Do you have what I need?

So I guess your wondering why I posted such a silly thing...Well I'll tell ya:

my brother and his fiancee are finally tying the knot after over 7 years of "togetherness"! This is not just a wedding of two though...My brother has a 7 year old daughter Haley, and Jo-Jo has a 6 year old, Katie, and 8 year old, Danny {HI KIDLINGS!}. So as you can see it's more like a "family" wedding. Here's the catch: they just announced to us that the wedding will be on August 18th of THIS YEAR, meaning next month! So we will be going down to Pittsburgh, PA for the ceremony but we are also planning a family reception back here in Buffalo in mid September. So as you can see, it's time for a scramble to create the best and most unique homemade wedding reception ever! This is where you come in!

We are in need of some clever, homemade ideas for our reception, and most of all they have to be Budget friendly. I'm going to describe our goals and settings below so you have some guidelines to follow and if you feel you have the perfect idea or suggestions for anything from favors to decorations...Send it on over and to make it all the more fun...If we use your idea, I'll post what a wonderful idea it is on my blog with pictures of how we were able to pull it off after the reception in September!....Sorry, I have no free money to throw at ya for this one, but it's a good chance to open your creative think tank and spread the word!

here is your criteria:
~ must be quick to make
~ preferably kid friendly (if it's a favor)
~ absolutely must be creative
~ must supply with directions on how to make and a complete supply list (can email)
~ can't cost an arm and a leg
~ should be able to hold up for an outside event
~ the unique the better
~ the brides favorite color is blue
~ party will hold about 150 guests (including kids!)
~ please don't pirate any ideas unless they say it's okay first! LOL

you can send me any type of file via email (MAC compatible) or any type of links! I can't wait to see what you all can come up with!


  1. I can create custom ornaments with photos of teh bride and groom, favorite poems or passages as well as incorporating the brides favorite color. Please see some examples of my work on my website www.rusticrelics.net...there is some info under my "Custom" section. If you are interested, please feel free to e-mail me and I can go over time frame and cost info. Thank you for the opportunity :) Cheers!

  2. thanks sarah! i will definatly keep you in mind...and thanks already to the growing responces outside of the comments here!
    keep em commin!

  3. This has been done before, but I plan on using this at my own wedding: I'm pretty sure oh joy mentioned this. Find a bunch of nice glass containers and fill them each with different various candy (probably blue). For example, one glass container has blue m$ms, one has blue mints, ect. Have those old fashioned scoops in each container and a pile of bags so everyone can make their own gift bag, Kinda like a candy bar!

  4. To echo Christy's sentiments, I just got married two months ago and did the candy bar thing. It was a hit with adults and kids alike! You can see photos here: http://today.maganda.org/yesterday/000900.html

  5. What crafty/artistic girl had the vintage wedding reception early this summer in a Martha Stewart magazine? Vintage tablecloths, dishes, calico prints, candles. Homemade Jam as guest treats. Some great ideas that could be modified to the tastes of this bride.

    The color complement of blue is orange... could do sea blue, cool blue, teal, chartreuse with various shades hues of orange. Or, Blue and yellow is always crisp and clean and gingham with rick rack or eyelet ruffles could work for a summer wedding.

    The important thing is to create centers of interest where people can congregate and talk easily and not just get stuck at their own table. Make a few centrally located areas of the reception interesting and friendly in a cosy way. It's a bit wild but with the kids and if they like vintage, a checker or a domino table with vintage game boards hanging from the walls could be cute. Outdoors, horseshoes could serve the same purpose.

  6. For my wedding we did plantable paper favors and also flower lollipop favors (we had a garden theme.. and my flowers were gerberas.. they were yum-o too!)


    Anyhoo you can buy a roll of plantable paper from here (http://www.plantablepaper.com/wrap.htm) One sheet of the wrapping paper made about 200 2" square favors. Get one of those large scrapbooking hole punches in whatever shape or size you want. I then printed out the little thank you on regular paper using the label maker template in Microsoft Word. Cut them all out, punch a hole, and tie them together with cute ribbon (Wraphia from Nashville Wraps *cheap* http://www.nashvillewraps.com/) And there you go!!! I got about 200 favors for $20!!!! I've seen these exact same favors sold for $1-$2 a favor!

    Okay for the lollipops.. I ordered them from this nice lady off of ebay for 50 cents a sucker(http://stores.ebay.com/Katies-Candy-World). BUT! You can easily make them by getting a candy mold in the shape you want and following a recipe to make lollipops (http://www.cooks.com/rec/search?q=lollipop) Add some food coloring in the wedding colors.. and there you go! :) I also got candy poker chips with our names and wedding date on it b/c our honeymoon was in vegas.. but that probably would not work for outdoors.

