Wedding Wednesday | Creating a Budget

One of the first stages of planning a wedding is setting down a firm budget for your big day. This can be somewhat of a daunting task and while it is easy to say “I want a DIY wedding with a painfully low budget”, it is even easier to spend two times your spending goal.  In order to achieve your perfect day without breaking the bank, you have to have a clear vision of what you want and be willing to adjust your expectations accordingly. You can have your perfect beautiful wedding regardless of your budget, and here’s how I plan on achieving mine.

Dream

As I mentioned above, you have to create a clear image in your head about exactly what kind of wedding you want and how you want it to look and feel. It’s important to discuss your visions with your fiancé, and be sure you are both on the same page about what you imagine your day to be. Kyle and I agreed immediately that a small wedding ceremony and a larger reception was what we want, so we began throwing ideas around for themes, colours and venues. Wether you want a a small backyard wedding, a glamorous event or a all-out shindig, knowing what you want is crucial in creating a budget that works for you.

Research

It’s hard to work on a realistic budget that accommodates most of what you want for your big day if you don’t know what things cost in your area. Perhaps, for example, you budget $1000 for a photographer and learn that photography packages in your area start at $2000. This is where research comes in. I often times take to the Facebook page for local brides to find answers to questions on many topics, including approximate pricing for certain vendors. The internet is your friend when it comes to planning a wedding and most everything you are looking for can be found on the world wide web. Find email addresses for those vendors who do not list their prices and ask them directly. Once you have an idea of what, approximately, everything costs, you can sit down and decide what a reasonable and realistic budget looks like.

Count Heads

The number of guests you plan on having attend your big day is directly linked to how much money you’ll spend. Catering is a huge expense for weddings, and its one that Kyle and I have eliminated from our plans. While we have decided against a traditional sit-down reception dinner, we still have to feed our wonderful family and friends. It is important to know how many mouths you need to feed and in what capacity you intend on doing so. Not to spoil any surprises to my readers who will be in attendance, but we will be having a pub food type of casual buffet prior to the dance, and we are considering having pizzas delivered later in the night. Our budget will rely on this detail, and can be adjusted once we receive RSVP’s, as the odds that all of our invited guests will be able to make it is slim. Another cost affiliated with numbers is the amount of chairs I’ll need to rent for the ceremony. Once again, knowing how many people will be in attendance is necessary in forming an accurate budget.

Save! & Cut Costs Where Possible

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With regards to saving, assess your financial situation, and decide how much you can reasonably save. It can be challenging, but putting away 15-20% of your monthly income is a great way to ensure you have the funds you need to throw the biggest party of your life! I recommend storing that money in an account that isn’t easily accessed (so a trip to Sephora doesn’t become a shopping spree with a swipe of a card). The account we chose to use was one in which in order to access the money I must contact the bank to release the money, with a 24 hour hold. This is not my “in case of emergency” account! That’s about all I’ll say about my saving methods. Do what works for you!

Moving on to cutting costs. Venues can be the majority of your cost of a wedding, along side of catering that is. An issue I was running into when it came to venues was that most places required you to pay for their contracted caterers, not allowing for any external food or drink to be brought to the premises. This clearly didn’t work with what we envisioned for our day. I had to search for venues that allowed for us to bring our own food. Luckily, I think I’ve found the perfect place for our reception, and although it is a little outside of town, it fits what we want and is under budget! We are having our ceremony in my parents backyard, which sounds like a $0.00 venue – but you have to consider a rental of a tent in case of weather and the chair rental as well. That being said, it is still an extremely affordable alternative to any of the venue spaces in my hometown, and it definitely fits within the laid back, relaxed and intimate feel we are going for.

As I said, catering is another expense we did everything in our power to cut down on. While it will still be a few hundred dollars to adequately feed our family and friends, upon doing my research it became clear to me that our choice was definitely saving us some serious cash.

