The wedding is just over two weeks away, which means that all of those excuses I used to have for delicately putting something off are basically gone. And since we’ve been deluged by rain for the last five days (yes, I just said five days of pouring rain), it’s been an ample opportunity to focus on all of those paper goods that you need at a wedding but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on.
When I started planning my wedding, I had no idea how time consuming some of these things would be, and I feel blessed every day that I teach full time and though I do a lot of work in the summer (hello, lesson planning!), I can do that work from the privacy of my own living room and thus spend an hour and a half less in the car every day, which makes for some pretty serious spare time when it comes to trying to pull together last minute details for a wedding. Friends, I’ve needed it!
So, after declaring this week the week of paper goods, I spent the majority of Sunday afternoon combing the internet for DIY ideas because all you need to do is get a $120.o0 printing estimate from Staples to realize that maybe that little $30 home printer you scoffed at six months ago might be your best option. And let me just stop to say something about that $30 HP Laserjet 1000 that Jason picked up at Walmart six months ago: I scoffed. I was wrong. It has been a TANK! I will note that using only the cartridges that came with it (though I did pick up a replacement pack just in case), it has printed 100 dual-color programs, 15 sheets of full-color escort cards, and a handful of other useful lists and bits that I’ve needed during this week’s crafting for merely the cost of the paper ($5.39/150 sheets). I did send a homemade fingerprint wedding tree (cobbled together from the beautiful tree at One Fab Day and a personalized monogram that I found at Wedding Chicks) to the printer at Stapes (paying $15 instead of the higher price of ordering it from an artist), and though the quality was nowhere near the quality of one that I’d ordered for a friend’s baby shower a few months ago from Etsy, I’m not really sure if it’s something we’d use as art or not, so I feel like that was a reasonable expense on something that I want to wait and see about.
What I’m most excited about, though, are the programs and escort cards. Throughout the planning of our wedding, it’s been important to me that the pieces of the wedding that our guests physically interact with are the most detailed. As such, I care about how we string our lights over the dance floor, but I care a bit more about the way the programs look and feel because sometimes things run a little slowly, and what else is going to captivate your attention during that wait?
I started with a great tutorial over at Intimate Weddings, but while I liked her idea, I found that there were a few things that I needed to change. I used similar materials, opting to design my program in Microsoft Word and leaving the basic program free of images because I’m not quite so tech savvy. On the back, I created a wedding word search at Discovery Education’s Puzzlemaker, opting for one that I could orient a bit differently on the page. I was able to do this by cutting and pasting the completed word search from the printable computer file directly into my wedding program on Microsoft, shrinking the font, and then typing the words to find in all capital letters.
In terms of dimensions, my program is set in the landscape format as a two-columned document. It is surrounded by one inch external margins with a two inch margin between the columns to allow for centered folding without needing to cut anything. Wanting to add a bit more color, I placed the monogram from Wedding Chicks that I’d used on our fingerprint tree directly underneath the crossword puzzle, ending the program with a gentle request for guests to transport their chairs back to the tent for the reception or ask another guest for help.
I then printed the programs in batches onto white card stock and folded them directly in half. The most difficult part of the process proved to be cutting the corners with the 3M corner cutter (a bit hard to get through two layers of card stock. As such, I chose to do this step before assembling the programs). While the programs were printing, I used Jason’s Dremmel hand drill to bore a small hole in the bottom of each popsicle stick, forming a place to tie the ribbons later in the project.
Next, I ran a 3” strip of double sided tape along the center of the bottom of the program and placed a 2” strip on the back of a popsicle stick, centered and pressed the stick against the centered piece of double stick tape and then placed another on the front of the popsicle stick.
Finally, I placed a ring of glue from a glue stick around the edge of the program and pressed it firmly to close.
Next, I cut 1′ long pieces of pink and yellow ribbon (our wedding colors) and tied them in a simple slip-knot through the hole in the popsicle sticks, creating a simple ribbon tail.
And they were complete.
For my 90 programs, I used about 100 sheets of card stock (there were two or three misprints and a few mistakes), 2 rolls of double stick tape, 8 spools of 1/8” ribbon (3.5 yards/spool), 2 full sized Elmer’s glue sticks, 110 popsicle sticks (expect to break a few while drilling), a 3M corner cutter (which I found at Walmart for $4), and Jason’s Dremmel hand tool.
Next, I moved onto escort cards, which would also remind our guests of their meal choices. At our wedding, we’re serving a chicken dish, a vegetarian dish, and an option for children (anyone under 12). As such, I printed the cards, which I found over at Style Me Pretty, opting for their vegetarian, chicken and blank templates for the children. I will admit that my handwriting comes nowhere close to the beauty of their calligraphy, but for a simple country wedding, I’m hoping it will suffice!
I was thrilled to find tiny wooden clothespins at Walmart for only $1.50/50 pack, and this, my friends, is how my guests will find their alphabetized escort cards (though please try to imagine them suspended between two white posts, hanging in the breeze of our reception).
Well, that’s what’s been going on for the last few days at our place. I only have a few more paper goods to finish assembling, and then – hopefully – the weather will let me return to a garden that needs much, much weeding!