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Here’s a very special wedding that I can’t wait to share with you. Christina and Jason are serious DIY-ers and this wedding was both beautiful and totally unique to them. Christina and Jason married on September 19 of this year at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Christina and Jason met through  friends- although Jason’s version is that he won a date with Christina in a bet. Love that.

There are so many things that I love about Christina and Jason’s wedding, but I’ll let Christina give you the details herself…

From the bride… The Brooklyn Historical Society was our backup choice when our original space closed, but after seeing the library I knew it would be perfect. Plus it was only a few blocks from our apartment so it really allowed us to show off our neighborhood to all our guests, as did the grill out we had for all the out-of-towners the afternoon before on our roof deck overlooking Manhattan.

From the bride… We tried to make our wedding as personal as possible by including our friends and family during the planning and big day as well as adding personal touches to the ceremony and reception. Save-the-Dates, Invitations, Escort Cards, Menu wraps, Signs, Cake topper, Wedding Ceremony Musicians/Speakers/Officiant, Biscotti, Cupcakes, Mojitos: made by us, friends, and family. Also the favors were little honey jars with honey from Jason’s mom’s farm. Our rings were made by Jason’s sister friend, my engagement ring is a black pearl.



I love all of the DIY that went into this wedding. So beautiful.Check out these amazing amazing table numbers too. Fitting for their venue, and absolutely elegant.

From the bride…   The song my dad and I danced to, Una Noite, a Spanish waltz, was the same song my grandmother used to play in Cuba to let my grandfather (then her neighbor) know it was a good time to come visit. When the ceremony recessional song (Black Eyed Peas: I Got a Feeling) was played later in the night and Jason and I were dancing surrounded by all our friends and family. That was the best part of the day.

And her advice to other brides (and grooms out there)… Relax and enjoy the process, at the end of the day you just want to enjoy a wonderful ceremony and party with your new hubby. Jason’s advice to grooms-to be is just be available 🙂

From the bride…
Vendors Included:
MUSIC: DJ Gaza/Gary Hoffman (He was amazing)

FLOWERS: Vine NYC
*plus orchids from the flower district that my family helped put together

CATERER: Naturally Delicious

NAILS: Perfectly Polished
*treated the bridesmaids to Breakfast and Pampering the morning of the wedding, it was a great, relaxing way to start the day


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 Oh programs. So annoying. So left to last minute. So easily the bane of the day before the wedding. Here’s a tip. Get it done as early as you can. Try to make sure your music, your altar posse and your readings are confirmed early so you can print these out and get it done ASAP. It’s also a REALLY good idea to bring one to the rehearsal. It serves as a nice guideline for “what comes next” with a room full of people who are probably just thinking about dinner. 

Here are a few ideas for DIY Programs to get you started…

TRADITIONAL PROGRAMS

Photo Courtesy of The Knot.com

Photo Courtesy of The Knot.com

This specific set of instructions is from Caitlin & Mike’s Blue Ceremony Programs from The Knot

What You Need:
•  8 1/2″ x 11″ navy blue card stock
•  3″ x 3″ light blue invitation liner paper 
•  2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ white paper card stock printed with your monogram
•  20″ to 30″ light blue ribbon (about 1/4″ thick) 
•  *7 1/2″ x 10″ paper printed landscape-style with the ceremony info
      •  Mini hole puncher
 •  Glue or spray adhesive

How to Make Them:
•  Fold the sheet of navy blue card stock in half width-wise.
•  Glue the light blue paper square onto the middle of the folded navy blue card stock. Let dry.
•  Glue the monogram-printed white square on top of the recycled paper square. Let dry.
•  Fold the inner page(s) width-wise and tuck into the inside of the blue program cover so that the pages come together like a booklet.
•  Close the booklet with the pages still inside, and punch two holes exactly on the fold line and 2″ to 3″ away from the program’s top and bottom.
•  Open the booklet and loop the light blue ribbon through the holes. Close the booklet and tie a bow around the outside to bind it together.

* Tip: Don’t have 7 1/2″ x 10″ paper? Use an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet for the inner pages — just set the print area for 7 1/2″ x 10″ and then trim the edges after printing. Print pages 1 and 4 on one side and pages 2 and 3 on the other. 

