DIY Welcome Wedding Booklet

Guests who arrive from out of town are probably not going to know that there is an amazing Italian restaurant right around the corner from their hotel, or that they can get a massage or a pedicure a few hundred meters down the street. And, you can hardly be expected to stand at reception with a megaphone, announcing tourist attractions and introducing visitors to your bridal party. But there is a way to get around that – put it all into a nifty welcome booklet. Here’s how:


–          Cardstock or paper (letter size: A4 or 8.5 in x 11 in)

–          Printer with ink

–          Crochet thread and needle

–          Paper cutter, exacto knife, or scissors, and a steady hand

–          Computer with Microsoft Word (or similar)

–          Glue

Estimated cost: less than $1 per booklet




Step 1: Decide which information you would like to include on your inside pages. In the sample, the pages are as follows:

  • Page 1: Front cover
  • Page 2: Welcome note and contents
  • Page 3: Important and emergency numbers
  • Page 4: Bridal party information
  • Page 5: Pre-wedding event information and map
  • Page 6: Tourist information
  • Page 7: Hotel information and map
  • Page 8: Back cover

Step 2: Create a new 2-page document in Microsoft Word (or similar), and divide the page into four:

  1. Select the “line” tool from the drawing toolbar and, holding down “shift”, draw a line from the top to the bottom of the page.
  2. Right click (or “control” click on a Mac) the line and select “format autoshape”.
  3. Click on the “layout” tab on the left hand side then, under “horizontal alignment,” click “center.”
  4. Draw another line and do as before.
  5. In the “Format” menu use the “alignment” tool and select “vertical alignment,” then use the “rotation” tool to turn the line 90-degrees clockwise.
  6. Create a text box that fits into one of the sections (don’t forget to leave space for margins), then copy and paste the text box into the other sections.
  7. When all text boxes are aligned you can delete the original lines.


Step 2

Step 3: Assign the pages to the layout like so:

Page 1 (Front page):

  • Top left corner:  Tourist information
  • Top right corner: Important numbers
  • Bottom left corner: Front page upside-down
  • Bottom right corner: Back page upside-down

Page 2 (Back page):

  • Top left corner: Bridal party information
  • Top right corner: Pre-wedding event information and map
  • Bottom left corner: Hotel information and map upside-down
  • Bottom right corner: Welcome note and contents upside-down

Step 4: Design each page as you like in Word, Paint, InDesign or a similar program – include as much information as you can.

Step 5: Print the front page onto a sheet of paper or cardstock, and then following your printer’s instructions, print the back page onto the back of the same sheet of paper or cardstock.

Step 6: Slice the printout into half width-wise, and fold each half in half.

Step 7: Place the two sheets together to make a booklet. Page four (bridal party) and five (pre-wedding event) should be in the center.

Step 8: Measure the crochet thread to be three times the length of the center of the booklet and cut to size.


Step 9: Leaving a 0.5-mm opening at the top and bottom of the center, draw dashes leading all the way to the bottom.

Step 10: Coat the last 5 mm of the crochet thread in glue and stick to the center crease of page 2 (welcome) and page 7 (hotel information). Then pierce the tip of the first pencil dash with the needle and pull the thread through.

Step 11: Careful not allow the pages to move and not to tear the paper, pierce both pages at the base of the first dash and pull it through. Repeat the other way and continue until you’ve stitched all the way down the crease.

Step 12: To finish off, only pierce through one side of booklet to the middle and pull the needle out. Trim crochet thread at 5 mm from the final stitch. Dip the end into glue, or coat with glue using a paint brush, and stick to the middle.


Step 13:  Admire your work!


What kind of information would you include in your welcome booklet?

Stephanie + Cory’s Elegant Autumn Wedding

Stephanie and Cory had a fall wedding in the woods featuring lots of black and orange DIY details, right down to the groom’s “In Case You Get Cold Feet” socks.  This couple loves outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, so picking the Pine Rose Cabins in Twin Peaks, CA was an easy decision;  as was choosing orange – the bride’s favorite color – for their wedding color palette.  DIY details include chopped wood stumps in the centerpieces, activity kits for the kids, and lots of pumpkins.  The couple turned a collage photo frame into a seating chart, and the bride changed into a personalized pair of TOMS for the reception!

The ceremony included a very special ring bearer, dressed up for the occasion.

For their wedding favors, each guest received a mason jar with a DIY name tag.

The couple even had a custom cake topper made to honor the groom’s background as a body builder!

Congrats to Stephanie and Cory!