  7. we did cds (i know, everyone does cds) but it wasn't mushy love music, i picked 8 songs, he picked 8 and we blended them together, and put the cds in a handmade (by us!) wallet.

    we also had bubbles to hand out (not for just when we left) and a pretty little baggie with a tulip bulb and a slip of planting instructions. also not an original idea, but planting with kids is definitely fun and educational!

  8. ~christine, your link didn't work. do you have another?
    ~i was thinking of a "Seed paper" idea but didn't know where i could get the paper cause i wouldn't have time to make the paper too. so i'll check out those links sumati! thanks
    i think i'm going to have to make up some follow up posts for this! i think it's so great when great creative minds come together for another!
    ~sk8, love the stitching touch on your CD folio!

  9. nicole

    i didn't do this for my wedding but i would if i were to do this again - i love kids at wedding


    goofy but i love it (our wedding cake was twinkies :P)

    * sorry, you got to cut and paste the link above (i'm a blogging idiot), it's a poodle card with balloons - i bet you can create different versions of it - a local library may have books on balloon crafts. good luck - cool blog, btw.

  10. oh alsy homemade cookies (maybe a family recipe or the bride and groom's fav kind of cookies) are cute favors! Wrap them up in some cellophane/fabric/tissue paper/plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon. Cute and cheap and yummy!

  11. We made large origami cranes to hold our table markers. I used 11 x 11 cream paper to fold the crane and cut two small slits in the crane's back to hold the cardstock table card upright. We made clusters on each table with a vase of cherry blossoms and curly willow, the crane, and a handful of smooth stones strewn about. Our colors were robin egg blue, chocolate brown, and cream. I don't know where my pics are - sorry. Origami crane instructions are all over the internet.

  12. We made our own favors. This too has been done before but everyone loved it. We put our favorite songs (including the one we danced to, and a variety that reflected our tastes) on a cd..made covers for them with a picture of us ..not a large one as the main focus was on the date and a "message" we put on the cover. We then wrapped these up in tissue paper and a soft ribbon.. to be enjoyed for many songs to come.

  13. We did potted, live plants for centerpieces, cheap terra cotta pots of varying sizes which I painted the rims blue (my wedding was blue too) and filled with blue and white flowers. Since they were varying sizes each table had 1-3 pots and guests who wanted to took them home and planted them. Favors were mini glass vases each with one daisy (not too kid friendly). A nice touch for place cards is to write the name on the front of a small folded card and the bride and groom write a short, personal note inside to the guest.

    Another fun (kid friendly) thing we did was use a small photo album as a guest book (one with posts that could be taken apart) and put a few pages on each table with pens and had an i zone camera so guests decorated a page (and added pictures) for the guest book rather than just signing on a line.

    You can't beat a home baked cookie in a glassine bag with a nice ribbon as a cheap, appreciated favor.

    Good luck!! We had only a 4 month engagement and everything went beautifully

  14. I went to a gorgeous and very intimate wedding on a small budget, and one of the favors that was very cute and a very unique idea was homemade fortune cookies with the "fortune" inside having the bride and groom's name printed on it. You can get the recipe here: http://www.asiazine.com/eat/eat03032.htm . Printing the fortunes out on strips of paper should be easy enough to print from your home computer. I also did favors for my best friend's wedding where threaded jingle bells (the round ones used to embellish packages for Christmas, we used silver, but they come in other colors, too)on pretty ribbon (has to be relatively thin so as not to fray the ribbon) and attached tags with the couple's name on it. Then we tied a knot at the end. Sure beats broken glasses at the end og the night! And very easy to assemble. Bells are cheap and so it ribbon.
    Whatever you do, I'm sure it will turn out beautiful. Best of luck to the happy couple!

  15. I have a very long list of things for you to take a look at, however I am not able to e-mail you through the link on your page here. I hope it will be okay for me to post it all here. There is one image that I will not be able to attach because my flickr account is currently down, but I can e-mail it to you later if you like my ideas at all.

    What an exciting event!... (and so little time to prepare for it! LOL) I was reading back issues of Martha Steward late last night, and an idea popped into my head. (I'm sure Martha has probably already done this before, but I didn't see it in the issues I was reading)... so here ya go:
    *Note: A lot depends upon how formal your event will be. Because of the children factor (and being a mom to a 7 year old myself) I'm going to assume for the sake of my suggestions that this is relatively informal occasion. Make any changes you need to fit it to your specific needs. This would be best for an afternoon casual to semi-formal type of wedding:

    A TEA and CUPCAKE party! Everyone loves cupcakes, right?!!... and they are so chic right now! Plus a tea party lends itself well to tiny (easy to make and affordable) hors d'oeuvres, and simple but sweet decorations.