You have to decide what is absolutely important to have and what you can live without when it comes to your wedding day. Kyle and I won’t be hiring a videographer or a professional DJ or live band. Those options alone cut down on our cost. We still intend on having a photographer, but I am hoping to have a talented friend or acquaintance take our photos, who isn’t necessarily a professional but who I am confident will provide beautiful snapshots of our day. These are things Kyle and I both agree we can do without, in order to put our money behind things we deem more important. For instance, my dress. Though I fully intend on finding a killer deal on a “last year’s model”, I still want to budget a little higher in order to guarantee that I walk down the isle feeling and looking like a million bucks. Also, while I can confidently say I can do my makeup myself (and enjoy doing it), I am going to be hiring someone to do my hair, without question!

I am very lucky that I have a talented mom by my side (metaphorically…as she’s 6000km away), who is excited to create all of our beautiful decorations with me. This will be a budget friendly aspect, as I will pay for supplies for the DIY project and between the both of us we will make all of the decorations needed to make it beautiful. The DIY quality will add to the laid back, rustic feel. I’ll also be making the party favours and the gifts to bridal party. I’ll be making my own save-the-dates and invites as well, once again cutting down the cost significantly.

It’s all about what you want and need on your wedding day and what you can do without, or do yourself without a professional.

Stay Firm

Remember there is a reason you chose the budget you did. Do everything in your power to stay within your budget throughout the entire planning stage. Understand that surprises come up, things may turn out to be more expensive than originally planned for, so always have a little extra tucked away for those instances, but don’t decide that a $1000 photo booth for your guests is all of a sudden a total must and increase your budget to accommodate. That’s a surefire way of doubling your spending very quickly. Stay firm on your budget and your vision. If you decide that the $1000 photo booth for your guests really is a total must, you’ll have to choose something on your budget list that is no longer a total must. Adjust the items on your budget, not the budget itself.

Stay Organized 

It is always really helpful to have a list of your budget and expenses to constantly revert back to. A while back, when I created my DIY wedding planner, I included links to my favourite worksheets to include in my binder. One of those worksheets was a budget page, one with predetermined expenses and vendors and another that was completely customizable. If you didn’t catch that post, check it out here DIY Wedding Planner Binder.  Making lists and seeing numbers helps to keep yourself on track, and thus staying firm with your budget.

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Once you’ve nailed down your budget, the real fun begins! Choosing colour schemes, decoration ideas, renting venues and ordering your cake, making dress shopping appointments and everything in between! Talking money isn’t always the most fun – but the planning stage becomes a lot less overwhelming when you get it all sorted.

There you have it, the important things to remember when creating your budget. I hope this helps you decide on your vision and your budget for you big day! Comment down below if you have any tips for me in achieving my DIY wedding and saving even more money!

As always, thanks for reading. Be sure to like, comment and share!

xoxo,
blushing bride.

2016 Christmas Greeting Cards

In 2014, while living in Mississippi, Kyle and I walked to the beach with Maisy, my camera and tripod in tow in hopes of capturing a few photos to use for our Christmas cards. We hadn’t done it before, and because our resources at the time were painfully limited, we tired our best to get worthy snaps. Kyle kept me calm through my frustrations and after about an hour of countless different poses and angles, I was satisfied with the result (or was tired of trying). The greeting cards actually came out to be pretty adorable, and remain some of my favorite photos of us to date. (see below!)

Naturally, when we returned to Newfoundland in 2015, we wanted to do it again! (At least I did!) The weather wasn’t cooperating for outdoor photos and time was of the essence, so one of my best friends, Chelsea, and her man Richer, came to our apartment and took some photos of us in front of our little tree. I’m going to take this opportunity to thank Chelsea and Richer for their patience…it was touch and go with Miss Maisy to say the least! Once again, our Christmas cards turned out to look pretty cute, and I ended up loving the photos.

