When I started planning things for the wedding, I knew that I wanted to do some of the paper products on my own. I got ideas from blogs (I swear I have looked at every wedding ever posted on Style Me Pretty) and tried to come up with the templates for things early on. The really difficult thing about the paper products is getting the right color of paper. Sometimes I would find an awesome color, but it would be way too expensive. Other times, I would find a color online that looked perfect and then the sample piece would be way too dark or way too bright. It was frustrating. I finally settled on the above blue. It wasn't exactly the shade I wanted, but it was close and had a very pretty shimmer to it.
Making programs is a lot more complicated that I thought it would be. First, if you want to do a book style, you have to print the pages out of order and on both sides of a piece of paper so that when it folds, all of the pages are in the proper order. This turned out to be a lot tougher than I thought. I guess it wasn't hard to figure out, just time consuming. Secondly, the text was maddening. I obsessed and obsessed about the punctuation and grammar. Like, obsessed to the point where I couldn't even see obvious mistakes anymore. It was bad. I kept having visions of people in the church pews snickering about my bad grammar. It was awful. At the end of the day, I had to let it go.
The programs were very simple. There was just a list of the people in the wedding, the order of the ceremony and thank yous. I also included my favorite love quote. Have you read Rilke's essay On Love? You should. It's divine.
We also opted for the guest libs instead of doing a formal guest book. I actually made the template on the computer and again obsessed and obsessed about the grammar. This one I know there were some mistakes and people definitely pointed them out to us. Thanks people! I need a refresher on what a proper adverb is. Creating a template for these was actually really simple. It was the cutting of them that was tricky.
I knew that I needed to jazz them up so that it wasn't just a boring piece of ivory card stock. I got a paper punch with a polka dot pattern from the lovely Martha Stewart and thought it would be smooth sailing. It was not. After punching through a hundred or more pieces of card stock, the paper punch was not as sharp and not punching holes quite as cleanly. It was a lot of work and my elbows were aching afterwards. I think I gave myself tennis elbow. After the punches, we decided to put a thin piece of ribbon through the top holes to give it a bit more color.
A side note about the guest libs. I love the idea, but I think my execution was off. A few people suggested putting them at every place setting and I went against that thinking more people would complete them if they were in the cocktail room. I was wrong. They definitely should go at every place setting. Live and learn...always listen to your wedding planner. (sorry Steph!) We did get about 70 back and they were funny...although some of them were extremely naughty.
My last big paper project was the table numbers. This was one of those things that my mom and Mike were both against. I am stubborn and forged ahead. This project took a TON of time. Each crystal was added to the number with my own two hands. First I printed out the word "Table" on a bunch of sheets of card stock. Then I took a pencil and drew in the number. I then filled in the pencil marking with the crystals. I would say each one took at least an hour of time. However, they looked so cool. The little crystals caught the candle light and kind of glowed all pretty. It was just the look that I wanted. Now I need to think of a way to re-purpose the numbers.
Overall, I definitely agree with people that you should not take on too many DIY projects for a wedding. It just gets to be a lot of time and I'm not convinced that you can always do it on the cheap...unless you want it to look cheap. These few projects were just enough (and maybe a little bit too much) for us.
I also have to say that I had a LOT of help. My mom put in a lot of time crafting with me as did Mike and his mother. I am lucky because my mom is really good at getting things precise, where I am not quite as good at that skill. Mike was kind of a special helper in that I know he doesn't really get crafting, but he knew it was important to me and so not only helped me, but also worked really hard to make sure it all looked nice.