Archive for budget bride

How-To: DIY Embossed Escort Cards


pre-cut business card printer paper
font you like (i chose porcelain)
stamp you like
embossing powder (white in my case, used with orange ink– white almost always looks better than the colored powder when you use colored ink, which i think is better than using the clear embossing only ink)
embossing tool

Use the business card template advertised on the package of business card paper.  It should be available for a free download, or already in your MS Word Template list.
Center the names.
Stamp wherever you would like on the card with colored ink.
Shake the embossing powder over the ink>
Remove excess.
Place the embossing tool over the powder, far enough away that it does not burn your hands.
I liked to stamp a bunch at once and then emboss a bunch at once.  

It really is very easy– the sand part is  that I never used my cards because we had a hurricane and I had to get married a day early and none of the preparations went exactly as planned!  I’ll save that for another day as this is my first post in over a year… Hope this info helps!


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updates: new centerpieces & some other stuff

wedding countdown: 10 days

you too can make your centerpieces for under $10 a table– with a flower!

check em out:




flower: pier 1
placecards: paper source
candles: ikea
flower petals: ikea
vase: ikea ($1.50!)

sorry the pics are so small, i’m having tech difficulties.

more soon!

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DIY Embossed Escort Cards!

I did my escort cards today!
Total Time Spent: 2 hours
Cost: $35.00

Ok and I drove to Berkeley this morning to go to Paper Source because I brilliantly decided I wanted to do my own invitations at midnight last night, after poring over websites looking for a company who could do what I wanted on my shoestring budget (White Aisle and Wedding Paper Divas do beautiful and affordable work, just not what I wanted). I found none and thought I may as well give it a go myself.

We found a design we liked in the wedding catalog and to make it easier on ourselves, basically copied the whole thing. Our wedding invites should take me about a week and all of the supplies, including RSVP inserts with their owen envelopes cost us $83.00.

Rachel at Paper Source was a HUGE help. She knew I wanted to use stamps and hipped me to embossing machines. Basically you stamp your image onto your surface, pour some embossing powder on it, shake off the excess and wave your magic embosser wand over it. This is the cool machine I got:


It costs around $20 and is available here. I always wanted to learn to emboss but thought it was much more involved and messy than it actually is. I think I’m addicted already.

I finished my escort cards tonight and used my new tool to do it. Now that I am doing my own invites, programs, menus, escort cards, table numbers and nameplates for the table, I can tie it all together with my own designs and be sure that everything matches, AND looks exactly as I want it to.

Here are my embossed stamped escort cards:



I will fill a tray with sand and use that to hold up the cards, like so:

I took this off a knottie’s page and should give credit. I’ll find out where I got it from soon.

This is the tray I am going to use:

And that is my exciting new for this evening.

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wedding favor containers &

At Michael’s tonight, buying the rest of my centerpiece vases and candles, I came upon quite a few interesting vessels for favors. The now very popular Chinese Takout box was ever-present in a million different colors and sizes, ranging from 79 cents to $1 per piece and it can be embellished by stickers (karen smallbone for a modern look), ribbon, string, beads, hand-written names and everything in between. A new thing I saw was the mini mason jar, which I cannot for the life of me find a picture of. There was a taller sleek mini jar and a short, plump one. Both were cute, but I would have opted for the taller one. The only reason I didn’t purchase them tonight: I have no clue what to put inside my favor boxes/jars/bags. No idea. I am not interested in jordan almonds, the traditionalist’s choice; not into candles, bath salts, soaps or gels; not really into candy, either but I’m open to it if worse comes to worse. I am stumped at what to put into all of the cute items I come across and am waiting for inspiration to hit before I spend $1/item for the simple container!

Etsy has proven useful tonight for various wedding items:


These adorable tags by accessoryalamode are on the pricey side for just tags at $6.00 a pop, but are hand stamped antique brass and could be used as keychains for favors, thus eliminating the need for favor containers altogether. I think the design is universally appealing and would look good holding anyone’s keys. We could put our names and the date on it or even just the date, like so: 08172007.