This year I knew it was going to be a little different, being that Kyle is half way across the country. A family photo just wasn’t going to happen this year and I had to get my head around that in a hurry. So, I came up with another way to achieve an equally as wonderful family Christmas greeting card despite our distance. I made myself and Kyle a sign each, One that said “Merry” and another that said “Christmas” and sent one to Regina to him. The idea was simple, get a photo holding up the sign! Kyle is extremely busy at Depot, and I knew it would be a struggle for him to arrange for someone to take a photo of him, so I kept it simple! I took a selfie with my “Christmas” sign one morning before work, outside by our evergreen tree while Maisy ran around for a minute of fresh air. Kyle took a selfie with his “Merry” sign after class in his pit (dorm room). I found my favorite photo of Maisy sitting pretty in the green grass, and viola! Our 2016 Christmas card photos were created! I took to Vistaprint and found a layout that couldn’t have been more perfect, ordered them in a hurry (as I was far too late in the game to order regular shipping) and I scored a great deal on 30 Christmas cards as they were 50% off. What a steal! I always encourage being creative and finding unique ways to achieve whatever project you are working on, and it definitely helped in this situation.

I am beyond happy with the results, and once again despite the odds, we have a beautiful Christmas card to send out to our family and friends, albeit a little late. It just goes to show that there is always a way, no matter the distance!  So, to wherever you are from wherever we are: Merry Christmas and  the warmest of wishes!

christmas-card

xoxo,
blushinbride!

Categories DIY

A Box of Christmas Cheer

I’m so excited that I can finally talk about this! As most of you know, Kyle is currently at the RCMP academy in Saskatchewan. Given that he is enduring some pretty tough training and has been away for a few months, I wanted to surprise him with a little bit of Christmas to keep him going for the month of December! So, I planned a box of Christmas Cheer and created his very own Advent Calendar of gifts. I wrapped 24 gifts for him to unwrap one a day until Christmas Day. He only received it three days ago so I can’t give away all the goodies he’s going to unwrap, just in case he actually has time to read this post! However, I can reveal what three little “happys” he has opened already and give you some ideas to achieve your own Box of Christmas Cheer!

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Let me start by saying that most of the 24 gifts resemble what you’d find in your stocking on Christmas morning. This made it so that I could afford all 24 gifts, with some big surprises scattered throughout that he won’t be expecting! I started planning this in September, and slowly purchased a little at a time, so it wouldn’t burn a hole in my pocket all at once. As I said before, there are a few presents scattered throughout that are meant to be bigger, more significant gifts, so I was sure to label each present with a sticky note to remind me what was inside. That way, when I had all 24 gifts, I was able to write a list of what order I wanted him to open them in, so that the big gifts were spaced out nicely.  Once I determined what order the gifts are meant to be opened in, I started making my own gift tags, to write the date on each gift! I used Christmas scrap booking paper, twine, scissors and a hole punch to create the gift tags. I used red and green markers to write each day of December on the respective gifts.

Once the box was ready, I used my typewriter to type a little message to him, and explain what he’s just opened and what to do with it! I also used a little washi tape to decorate the inside flaps of the box. I didn’t take a photo at the time but asked Kyle to take a quick snap of it, which I’ve added below!

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So far, Kyle has only opened December 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, which means he’s opened 2 medicated Burt’s Bees chapsticks on December 1st (his favorite brand), he opened a Tim Horton’s gift card on December 2nd, shaving cream and a razor on December 3rd and tonight, December 4th, he opened a pack of peanuts! Again, I am not going to write a list of the other gifts I included as I don’t want to ruin any surprises. If you want to know what else he’s opened throughout the month of December, leave a comment below and I will include what gifts he opened at the end of my upcoming posts over the next few weeks! There are so many ideas for this Box of Cheer, and I suggest picking up things that the recipient would like. Favorite candies or snacks (non-perishable), favorite beauty accessories (for a female), wardrobe accessories, the list goes on! No really, it does:

  • gift cards to his/her favorite places (restaurants or retail stores)
  • travel sized cologne
  • car freshener
  • wallet
  • mini screwdriver set
  • manicure set
  • nail polishes
  • money clip
  • deodorant
  • shaving cream / razors
  • Christmas ornament
  • note pads
  • makeup
  • flash light
  • books
  • earbuds
  • phone case
  • mittens, hats, scarves
  • underwear
  • socks
  • magazine
  • small candles
  • wrist watch
  • FOR KIDS : coloring books, dinkies, legos, toy figurines, stickers, bubbles.

