Couples are discovering and truly embracing the magic of custom, handcrafted details. When you rely on your own crafting talent, it doesn’t always save you money; and without a doubt, it requires an investment in time. Below, we have outlined some helpful hints to keep you sane while creating an event that incorporates your unique taste. Focusing on a few distinctive design elements can be the key to making every detail count on your wedding day.
By adding eye-catching signage to your ceremony and reception space, you are not only adding function, but also style and personality. When determining display options for your signage, take a good look at the space you are using. Are there any remarkable focal points you would like to highlight? Did you catch yourself missing a critical turn that attendees need to take note of? If so, these are great opportunities to create signage for your guests. The key to successfully executing any handcrafted project is to focus on practicality.
Chalkboards serve well to greet guests, display menus or designate table numbers. A larger version can even serve as a fun photo booth backdrop. Purchase a can of chalkboard paint for less than $20 and transform a thrift store silver tray or ceramic serving platter into a menu board to be displayed at the start of your buffet line. Certain fabrics, like canvas, can be painted with your names, monogram or even a simple “welcome” and hung from a hook. Remember to use the same font and/or motif throughout your designed pieces to provide a common focal point that draws guests in easily. If you do not have the highest confidence in your own calligraphy skills, you can hire a calligrapher to work on select pieces for a reasonable price.
Are plain white place cards too vanilla for your style? Good news! There are literally hundreds of unique and cost-efficient ways to direct your guests to their designated tables. Some of our favorite double-duty place cards include wrapping a petite baguette in parchment paper or placing your favorite pastry item in a personalized muslin bag. Just add a simple tag with the guest’s name tied with baker’s twine to create both a place card and a component of your guest’s meal. Another option would be to consider a fun and unique way to display traditional place cards. Incorporating a large-scale installation that displays your seating cards can be both functional and a showpiece for your guests to admire.
Grab your guests’ attention with unique table numbers when they go to find their seats. Use a numerical rubber stamp on fabric or carry your chalkboard signage through to table numbers by using small white ceramic dinner plates. Paint the center of the plate with the chalkboard paint and then use plate stands to prop up each plate on the table. Purchase a neat set of dinner plates at a thrift store or collect unique plates from flea markets or garage sales. Painted papier-mâché letters look great and can make a big statement as well. For a more rustic feel, scraps of wood can be simply stunning adorned with white lettering.
You do not need to break the bank to wow your guests as they arrive at their seats. Small details like sprigs of herbs or fresh greenery make a huge impact on white china or linens. Some of our favorite ideas include menus printed on craft paper or small muslin bags stamped with a monogram or emblem, then stuffed with salted caramels or salt water taffy and tied off with ribbon or twine. Using striped ribbon or twine tied around a simple folded napkin can also make a large impact for just a few dollars.
Many couples are opting out of giving guests wedding favors due to the potential price tag; but here is one solution to that concern—double-duty your guest favors to stretch your budget. Items like mini mason jars filled with fruit crisp or cobbler doubles as a favor and a dessert. Another fabulous idea is to fill small bags with gourmet popcorn or chocolates. Tie the bags closed with ribbon or fold down and seal with a monogrammed self-adhesive sticker. Display them on a cake stand to add another décor element to your cake table. This also allows guests to easily serve themselves and take their favor home with them.
The key to keeping your handcrafted projects stress free is to know your limits and consider your timetable. Many brides become overwhelmed with the countless projects they have planned and often fail to calculate the true time needed to complete each project.
Our advice is to simply focus on the basics. Use an idea you have seen and make it your own. The smallest detail added to a place card or menu may be all that is needed. Remember, often less is more. In the end, your guests will be impressed with the thoughtfulness behind your day rather than the extensive projects you have displayed in every corner.