DIY Thursday Update

July 14, 2011

It’s been loads of fun blogging with Charlie over at Fifties Wedding.  I hope you’ll take the time to check out the weekly post each week about DIY projects and other cool stuff.  Today’s post is especially useful as it applies to any wedding, any season.

Make your own garland is a simple, low-cost DIY project anyone can do!  Jump on over to the Fifties Wedding blog today for the links to great tutorials and photos for each of these garland ideas:

For a Spring time wedding – Tissue Paper Flowers Garland from Ruffled

For a Summertime wedding – Shell Garland from Completely Coastal

For a Fall wedding – Leaf Garland from Lorajean’s Magazine

For a Wintertime wedding – Snowflake Garland from Hello Naomi


DIY Wedding Budget

June 27, 2011

Total Budget: $15,500
*This is for my ideal wedding! Use it as a guide for your own.*

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Ceremony @ Five Mile Chapel
Reception @ Moonlight Gardens

  • Ceremony: = $500 Chapel + officiant + DIY isle décor+ licenses
  • DIY Flowers & decor = $800 (White dahlias & olive branch & herb centerpieces)
  • Attire = $500 (Slim dress w/open back and navy pin stripe suit w/hats)
  • Photography = $2000 (with DIY dress-up photo shoot for us and guests)
  • Gifts & DIY Favors: = $500 ($200 [family] $200 [guests] $100 [eachother]) No attendants OR family only (as attendants)
  • Wedding bands = $600
  • Transportation = $500 (limo rental)
  • Reception = $6000 (150 ppl  – includes venue/coordination/service/tips/plated dinner/signature drinks/champagne/beverages)
  • Entertainment = $1500 (Ballroom dancers [1 or 2 couples] and music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s – DIY playlist during dinner; live band after dinner)
  • DIY Desserts = $200 (mini cupcakes and other assorted mini desserts)
  • Wedding night accommodations = $150
  • Honeymoon = $2500 (not included in pie chart below)

*DIY Budget total = $1200 [9%] (flowers, décor, favors, and desserts)


Budget cuts!!! This budget is for an ideal wedding.  In all reality, most DIY brides won’t have $15k to drop on a wedding (nor do we really want to spend that much).  I’d prefer to spend about a third of that, plus the honeymoon.   Some of the items that will likely be down sized are listed below.  These are common areas where you can make cuts to save money.

  • DIY Flowers & Decor – save $400 by using artificial blooms and borrowed vases for centerpieces
  • Photography – save $1000 by booking the wedding on a Friday or Sunday
  • Wedding bands – save $600 by financing rings
  • Transportation – save $400 by replacing a a limo with a cool car driven by a friend or family member
  • Reception – save $2000 by booking the wedding on a Friday or Sunday, reducing the number of guests, and choosing a buffet instead of plated dinner
  • Entertainment – save $1500 by sacrificing hired entertainment
  • Honeymoon – save $2500 by financing honeymoon

Total savings = $8,400!

New, lower budget = $7,100 (54% less than “dream” budget)

(note – you’ll be paying monthly for wedding rings and honeymoon expenses charged to a credit card)

I can handle a $7,000 wedding budget!!! If you still can’t swallow that much, I would suggest a major downsize of the wedding guests to just close family and friends.  This is what wedding planners call an “intimate” wedding.  If the venue is too big for a small wedding, consider going to a local restaurant with a party room our large outdoor deck/patio.

Key point – the percentages of your wedding budget should stay roughly the same even with budget cuts.  The reception, food, and beverage costs should be roughly 50% of the total budget.  The next largest spending category should be for photography, right around 10%.


DIY Wedding Dresses

June 20, 2011

The following dresses are on my list of what’s hot for this year.  I love the slimming designs and simple sophistication.  Between me and my mom, we are hoping to create a version of the first dress from La Femme (15027) for my wedding day.  For more inspiration and some amazing designs, check out New York Dress.  I am completely obsessed!

La Femme 15027 back viewLa Femme 15027

La Femme

Beautiful wedding dress patterns 


Justin Alexander
Justin Alexander

Crocheted wedding gown by Claire Pettibone

Crocheted wedding dress from Claire Pettibone


Related articles

Photo sources:
 Olive branch and herb centerpieces
Carillon Beach Meeting house
Dahlia bouquet
Wedding dress
Rae Leytham Photography 


Probably the coolest way to decorate your cake these days is using fondant and lots of details.  For the DIY-er that may be a little on the risky side.  Airbrushing, however, is not so scary.  You’ll still use the fondant for a smooth and polished look, but the colors achieved with airbrushing are amazing.

One of my favorites was a small sunset-colored cake with palm tree silhouettes.  A professional baker may not always have the ability to offer airbrushing but if they do – check out their work samples.  The lines of the design should be natural with well blended colors of various shades.

Recently on TV, I saw an airbrushed wedding cake with a coy-pond theme.  The decorator used the airbrushing techniques perfectly to create waves that seemed to roll and crash all around the cake and provide an overall blue-green piece of eye candy adorned with happy orange fish all over.  From the Amazing Wedding Cakes show, here’s the link to the cake.

Tutorial: Watch the video on!