 A great resource if you start to run out of your own ideas is to search online for a list of stocking stuffer ideas! For the larger, more significant gifts, just include what you’d purchase for them to go under the tree and add it to the box!

Another idea is to create a themed basket of gifts, or instead of a full 24 days of gifts, just do the 12 days leading up to Christmas instead! I chose to do 24 days, because when Kyle gets home for Christmas on December 25, I can have the 25th gift waiting for him when I pick him up at the airport! This box of cheer will get him through the entire month of December leading up to his short little visit back home.

This was an extremely fun thing to put together for the man I love! If you recreate the Box of Cheer in any way, be sure to show me! Use the hashtag #holiDIYswithsteph on instagram so I can see! Don’t forget to comment if you’d like to know what else Kyle has opened for next week’s post.

Thanks for visiting!

xoxo,
blushinbride!

Categories DIY

DIY Glitter Reindeer Frame and Christmas Hacks!

Well, another week of November zoomed past and its time for a new blog post! Today I’m showing you how to make a simple Glitter Reindeer Frame, which makes for a great decor piece anywhere in your home, and I am also talking about some Christmas hacks you can try to make Christmas that much more spectacular!

DIY Glitter Reindeer Frame

You will need

  • an 8×10 photo frame (old, unused or purchased at a dollar store)
  • scrap booking paper or wrapping paper, in the color and pattern of your choosing
  • hot glue gun & glue
  • scissors
  • embellishment ( a flat ornament – I got the reindeer at Dollar Tree while in MS)

Step one
Take the back of the photo frame off, and take out the glass. (If there is a mat or a fake photo inside, put it to one side. you can place it back in behind the scrap booking paper at the end).

Step two
Use the glass to trace the size onto the paper you chose. I recommend tracing the line on the back of the paper so any lines don’t appear on the pretty patterned side. Once you’ve traced it, go ahead and cut it out!

Step three
Put the frame back together, adding your paper, but make sure your paper is in front of the glass, so that it is exposed.

Step four
Take the embellishment of your choice and glue it to the center of the frame and you are done! I’m not kidding.

The green themed frame was crafted by my friend, Chelsea! I love the pattern she chose for hers! You can customize yours however you want and that is the beauty of this DIY! Options are endless! I estimate the cost of this project is around $5.00! It can be accomplished for even cheaper if you use a frame you already own and if you have paper and embellishments already in your inventory! Quick tip about the frame: because you aren’t utilizing the glass itself, you can take the paper and reindeer out after the season and reuse the frame again!

Christmas Hacks!

Hack #1 – Make a Plan! 


If you’ve seen my first wedding DIY, where I make my own wedding planner, you can probably guess that I love to plan things…probably more than I like actually doing those things! This hack is basically suggesting the same concept. I’ve taken an unused binder I had laying around and put it to good use! I took to Pinterest and what do you know, I found some free worksheet printables for Christmas! I even found some cute binder covers as well. I printed the ones that were relevant to me and slipped them in the binder.

Some worksheets I used were the Christmas card list, the Christmas gift budget and I also printed the Christmas decor inventory list. That may sound crazy, but as I have mentioned before, this is a great way to see what you have to avoid double purchasing items. Its also a great way to see what you can re-purpose! Blankets can be turned into pillow covers, tree ornaments can be used in DIYs. It helps to save $ when you are on that budget (as I always am).

