By Alyssa Clough

Published on August 7, 2018

MONICA WANG PHOTOGRAPHY Pin It
MONICA WANG PHOTOGRAPHY

Whether or not you’re a DIY bride, there are a handful of ways you can navigate the often tedious process that is wedding planning. More specifically speaking, it’s the decorative aspects of it—we’re talking centerpieces, place card holders, and bouquets, to name a few—which can tend to present a set of challenges, be it financially or stylistically.

From food and flowers to programs and cocktails, we compiled a list of style-focused DIYs that look a lot more luxe than they actually cost. You can’t deny the fact that these ideas are both clever and beautiful—plus, they definitely won’t destroy your budget. Read on for the inspiring projects that will make your big day special—but not too spendy!

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MONICA WANG PHOTOGRAPHY

Vases

Splurging on a completely new set of vases for the decor and centerpieces can add up quickly. Take a page out of Whitney Leigh Morris’s book and opt for a clever DIY featuring upcycled bottles. Utilize them to house fragrant sprigs of florals and scatter them throughout the venue. Alternatively, you may use them atop the bar (with fresh flowers, of course) for an added pop of color.

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Meghan McNeer

Fruit Bar

In lieu of the standard dessert table, more and more couples are erring towards the untraditional, especially when it comes to the sweeter side of the menu. Multi-tiered cakes are being replaced by massive spreads comprised of an eclectic assortment of confections. This color-fueled spread is no exception. The Bohemian spread from natural foods chef Deena Chanowitz is one that’s inspired by a bold use of color and brings on a much-needed dose of healthy to the standard fare.

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AARON BENGOCHEA

Boutonnieres

It’s not hard to construct these yourself…the hard part is settling on the types of greens and florals you want to incorporate. This DIY is just as elegant as the “professionally-made” variety but rings in at only half the cost. Now, that’s a win.

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TINA BOYADJIEVA FOR THUMBTACK

Bouquet

DIY-ing a bouquet that looks professionally-done is easier than one may think. Elena Seegers of NYC-based floral design company Le Fleuriste, shows us the ropes, proving that an abundantly vibrant arrangement is quite easy to attain.

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Megan Welker Photography

Table numbers

Fancy table numbers shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Team Lauren Conrad schools us on the art of creating this ultra chic and simple variety, courtesy of a little cardstock and wooden craft sticks. An abundant floral display is optional, although highly encouraged.

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Sugarfina

Candy bar

Sugarfina’s iconic candy cubes can just about qualify as a quintessential crowd-pleaser. So when it comes to your big day, takes things a step further with a beautifully customized box set of your own. Our DIY of choice? Creating a candy buffet in place of the standard dessert bar, for a fun and refreshing twist on the classic.

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Tasha Rae Photography via 100LAYERCAKE.COM

Glass sign

We’ve all seen plenty of signs drawn on wood and chalkboards, but our favorite are those drawn on framed glass—especially when paired against a backdrop comprised of a romantic slew of greenery.

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JAMIE JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

S’mores bar

A s’more is kind of like a DIY dessert, right? Have your guests pick from an assortment of fun fillings that go beyond the classic options, such as swapping out plain chocolate for Reese’s Cups or adding some fresh fruit.

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CAROLINE JOY PHOTOGRAPHY

Personalized chalkboard chairs

Use this opportunity to get creative and add anything from your favorite song lyrics to personalized messages on each mini chalkboard. Or, let your guests have some fun and have them individualize their own.

 

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HEATHER LYNN PHOTOGRAPHY

Wooden barrel table

You’re one old wine barrel away from a rustic-looking table, perfect for your cocktail reception. Top with candles or flowers for a simple yet chic finish that will surely wow.

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FEMINA

Hanging light bulb bouquets

Ditch the vases in lieu of these whimsical hanging bouquets. Hollow out some old Edison light bulbs, wrap with jute twine, and add your favorite flowers for an easy flower display. Bonus points for utilizing Baby’s-breath, as they definitely run on the lower financial end of the spectrum.

 

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ONCEWED.COM

Paint chip escort cards

Using free paint chips from your local hardware store isn’t a revolutionary DIY, but it might be one we’ll never get sick of. We’re really loving all the variations of green in this escort card setup!

 

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MICHELLE EDGEMONT VIA THEKNOT.COM

Confetti programs

What’s a party without confetti? Kill two birds with one stone: Make your program double as a packet for your confetti!

 

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KRISTINA CURTIS PHOTOGRAPHY VIA RUFFLEDBLOG.COM

Vine backdrop

Elegant and romantic, this vine backdrop really takes the cake in terms of easy to make yet still impressive backdrops. It’s great for a photo booth or just a nice place for guests to take photos. Plus, it’s a great way to offset a lack of florals elsewhere.

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CATHERINE MEAD VIA BRIDES

Signature cocktail

Whether your wedding features two signature cocktails (one for each spouse) or a cocktail everyone is already familiar with, you can’t go wrong with choosing your favorite booze. Spice it up and work with your favorite bartender—or mix your own—to create a custom cocktail for your reception. (Pssst! Keep the recipe and drink it on your anniversaries, or you know, whenever you want.)

