July 18, 2024
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July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Craft Up Your Wedding and Save Some Bucks

Is money is flying out your pocket with your wedding plans?  Despair not. With a glue gun and crafty tools, glamorize your wedding with a personal touch while saving money.

Pick a theme and color scheme and get to work. Invitations you can print at home are available in different formats and paper colors. Decorate them with appliqués and stamp art embellished with beads or tiny florets–from campy to elegant—available in bulk at the craft store. Print your own menus, prayers and messages for guests on a galaxy of papers available at office supply superstores. Pick papers that match your theme and scheme.

Expensive table linens can be a budget breaker. Hunt your local fabric outlets for remnants that match your colors. Buying more than one color can save money and you can spice up the settings with a variety of hues. Top the basics with lace tablecloths borrowed from family members to create an elegant layered look. Use a contrasting fabric (cotton is best) for napkins. Napkin rings/place card holders can be crafted from glittery pipe cleaners, wired ribbon, and silk flowers. Or hunt down something at a dollar store. We found giant faux brass and glass engagement rings for a dollar a pop.

 

To create a cost-effective and dramatic centerpiece, choose a simple clear vase for about $1, place a bag of matching glass marbles (also $1) in the bottom, and fill with fresh, silk, or dried flowers. The finishing touch is as easy as tying a big bow of wired ribbon around the vase’s neck and trailing long ribbon streamers on the tabletop.

The best place to find affordable fresh flowers, including white roses, is Costco. With florist’s supplies from the craft shop, you can create the bride’s bouquet, buttonieres and corsages, and save lots of money doing it.

Check the bridals aisle for items to fire your imagination. Strings of tiny pearls and veiling can embellish your headpiece; get a satin pillow for your ring boy, and silk rose petals for your flower girls. Create favors for your bridesmaids and ushers that run from elegant to fun. And when it’s finally over, craft a wedding scrapbook or create a collage from the photos your took on their cell phones.

The Chuppah

Decorating a chuppah with fresh flowers and lace can costs thousands. What to do?

Fashion a chuppah frame from PVC pipes and some rolls of plastic lanyard from the craft store. It will be easy to take apart and put together, so it can be stored and used again. Choose four two inch pipes for height (we used nine-foot lengths for the posts and six-foot lengths for the perimeter) and seven two-inch pipes for the cross members. All the joints are standard elbows and you just snap the whole thing together by building a cube (see photo). Wrap the lanyard across the top beams and weave a tallit, a prayer shawl, through it.

Dress up your plain-Jane PVC with satin and lace from the remnants rack! You’ll find a variety of pre-made floral silk arrangements at the home or craft store, and don’t forget to check sale items. One chuppah was inspired by an arc of dried flowers that became the main component of the chuppah’s crown. It was attached to the PVC with florist’s wire and a glue gun.

Yards of color-coordinated lace and chiffon hide the posts easily and, if you like, cover the rear posts, too. A few strategically tightened pipe cleaners every 18 inches or so help wrap the fabric around the piping and allows you to puff up the elegance. You can also hang a swath of fabric like a drape from the back rod, to give the chuppah a more enclosed feeling. PVC frames can also be used to create temporary gazebos draped with mosquito netting for outdoor receptions.

The Umbrella Maypole: Contemporary Shtick

These days a wedding without shtick (costumes and toys used on the dance floor) is boring, so doing something different than the usual will enchant your guests.

An old ripped Chauffeur’s umbrella is turned into beautiful bridal maypole when spray painted in lilac silver and glue-gunned with silk flowers, ribbons and lace to hide the holes that made the umbrella useless. It dresses up like Cinderella’s ball gown (see photo) and is crowned with an old wedding cake decoration attached by wire and glue gun. Long ribbons are attached along the edges of the umbrella so that people can dance around the bride and groom, maypole style, as they snuggle under it.

Recycling the Mitzvah

Your fabulous decorations and table dressings, the silk flowers, the chuppah and umbrella can all be donated to your local gemach that provides wedding items to brides who can’t afford to otherwise dress up their weddings. So, while you create the special touches for your special day, keep the mitzvah-to-be in mind, and all will be doubly-blessed. MAZAL-TOV!

By Jeanette Friedman

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