Hack #2 – Pinocchio the Tree – Make it look REAL

I’ve always had artificial trees growing up and I love that you can have it year after year! As I said before, I am on a budget, so the trees (yes I said trees…I have two) I have are pretty inexpensive and kinda look skimpy out of the box. (As seen in the first photo above). Trust me when I say that they look amazing if you show them some TLC! One of the most unforgiving aspects of an artificial tree is often the trunk! A tip I recently learned was to wrap thin (dollar store) garland pictured above, around the trunk of the tree, spreading some limbs to disguise the otherwise cheap and fake looking trunk! I do believe that this is a stroke of genius! While an artificial tree is usually easy to spot, at least this hack makes your tree look full and beautiful albeit coming straight from a box! You can see how much fuller my tree looks in the third photo above! My hope for you is that you discover this hack before your tree is decorated like mine was! It’s a little more tricky to wrap the garland around when you are trying to avoid the baubles, trust me!! (But it can still be done!) Another great idea to make your window sill or fireplace mantle garland look realistic is actually using real yard trimmings and stick them throughout the garland!

Hack #3 – Smells like Christmas! – DIY potpourri 

“One man’s toxic sludge is another man’s potpourri” -The Grinch 

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Sometimes there is no better way of describing a smell than saying “it smells like Christmas”. Now, I love Bath and Body Works holiday candles as much as the next human being, but sometimes I just don’t have the coin for that! That’s why I love this DIY stove-top potpourri! I’ve been making this since the first Christmas season I spent in Mississippi. It is so easy! You add orange slices, cranberries and some cinnamon (sticks or just powder) into a pot of water, let it sit and simmer on your stove and breathe in the smell of Christmas! The cinnamon sticks would make for a prettier, Pintrest worthy photo, but I recommend just using what you have! That’s all I ever do!

So, there you have it! Those are some of the ideas I have for making my Christmas even more spectacular than it already is. If you like what you’ve seen and recreate any of these projects, I want to see! Be sure to follow me on Instagram @blushingbrideDIY and use the hashtag #HoliDIYswithSteph so I can admire the cool things you’ve done! Thank you for visiting my blog, and stay tuned for next week’s post! It’ll be the last post of November and I’ll make it count! As always, keep creating!

xoxo,
blushinbride

Categories DIY

DIY Christmas Decor!

THIS IS NOT A DRILL, CHRISTMAS EVE IS 6 WEEKS FROM TODAY!!

I’ve been having a lot of fun creating these cute and easy DIYs and today I’m finally going to show you how to make two of these affordable decor items that I’m sporting in my own apartment this year! The first one I’m going to talk about is the easiest in the world to put together and it immediately adds a festive feel to your space.

Christmas Vase

What you need:

  • Glass Vase (any shape or size you desire. I had two laying around)
  • Christmas baubles (size and colour of your choice)
  • decorative bells (optional)
  • Twine (optional)
  • scissors

The steps are extremely easy! Choose your vase, decide on a colour scheme that works well with your decor theme, fill the vase with medium and small side baubles, throw in some bells if you choose and you are done! Simple as that! I chose to add some twine around the top of the vase and added some small bells as an embellishment on one, and for the other I used the same red and white twine to hang a decoration I found at the Dollar Tree. These vases are perfect for a nightstand piece in your bedroom or a centerpiece on your coffee table, kitchen table or fireplace mantle.

Kitchen Under Wraps! Decorated Cupboard Doors

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What you’ll need:

  • Christmas ribbon (I used an entire spool of 2.7 m)
  • large Christmas bows (I found mine at Dollarama)
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun & glue
  • tape

This is another extremely easy way to jazz up your kitchen. My first tip is to go ahead and measure the amount of ribbon needed for the doors. Cut the ribbon to size, and before attaching them to the cupboard, I recommend hot gluing the large bow onto the ribbon first! (This way, the  excess hot glue won’t seap through the ribbon, onto your cupboard and adhere.) Once the bow is glued to the ribbon, wrap the ends of the ribbon around the top and bottom of the cupboard door and tape the ends down securely. That’s it!! I chose to only decorate three of my cupboard doors, as my bows were large and I didn’t want to clutter my already small space.

Christmas Book Stacks

These are my absolute favourite thus far! Perfect for bedroom decor. Though they are a little more complex than the previous two DIYs, they are still very easy and affordable to create. I have tried my best to include photos of each step.

