An easy, inexpensive and delicious DIY wedding idea - a DIY cupcake bar

Whilst we love the idea of DIY weddings, we always urge caution because if you're not careful, you can end up taking on too much and getting really stressed out

However, having a DIY cupcake bar would be just perfect, particularly if you're having an informal, buffet style event. 

At a DIY cupcake bar, you create a table (with a sign on top like this one maybe, to instruct your guests) decorate it prettily and pile high with 'nude' cupcakes - maybe just plain, vanilla, chocolate.  You can also have vegan and vegetarian cupcakes so all your guests are catered for - and maybe a gluten free version. (You'll find a recipe for gluten-free cupcakes here)

Then have plenty of frostings and decorations to hand. Your guests can wander over and decide on the flavors and decor they want (there's probably going to be a bit of competitive decorating going on at some point too). 

Planning ahead

This is a great idea because you can do so much of the planning before your big day. Make the cupcakes in advance and put them in the freezer. Whip up your toppings and keep them in the fridge. We've found some delicious frosting recipes here - including cookie dough, vanilla bean, dulce de leche ... 

You can ask your caterer to lay out the cupcake table - just make sure it's obvious how you want it to look and where everything should go. 

Don't forget to have plenty of spoons in different sizes handy. 

Here's an easy and reliable plain and basic cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart with clear instructions. 

Other ideas for frostings and toppings 

  • Fresh raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries ...
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Different flavour frostings - blueberries, strawberry, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, fudge ...
  • Put sauces in pouring bottles and make handmade labels so everyone knows what they are

Decorating your table

Put plates at different heights for visual interest

A tablecloth can create a mood very simply. Opt for gingham or something floral if you're having a country style wedding or a classic block color if you want a more contemporary feel. 

Things are probably going to get a little messy! So make sure there are plenty of serviettes around. 

Don't forget to put flowers on the decorating table - small posies would probably work best rather than large arrangements.

Finally - if you've got young children at your wedding, then you need to make sure that they are supervised before being let loose on a cupcake decorating table. It could be great fun ... but get very sticky! 

Image credits: A Beautiful Mess 

5 looks for wedding place settings that even YOU could create

When your guests enter your wedding reception you want them to react with a stunned, delighted silence. You want them to admire the decorations and the stylish setting. Be blown away by the artistry ... 

Well wedding place settings are a really easy thing to DIY, even if you don't consider yourself much of a crafter. You don't need to be able to draw - just have the ability to put things tidily in place. Yes, really. 

Lay out the tables beforehand

Check whether you can have access to the reception venue the day before so you can lay out the tables. Alternatively, take photographs of how you want each place setting to look and then give these to whoever will be setting the places so they do it exactly as you want them to.

Here are five ideas for you to be thinking about ...

1. Take a linen napkin, write the guest's name on a parcel tag, tie with string and pop in a sprig of rosemary (you could also use lavender). Pretty, simple to put together and inexpensive.



2. Wanting to get a rustic look? Choose country style flowers, add a table runner and make sure your plates have a floral design (you can hire these from specialists).

3. Pop a macaroon (in your wedding color theme) at each place setting with a flagged cocktail stick to show each guest where they are placed. Now how difficult is that really? 



4. Having an Autumn wedding? Get pine cone collecting. Now who do you know with beautiful handwriting? (Or you could print out scripted cards on your computer if your copperplate isn't so beautiful.)

5. Run out long, slim labels with each guest's name and attach to lollipops. These double up as favours too.
 

6. Match your glasses to your table napkins. Then place name cards in a similar color to your flowers. This would work either with pastels or bright colors as shown here. 

Image credits: StyleMePretty, GreenWeddingShoes, BobkaBaby (pinecones), BelleThe Magazine

Things to think about BEFORE going DIY with your wedding

DIY wedding advice

While DIY (do-it-yourself) is definitely a way to cut costs in various aspects of your wedding, can you in fact do things yourself? Or are you creating more of a hassle than is necessary? Here are some thoughts before you decide to go DIY with your wedding.

