I knew from the start that I wanted mason jars. Hands down, they needed to be included somehow. I enjoy the vintage feel to them and so I scrounged around every local Thrift Store and Goodwill to find different and eclectic jars. I didn’t want two to be the same on each table. I collected over 200+ jars and I believe I only spent about $30 total on all, thanks to the help of family members who donated some as well.
We saved a ton of money not doing fresh flowers on each table. Instead, each table had three different sized mason jars. One jar was filled with natural dried elements, I picked up numerous amount of bags at the Dollar Tree. They were perfect, about 1.5 fit each jar (depending on the size of the jar).
The second and third jars were filled at different levels with natural colored river rocks. In top of them I placed a candle. I didn’t want just the tea light candles because I’ve seen them burn out at other weddings before guests even finished dinner. I wanted them to last the entire night. Even though they were a bit more expensive, they lasted the entire night through! I purchased these at Walmart and Jo Ann Fabrics (with a 40% coupon of course).
Each three jars sat on top of a slice of wood. One afternoon the husband went up to his uncle. Cut about 35 slices of wood. They weren’t as thin as I thought, but it’s really difficult to cut them that thin. He loaded them all back up, we let them air dry a bit. Went out and bought two cans of poly-urethane and brushed the tops and the sides with at least three coats of it. To give it a bright/shiny/gloss look. They looked gorgeous! I was so proud of my husband to take on this job. He did awesome!
The two birds on the cake, I found at a local thrift store for a $1.00, put it on a little piece of wood, and they were instant cake toppers! :)
I also found a few ideas online of things that would add just a bit of a crafty/homemade touch. I made a ton of circle fans, folded from old book pages glued together and an old white/cream button in the middle. One of each was on each table. Also this wreath that I got at Hobby Lobby for $2.00, used some old fabric to sew the pendants, and put it in front of the cake table.
Also an idea that my mother-in-law had was coins. In the Army, coins are a very important symbol of accomplishments they have made. I did some research online and I found a vendor that created wooden coins. I ordered 100 of them for about $14.00 which included shipping. They were very generic and plain. Cue the wood-burner. With some of my husband’s help, we burned the edges to give it a more naturalistic look, and I carved/burned in our initials “C + W” and the date of our wedding “8.13.11”. It was a little keep sake for guests to bring home. We placed about 3 or 4 of them on each table.
The card box was a project let me tell you! I bought this thing from an Antique Store for about $10.00. It was layered with numerous amounts of paint and paper scraps stapled to the inside. The husband and I tackled it together. Sanded it down. Cut out a slice in the top for the card. Coated it with some of the poly-urethane that we used for the wood slices. We put a lock on it, just in case for during the wedding. It turned out fantastic! I added a little paper/yarn art to it the day of.
The guest book was a very simple and easy project for me. I picked up a worn out all book from a local thrift shop for about $0.75. I put some scrapbooking paper on the inside and titled the outside “guest book” and it was complete. Such a cost savings because 1. I don’t like those stale, white books with all those rhinestones 2. It matched the look and feel of the rest of the decorations for the reception and ceremony.
Overall I was please with how much hands-on work we did for our decorations. We saved a ton of money. A lot of guests that attended still have them/parts of them in their house for decorations, and that means a lot to us.