What you’ll need:

  • Hard cover books
  • wrapping paper and/or scrap booking paper
  • embellishments, Christmas picks, ornaments
  • hot glue gun
  • tape
  • scissors

Step One.
Choose two or three different sized hard cover books, depending on how many you wish to stack. Then choose your wrapping or scrapbook paper. You want to be sure that your choose paper that compliments each other. I usually choose to put the busier pattern on the bottom tier. I also went with only two books as I didn’t have many hard cover books that varied in size. Once you choose your papers, you are going to wrap the books.

Step Two.
To wrap, cover the spine, front and back of the book, and secure it with tape on the inside, as pictured below. Briefly close the book and turn it so the spine is facing you. Cut two slits from the excess paper to meet the edge of the book. That creates a tab in the picture below. Cut that tab off to reveal the pages of the book. Now, open the book back up and tape down the loose ends of the paper around the edges of the cover and back.

You are going to repeat the wrapping instructions above for the second book. If you are using 12×12 scrap booking paper, like I did for my second book, the back will look slightly different as there isn’t enough paper to cover the back entirely.

You want to be sure that the cover is wrapped completely. Secure it with tape on the inside cover. You’ll see in the second picture above that the paper only covers 3/4 of the back. That’s ok. It won’t be visible once stacked. Secure the back with some tape. Once again cut two slits at the spine and remove the tab. Tape down the extra flaps to the inside of the book as before. Make sure the edges of the book are nice and crisp.

Step Three. 

Now it’s time to choose the embellishment for the top! In my first book stack, I chose the beautiful gold glitter reindeer to top the plaid and green book stack. In my second, more rustic book stack, I chose a Christmas pick of frosted berries and some foliage. You can choose anything you want, like holly berries or pine cones or a large sleigh bell. You can really be creative and customize the stack to suit your decor theme. Use the hot glue gun to adhere the ornament to the top of your stack and boom! You’re finished.

Those where just some of the easy ways I’ve decorated my apartment so far for Christmas! There are still more DIYs to come! I’ve got many things in the works on my craft table (which doubles as a kitchen table) to share with you! I hope you enjoyed what you’ve seen here, and that I have inspired you to try these yourself or to create something different! If you decide to recreate any of these ideas, I would love to see it! Tag me on Istagram @blushingbrideDIY and/or use the hashtag #holiDIYswithsteph!

Merry Christmas and Happy HoliDIYs!

Xoxo,
blushinbride

 

Categories DIY

DIY Engagement Party

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An engagement party is an event that brings all of your friends and family together to celebrate the exciting times ahead! My mom and dad hosted our engagement party on Saturday night and what a phenomenal evening we had!  I had a vision that my talented mother brought to life and the food, provided by my father (and jambalaya made by my mother-in law), was exquisite! It took a lot of preparation and planning, but it came together perfectly and I could not have asked for a more successful night! Here’s how I (along with a lot of help) pulled it off!

THE LIST
In order to achieve this perfect event, first thing is first – get a pen and a notepad and make your lists! Mom and I had a lot of conversations about what we’d like to do, decorations we wanted to make and themes we’d like to present, but nothing was really accomplished until we started writing it all down. So that’s my first tip!

THE LOCATION
Depending on what type of budget you have, you’ll need to choose a venue. This was a simple decision for me, as I am always trying to save money for the big day! My parents graciously offered to host the occasion in their lovely home! This meant the venue was low cost ( try free) and quaint and comfortable! After you choose the location of your party, you can decide how many people you can/want to invite!

GUEST LIST
Once again, I suggest putting this list on paper! That way, you can see all the people you want to invite, and it is easier to pinpoint who you’ve missed! I had several people look at my list, to make sure no one was forgotten. A fresh pair of eyes usually does the trick. As this was a low-key party, I kept the method of invitation simple. I created a Facebook event with all of the party details! Some of our desired quests didn’t have a Facebook profile, so we reached out to them via phone calls and word of mouth! it worked perfectly! Everyone got an invite and we were so pleased that most could attend!

