It’s no secret that Pinterest was perhaps my greatest wedding-planning tool. I went from a pinboard of nearly 1,000 wedding ideas to an organized binder of realistic options, final choices, and collated contracts. But what kind of obsessive-compulsive social media-er would I be if I didn’t find a way to combine the two?
Don’t worry; I did.
For someone who struggles with indecision, two years of whittling a thousand ideas down to a respectable 150 or so is a sizable feat. So, along the way, I kept a secret pinboard called “finalizing the shit out of my wedding” to prove to myself that I was capable of painfully making decisions, and that I could definitely ignore the impending stomach ulcer and make a few more.
Now that the wedding is over and the secrets are out of the bag, I’ve made the board public; the board is a great virtual memory box to showcase the ideas and details that inspired the final products and, in many cases, the final products and details themselves.
All the wedding budget guides I read recommended choosing early in the process the few things you want to splurge on; most to-be-brides simply won’t be able to afford their top-shelf dream for every wedding element. My splurge choices were venue, photography, and favors. And, seriously, look at these favors. A definite check on the wedding-successes list.
I ordered a PDF of the custom label template from AlexLewisDesign on Etsy, purchased whole-sheet labels from an online label-paper wholesaler, printed them out at my local FedEx Office store, cut them out with a paper cutter, peeled, and slapped them directly onto my mini Jack Daniel’s bottles. Though the design and printing were relatively inexpensive, bulk purchasing airplane bottles of whiskey kind of adds up. I shopped around and found the best deal at Mulligan’s Wine and Spirits; even though the bottles broke the bank a bit, they were 100% worth it. Bonus: We ended up having fewer wedding guests than originally anticipated, so Jonathan and I now have a small stock of leftover tiny whiskey bottles for anniversary cocktails. Or, in Jonathan’s case, anniversary Jack on the rocks.
If you remember my movie poster save the dates and ticket-inspired invitations, you’ll see a theme surfacing. I didn’t want to go too intense with the movie vibe since the venue was a barn and not a theater (also, my bat mitzvah had a Hollywood theme, so I wanted to at least feel like I’ve changed a little since age 13), but we included some nods here and there. I made the movie-reel table numbers myself from stock images, and got the frames at a discount store for something like two dollars each. Cha ching.
The picture of the centerpiece above does not come close to doing their beauty justice; the martini glass and pearl presentation was put together by my florist (who doubled as my caterer), Le Soleil Catering, LLC.
The Escort Cards
When I contacted Kristen McGillivray Custom Designs about building some escort cards based on her ticket-style invitation products, she delivered a perfect PDF (the escort card design is now available at her Etsy shop!). I purchased some cardstock and had the cards printed at FedEx Office again (FedEx Office is unofficially one of my wedding vendors), then cut them out using a paper cutter, and by hand for the little divots. I popped the popcorn the day before to let it dry out, then forced my bridesmaid Rachel to put the display together the day of the wedding while I got my hair done and had my sister feed me leftover popcorn out of a trash bag. Then I had a Gogurt. It was a rough morning.
Since the favors were technically illegal for our under-21 guests, they all got escort cards featuring movie-theater-concession candy boxes instead. I have a feeling that a lot of the over-21 crowd would have preferred the candy to the whiskey too. Hindsight.
Guest Book & Supporting Theme Decor
For my guestbook, I called on my invitation designer Curtis Freeman to make a poster-style version of my “It’s a Wonderful Life” save the dates. Worth mentioning: I called on him to do this maybe two weeks before the wedding, when I realized I’d completely forgotten to plan a guestbook. I’m surprised how few friends I lost during the wedding-planning process.
The DIY Bridesmaid Gifts
Remember when I went for my first dress fitting and the seamstress hemmed maybe four miles of tulle from the inside layers of my gown? The gown designer had actually lined all those tulle layers with lace trim; apparently Justin Alexander doesn’t mind that girls who under 5’8″ will have to have this detail hemmed out.
That lace-trimmed tulle sat in a bag on my couch for a week or two, until I had the idea to up-cycle the lace into bracelets for my bridesmaids. I found some thin gold bangles at a discount store, cut the lace from my hemmed tulle, and literally (carefully) hot glued the lace strips to the bangles. I combined the lace bangles with some pearl bangles I made (using the above Pinterest-found tutorial) that incorporated the wedding colors, and gifted each bridesmaid a set of six to wear for the wedding.
Social Media Cards
You know what’s cheaper and easier than disposable cameras for your reception tables? Turning your guests into your own personal smartphone photographers, and letting your social media accounts collect the hashtags into an online photo album. We had some great social media shout-outs, but wedding guest Max gets first prize for this one.
Pin now; read later.
One of the reasons I use Pinterest obsessively (I was caught on my Pinterest app they day of the wedding) is that it’s a virtual, categorized conglomerate of sticky notes, reminding me in a quick click of all the recipes I’d like to try, crafts I’d like to DIY, and sweaters I want to buy when it starts getting cooler/I have arguably more money. For planning a wedding, this is an invaluable tool; I collected photos and links for wedding items I wanted to compare, contemplate, and save for future purchasing.
Here are a few of the wedding items and ideas I saved for later viewing on Pinterest, and ended up purchasing or using:
…And so much more. But I’m keeping a few of the final products under blog wraps until our professional wedding photos are in. I waited two years for this wedding; the internet can wait a month or two. Or the internet can just go to my pinboard and spoiler itself. Freedom of choice. America.