    The picture: French Chic meets County Tea Party

    THE CAKE, ACTIVITY, and (possible) TABLE:
    This could either be done on several "activity tables" which guests could gather around, or in the center of each individual table.

    Lay out (or stack) blue paper dessert plates (which you will pre-line) with small white doilies.
    Have ready, multiple cake-stands with two different flavors of basic pre-frosted cupcakes (chocolate and white would look nice with blue decorations!)
    Bake the cupcakes in white, blue, or silver baking cups for a clean look.
    Set out cups (thrifted tea cups or glass canning jars (minus the lids) with a bow tied around them would be cute!) with pre-prepared bags of icing in them (to help them stand up and not get all over the place). You can either purchase decorator tips (more expensive), or just get the clear plastic decorator bags (sold at craft stores) and snip off the very tip for guests to create dots, flowers, scalloped edges, and swirls galore!
    In addition you could provide small candy toppings (such as nonpareils) for additional decorations. All of this can be done with the blue colors your bride would love.

    Because this activity may be a tad messy for really small children, the seating arrangement may need to be carefully thought out (at least one or more responsible adult per every couple children). You may also like to go the extra mile and provide kid-sized painters smocks, or even thrifted button down men's shirts (in blue tones of course) for kids to cover up in, and a tub or two of pull-out antibacterial hand wipes for clean-up after (found at grocery stores). Wrap a band of coordinated paper around the label on the container to add to your over-all theme. Adhere with glue and double-sided tape.

    Lay out a buffet-style (but lovely looking) spread on one or more tables.
    Small finger-sandwiches and other tiny finger-foods are perfect for this theme. (However I'd be cautious of small round things like whole grapes, which could pose a choking hazard to small unattended children).
    You can even purchase things such as mini fruit tarts at just about any grocery store (or bakery for possible higher quality).
    Depending upon the temperature where you are located you could serve either hot or iced tea (flavor of your choice). You could do this by either setting out individual tea pots on each table, or one or two large serving containers at a "drink station" table near your main food table.

    The simplest, most affordable decorating trick I personally use is:
    Purchase gift wrap rolls in a pattern and color that reflects your theme, and roll out sections of it atop plain white (even cheap) tablecloths as an instant table runner. You can use double-sided tape to help adhere it to the tablecloth below it, and feel free to use a sheer overlay on top of it for a more subtle look. For instance using various sizes of white doilies (found at craft stores or baking supply stores) on top of your blue toned paper can create a unique and lovely look.

    If you will be using the buffet-style to serve your guests their food, you may wish to have the plates stacked at the end of the food table(s) for easy service. However you could alternately have them set out at each seat. If you will have them at the end of the main food table however, it would look nice to have a large white doily (or something of that sort) at each place setting (to mark the spot where their plate will go). On top of the doily you can have (pre-rolled or folded) napkins with various types of blue-patterned paper bands around them (secured with tape in the back) with the guests name written across it with a silver pen (or on decorative labels).
    *Write the guests names on the paper bands before wrapping around the napkins for an easier job.

    Anything you can put soft lighting on will add to the over beautiful effect of your theme. I'd recommend white battery operated Chinese lanterns which you can purchase at home stores (usually in the garden furniture section at shops such as target). You can string these up wherever you'd like, and don't have to worry about figuring out a power source, or trying to keep guests from tripping on power cords, etc.

    Flowers always add to a party, however they can be very expensive. Depending on your budget you could go with the more affordable types such as Baby's Breath and Carnations (which I usually don't like, but it is possible to make them look nice).
    Sticking to a one color arrangement will look better than heaping together a bunch of different colored flowers in an attempt to create a bigger look. In this case I'd go for all white flowers in different textures.
    Either group a large bunch of white blooms in an decorative teapot, or you could use empty soup cans (painted with spray-paint in either white or a nice blue color, and then tied with a chic ribbon bow around it's middle), filled with a small bunch of white flowers in each one.
    Group several together on each table.

    You could also create embellishments to group into your flower arrangements by stringing blue and white buttons onto wire. Just create a U shape out of fairly strong (but also flexible) wire. Insert the end into two of the button wholes or sting a shank button on and pull to the top of the U. Hold wire in one hand and button in your other hand. Twist the button around several times until it is secure. Repeat the process with more buttons on the same wire, or use separate wires for each button. Have fun and be creative!