Next comes the fun part!

PLANNING
We chose to have both an indoor/outdoor event! We wanted to be able to offer our backyard as more space, while keeping the majority of the festivities and food inside. Given that we live in Newfoundland, and the weather is the least bit predictable, we made sure we had options and prepared for an entire indoor party. Luckily, the sun was shining and it was a nice warm summer evening! We set up ring toss in the garden and my father had a fire going later in the evening. The menu was a large selection, including salmon (that my fiancé caught himself), chilli, jambalaya (made by the southern bell herself, my mother-in-law), wings, croissant sandwiches and so many other finger foods! Not to mention all the desserts! There was something for everyone. We also planned a lot of sweet little things the guests could do. Here are all of the activities we had for the guests!

Selfie Station!

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We made this cute little sign on a canvas painted black and white vinyl! We had “selfie sticks” and wide angle lenses laid out with instructions on how to use them, along with some really amazing props that were printed and cut and attached to a dowel! Of course you can’t have a photo booth without a feather boa, silly glasses and some top hats too! For fun, I included an instagram hashtag so that I could see all of the fun snaps people took! It was a total hit! Everyone had so much fun, and because this was set up in my old bedroom, it was away from the crowd and people were more conformable and open to letting lose a little! There’s a little tip! you’ll get some hilarious photos! Mom and I created a great backdrop for the photos, using robyn egg blue and gold streamers! We found this great tutorial online and it cost me $5!

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(here’s the link for the backdrop)
http://www.lovelyindeed.com/photobooth-backdrop-streamers/

“Letter to the Couple”

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As seen in the photo, in lieu of a guest book, we asked everyone to fill in the blanks of this letter, adding their own personal flare and place it in the basket! We laid out some pens and a basket for them to place their letters in! It was a success! There were some funny and witty ones and some heartfelt lovely ones too! Everyone was able to go in different directions with the letter and they all seemed to have fun doing it! Here is what the letter said:

Dear Stephanie and Kyle,
When I heard about your engagement I shouted ________!
My advice for a ________ marriage is to always _____________ and never _________.
For “Date Nights” go to __________ or ____________, and don’t forget ______________.
10 years from now, I hope you ______________ and ______________ one another.
I wish you both a lifetime of ___________.
Love, _______________.

Date Jar

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 I loved this idea and I was so pleased about how it turned out! Once again, this sign was created with vinyl and my mom’s skill with the Silhouette Cameo. Artsy House Designs is run by my mother and she really brought ou cute rustic theme together! Guests wrote a fun date idea on the stick and place it in the jar! We had some really great ideas shared with us! It is going to make a great keepsake and will help us greatly when Kyle and I are relocated elsewhere in Canada by the RCMP! This will help get us out of the house and exploring a new place! And the jar looks great on a shelf!

“His and Her Favorites” Candy Bar

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Now this was a hit! Kyle and I chose some of our favorite sweet treats and filled jars with them! Mom and I found those sweet chalkboard signs at the dollar store, painted the bases with gold glitter and added the words with white vinyl. Adding some burlap added to the rustic look and the K & S light up letters were a gift from my cousin that just suited this space so perfectly! We had favor boxes to the side for guests to fill up at the end of the night! Love is sweet.

The party was a great success, full of laughter and good vibes. So many people came to celebrate with us and we couldn’t be happier. Kyle and I want to sincerely thank everyone who came along, and for all of the kind gifts! We are very grateful to have people in our lives so caring! We had an amazing time at our party and it was a fantastic send off for Kyle, as we left for the airport only hours later. Here’s to many more celebrations to come!

xoxo,
blushing bride.

Categories DIY

DIY Wedding Planing Binder

DSC_0051.jpgYou’re engaged! Congratulations! ….now what? If you are anything like me, the buzz of this exciting time has you ready to take action! Although my fiancé and I have not even set a date, I’m far too worked up to be idle. So, I’ve created a wedding planning binder to help organize the details of my big day.