Photography: Jeremy Chou Photography

Hair Stylist: Victorian Hair Salon

Caterer: Graystone Catering

Floral Designer: La Jarden Florals

Reception Venue: Pine Rose Cabins

Cake Designer: Niki’s Custom Cakes

DJ: Paid 2 Party

Makeup Artist: MakeUP by Karen Lee

Officiant: Weddings Wakefield

Second Shooter: Angel Henriquez

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

DIY Welcome Bag

So you’ve invited guests from all over the world to your wedding. Fantastic! They haven’t been to your wedding destination before. How fun! They won’t have a clue about what to do or where to go. Oh oh…

What to do, what to do, what to do? You could make a sweet wedding welcome tote bag, and then fill it with goodies to point your guests in the right direction, ease their minds, and make them feel welcome.


–          Four 30 cm x 17 cm (11.8 in x 6.7 in) pieces of material (for the bag)

–          Two 8 cm x 41 cm (8.14 in x 16.14 in) pieces of material (for the bag straps)

–          Paper

–          Decorating material: textile paint and paintbrush, textile markers, iron-on transfers, a stencil, or stamp

–          Pins

–          Scissors

–          Pencil

–          Sewing machine with thread

Estimated cost: less than $1 per bag

Note: 1 cm = 0.393701 inches



Step 1:

Pin the four pieces of 30 cm x 17 cm bag material together in pairs, right (pretty) sides facing each other. Draw a 27.5 cm x 13.5 cm rectangle in the center on one side of each pair. This does not need to be precise, but the more accurate, the better.

Step 2:

Create bag design. If you’re using an iron-on transfer or painting free hand, do it on the right side of one set of the pairs.

If you’re using a stencil, create a 27.5 cm x 13.5 cm rectangle out of paper to represent the surface area of the bag. Next draw your design on the paper rectangle, as you would like to see it on the bag, and pin it in line with the rectangle on one set of the pairs, facing down. Flip the material over and trace the pattern onto the right side of the material using pencil, then paint or draw over it.

Step 3:

Sew around three edges of both pairs of material, leaving the top open. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. Press the material into place.

Step 4:

Fold the top to meet the top line of the drawn rectangle and press into place. Flip over and repeat. Stitch down, but be careful not to stitch the bag closed.

Step 5:

Pinch the bottom corner together and measure out 1.5 cm from the tip then stitch across. Repeat until all four corners are done.

Step 6:

Turn the bag without the design inside-out and place inside the bag with the design so that the right (pretty) sides are touching.  Set aside.

Step 7:

Take two 8 cm x 41 cm strap pieces and fold them in half width-wise, then press into place. Unfold. Fold the outside of each strap piece to meet the middle line and press into place. Fold in half and press into place. Pin together and stitch each strap from top to bottom. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Step 8:

Measure 2.5 cm from the edge of each bag and mark it with a pin. Place straps, ends up, in-between the two bag pieces and pin into place.

Step 9:

Sew around the top of the entire bag, leaving a gap of 3 cm then use this space to turn the bag inside out.

Step 10:

Push the lining into the bag, press into place, pin and stitch around the top to close.

Step 11:

Fill bag with goodies (link to “what to put into a welcome bag” article) and a welcome booklet (link to welcome booklet tutorial). Voila!


What would you put into your ideal welcome bag?


Victory + Keith’s Rustic Winery Wedding

It’s a nice day for a wine wedding!  Victory and Keith celebrated with their friends and family at an Illinois winery, with lots of color and rustic details.  After their outdoor ceremony, guests dined around DIY centerpieces made from driftwood, river rocks, wildflowers, and candles.  The various desserts were served on rustic slabs of wood.  At the end of the evening, guests let loose in the photo booth.  Wine and photo booths are always a fun mix.


Congrats to Victory and Keith!



Photographer: Jess Dewes Photography

Reception Venue: Hidden Lake Winery, Aviston, Illinois

Caterer: Hidden Lake Winery

Event Designer: LD Design

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Warm and Festive Wedding Toddies

Happy Winter Wedding Season! As the weather turns colder, and your Sometime-During-the-Winter-Months bash draws near, you may well be mulling over seasonally appropriate cocktail ideas. Yes friends, gone are the days of refreshingly frosty beer bottles and chilled glasses of white wine.

But of course, festivities need not end just because the warm weather did, and indeed winter might be considered the most festive season of all! Are you holding your wedding at a ski resort? In a rented mountain châlet? Is it just cold in your chosen location? For those of you who’ve selected wintertime in which to celebrate your nuptials, take full advantage of the season and do your chilly guests a favor: serve some warm beverages to kick off the party. Many of us love a glass of cabernet or a hearty porter at a wintertime party, but standard bar fare can get boring, and you, DIY-er, are nothing of the sort! To defrost everyone’s fingers and insides, and pay homage to the season, we warmly suggest serving Wedding Toddies!