    Because you have little time to prepare for this event the simplest favors I can think of are:
    Martha Stewart has used a version of this first one before though: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=channel1686&catid=cat459&navLevel=3

    Favor 1)
    Purchase pre-bagged tea (not loose leaf). (The bride or couple's favorite type would be nice. ) Be sure that the teabags are the sort with the string and tag attached to them. Remove the original tag and paper packet (if it came in one)... then using your computer, create a new tea tag with the couples initials (in blue ink). Attach to the end of the string with a staple. Next, create a new paper tea wrapper on your computer (which you will stitch closed on a sewing machine). Measure the length and width of the bag plus 1/4 seam allowance on each side as well as an extra inch at one end for a flap. On the wrapper you could either print out either a small "Thank You" to the guest, the couples initials again, or a sweet little phrase such as: "Steeped in Love." Stitch the sides of the bag closed with a simple stitch on your machine using matching or coordinating thread. Insert tea and close flap with colored seals or cute stickers.

    Favor 2)
    Combine this with a small take-out styled box of "tea cookies" with the recipe included...

    Favor 3)
    Or bake enough of the cupcakes so that guests can each take home an extra cupcake to remember the occasion by. (In the take home box). Pre-prepare the boxes by lining with parchment paper (so there won't be any leaks) and attaching a tag with the couples initials or a note of thanks on the handle.

    Favor 4)
    Something completely different that you could do was an idea someone already recommended to you: Provide a bag-your-own-favor candy table. (The kids would probably like this one the best!) Place empty glassine bags at one end of the table and twistie-ties and ribbons at the other end. (The only concern with this favor is the choking risk some candies such as gum-balls or hard candies could pose for small kids).

    Favor 5)
    ...And if all else fails you could use the services of a company like For Your Party, for customized favors and decorations.

    Best of luck to you and your family, and I wish the couple much love and happiness together.

    Source List:

    THE CAKE, ACTIVITY, and (possible) TABLE:

    Silver Baking Cups: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3110D7-475A-BAC0-5BE79277F2990881&fid=3E3308BF-475A-BAC0-5B0FF73AB678CED4

    White Baking Cups: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3153EB-475A-BAC0-59D872ECC4DB63DC&fid=3E3309C9-475A-BAC0-5E90A9479C761916

    Blue Baking Cups... they also have blue foil, but it is very bright: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E318DF7-475A-BAC0-5F56D017DCA25B7D&fid=3E32AFE1-475A-BAC0-5158F4E78A258EBD

    Disposable Decorator Bags: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3140A2-475A-BAC0-5B28E521A6E98B34&fid=3E3323AA-475A-BAC0-54E78063B9BC34D5

    Frosting Color (works much better than food coloring):
    Set: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E30C98D-475A-BAC0-5187E9B047CE5077&fid=77280EA2-475A-BAC0-58196290B17A7323
    Individual: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E30B2D9-475A-BAC0-5D5C3DB846DFD354&fid=3E33265A-475A-BAC0-597A6ED538D55E2B

    Sprinkles and such... you may find a better selection at your local stores: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/department.cfm?id=3E304BE2-475A-BAC0-50804CBEDB29A58D


    Canning Jars without lids (image for reference):

    You might also find these useful...
    Cake Board:
    Icing Chart:
    Coloring Icing:


    Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Shells... fill as desired:

    Cheese Ball...serve with crackers:

    Ham and Apple Wraps with Dip:

    Tomato Avocado Toasts:

    and maybe... Baked potatoes individually wrapped in foil with all the toppings your guests could want.


    Paper Plates:
    Lots of colors! http://www.mypapershop.com/paper-plates-disposable.html
    Plastic Plates:

    Paper inspiration for napkin bands: (click image to enlarge)

    Silver Pen:
    or... the best silver pen: http://store.scrapinsanity.com/135074.html

    Decorative labels:

    More decorations:


    Colored Sicker Seals:

    Tea Cookie Recipe:

    Clear Party Bags:

    Take Out Boxes... you can also find these at party supply stores and at some craft stores. I've seen them at Michael's before, but I don't know how the price compares:

    Custom Favors:


    Michael's (no online shopping)

    Royal Icing Recipe... you can find the meringue powder at Micheal's Craft Store or other baking shops. (Meringue powder is good because it eliminates the risk of using raw eggs):

    Hors D'oeuvre Forks:

  16. ez, WOW...I'M about half way through all your great ideas, how long did u spend writing all that! (smile and wink!!) i can't wait to take alook all al lthe rest of the links you sent....

  17. I just had my engagement party for next to nothing and posted al my photos and 1-2-3 instructions.

  18. You may have seen it, but in case not--Lena Corwin's wedding was featured in last month's Martha Stewart Weddings. Lena used large pieces of really gorgeous fabric (I think of her own design) as backdrops for the photography at her wedding and all the photographs were just beautiful--and such a simple idea. The wedding was outdoors and it looks like they just hung fabric between tree branches. If you don't have the issue, let me know and I would be happy to scan the pages and email it to you.
    Good luck!



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