My favourite thing about creating my very own wedding planning binder is that I’ve been able to customize it with sections and worksheets specific to my needs and plans.Often times with wedding planners you can purchase, there are full sections that will not pertain to me. For example, I have no need for a budget list that includes reception dinners and limo rides. What is so great about some of the websites I’ll link below is you can print only what you need to tailor your binder to fit your wants and needs. 

So to make your very own wedding planning binder you will need the following items:

  • 1 1/2 inch three ring binder
  • Divider tabs
  • bookmark tabs
  • paper
  • printer
  • three-hole punch
  • reinforced labels
  • clear standard weight paper protectors
  • plastic business card holders
  • sticky notes
  • Large zip-lock plastic pouch
  • favourite pen!

First thing is first! TIP: I recommend having a binder that has the rings attached to the back flap as opposed to the centre/spine. This is so that the contents inside the binder do not move around quite as easily and become bent and crinkled.

You are going to need divider tabs so you can neatly organize the different sections of yoDSC_0070.JPGur binder. I chose these black and white patterned tabs at Staples.  TIP: I chose black and white because we haven’t determined the colours for our wedding. If you’ve already chosen colours, you can incorporate that into these details!

DSC_0079.JPG I chose to also include bookmark style tabs to divide my sub-sections. For example, in my section for “events” I have divided the Engagement Party, Bridal Shower,Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties.

This is how I’ve divided my binder:

Tab 1 – Events
– Engagement Party
– Bridal Shower
– Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

Tab 2  – Timelines & To Dos

Tab 3 – Financial

Tab 4 – Wedding Party – Bridesmaids & Groomsmen

Tab 5 – Ceremony & Reception Sites

Tab 6 – Guest List & Seating

Tab 7 – Colours & Decorations

Tab 8 – Other (Stationary, Engagement Ring Insurance, etc)

Tab 9 – Inspiration

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Timeline beginning at 12 months
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Budget lists – one predetermined and one to fill in yourself!

I LOVE that I found this worksheet for my budget. The predetermined list is great for an average wedding and it has everything listed one might need. Because I am doing a DIY wedding, some of those listed items do not apply to me. I was excited to see a blank version of the list! Now I can tailor the list to what I need.

 

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This worksheet is going to be so useful when I begin making my guest lists. One for the ceremony and another for the reception. It features a great checklist to keep track of invites sent, RSVP received and thank you cards sent!

 

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This pouch was a great find! Purchased at Staples, it is three-hole punched and has durability – it can hold a lot! This is a great place to store inspirational fabrics, colour swatches, or your engagement ring insurance information.
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These are great too! They hold business cards, which is great to keep track of vendors, equipment rental companies, and all other businesses you want to contact! They are three-hole punched for convenience.

I found a lot of the featured worksheets online and just printed them off. TIP: Because I used standard printer paper, I decided to get some reinforced labels (those round stickers that circle the three-hole punch for reinforcement).

To find all of these printable worksheets and cover sheets, check out these links below!

http://bridesclub.com/docs/BridesClub.com-Wedding-Planner.pdf
http://www.wedplan.com/Worksheets/worksheets.pdf
https://www.botanicalpaperworks.com/uploads/ck/files/BPW_Wedding_Planning_Timeline_Printable(3).pdf
https://www.botanicalpaperworks.com/uploads/ck/files/Wedding_Planning_Budget_Sheet(8).pdf
https://www.botanicalpaperworks.com/uploads/ck/files/BPW_WeddingPlanningBinderCoverPages(1).pdf
http://www.niagaraweddinghelper.com/wed_plan_book.htm http://almostmakesperfect.com/2014/02/05/diy-wedding-binder-with-free-printables/

Free Printable Binder Covers

I hope I’ve inspired you to take your planning in your own hands and create your very only wedding planning binder!

Happy planning!

xoxo,
blushing bride.

Categories DIY