Wow! What an engagement story! I love how Lexi is incorporating teapots as the centerpieces in her wedding, a perfect example of how DIY’ing your wedding adds a special personal touch. Lexi also gives fabulous advice to other DIY and Budget Brides out there, from general wedding planning to planning who will help you (which is GREAT advice)! Thank you so much, Lexi! And good luck!

I’ve been engaged for a little over eight months now and it’s been so much fun planning the wedding.  I have a great fiancé who actually wants to be involved and has an opinion.  Our planning started with a location (the city where I was born and my parents currently live) and a date (summer).  As we looked at specifics on the date, it was evident that it would be a challenge for his family and most of our friends to come to the wedding unless they had some significant time to plan for it.  So although I’m so ready to marry my best friend, we decided on a long engagement so that people could make their plans, save their money and hopefully find a way to attend.  That’s what it’s really about… having the people you love, the ones who have impacted your lives, there with you on the special day.

With our large families and huge guest list, it became evident very quickly that we would have to be thrifty and find a way to make things happen with our own two hands.  We have a long list of DIY projects including our invitations, our bouquets and boutonnieres, my bridesmaids’ gifts, our centerpieces, or favors, our guestbook, our escort cards and display, and the list goes on and on.

The projects I’m most excited about are the centerpieces and the guestbook.  I have been collecting teapots for a few years now, and have received quite a few as gifts from friends and family.  My fiancé woke me up one morning during our holiday trip at my parents’ house and brought me a new teapot to add to my collection.  Little did I know, it would not only be an addition to my collection, but also an addition to my family and my life.  He opened the top of the teapot and there were the most fantastic four words I’ve ever read, “Will you marry me” and an amazing ring tied to a piece of yarn.  After a lot of looking and ideas on centerpieces, nothing seemed right, until I thought about teapots, on each table, filled with flowers.  So the search began.  We have scoured antique stores, thrift stores and garage sales.  Our aunts, mother and grandparents have been on the look-out as well, and in less than 6 months, we have found 30 of the 40 teapots for our centerpieces, and the average prices is approximately $3 each.  We will fill them with flowers and decorate our tables with something very personal and special to us, and save money doing it.

My fiancé’s mother is a very crafty person.  She helped me to learn to sew and my first project was the insides of our ring bearer pillow.  She is a quilter, as avid a quilter as my grandmother who has created countless quilts for her kids and grandkids that are so personal to each of us.  I was inspired by a picture that I found from a friend’s baby shower, where her guests wrote a note to the new baby on a quilt square.  So, while we were visiting my fiancé’s family this summer, we worked with his mom to create our own quilt, that would become our guestbook.  We worked late into the night and cut out nearly 200 squares and laid them out on the kitchen floor.  My future mother in law is putting them together in the pattern we laid out, and it will be ready for notes and signatures from our 300+ guests on our wedding day.  The plan is to use it in our guest room… yeah, it’s a queen sized quilt… it’s big!

My advice for brides… research, research, research… plan, plan, plan… and most important, make it your own!  Make it personal, even if it’s silly or unusual… that’s what everyone will remember.  Do your research so you can make the first decision the first time… there’s nothing that blows a budget quicker than having to buy something multiple times.  Plan in as much detail as you can!  This will make things less stressful and more fun!  One of the most important things to plan is WHO WILL HELP YOU!!!  You can’t do it all yourself, and there will be so many people who will be excited to help you however they can… accept their help… it could be some of your favorite memories of the days leading up to the wedding!  Last but not least… take a minute to take a breath and soak it all in… each of the fantastic events leading up to the big day will be over before you know it, so make sure you take some time to take it in and fully experience every bit!

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