Another fabulous entry! This one’s from Nancy who is planning a beach wedding in Maine. I’m a sucker for anything that has to do with the beach, so I’m very enthusiastic about all of the DIY projects she’s incorporating in her wedding, especially the shell escort cards and the lobster trap. Thanks so much for sharing, Nancy! I love all of your ideas, and I know your wedding will be the classy affair that you are hoping for!

Everyone knows that weddings are expensive and add up quickly, but I had no idea how quick until I was in the process. We didn’t set a budget. We planned to do everything as cheap as possible, but still classy. So what this came to mean is a lot of bargaining and DIY projects. My fiancé is doing the bargaining while I do the projects. Our wedding is not until September 4, 2011, so we will have all winter to do the projects while being snowed in!

My first project is the escort cards. Even just printing escort cards myself seemed to be very expensive if you add up the cost of paper and ink. Since we are getting married next to the beach, I collected large clam shells from the beach and other decorative shells. I then bleached the shells, so they are all white (and not stinky anymore!).  I am going to put a clear acrylic spray over them, and use DIY rub-on’s or handwrite the names myself. The back of the shell will have the table name. I tried using a calligraphy pen and writing the names on the shells, but found that the ink seeps to the side making it blurry. I didn’t plan on the acrylic spray, but it is necessary and will add a more professional look. I plan on placing all the shells in a box of sand with other small shells around for decoration. The shells are also a nice keepsake for the guests.

My next DIY project is block letters. I don’t need letters, but I do want them. I couldn’t justify buying a wood letter for the asking price. I did some researching and found I can make them. All I needed was some cardboard to trace a letter on, then make a back (mirror-image) out of cardboard. I read that you can make sides to make it thick, which seemed too complicated for me, or you can place styrofoam cups in between the cardboard letters. I used cut soda cans since that is what we had around the house. Then all you have to do is paper-mache the outside then paint. Cheap, easy, a little messy, but worth it. You must make corners before you paper-mache it since it will be a defined corner. You can make defined corners with masking tape.

I plan on doing my centerpieces too. I bought clear 1 ft. tall vases from the Christmas Tree Shop and ribbon from a cheap online store that matches my theme. I am trying the ribbon around the top of the vase in a bow and will add white roses to finish it off. We are going to order the flowers from Costco and arrange them in the vases. My bridesmaids will be helping, but did offer a little planning ahead for me: make sure our nails are done after the arranging!

I am doing other DIY projects, like printing my envelopes, memory table poems, etc. I even was able to get a free monogram from The Wedding Chicks that fit perfectly with the theme. The monogram is being worked into all my printing projects.

Lastly, I plan to make my own lobster trap. Not sure how well this will work out and am taking suggestions! Our wedding is in Maine, and I think it very fitting to have a lobster trap as a card box, but they are extremely expensive!! Since it does not need to be functional, it seems easy to make. Just get some thin pieces of wood and nail them in around a curved frame. I know everything is harder than it seems, so I am a little worried that I will waste money on the lumber, and it ends up in the trash, but I must try!

More projects will come about I am sure, but those are it for now!

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