I’m a lover of all things DIY, and a graphic designer with a teensy addiction to paper crafting. And I’m also a bride, so naturally I’m incorporating my obsession into my wedding details. One challenge came when my fiancé, Dale, and I wanted to come up with a creative way to ask our bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand up with us at our wedding. We felt that a DIY project would add a personal touch to let them know how much more meaningful our day would be if our “besties” were right beside us.
I decided to ask my sister and my two best girlfriends to stand up with me. Unfortunately, all three ladies live over 800 miles away, so a day trip to treat them to brunch and ask each in person wasn’t exactly feasible. I had a vision of the type of snail-mail invite I was after, but needed a little photo inspiration to bring my ideas together. I searched Pinterest for weeks, but nothing quite fit the bill…so I ended up combining several of my ideas into one.
The first task was purchasing all my materials [see the Materials list below for sources]: wooden cigar boxes, patterned scrapbook paper, craft paper envelopes, bars of me and my gals’ favorite Chocolove XOXOX chocolate bars, vodka minis and drinking straws, mini-Altoid tins, paper shreds, white jewelry-size gift boxes, striped doodle twine and some good ol’ rubber cement.
Then came the fun part—putting the pieces together. I lined the wooden cigar boxes with floral scrapbook paper, and placed the paper shreds in the bottom of each box so that the contents had something to rest upon.
Inside the cigar box would go some special goodies: Each white jewelry box held a personal message to each the recipient asking them to be my bridesmaid, which I’d printed out on my computer and then folded into an accordion shape.
I put some color swatches and paper printouts of flower and dress inspiration in the envelope, so the bridesmaids-to-be could see the theme Dale and I were trying to achieve. (Surely, you’re wondering how we came up with our wedding color palette, yes? It was partly inspired by this article.)
The signature cocktail for me and my gal pals has always been a screwdriver, so I included the mini-vodkas, straws and Altoids as a reminder of my single days.
For the groomsmen, we found several ideas on Pinterest, but again, wanted to create something of our own. Dale loved the idea of customized bourbon/whiskey bottle labels that doubled as his invite to his guys, so we went with it! He has a few “go-to” bourbons, but one of his favorites is Jim Beam. Luckily, this bottle’s label was relatively easy to redesign. I have over a dozen years of experience using Photoshop in my design work, so we put my skills to the test. With Dale’s help, we did a darn good job of matching the Jim Beam fonts, and came up with a label that looked almost identical to the original. We really wanted to see if the guys even noticed when they pulled the bottles out of those brown paper bags. I wish we would have captured the looks on their faces…absolutely priceless!
DIY may not be your thing, and I totally get it. It.is.not.for.everyone. But I find people always appreciate the extra thought and effort—our bridal party sure did! I couldn’t be happier with the way these projects turned out, and hope this inspires you to get creative when asking your guys & gals to be part of your big day.
- wooden cigar boxes: You can find these at any local tobacco shop - they sell empty boxes starting at about $3/each. I found 3 boxes I really liked, and asked the shop owner to contact me when they were empty. If you’re in a time crunch, you will most likely have to purchase the ones they have already emptied that day.
- some scrapbook paper: Hobby Lobby or Michaels are your best bet, or you might get lucky at your local craft store.
- craft paper envelopes: Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Paper Source are one-stop shops for all things crafty.
- jewelry boxes: Hobby Lobby or Michaels.
- doodle twine: Hobby Lobby, Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabric.
- bars of Chocolove XOXOX chocolate: Whole Foods, Fresh Market or online here.
- vodka minis: your local liquor store.
- straws: Found mine at Target, but you can purchase them at any party store.
- mini-Altoid tins: I bought a 12 pack from Costco, but you can find them on Amazon. (You could really use any tin of mints here.)
- crinkle paper shreds: I purchased mine at Cost Plus World Market, but you can also find them on Amazon or Party City.
- some good ol’ rubber cement: Amazon, Target, Michaels, or any office supply store.
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