!) I've already started gathering songs. Most will be determined by your wedding song choices (ie: first dance song, father/daughter dance, etc); but throw in some fun songs that you and your partner just like. I'm throwing in the song that Ahren sang for his first kareoke experience ;) Have FUN with it!
The Practical Side: this can be expensive :( Blank Cds are not badly priced, but to get enough for everyone with cases, will get pricey.
INSPIRATIONS: Mason Jar projects.
I'm not 100% sure where I can use all of these. At this point, we're not sure about needing table decorations at the dance. However, I figured that I would want these in my home either way, so if nothing else, I have options, and I have cute pieces for decorating the home afterwards.Silhouette Mason Jars - whether these are for vases or candy jars or luminaries, they are so sweet and simple. I love the idea, and I think they'll be pretty easy to make. I think I might stick with hearts though - the silhouette might prove to be too hard (I'm not exactly artistic - drawing was never my strong point.)
The Practical Side: Items Needed: mason jars, spray paint, construction paper or stencils and their reverses, tape
Doily Covered Luminaries - again, sweet and simple. The hardest part is going to be finding all the doilies without paying too much. I had not idea how expensive they can get -especially the delicate ones. But they are so beautiful that I just couldn't pass this idea by. It looks like some hot glue and a lot of patience required for these.
The Practical Side: Items Needed: mason jars, fabric doilies, tape or glue, other decorative elements, candles
Chicken Feeder Candy Dish - this is going to prove the most expensive. I've done some searching online and apparently the base alone goes for about $16 a piece. No kidding. I can find really cheap ones (plastic) but they're not so cute - and the colors don't fit the look I am going for. So, if any of these ideas do not get used, it will be this one :(
The Practical Side: Items Needed: Mason Jars, Poultry feeders w/ jar openings, decorative elements as desired, candy
Book page luminaries. Instead of wrapping all the way around, I would place bits and pieces around the mason jars. Concentrating on poems, quotes, famous passages, or just cute art. The best thing about this is that you can do anything with it - you can do themes pieces for seasons or occasions, or just looks. It seems simple enough, and I like making collages, so this should be one I could do fairly easily. Hopefully.
The Practical Side: Items Needed: Mason Jars, book pages, glue & water (can also use tape), paintbrush, candles
I hope you enjoyed this peak into the process! Hopefully I will be able to keep you posted as each of these are made!
Hugs and kisses from the future Mrs!