Wedding Reception Ideas

4 Budget DIY Wedding Décor Ideas

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So many details go into the planning of your special day. Whether you are handling those details yourself or working with a wedding planner, you need to be mindful of your budget. From ceremony decor to reception place settings, a wedding is chock-full of special arrangements that make it timelessly memorable—but expensive.

Using gift cards is one of my favorite ways to keep track of expenses and ensure that I don’t spend too much. By purchasing gift cards beforehand, you are far more likely to keep these wonderful projects within budget and on task.

Here are some other surprising DIY wedding ideas that will enhance your wedding day while keeping you on budget:

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1. A New Kind of Guest Book

How many weddings have you been to where you sign a guest book? And how many times do you think it will ever see the light of day again after that blessed event? Perhaps your nuptials should leave you with something a little more useful and memorable.

A wonderful trend in wedding personalization is the shift toward alternative guest books that either represent the couple’s interests—music, boating, etc.—or make a memento to revisit later, like a wine bottle to open on your first anniversary.

Surprisingly, you can find interesting guest book options in the aisles of the hardware store. Ceramic tiles come in a wide variety of sizes and can be incorporated into your home in lots of creative ways—and also your wedding.

Depending on the number of guests you anticipate and how you would like to display your “guest book,” you can use a 12×12-inch tile for guests to sign with a permanent marker that coordinates with your wedding colors or home décor. If you are having a large wedding, use multiple tiles that can later be hung on a wall as a keepsake of your day. Smaller tiles allow for an intimate display that can be used in a kitchen backsplash or as drink coasters.

Here’s what you’ll need to properly prepare and seal your tile, ensuring those written memories last a lifetime:

  • Start with a clean tile; it’s best to wipe it down with rubbing alcohol to erase any grease or residue.
  • Offer guests numerous colored Sharpie markers on your guest book table.
  • After the wedding, seal it with either clear decoupage or spray-on polyurethane sealer.

2. Shelter Your New Beginning

Outdoor weddings are the perfect opportunity for rustic DIY projects. Building an arch for you and your spouse to stand under while taking vows can be an accessible task as the structural supplies are readily available.

If you are marrying in a traditional Jewish ceremony, the presence of a chuppah as a representative of your newly founded home is essential. Even with the traditional heritage of a chuppah, the construction of one can be customized to your specific tastes.

This couple wanted to create a special chuppah that signified their tastes and future life together. Check out the one they built—it is sure to inspire yours.

Even if you don’t want to exchange vows under a structure, a trellis makes a wonderful frame for photo opportunities. And photo booth areas, whether elegant or silly, help get guests into celebration mode and will provide you with some cherished reminders of your wedding day.

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3. Incorporate Stones Into Your Wedding Decor

Reception seating typically goes one of two ways at a wedding: either assigned—think: place cards and table numbers—or free form, where except for the head and family tables, guests sit anywhere they choose.

For a more natural or rustic theme, you can use large pebbles as dramatic centerpieces on your reception tables. Choose a larger stone to write the table number on and display it in the center of your table, surrounded by wild flowers and verdant moss. Another option is to place the pebbles in a glass cylindrical vase and use a wooden stick anchored in the center of the stones to hold a piece of paper with the table number on it. Stones come in a variety of colors and sizes, making them perfect natural accent pieces for your seating area.

As a bonus, these pebbles can serve as another “guest book” option. Provide guests with a fine-tipped permanent marker and instructions, letting them write well wishes and advice for the happy couple on the stones. When you get them home, display these bits of wisdom in a glass vase after you and your spouse have read all of the congratulations and tips.

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4. A Unified Front

Weddings are ultimately about the joining of two people. There are a number of different tangible things that can represent this in your wedding. The familiar unity candle is losing ground to a fresher approach: unity sand. This approach is popular with couples that want to do something a little less traditional, yet familiar. There is a stylish ease to incorporating sand art into your decor.

Instead of two candles joining together to light a center candle, the couple uses two different sand colors, taking turns layering their particular sand into a large glass jar or vase. Symbolically, it is a blending of two individuals as one unique union. Stylistically, you have a lot of options in putting this natural, meaningful art into your home.

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4. Keeping the Bottom Line in Mind

Let’s be honest—weddings can be expensive, and keeping on budget is not an easy task. If you have chosen some of these projects to help customize your wedding, consider purchasing gift cards to keep your spending in check.

Likewise, people often ask how they can help you get ready for your wedding and your new life together by giving you a gift. Let them help! Simply tell inquiring minds that you would love gift cards to make some of these undertakings easier—a gift that helps you throw your perfect wedding may actually be more useful than something stored in a cupboard after the guests have all gone home. How many gravy boats do you really need? If you get cards loaded with the budget for each specific project, you will easily be able to see how you did with your financial plans.

With all of the fabulous personalization options for your special day, weddings and DIY can go hand in hand, just like you and your spouse.


Shelley Little is a do-it-yourself aficionado who writes on unique DIY projects, including weddings, for Home Depot’s gift cards department. Shelley’s budget wedding tips are designed to add flair and some very exciting memories to your special day. Home Depot’s gift cards info can be found online here.



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