Are you crafty or would you just like to be?

If you're really and truly artistic and creative, then go for it. But if art or sewing class was never really your thing then really consider whether you'd enjoy going down the DIY wedding route or whether in fact you'd just end up feeling really frustrated.  

There are a ton of videos out there that make it look easy to wedding DIY but watch them carefully before you make any big decisions.

For example, you might like the idea of making your own wedding bouquet but we think this is something you should spend money on. Apart from the fact that it will be a massive stress making a beautiful bouquet on the evening (or even the morning) of your wedding and keeping it fresh until the ceremony. 

You might like to read this - 5 things to DIY on your wedding day and 5 things to avoid

Do you have the time? Time flies by while planning a wedding, so before you decide to do any DIY projects for your wedding, make sure you in fact have the time to do it.

Do you have HELP? You could ask your bridesmaids to help you make centerpieces or DIY wedding favors but don't ask them to take on too much. Besides which, they may not be that arty themselves! Alternatively you could ask a crafty relation - maybe a grandmother who is an amazing quilter and scrapbooker. See if she has some ideas. 

Have you considered other alternatives? Maybe cutting costs at the wedding doesn't mean having to go DIY at all. Maybe it means cutting down the guest list, or not going overboard on alcohol or flowers. If you know you aren't the DIY type, don't give yourself any additional stress.

Trying to figure out a color scheme for your wedding? Have a look at our Pantone color guides which will show you which colors work together. 

5 easy DIY ideas to decorate your wedding pews

DIY ideas to decorate your wedding pews

It's that wow factor moment. You know, the one when your guests walk into your church or your wedding ceremony for the first time and see just how beautifully decorated everything is. 

And if you're thinking about DIY-ing some aspects of your big day, then it's worth considering decorating your pew ends yourself  - or asking a talented friend. 

  • You can use some pew end decorations afterwards at the party
  • Dried pew ends - like lavender or decorations - can be put in place the day before
  • Pew ends don't have to be expensive or use expensive blooms

Here are five ideas for wedding pew ends to consider

1.Hydrangeas in mini buckets. This is really, really easy and you don't have to have any particular skills at flower arranging either. Just buy some simple hook-on mini buckets in either cream or zinc (we found some for just over $1 each) and put a hydrangea bloom in every one (in water of course). They'll lighten up dark pew ends to perfection and afterwards you can have them taken along to the wedding reception to do double decoration duty! 

2.Lavender bunches. This is an inexpensive idea that you can organise well ahead of time. Pick lavender blooms - about 20 to a bunch would be good - and then tie with ribbon, looping the ribbon over the pew end. What could be simpler? You could make your lavender bunches a few days before and then put them in place as early as possible, because the lavender won't wilt. In fact, it will smell better the drier it becomes! 

3. Gypsophilia and burlap. Another low cost DIY wedding idea that works really well when you're having a rustic wedding day. Gypsophilia is one of the cheapest blooms around and you can buy big sprays of it for very little. Tie a decent sized spray together, and then create a bow from hessian (you'll find a bow tying tutorial here). Add in a contrasting rose if your budget permits. 

4.Paper strip hearts. Choose sheet music, colored paper or pages of text. This is another decoration you can prepare well ahead of time. Use contrasting ribbons to loop the hearts around the pew ends. Wondering how to make them? Here's an easy to follow tutorial on making paper hearts just here that will tell you everything you need to know. 

5.Rustic jam jars. Again, here's a very simple idea but it's very effective. Choose jam jars (Mason jars) in the right size for your pew ends - we'd suggest something fairly small - fill with small posies of rustic blooms (we're not talking amazing flower arrangements here, just something loose) and then tie with string to the pew end. Get them collected up at the end of the ceremony so they can decorate your reception venue. 

Image credits from top: Boho Weddings, The Natural Wedding Company, Weddings Online, Etsy, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings 

 

Image credits from top left: hydrangeas http://www.boho-weddings.com/2012/01/10/becky-and-toms-english-country-farm-wedding-with-hay-bales-cider-and-sunshine/

 

 

Eight inspiring ways to decorate bride and groom chairs

 


bride and groom chair ideas

Want your wedding to look just perfect in every detail? Of course you do.