 

 

“COOTIE CATCHER” Programs

 

Program "Cootie catchers" from Kat's Krafts (Etsy)

Program "Cootie catchers" from Kat's Krafts (Etsy)

 

I was chatting about days gone by with some of my girlfriends on the beach this weekend and we started talking about cootie catchers. You know that “foldy game” you played at the cafeteria tables at lunch or during recess on the playground. I actually don’t know if that’s what we used to call this, but it’s the one with colors and numbers and fortunes inside 🙂  “You will marry Michael Stiles.” False. (thank god)  Turns out there is a useful and practical way to incorporate this childhood game into your ceremony… programs. You can buy these (show above) from Kat’s Krafts, which have been featured on Brides.com and New York Weddings Summer 2009 issue. You can attempt to fashion your own, which might be a little more difficult with nice paper and printed ink instead of loose-leaf and a ball-point pen, but knock yourself out. If you give up, and prefer the best, go to Kat’s Krafts and shop around there. Her prices are: First 25 = $37.50 ($1.50 each), each additional up to 100 (add $1/each), each additional over 100 (add $.75/each). Prices are subject to orders though so go and look around.

 

PROGRAM POCKETS

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

The paper is from Paper Presentation. You’ll need ribbon and a rubber stamp to customize the pockets, but all you have to do is fold up the bottom of the pocket, secure with a adhesive, and place smaller cards (print on a computer in sheets if need be) into the pocket. Loop colored ribbon through the top and hang.

 

BOW PROGRAMS

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

To Make:
To make these programs (one letter-size sheet yields two programs), arrange your text horizontally on the page in landscape mode over four columns. Cut the sheet in half, wrap a 10-by-7/8-inch band around the center, and tape in back. Bend the ends of each program toward the center and tuck them under the band, making sure they overlap slightly.

 

LUGGAGE TAG PROGRAMS

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Perfect for the traveling couple. This program is put together to resemble a bundle of luggage tags.

To Make:

1. Six “tags” can be printed on a sheet of thick 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper. Choose an ink color that coordinates with the paper for the covers. Print your program text onto the paper, along with cut lines that divide the sheet into six rectangles; then cut out rectangles.

2. Make a tag template from sturdy paper to use as a guide in trimming each rectangle: Cut the top two corners using scalloped shears. Punch a hole in the top of each page; add a hole reinforcer over each hole.

3. For covers, glue patterned paper to plain, and cut into the same shape; add a hole reinforcer. Tie the bundle of tags together with twine, yarn, or embroidery thread.

 

And when all else fails…


DOWNLOADABLE  PROGRAM TEMPLATES

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Customize your programs right at home. Choose from different motifs, and three different shades: orange, aqua or gray.  If you want to add more visual punch, we suggest you experiment with the paper color. MSW chose paper in a range of soft, complimentary hues like peach, coral, and pale sage for a palette that’s at once soothing and arresting.

To Make:
Type in your wedding date, print on letter-size paper or card stock, fold in half, and bind with rayon cords.

Printable Directions
Template in Black
Template in Gray

 

It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of scripty scrolly text, but play with the details of your program so that they are very “you.” Change up the type using fun fonts like typewriter settings (Courier) or use two different patterned ribbons with similar color themes  that compliment each other or Use stylized paper cutters to add flair to plain square programs/ (See Below)

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

 

For more ideas check out 25 Perfect Programs on Martha Stewart Weddings. She wins in the DIY Program category.

So as much as I love and find it necessary to be surrounded in flowers… sometimes they are the first to go in the great wedding budget cut. It’s true. Flowers can be one of the more expensive things in your plan, and people have different feelings about this. You know my feelings. I worked in a flower shop for two years when I was 16 and can’t seem to shake the petals from my hair. I love them. And for me, they’re up there with food, and music as VIP wedding “big bucks” items. BUT, it’s different for everyone, AND it’s absolutely possible to maintain a beautiful wedding sans enormous blooms with simple elegant elements. Here’s how…

CHEAP FLOWERS IN BULK

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

This is one of my favorite rules, and if you are a regular Wedding Belles reader, you know that I talk about this often. You can maintain a really beautiful look at your wedding by using uniform flowers… lots and lots of them. Daisy’s, mums, carnations and tulips look AMAZING in large bunches. Simple and sophisticated.

 

BRANCHING OUT

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Especially if you’re planning a wedding that incorporates natural elements, using branches instead of flowers can be a very sleek and modern centerpiece substitute for mounds of fluffy petals. Incorporating other details like ribbon, hang tags, and even food can give your centerpieces a modern look for less. Just don’t go overboard.

