Bridal party gifts and hospitality

Lets start this by saying that I love my bridesmaids (and bridesman) very much but I had decided for sure that bridal party gifts were something I was not going to be doing. These people already love you right they are giving you their time because they want to help you have the most magical day ever. But if I can get swept into the manic gift giving then I assume you can too so this is what I have put together for my girls (and boy!)

First thing to note is that all of my bridal party are traveling a fair distance to be with us one even flying in from the states so I want to make sure that their stay is as seamless and hotel like as possible, hence why I have wrapped up hospitality into this too! Two of the three also have husbands so it took our headcount to house up to 5 and so it made the most sense to get them a holiday cottage all together for the weekend rather than hotel rooms.

We are going to fill their fridge with breakfast foods (quick and simple things) along with a few essentials (tea and coffee mostly!) and some easy to go breakfast bars.

bp gifts 7

When they arrive they will each have a pair of monogrammed PJ’s in their room along with their gift bags and bridesmaid dresses all ready and steamed (more on their outfits another time!)

bp gifts 8

The PJ’s for the girls came from Asda at the start of the year but i loved the satin finishes with the classic design. I free handed each a monogram (in the American style with first name, surname and then middle name or maiden name) on paper and traced it through onto the pocket using a water soluble embroidery marker. I used a combination of embroidery threads 2 threads of each (DMC 223 and DMC E168) and split stitched over the line I had drawn. I used a hoop to keep the fabric taught and kept an eye on the backside of the piece (since it would be visible).


I used the same monogram to freehand (using a gold paint pen) onto the hangers which I bought in the wonderland that is primark.

Onto the gift bags. So they each have a reusable coffee cup (£2.99 from B&M) so we can all get coffee on the morning of the wedding, I’m not a real person until I have had my morning coffee! A selection of naughty snacks because there is nothing worse than being a little hangry (all the snacks for the three bags came to £2.00 from various store). A little pack of paracetamol (half a pack costing £0.30 each) and a travel pack of tissues (£0.39 home bargains) because you know be prepared and then they each have a small wedding day useful gift. For both of my girls I got them heart shaped hand warmers (from poundland’s post valentines day sale for £0.50 each) and for my boy bridesmaid a cherry chap-stick because I know that is his jam! I wrapped these little gifts up to add something to the mystery and presentation because it’s all about the presentation.


For the two with husbands I didn’t want them to feel left out so I (of course doubled the snacks) and then added a big pack of their favourite snack and some of their favourite drink just to say a little thankyou for spending their time on us. These were all packaged up with a note to say thanks and topped with tissue paper.

bp gifts 1

I truly believe that presentation is important for these sort of small gifts. I used gift bags from B&M (£0.99), tissue from card factory (in two colours £0.99 each), scrapbooking tags from my stockpile and the same ball of twine I have been using for everything!  These cost me between £6.00 and £8.00 a bag but by spending some time on their presentation and searching for the items for each person I think them communicate how grateful I am for them spending their valuable time on us!


I also put together bags for Alex’s grooms party but instead of cups they got their ties and childrens books instead of munchy treats for their wives.  And my family, who are also coming into town I made them goody bags in the same theme with treats and little notes to let them know how much they mean to us.

So yes, it appears I went hard on the bridal party gifts thing and yes I probably spent more money than is wise but it’s a part of the day before I am really looking forward to, showing these people around us who care about us how much we care about them!

What are your thoughts on this kind of nonsense!


The MOST extra thing

Last night my fiancee and I were sitting on the sofa talking about weddings, well to be more exact the wedding (10 days and counting) and how totally done with weddings we are.

Everything that can be organised is, our house looks like a wedding monster threw up in it (we are doing a mostly DIY wedding) and quite frankly even I can not make any more lists! Yet still, I continue.

Which leads me onto these, the most extra thing I have DIY’ed for our wedding whilst in that frenetic wedding haze where everything that needs doing is actually done and you are just keeping yourself busy with stuff because you feel like you should!

Onward from the crazy mind dump to the DIY!

But what, hold onto your hats, DIY hand soap wrappers (told you I have lost my mind!)

I have always had this thing about bathrooms, wherever I go I am likely to use the loos and golly gosh they can say a lot about a place (or dare I say it) a person so having nice amenities was important to me.