Cocktail hour is the perfect time to offer these libations. We recommend a couple of different options for serving these cold-weather treats. If you’ve hired a bartender, you can set him or her up with all of the necessary supplies, and DIY a little cocktail/toddy menu, to be set up at the bar, explaining to guests your signature drink. Or, set-up a toddy bar, alongside, for example, the champagne table, where guests can DIY their own toddies. (Interactive wedding activities—so fun!) You might offer a hot water dispenser, various kinds of bourbon (we especially like Maker’s Mark and Bulleit Bourbon for this purpose, but any bourbon with a relatively spicey flavor will do nicely), some cinnamon sticks, honey, lemon wedges, and the like.

Whether you decide to leave the bartender in charge of drinks, or offer your guests a share in the mixological fun, make sure your toddies feature a few key ingredients: hot water, bourbon, honey, and some kind of citrus or spice flavor.  Try cinnamon and vanilla, cloves and orange wedges, honey and lemon, and even black tea. Serving these charming hot winter drinks are not only thoughtful and cost-effective, but they’re a nice change from the typical drink menu, and a nice nod to your season of choice. Cheers!


Wedding Toddies (serves 1)

– 2 oz spicy bourbon whiskey
– 1 tbsp honey
– 4-5 oz hot water
– Flavoring of choice: The lemon-and-honey toddy is a classic, but spicier toddies are a nice alternative as well. For maximum enjoyment, offer guests a variety of flavor combinations. When choosing spices, stick with warmer flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. Feel free to incorporate other seasonal flavors like apple, orange, and even loose-leaf black or Earl Grey tea, and be sure to taste-test your proposed combinations before the big event.

If any of you have questions for Lillian about the Wedding Toddy recipe or her ideas for a Toddy Bar, please drop a line below.  Thanks, Lillian!



Adriana + Raymond’s Romantic Vintage Wedding

High school sweethearts Adriana and Raymond wanted to get married in a romantic, vintage wedding surrounded by their family, friends, and church community, and by the looks of these pictures, they got their wish!  According to their photographer Kelly Cameron Photography, the bride pulled inspiration from wedding blogs (I hope DIY Bride was among those!) and friends and family pitched in to decorate the venue.

From the photographer: “Adriana and Raymond are highly involved in their church community and the evidence of the vast touch this couple had on so many lives through their relationship and service together was incredibly evident in their beautiful wedding. Through slideshows and countless toasts, their long love story was recounted, leaving not a dry eye in the gathering. A vivacious Puerto Rican family on both sides, this celebration was a community effort, and created a stunning, rustic elegance in Central Texas.

Adriana and her church family made many of the little touches and decorated the venue together. From her aunt making the cake and cupcake favors to a the table decor, the whole celebration was a group effort.

Adriana is a graphic designer and photographer/videographer, and Raymond is in engineering. They love playing video games together, serving in their church, and working with the youth community. Ever since they met, Ray has been a gear head – always working on cars and tinkering. The shots of the groomsmen with their vehicles perfectly illustrate the strong bond these gents have with their wheels.

One of my favorite parts of this wedding was how just minutes before the ceremony the groomsmen went to play poker while they waited for the bride to get ready. Such a fun, relaxed wedding with so much love surrounding this joyful couple!”

Congrats to Adriana and Raymond!




Photography: Kelly Cameron Photography

Caterer: TEX-RICAN Bar-B-Que

Floral Designer: Annette Florals

Musicians: Celebration Strings

Reception Venue: Cathedral Oaks Event Center

Cinema and Video: Steve Cook Video

Cake Designer: Awilda Lopez (the bride’s aunt)

DJ: Felix Hernandez

Linens and Coverings: Confetti’s Tent & Event Rentals

Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Saxons of Killeen

Submitted via Two Bright Lights


Meet Real DIYer, Keri Bond aka East Coast Bride

Hello! My name is Keri and on July 14, 2012, I went from being a DIY Bride to a DIY Wife.

My husband and I were married in the episcopal church I grew up going to, and had our garden-themed wedding reception at The Conservatory at the Madison Hotel in our home state of New Jersey.