 

MOOD LIGHTING

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

 

Candles are a great way to light your party, and your guests faces for photographs. Ambiance is very important, and creating different lighting schemes can changes the theme and style of your event. Substituting high candlesticks with lower votives along with small floral elements can add a unique style to your table. I have something similar to this on my dining room table now. Crate & Barrel, CB2, and Anthropologie have beautiful and really inexpensive faux glass candlesticks with beautiful embellishment. Add bright candlesticks, a dash of floral color and you’re done!

 

GIFT GIVER

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Showcase  your favors in beautifully packaged boxes as table centerpieces. Fill them with assorted candies, handmade soaps and stacked elegantly on white cake stands. 

 

FOUND OBJECTS

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

 

Nix the typical centerpice vases and head to your local flea market in search of found objects to incorporate into your wedding style. Use mismatched shapes and style to create a whimsical look on each table with simple florals.


WRAP IT UP

Etsy Seller Two Inspire You $55

Etsy Seller Two Inspire You $55

 

Turning a wreath on it’s back and filling the inside with high candlesticks or hurricane lamps with lighting is another way to make a smaller affair seem more intimate. Choose the wreathe carefully, and make sure your elements go together. 

Over the years, I have found that table numbers are just one of those things that is left until about 5 minutes before the reception starts. People remember the place cards but forget about the table numbers.  So people know where they’re supposed to go, and then poof…a sea of tables without numbers. NIGHTMARE.

There are so many great DIY Table Number ideas out there. You can use numbers, your favorite locations, names pertinent to the people sitting at them. I worked one wedding where the couple used postcards of every place they had ever visited. Another friend had table names that match the people sitting at them. A table full of college friends sat at a table named after their favorite college bar, while the bridal party sat at the “VIP” table. There are so many different ways to go, and here’s the bet part you can DIY and save tons of money!

Below are some of my favorite Table Numbers and Names projects! Happy crafting!

DIY TABLE NUMBER TEMPLATES FROM MARTHA

DIY Table Number Templates from Martha Stewart

DIY Table Number Templates from Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart offers templates that you can just print out yourself onto heavy card stock. There are two choices for border styles- one with a regular looping scallop, and one with more “free form” loops. There’s also a template without a number in case you’d rather insert your own text.

Directions: If you want the table numbers to be visible from two directions, print two per table, and place cut along the outer oval line and slip them into a place card holder or easel.

 

DIY PHOTO TABLE CARDS

DIY Photo Table Numbers from Martha

DIY Photo Table Numbers from Martha

 

Another Martha Stewart inspired Table card is one with a photo of yourselves. The bride and groom hold up a number…a la Sesame Street, and VOILA! Table Card. Personally, I think these would be more adorable if you made funny faces in them. These are really great for an informal weddings or even showers.  Stick with the black and white though so it doesn’t clash with your flowers or centerpieces. Have them made into 4-by-6-inch matte prints and mount them on colored tented card stock to match your theme!

Directions: Glue each photo onto 4 1/8-by-6 1/8-inch paper. To make the “tent,” start with a piece of 11-by-17-inch card stock and cut a strip that is 17 by 4 3/8 inches (each piece of card stock can make two); fold strip in half width wise. Score, and make a fold 2 1/8 inches from each end to form flaps for base. Glue photograph to one panel of the tent. Overlap base flaps by about 1 inch; use double-sided tape to secure.

 

WINE BOTTLE TABLE NUMBERS

 

DIY Wine Bottle Table Numbers from Martha Stewart

DIY Wine Bottle Table Numbers from Martha Stewart

Three cheers for Martha and her DIY ideas. Here’s one more from the MSLO family.  If you and your hubby are serious wine aficionados, or your wedding is being held at a swanky upstate or downstate winery, consider making the wine you’re serving at dinner double as the table number.

Directions: Just cover existing labels with graphic numbers printed on cover-weight paper using double-sided tape for a very chic look.

 

DIY LOCATION TABLE NUMBERS

DIY Map Table Numbers- Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

DIY Map Table Numbers- Photo Courtesy of Brides.com

So here’s that location idea I was telling you about. Use postcards, or maps, or just text on pretty backgrounds. Here, instead of table numbers, Elizabeth and Charles opted for names of Hawaiian islands instead of actual Table numbers.

Directions: Print out Location Names on translucent clear vellum paper and place on top of any image you’d like behind it. In this case it’s a map. But it could be pretty much anything, as long as you can read the word. Then head to your local craft store for antique looking frames and insert. Done and Done.

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