So take a tip from creative wedding stylists here and think about how you can style up your bride and groom wedding chairs.

Because at a wedding, a chair isn’t just a chair. Oh no. It’s most definitely a styling opportunity that you cannot miss.

 

  • Whether you’ve chosen to have a rustic style wedding day, a bohemian event, whether your wedding has a real vintage thing going on or maybe some upscale glamor - your chairs can play a major part in this. Your chairs are going to take center stage at the wedding ceremony itself when you say your vows.
  • After you’re married, you’ll be seated at your wedding reception on your own chairs - either at a top table or - as becoming increasingly popular - at a table for two, set aside just for the newly married couple.

Here we’re going to talk about special ways of decorating the bride and groom’s chairs. Think of them as thrones if you like! After all, you two are royalty on your big day!  

Practice different looks at home on your own kitchen chairs to see what you like. Consider how different fabrics will create different moods. Burlap for country style, lace for vintage, satin and velvet for a chic evening event ...

What sort of mood will you want to create? Here are some ideas …

 

bride and groom chair ideas

1. Keeping it simple 

 One of the easiest, swiftest - but most effective - ways of decorating your chairs is by tying beautiful fabric or ribbon around the back in a novel way. If you want to be super co-ordinated, remember that you can buy fabric from Dessy that matches your bridesmaid frocks, in a myriad of different colors and finishes.

And if you need some advice on tying bows and arranging fabric, here's a useful tutorial to watch. 

 Takeaway tip: This is one you could easily do yourself without the help of a stylist.

 

bride and groom chair ideas

2. Flower corsage

 This would look equally beautiful at either a country garden wedding or a chic city wedding. Have your florist wire a spray of flowers along the side of the bride and groom chairs for a Midsummer Night’s Dream effect. If you’re having a city wedding, you might want to choose deep red or white roses. For a rural look, mix up wild flowers, ranunculus, daisies … your florist will have some ideas …

Takeaway tip: Make sure the flowers are well-misted with water to keep them looking fresh

 

bride and groom chair ideas

3. Streaming colors 

 Another easy one. Buy spools of ribbon and cut in lengths. Drape over the back of your chairs and secure with a discreet staple. Choose different styles of ribbon for different effects - for example gingham would work well for a barn wedding or lace for vintage theming. Choose one color of ribbon or go for a multi-colored effect. Or choose different single colors for each chair for a contrast. Match them up to the bridegroom’s accessories!

Takeaway tip: Make sure all the ribbons are cut to the same length for even draping.

 

bride and groom chair ideas

4. Personalised signage 

 Think up a quirky message that means something to you both and have it written on a pair of signs. Slates work well for this or you could ask your stationer to create signs when you’re putting in your order (match up the calligraphy too).  Make sure they are of a size that will fit the chair and easy to read.

Takeaway tip: Soften the sign by having a spray of greenery attached to the side of the chair, as shown above.

 

bride and groom chair ideas

5. Bride and groom signs 

Keep it easy by buying bride and groom signs online (there are some beauties here) that are ready-made. Then decorate the rest of the chair as you wish - you could use the ribbon idea described above if you wanted. 

Takeaway tip: Really shop around these signs, there are plenty of options out there.

 

bride and groom chair ideas

6. Keep it seasonal 

 If you’re having a Christmas wedding, then make it suitably festive. Tie a Christmas decoration or a pine cone onto the chair back and maybe add a small spray from a fir tree.

 Takeaway tip: You could also use a readymade Christmas wreath here.

 

bride and groom chair ideas

7. DIY vintage

This is one of the simplest but most effective ideas we’ve seen. Scour charity shops for some old lace tablecloths and then experiment by draping around the back of your chairs. Pin the fabric together then hide the pin with a well-placed flower.