My husband (to-be, at the time) didn’t get the whole DIY thing. Why DIY when someone else will do it for you? You see, our venue and vendors offered everything and anything a girl could want. Our reception venue generously offered to include our table numbers, escort cards, the ceremony location, caterer, you name it! Easy, right? All I would have left to do is buy a dress and be a bride. My husband thought we hit the wedding jackpot, while I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. Why would I want someone to plan MY wedding? I didn’t want to have the same wedding as the last Madison Hotel Bride, I wanted our wedding to be memorable, and a reflection of myself and my soon-to-be husband.

After some deliberating on both of our parts, we decided to book this gorgeous conservatory as the reception venue for our wedding, but I made it clear I wanted to tackle the designing aspect myself. I knew I could not have some generic framed table number at my one of a kind garden wedding.

I ended up DIY-ing everything I possibly could leading up to our big day. The following is a list of my DIY projects and some tips for executing each one.

To create this pink, grey, and white wedding invitation suite, I ordered the wedding invitations, response cards, and reception cards from Wedding Paper Divas for $0.99 each. This came out to cost $2.97 per invitation suite, and I ordered enough for  80 sets because we invited about 150 to our wedding. The total came to $237.60, but I found a 30% off coupon code, which brought the total down to $166.32 for our invitations. This was not bad considering many vendors quoted me anywhere from $6 to $12 per invitation!  After the discount, I got the price down to approximately $2 per invitation. This was well below my $3-per-invitation budget, so I decided to dress them up a bit. I swapped out the plain white envelopes these invitations came with for a small pink envelope for the response card and a large grey envelope for the outer invitation from Jam Paper. These envelopes came to about $50 total. I ordered grey and white baker’s twine from for about $15, and created the custom chevron monogram on the free website, ipiccy, and printed them with my own printer on card stock I purchased for $3.99 at Michaels. In total, I spent less than $250 on our wedding invitations. Not bad…although, this did not include the price of stamps!

I knew I wanted something unique for our wedding ceremony programs. I narrowed my search down to scroll-inspired programs and these rustic burlap booklet programs. I found this tutorial while scouring the internet for the perfect ceremony programs, and knew I had to tackle this project. Before our wedding, I was not much of a sewer, but luckily I have a very crafty mom, who I could not have done this without!

Some tips:

*Buy your burlap at a local fabric store, NOT at a craft store- it’s MUCH cheaper. I bought mine for $2.99 a yard and purchased 2 yards. This was more than enough and I had plenty left over.

*You will need one sheet of cream card stock per program, but you will only need half the number of kraft paper sheets. For example, if you are making 100 programs, you will need two 50-sheet packages of cream card stock, and one package of kraft paper. Card stock is essentially heavier than regular printer paper, but lighter than poster board. It comes in a variety of weights (I used 110 lb.) Kraft paper is actually made from the pulp of cardboard. It is a bit lighter than card stock and has a subtle rustic texture. The actual pages of the program are printed on the cream card stock and the kraft paper is used as the back cover of the booklet.

*You can get two covers out of the large scrapbook paper. This is the paper I used.

*Use embroidery thread to sew the program; it’s thicker than regular thread. Also make sure your sewing machine has a sturdy needle or it may break.


This was a simple but effective project. I used the same book of scrapbook paper I used to make the programs, leftover cream card stock, and a glue gun. This project was very inexpensive and easy to execute. I dressed up the escort card table with some rose petals from our florist and photos from our parents’ weddings.


This was a project that scared me. I knew I wanted to DIY the table numbers, so when I found these on pinterest, I knew I had to have them. The problem was the sewing. Sewing a straight line for the programs was one thing, but these looked complicated. Fortunately, I enlisted the help of my mom who gave me a full sewing lesson.

Some Tips

*If you are using regular sized wine bottles, cut the burlap to 13.5 inches long and 11 inches across.

*Try to cut the burlap using the finished edges for the top of your bottle so you don’t have to finish them off with the sewing machine!

*If you are adept at using a sewing machine, consider lining the burlap with a sheet of muslin so you can’t see through the burlap.

*Light colored burlap as shown in the picture is more expensive than the traditional brown, so if you are looking to cut costs, you may want to make these with the darker burlap. I paid $6.99 a yard for the lighter burlap, also purchased at the fabric store. Also, if you use the dark burlap, you won’t need to line it with the muslin.


This sign was another simple, but effective detail to incorporate into our wedding day. My good friend, Krista, found this vintage suitcase at a flea market for $5. I knew I had to use it for our wedding, and the suitcase inspired the rustic cards sign. I used the leftover burlap from the ceremony programs, 2-inch letter stencils, and a small container of paint I got at Walmart for $0.57.

