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While it is possible to plan a budget-friendly ceremony, DIY-ing your entire wedding can be A LOT of work. But, that doesn't mean you have to leave everything up to the pros, either. (And don't worry, top wedding planner Marcy Blum agrees!)
By choosing specific elements of your big day to DIY, you can ensure that your wedding feels unique to you and your partner — and also save some money in the process.
When Marcy (who has planned weddings for everyone from Lebron James to Nate Berkus) stopped by our show, she showed us a few places where you can easily get creative — and shared her favorite tips and tricks for the DIYs in question.
1. PERSONALIZED GUEST BOOK
"It's very hard to find really pretty guest books — and that's something you can put a personal touch on," Marcy says.
Making sure to lay out her design first, she uses a hot glue gun and paper flowers (which can be found at most craft stores) to decorate a standard book.
Marcy notes the importance of choosing a book with blank pages rather than lined. This way, you're encouraging your friends and family to write a lot more (and giving them the space to do so), she says.
You can also include photographs to make your book even more personal — and give guests something to look at while they sign!
Marcy's Pro Tip: Apply the hot glue to the paper flower first, rather than directly on the book. Not only is it less messy, she says, but it also helps to prevent mistakes.
2. ESCORT CARDS
Escort cards and place cards actually serve different purposes. "Escort cards tell you what table you're sitting at," Marcy says. "And a place card tells you where you're [sitting at that table]."
This is a great place to put your DIY skills to work, because you can get crafty with both the escort display and the place cards themselves.
"Another way to put a nice touch on your wedding is to make the first thing you see — which is generally the escort table — something thematic that matches what you're doing," Marcy says.
She demonstrates an escort display that's perfect for a beach wedding, a summer reception or for a couple who just loves the sea!
Use a fine-tip permanent marker to write your guests' names and their table numbers on seashells, then stick them in a sandbox. Be sure to alphabetize the names so your guests can easily find their table numbers.
You can embellish with additional shells, flowers... whatever you like!
How cute is that?!
Marcy's Pro Tip: "It's very difficult to get all your seating done months in advance," Marcy says. If you write just the names on the shells first, then you can wait to assign table numbers later in case you need to make last-minute changes to the seating chart.
3. EDIBLE CENTERPIECES
Instead of spending a bunch of money on flowers and fancy centerpieces (which you'd be stuck with after the wedding), Marcy suggests using something edible to decorate your tables: fruit!
Depending on what's in season, some ideas include tomatoes in all different colors, pomegranates (cut open for even more color and texture), different kinds of squash or various types of apples.
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Marcy's Pro Tip: You can implement herbs in your table setting as well. Not only do they look great, but they'll make your tables smell amazing. In Marcy's example, she accented each menu with a sprig of rosemary (the herb of remembrance) laid on top.