 

Takeaway tip: Ask your florist which flower would look best

 

bride and groom chair ideas

8. Keepsake chair

 If you’d like your chairs to remain as a reminder of your big day, then have director’s chairs personalised with ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ or ‘Mr and Mrs’ as you wish. You could  stencil them yourself if you wished - here’s an easy guide on how to stencil on canvas.

Takeaway tip: These might make good wedding gifts from somebody

Credits: All images from Pinterest, in order from top: DIY Projects for You; MODWedding, Rock N Roll Bride, Want That Wedding, Laura Ashley, Mod Wedding, Jay C Winter for Wedding Chicks

 






Download this FREE kids activity book

Having kiddies at your wedding? That means you need some kid friendly entertainment ideas to keep their little hands busy. I have one great addition to add to your stockpile of ideas. Found on Lovely Indeed these DIY wedding activity books are sure to keep the kiddos happy. And the best part? They're free and downloadable. Here's a peek:

To get your own activity book head on over to Lovely Indeed and get printing!

Just a few notes:

All you have to do is download the PDF file, hit print, and go make some copies! You'll have to do a little double-sided action to get the pages in the right order, but you get the idea.

A few pointers for printing and using the template follow below.

  • The template prints best if you actually download it and print from a Preview program. Choose Print Options, then under Scale, select “Fit to Page” for the best results.
  • The pages are not out of order. If you are printing at home, print out the page with the car on it, then on the back of that same sheet print the front cover of the booklet (ensuring that it doesn't end up upside-down). Next, print out the page with the cake on it, and on the back of that same sheet, print out the tic-tac-toe page.

Dressing it up

For a fancy finish, get some striped twine, punch two holes in the spine of the book, string the twine through from the inside, and tie a little bow on the outside. (All available from a good craft shop.) Set out some crayons and pencils at your kid table, and they'll have a ball. Have fun!

Wedding table decor ideas that will get you inspired!

(Image via Pinterest)

Wedding table decorations set the scene from the moment your guests arrive at your reception. You want your friends and family to have an AMAZING time. Make the decor in your venue inviting and you'll get the party started the way you want it.

Ceremony to reception

Don't forget, some table decorations will make the transition from the wedding ceremony to the reception venue very easily - doubling your wedding budget potential. (See the illuminated Mason jars below.)

 

Here's a creative idea for a kids' table. Not expensive either. Package up crayons, add a lollipop and a plain notepad. It's the way they are put together that is so appealing, don't you think?

Put these coasters on your wedding tables and guests can fill them in with their advice on being happily married. You might want to add the finished product to a wedding album or include in your wedding guest book. Fantastic idea and not expensive either, they work out at $1 each.

From BHLDN and you can order here.

If you're having a winter wedding, or maybe a summer wedding that looks likely to go on until late, then these illuminated Mason jars from Amazon are just perfect. They contain battery-operated fairy lights that will brighten your tables so romantically!

This idea is so easy. Place a flower in a vase, add water and float a candle on the top. Waxy flowers work best here - orchids are ideal, although you can use roses too. Ask your florist for advice.

Love this idea for an autumn wedding table centre. It's so simple but so perfect.



Here's an idea for a Christmas or winter wedding (via Pinterest). You'l have to spray the cones with frosting,

Candles are their own decoration too - place an array of candles (Mason jars look good) along the centre of the table. Mirrors aren't expensive and can work very effectively on a bridal table setting, especially when combined with candles.

Wedding guest book ideas all DIY brides need to know about

I love the idea of wedding guest books - after all you want a record of your big day, remembering who came along and shared all the fun and excitement.

Don't hide your guest book away

I just don't like the idea of a formal book that gets shut after the wedding and then spends its life sitting on a shelf in your house - being pulled off to be looked at when you happen to remember.

There are so many other ways of remembering your guests. There's a wedding guest tree, which you can frame afterwards and hang on the wall. (Here's a free template for making one.) You can theme the fingerprint colors to your season - blues and yellows for spring and summer, rich reds and golds for fall - you get the idea.

A wedding guest book plate

If you're into junk shop finds and have a creative streak, then you'll love this quirky idea for wedding guest books that I found via Martha Stewart Weddings.