I took these very basic (but good smelling) hand soaps from home bargains for under £1.00 each. When picking these I made sure the sided of the containers were square and didn’t taper in at all because that will make your job a whole tonne harder. I made a paper wrap using my standard set of wedding illustrations and the fonts I had chosen. This involved a bit of measuring and scaling on my computer screen to make sure they would print the correct size.


I got these printed on standard printer paper (and would have done this at home if I had a colour printer that I trusted!) and cut them out. I used double sided tape to stick them over the sops and voilla done. I paired them with a hand cream (also home bargains) in a complimentary scent because it’s all about the little luxuries! Very little time, effort or money (total cost under £5.00 and that’s because our local print shop are a rip off!) but yes I am aware very unnecessary.


What did you do to distract you from the wedding crazies!


DIY wedding stationary

When we started wedding planning I knew I wanted to design my own paper products for a couple of reasons.

  1. I have a friend who got married and spent £700+ on invitations alone which I knew we could never justify
  2. I wanted everything to match from table plans and menus to invitations
  3. I’m a control  freak at heart.

Honesty is important right!


The first step for me was choosing a illustration set. I considered DIY’ing illustrations using pen and watercolour but after a highly frustrating evening of trying I began scouring the internet for alternatives. I found  the creative market which has some gorgeous artwork available to buy for really reasonable prices along with some great freebies too. Knowing our colour scheme (English garden all centering around peach roses) I found this set and declared it perfect.

Next step was finding the fonts, I knew I wanted atleast two fonts (and we ended up with three.) This meant we could have a script font for aesthetics, a print font for small amounts of functional information and a even more simple print font for large amounts of information (this is what I used in our programs for hymns and the such.)

I browse the web for fonts and used fontspace for marigold our script, from dafont I chose optimus princeps as our print font and then used my computers palatino linotype as the most functional font. Having three levels of fonts allowed me creative freedom and also works as three levels of information, titles, preface and main body which is a system I am familiar using from my real job.


I decided not use black for my fonts as it felt too dark with the light breezy illustrations so everything has been done in a very dark grey which just takes the edge off.

Most of my paper products were made using word with margins set to 0 (to allow illustrations to fall right to the edge) but I would have preferred to use publisher just for ease of moving illustrations (you can use the whole work space as like a drop zone) and the ability to let them fall over the edge but I was working within my means.

So some of the printables I created include a bar list (for our self service bar, unplugged ceremony signs and invitations to mention a few.)

I will say that I have spent hours on these (and many more) so this is not a quick fix but for me it was an important area for me to invest my time rather than spending money for someone else to do it for me. The printing has been cheap and I can have everything proof read before I hit print.  It also means that all of the signage through our event will be cohesive and I won’t have to pen any chalkboards!

I hand-wrote my cousins chalkboard signs including a table plan when they got married in 2016 which looked lovely but by the end of it I had decided it was something I would never do again! The hand cramp was REAL.

I have a couple more ideas of ways to use these illustrations (getting your moneys worth no) coming up over the coming weeks. What do you think to DIY wedding stationary, worth the time?


Perfectly Pink Juice

Well mine isn’t quite pink more peach but darn doesn’t it still taste good!

I used this pink juice recipe as inspiration but had to do some substitutions to use ingredients we can easily get in the UK.

To make 2l of juice

1500ml pink lemonade
500ml pineapple juice
Heck tonne of ice
Lemon slices


Yes this isn’t even a recipe it’s a dump it in and slurp it down kind drink, very refreshing and not too sweet which is something many punches suffer from!

This is one of our welcome drinks for our cocktail hour (or in our cause doughnut and pastie hour!) served alongside pimms with a lemon slice and a gold paper straw!

I suppose the big question is should I add glitter to this punch? The answer is almost certainly yes!


Little Boys Buttonholes

As I have said we have two little boys being our ring bearers and they already have their adorable bow ties and braces  but I really wanted them to have flowers the same as the full sized groomsmen. I was worried about giving a 2 year old a buttonhole and it a. getting crushed or b. pinning him in the front or c. just straight falling off!

I made these using faux flowers that I had in my stash from home bargains and these buttonhole backers I got for making our adult buttonholes plus blue velvet ribbon and some trim from my stash.