If I was planning on the soap route, I would definitely look into soapylove’s petite soap flavors. They’re adorable and come in a variety of shapes, colors and patterns. At 75 cents each they’re a steal.

And that is my favor report for this evening.

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Non-Floral Aisle Decoration

These look great for a non-floral aisle decoration. Light green glass, they also go well with out color scheme and only cost $8 a pop. I figure we can use them to highlight the edges of the aisle instead of a fabric aisle runner. Add that to the programs we will lay on the chairs and this part of decoration is seemingly over.


Available at Pier 1.

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The Centerpiece Trials

Okay, I admit it. I am obsessed with finding the perfect centerpiece. Something has cracked in my brain and made me crazy. I went back to Ikea only this time, with this simple, stunning book on wedding design. It has been the best purchase I have made so far, and it helped me realize what’s important in a centerpiece: simplicity.

I present to you, Centerpiece One of my new trials:






The green platter came from Ikea– I got 10 to be on the safe side. $2.99/each. The flower petals in the vase also from Ikea. $2.50 a pack and I used not even a quarter of the pack. Candles, Ikea also, though I cannot remember how much they cost. Votive holder, $1.29 for a pack of 4. I want to put two votive holders with candles in front of each place setting. Don’t mind my construction paper placemats, I just wanted to have the illusion of an orange tablecloth, which is the color I want. Also not to be minded is the paper towel napkins– again , this is for the illusion, people! The big center vase was $2.99 from Michael’s. I will grand total this up eveuntally, but I still think it is cheaper than whatever my wedding planner quoted me and it fits Ok and I more than anything she has offered so far.

What do you think?

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I have not posted in a few days due to dental PAIN and getting my save the dates yesterday. I hand wrote the addresses on most of them last night, have just a few more to do and am contemplating cutting my hand off. My handwriting itself went from very nice to blah in about 10 envelopes. Maybe tonight will be better. As for the quality of my Wedding Paper Divas save the dates… I wish that the ink didn’t look so computer-y (is that a word) but for the price, they are very nice. Honestly though, if I had had the time, I could have done em better. So I am contemplating DIY’ing our invites; we need to cut back on spending for the wedding and that’s an easy couple hundred, whereas I could purchase paper and use my printer to achieve almost the same affect for chump change and my time. My time, which seems to be slipping away from me may be better spent doing other wedding stuff, but I’m not sure if I can justify paying for cut cardstock and a computer printer no matter how nice the design is.

I’m also DIY’ing our centerpieces as you know from my last post. I picked up a bunch of fish gravel for some vases I purchased at the thrift store and wasn’t too happy with the look. While browsing at Michael’s I found a book of wedding crafts and peeked at it, finding an idea for napkin rings I have almost finished. It involved tools I already owned (wire cutters and some other wire bending apparatus) and was really fun to do. I will post a picture when I get time to upload from my camera. Having that almost done is encouraging and I came up with an idea to use the same concept for our centerpieces. I tested three of them and I’m really happy with the way it came out, so we will see what I can pull off in less than four months. It will save a LOT of money to do these myself even if I have to ship them on island.

We also booked our photographer off of craigslist. She’s based in Portland and was having a destination wedding sale. Her photos have a very editoral look which is what Ok and I wanted and we are really excited to be working with her. She’s been published in a variety of places and is only charging for one night hotel. Her price beats some of the photogs on island and her experience and the quality of work is much higher, in my opinion.

Today I need to contact the caterer and work on group hotel rates for the guests. I don’t think the group rates will mean much considering it is the off-season and everything is ridiculously cheap for St Thomas– I mean these prices more than double in December. We will try to get everyone to stay on one side of the island, the BEST side, my side, the East End.

And with memories of Hi Ho Market on Smith Bay Road in my head, I’m off to work to save the world.

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