Just rummage through jumble sales and junk shops looking for white plates with a colored patterned rim. They don't have to match but you need to have some sort of a theme going on - florals, geometrics, golds, silvers or a color.

At the entrance to your reception, leave the blank plates out with a note encouraging the guests to sign them and write their good wishes and messages. Use a permanent marker pen in black, silver or gold that is water resistant (although these plates are ultimately designed to be hung on your walls, not used for serving food!)

Then you'll have a visible reminder of your big day to look at.

Did you have a wedding guest book? Was it a traditional book or did you do something a little different?


Credits: Main image via Martha Stewart.


Free "Will you be my bridesmaid?" cards for you

bridesmaidcard1.pngbridesmaid card

Trying to find that perfect way to ask your favorite girls to be an important part of your big day? We here at The Dessy Group have a stylish solution. Stylish and might I add FREE!

Stylish, elegant and FREE!

With designs provided by our friends The Wedding Chicks, simply visit the DIY bridesmaid cards at Dessy, choose your favorite design, choose your favorite colors and download your creation. Send, and watch the smiles appear!

It's a special moment

Choosing and deciding who is going to be your bridesmaid is a very special time in your wedding planning.

You might have had a bestie in mind ever since you were a young girl, or perhaps you've decided that your maid of honor should be somebody that has been a big part of your life in more recent years.

One thing is for sure - you need to choose somebody who is unflappable and organised as your head bridesmaid. They will have a lot to help you with and so you need to know that they are reliable. Asking a friend who is busy with young children or a new baby might not always be the best idea!

Postal invitations are wonderful

Rather than send a text or an email, inviting your girls in a more timeless way will surely be appreciated.

Handwritten envelopes are always a pleasure to receive, particularly if they contain an exciting invitation - and asking somebody to be your bridesmaid with one of these cards will capture a perfect moment.

Print them out onto a good quality card and search out some envelopes that fit in with your color scheme. Then hand calligraph (or ask a friend) the addresses and pick out some suitable stamps.

Different designs

You'll find several different designs here to choose from and of course you can print them out in different colours to suit the shades and tones you've chosen for your wedding day.

And because they're free, Dessy is helping you to spread that wedding budget a little bit further ...

Why we love Barn Weddings

Kingsbury Barn, St Albans, England

Charming, stylish, bags of personality, bit of a history (in a good way) and dependable.

Okay - so we know your fiancé is all that and more! But the same description could also be applied to a wedding that's held in a barn.

A post shared by The Barn At Flanagan Farm (@thebarnatflanaganfarm) on

Unpredictable weather

To be honest, in the UK we never know where we are with the weather. Marry in the summer and you're not guaranteed a beautiful June day - it could be cold, chilly and wet. You could plan an autumn wedding and be blessed with glorious sunshine. You just never know.

A post shared by Earth Trust (@earth_trust) on

A rural countryside feel

Which is why holding your wedding in a barn could work perfectly for you, particularly if you want a slightly rural, countryside feel to the whole day.

You'll find that many barn venues are licensed so that you can hold your wedding ceremony there and then move straight onto a party (which is going to save you on transport costs for a start).

Barn decorations

Decorating a barn isn't difficult either. The whole rustic background will give your wedding a personality, even before you start decorating.

A post shared by Andy Li Photography (@andyli.photography) on

Add a few haybales, bunting and letters and styling your barn wedding is simple!

You can take the weather as it comes - if it's a beautiful day have drinks and canapes outside and then move under the barn's beams for dinner and dancing. Bring the outside inside with haybales and rustic-inspired flowers and decorations.

Twine fairy lights around the beams to give a touch of magical sparkle and atmosphere.

barn wedding decorated

A post shared by Style & the Bride (@styleandthebride) on

Dress up barn beams with lengths of inexpensive muslin and you'll really get the wow factor. You can use muslin for the tablecloths too.

Remember that if you have a venue with character it's much easier to decorate and a barn lends itself perfectly to a boho style or vintage wedding theme.