Give Your Wedding a Personal Touch

If you're like most brides-to-be, you've been dreaming about your wedding day since you were a little girl -- you want it to be perfect, down to the tiniest detail. Wedding designs are as varied as brides themselves -- some are inspired by season, location, or a particular theme that has sentimental value to the couple. There are lots of personal touches you can add to make your dream wedding a reality, and all the materials you need to bring your vision to life are at your local arts and crafts store. Read on for some crafty, do-it-yourself ideas for bringing a theme to life.

Back To The Beach
If you can't take the wedding party to the beach, bring the beach to your wedding. Make large bows in coral- and sand-colored ribbon, and attach a starfish or flat shell to the center to use as pew markers or hang above doorways. (Most craft supply stores sell bow-making machines, or you can have the store's resident bow-maker give you a lesson.) Potted palm trees can be rented or faux versions purchased to place at the entrance to the church and around the reception hall. For tabletop décor, drape tables with fishnets and top with goldfish bowls filled with blue-tinted water and floating candles. (For real authenticity, surround them with play sand.) You can even extend your personal signature to invitations -- stamp beautiful handmade paper (available at craft stores) with palm trees or seashells, and stencil on starfish. You can also punch a hole near the top and tie beach-themed cutouts or small charms to the card with thin satin ribbon. Blow-up beach balls and plastic pail and shovel sets add a touch of whimsy to a sand-and-surf theme.

A Match Made In Heaven
A "match made in heaven" can be celebrated with a celestial wedding. Drape twinkle lights in lengths of dark blue tulle and drape from ceiling to floor, then sprinkle gold and silver star confetti on tables covered in midnight-blue cloths. You can make candlescape centerpieces by placing pillar candles of different heights on a round mirror and dusting with iridescent glitter, while small cookie cutters shaped as stars and crescent moons make great napkin rings. For heavenly invitations, choose blue or silver vellum paper over cardstock sprinkled with star and moon stamps, then drop a few loose silver stars inside the folded card before placing it in the envelope. You can also create borders, add trinkets -- your imagination is the only limit, so take a walk through the craft store for ideas. Three or four star-shaped tea candles wrapped in tulle and tied with curling ribbon make cute and useful favors for guests at a heavenly wedding.

Let It Snow!
Even if you don't live in a snowy climate, you can make guests at your winter wedding shiver with delight. Bunch shimmery white tulle around the altar or buffet tables to replicate snowdrifts, attaching sparkling snowflake ornaments randomly to the tulle. For centerpieces, place large pillar candles with multiple wicks in shallow glass bowls and surround with loose, imitation snow. Blue and white icicle lights will add the feel of starlight on a cold winter night to your party, and won't cost a fortune if picked up at the craft store with your other supplies. For a special ceremony touch, spray paint a small basket in white, wrap the handle with satin ribbon, and fill with artificial rose petals and imitation snow for your flower girl to scatter as she precedes you down the aisle. A beautiful white-on-white invitation is perfect for a winter wedding. Place a snowflake stencil on top of a white card, and "paint" with thinned glue. Remove the stencil and sprinkle with white iridescent glitter. When it's dry, shake off the excess, and voila! -- A miniature winter wonderland to send to your friends and family. Small snow globes make charming mementos of winter nuptials.

Whatever style you choose for your wedding, your guests are sure to appreciate the time and thought you've put into it -- and you'll create memories for you and your family that will last a lifetime.


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