I started by selecting the smallest and most compact flowers I could and removing the leaves. I measured the stems and trimmed them to shorter than the buttonhole stem before using my glue gun to firmly attach them and then once I was happy added the leaf. I secured the ribbon and wrapped the stem real tightly before adding some pearl trim around the base.

These are very sturdy feeling and have a clip on the back so they can be slipped over rather than clipped through hopefully meaning less dangerous!

buttonhole details

Since we are doing our own flowers this also means one less thing for me to do on the Friday before which quite frankly I am quite happy with!


What did you deck your little ones in?


Entertaining Children at Weddings

We have decided to have an all inclusive wedding and although we love kiddos we know that not everyone does and so we had better have something to keep them entertained if we want them to sit through dinner!

We have a good spread of ages from infants (who aren’t getting anything more entertaining than sat next to their parents!) to 7 year olds and i tried to tailor their little gifts accordingly.

All in I think this cost me £14.00 and some of the supplies I always have on hand ( brown paper, washi tape, stampers and some scraps of coloured paper to mention a few.)


So this is what I started with, all of this came from the low end stores (poundland at the bottom to the works at the top of the ££ end!)

For the two bigger girls (7) I found colouring / sticker books at home bargains, coloured pencils (which helpfully came in a two pack) from the works along with a pencil sharpener and rubber because as a long time lover of colouring there is nothing worse than not having a sharpener when you need it and the rubbers came in the pack! They also got DIY necklace kits which were a bougie £2.00 each from poundland which I repacked to make them a little more easily controlled!


For the little kiddos (5 2 to 3 year olds) i used the colouring and activity books from poundland that come in a 8 pack and stuck a colouring book and activity book together and covered them in brown paper, added some coloured paper and a monogram. I also took one package of poundland crayons and divided them up into little envelops that i had decorated with washi tape.

little boys

For the babies (2 both around 9 months old) i bought the poundland stacking cups, turned the boxes inside out, covered them in brown paper and accented them with coloured paper and the stamped monogram again.


I packed the gifts up into clear bags to corral the mess and finish them up.

I can not yet speak of their effectiveness but I hope they hit the spot for our young guests while not causing us to file for bankruptcy!

What worked for you to entertain children through your big day?


Children at Weddings, why we are!


What a decisive topic! I have a friend who said no children at all (even her nephew), I have another who said yes to only the closest children and then we are at the other end with the bring ’em all attitude!

No way is wrong and each of my friends had sound logic to their decision which worked for them and their day, it’s just horses for courses right.

We decided to include children in our wedding for a few reasons. Firstly we are both now of an age where there are a good number of children in our friends and family’s life and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for everyone we love to be able to attend. Our friends and family are spread across the country so to ask people to get babysitters for the weekend as well as travelling to us felt like a big ask. We also have a good spread of ages from a baby who will only be 6 weeks old to 9 year olds. We didn’t feel we could tell the new mother to leave her 6 week old baby with someone else!

And finally we love kiddos! We are having a relaxed enough event with enough space to accommodate so why not. We are using our church hall for our reception and they have a creche room full of toys plus loads of running around outside space so they will be well catered for. I have also worked on little favours for them, tailored to their age and likes details to follow in another post!

And finally gosh aren’t they cute! We are having my god son and our friends little boy as our ring bearers and I can’t wait to see them in their little bowties and braces!
Cutie Pie
What do you think about children at weddings?


Wooden Box Poundland Up-cycle

I had stumbled across this video and it inspired me to try getting some of these boxes for myself and giving them a new lease of life.

Once I had painted them using the same white chalk paint I used this video for inspiration as to the surface decoration. I loosely followed along with her and use a combination of cotton buds (as recommended) and small paintbrushes for the more detailed work. I only did one side of each box and did both at once, it took me the length of her video to come up with something I liked.
Wooden boxes 2

Once everything was dry I added the gold top edge (because I can’t get enough gold!) and then waxed them the same way Chelsey does.

We are using these on our wedding bars to hold jam jars of paper straws and napkins (for those little spills) and to generally corral all of the junk you need for a bar. Hopefully the photo bombing dog will be safely away buy then!

Wooden boxes 3
I love to be creative but sometime I find myself in a rut and being heavily inspired by other people is the only way out of it. Stealing with pride right!

Where do you go for some DIY inspiration?