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Shannen Natasha for MARTHASTEWARTWEDDINGS.COM

Programs that double as a fan

If you have yet to notice, we’re all about double-duty here. If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding and you know it’s going to be a scorcher, creating programs that serve an alternate purpose will be much appreciated by guests. Bonus: This also helps shield your guests’ eyes from the sun.

 

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BRITTANY WOOD FOR DESIGNLOVEFEST.COM

Dip-dyed placemats

DIY-ing your own placemats isn’t hard and it gives you the opportunity to get creative with the color scheme. Head to a local fabric store and purchase a large cut of linen, which you can later segment into placemat-sized rectangles. Plus, with this two-sided dip-dyed technique, it’s easy to incorporate all of your wedding colors!

 

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RYAN RAY VIA ONCEWED.COM

Seating chart trick

Settling on a seating chart is arguably one of the more challenging aspects of wedding planning. This clever hack is here to change that. All you need to organize—and reorganize—your seating chart is a few sticky notes and scissors. Let the games begin!

 

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KATIE PRITCHARD VIA GREENWEDDINGSHOES.COM

Mimosa bar

This is an awesome DIY to consider for your bridesmaids, specifically to serve as you get ready. Alternatively, you may reserve this colorful setup for a reception that takes place earlier on in the day.

 

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ASHLEY LARGESSE PHOTOGRAPHY VIA WEDDINGCHICKS.COM

Flower box

Not all centerpieces are created equally and we are 100% here for that. A rustic-inspired crate can certainly double as a vessel—in lieu of the traditional vase or hurricane.  Learn how to make your own crate and fill it with flowers for whimsical, romantic wedding centerpieces that are pleasantly out of the ordinary.

 

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SMP LIVING VIA STYLEMEPRETTY.COM

Leftover treat boxes

Your (most likely tipsy) guests will appreciate this on their way out of the door of the reception. Plus, there’s no use in letting your expensive—and utterly decadent—cake and other desserts go to waste.

 

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BRUMLEY + WELLS VIA STYLEMEPRETTY.COM

Pastel bouquets

Petal Floral Design gives you the breakdown on which flowers—and how many—to buy to recreate this stunning bouquet.

 

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THIS GIRL NICOLE PHOTOGRAPHY VIA BRIDALMUSINGS.COM

Floral chair details

If plain, minimalist chairs aren’t your thing, add mason jars filled with your favorite flowers.

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Pop Sugar

Ombré photobooth backdrop

Every wedding needs an Insta-worthy backdrop, hence why you should definitely consider promptly recreating this DIY. We can’t imagine a prettier photobooth for an outdoor wedding or reception.

 

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LARA HOTZ VIA NOUBA.COM.AU

Mixtape reception favors

Create a mixtape with all your favorite jams you’re planning on playing throughout your reception. This way guests won’t be pestering you for songs they liked and everyone will be able to reminisce on the trip home.

 

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HONESTLY WTF

One-tier floral chandelier

Hang a beautiful floral chandelier over any of your bars for a touch of extra-romantic decor.

 

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TAYLOR LORD PHOTOGRAPHY VIA STYLEMEPRETTY.COM

Wood sign

Wood signs are nothing new, but they’re so cute! We’re especially fans of the variety that points you in the right direction, as you can see here.

 

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JULIET ELIZABETH PHOTOGRAPHY VIA WEDDINGCHICKS.COM

Hanging bottles

This is the perfect DIY for a bar or cocktail space—just make sure the bottles are hanging securely!

 

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COLIN HOCKEY VIA NOUBA.COM.AU

Origami ceiling decor

This is especially relevant for those planning a colorful wedding. This bride spent hours making these simple origamis, which definitely paid off at the reception.

 

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HEATHER PAYNE PHOTOGRAPHY VIA STYLEMEPRETTY.COM

Garden-style bouquet

Get the breakdown on which flowers were used in this dreamy bouquet by Floret Flowers.

 

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MARTHASTEWARTWEDDINGS.COM

Conversation-starting guestbook

This is a cute way to start conversations between your guests—and create an alternate guestbook that will be filled with memories.

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MEGAN SAUL PHOTOGRAPHY VIA RUFFLEDBLOG.COM

Geometric paper backdrop

This vintage-looking paper backdrop feels sophisticated and will cost you next to nothing to make.

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COLLIN DUPREE AND ELSIE LARSON VIA ABEAUTIFULMESS.COM

Eucalyptus hair wreath

Eucalyptus hair wreaths are the more sophisticated sister to the flower crown. Consider putting your bridesmaids in these if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony.

 

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JEADORE.COM

Floral heart

Having floral hearts to lean on bars throughout your reception will add a romantic touch to your space.

 

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AMELIA OF BLOOM & LO VIA GOLDANDBLOOM.COM

Paper placemats

This DIY is perfect for someone with a smaller, more casual wedding where the cutlery might be located next to the buffet instead of already at the table.

 

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STYLEMEPRETTY.COM

Chocolate cake toppers

Make your own cupcake toppers with this easy chocolate DIY. All you need is a bag, some wax paper, and melted chocolate.

Originally published March 2016. This story has been updated with new information.

Discover more wedding DIYs and ideas:

Chic and Clever Bridesmaids Gifts You’ll Actually Want to Give
What to Know Before You Plan an At-Home Bridal Shower
How to Avoid Spending a Fortune on Your Wedding

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