It wasn’t long after returning from our honeymoon that I began to miss constantly crafting for the wedding. In August, Krista and I decided to open an Etsy shop with some of the items I made for the wedding. We named it East Coast Bride, after our website we started shortly after her June 2011 wedding and in the midst of my wedding planning. Thanks to the shop, we don’t have to stop crafting (not that I ever would…just wait until you see the DIY holiday gifts I am working on)!

Any projects or tutorials you are dying to see?

*All photos by the fabulous, Cassi Claire Photography.

**See more of our wedding here!


Keri is a newlywed, who is addicted to endorphins and lattes and obsessed with all things pretty. She is the co-founder of East Coast Bride, a wedding website and etsy shop dedicated to her love of beautiful and handmade weddings and lives in New Jersey with her new husband Dan and their rescue dog, Cooper.

Cailin + Jason’s Bubbles and Balloons Engagement

Midwest-turned-California couple Jason and Cailin had the cutest “bubbles and balloons” engagement session!  They acquired all of the props with the help of their photographer, White Haute Photography.  This session was shot a couple months before Jason shipped out with the Navy (you can see a nod to his military background on his tie).  Everything about this photo shoot is just too adorable!

Happy wedding planning to Cailin and Jason, and thank you to Jason for your service!




Photographer: White Haute Photography

Venue: Fallbrook Land Conservancy

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Rachel + Andrew’s Country Barn Wedding

For their summer wedding in Missouri, Rachel and Andrew refurbished and decorated the groom’s family barn!  They installed electricity, poured a concrete floor, and hung homemade chandeliers made from mason jars found in grandma’s cellar. That’s some serious DIY!  The bride, a talented graphic designer, also made all the stationery, including the invitations, programs, and favor tags.  Throw in lots of burlap and cowboy boots, and you have the perfect vintage, rustic summertime wedding!

From the Bride: Andrew and I were married in the eastern Ozarks of Missouri, beneath the barn lights on June 16, 2012. Those who know us best would describe us as simple with a passion for life in the country and a tremendous appreciation for family. It was important to us, that the setting for our wedding would be true to these qualities.  Andrew’s family farm is home to a beautiful barn, built by his grandpa, Ottis Hampton, 65 years ago. With a little work and some TLC, we determined the barn would be the perfect place for our long awaited “special day.” Throughout the years, the barn became a special part of the Hampton family, and we were thrilled that it would become a special part of “us.”

Months of preparations went into getting the barn ready, electric was installed, a concrete floor was poured and many hours were spent cleaning. To add some ambience lighting, Andrew and I designed a piece that would personify all that we are. Andrew built a chandelier from mason jars found in his grandma’s cellar, an old tractor wheel, grapevine, wire, and lights to accent the barn’s interior.

While Andrew kept busy constructing “our” chandelier, I went to work designing our entire line of wedding stationary. The theme was fun and invited everyone to “save the date”. Our invitations consumed me, as I spent a great amount of time making sure they were just perfect; simple, but perfect. In addition, I designed our programs that also served as fans and slips for our party favors. The décor consisted of numerous family heirlooms and antiques.

Congrats to Rachel and Andrew!



Photographer: Turner Creative Photography

Venue: Private Residence, Missouri

Invitations: Rachel Hampton Designs (the bride!)

Dress: Grand March

Bakery: Abbie Cakes

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Dakota + Alec’s Rustic Vintage DIY Wedding

Dakota and Alec are living proof you can get married in one of the most beautiful and affluent cities in Southern California and have a gorgeous, budget friendly wedding thanks to some DIY and generous friends!  Details include invitations designed by the maid-of-honor (who just happens to be a graphic designer), flowers put together by friends, a vintage door-turned-seating chart, and a stunning cake made by a family friend.  (Side note – How do all these couples become friends with amazing bakers, and how can I sign up for this?)

Other handmade elements include the beautiful altar, made by the groom’s father (with cloth draping purchased from a local craft store):

Chalkboard signs made from old mirrors (bonus points for the pun):

And signs painted by the brides sister:

The DIY invitations and wedding cake also deserve a closer look.


Congrats to Dakota and Alec on your beautiful wedding!




Photography: Wild Whim Design + Photography

Venue: Temescal Gateway Park, Pacific Palisades, California

Invitations: Ashley Katona

DJ: Jeff Collins, Vox Entertainment

Florist: Natalie Bailey, Clover Floral Design

Caterer: Malibu Fish Grill

Bar: Sunseri’s

Rental: A-Packaged Parties

Cake: Beth Renaud (family friend)

Hair and Make-up: CJ Neal

Dress: J Crew Bridal

Shoes: Steve Madden

Veil: Borrowed from older sister

Earrings: Forever 21

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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