friday favorites – best event ideas of the week

I know we were off last week but today I’m resuming my Friday favorites! Let’s get started!

#5 – Salt shaker table numbers

salt and pepper shakers wedding table numbers

I think this is cute. Instead of numbers or table names, this bride and groom had different salt shakers which represented famous pairs – Mickey and Minnie, two cowboy boots, a burger and a drink, etc. The salt shakers were incorporated into the centerpieces and guests had to find the right shakers for their table. Sure, it’s a little kitschy, but it’s fun. Photo by Fete Photography via Mountainside Bride.

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etsy for wedding ideas & inspiration

etsy wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

One of my favorite resources for weddings (even  more than Pinterest!) is Etsy. I discovered Etsy (an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods) while planning my own wedding a few years ago. I found it to be a treasure-trove of wedding related ideas that were either hard to find (where do you actually BUY those ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ chair signs?) or really expensive elsewhere (try buying a headpiece at the salon where you bought your dress!). Plus, most of the Etsy stores are small businesses and I love supporting small businesses wherever I can (being a small business myself).

I thought I’d put together a quick list of some items that can be purchased through Etsy. This list is definitely not exhaustive and I’m only including one vendor for each category, but a simple search yields hundreds (if not thousands) of results for most of these categories.

Jewelry:

This is the one thing I think brides still don’t think of Etsy for, but I purchased almost all of my wedding jewelry from various Etsy stores, and I didn’t pay more than $45 for any particular piece. The jewelry store I am featuring here is where I bought my earrings. A few months ago I was in the process of cleaning and accidentally knocked one of the earrings under a floorboard and couldn’t retrieve it. It looked like she wasn’t selling the same pair anymore, but I contacted the seller and she was able to send me another pair. That’s one of things I love about Etsy – you’re working with actual people! Etsy seller: Something Jeweled.

etsy wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

Guest Books:

I don’t actually know where else to find as creative guest book ideas as you can find on Etsy and there are all different price ranges. From puzzles, to thumb print trees, to wine bottles, to actual BOOKS (if you want to go that route) the possibilities are endless. Read my post on unique guest book ideas, which features several Etsy products. I love this map idea, from HereAndThereShop.

etsy wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

Gifts:

I didn’t actually get my bridesmaid gifts (nor did my husband get his groomsmen gifts) on Etsy, but it was great for ideas. For example, if mason jars are your thing, you might be inclined to purchase these for your groomsmen, from UrbanFarmhouseTampa.

etsy wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

Card Holders:

I’m including this because they can be difficult to find. You can often rent them from your florist or DIY them, but there are plenty of cute, affordable options, such as this suitcase card holder from SgtPeppersHeartsClub.

etsy wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

Favor Tags:

You can also find favors of all kinds on Etsy, but I needed favor tags and I didn’t have time to design and print them myself. There are lots of different options and designs. I like these from MoreAndMoreOriginals:

etsy wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

What have you purchased on Etsy for your wedding or event?

Top photo – Lace Just Married Sign by RusticBeachChic

guest books that won’t just sit on a shelf

Happy Wedding Wednesday! This blog tends to focus on events more generally, rather than just weddings, but I thought I’d start participating in Wedding Wednesday by featuring a wedding-specific post on Wednesdays (obviously). Although, as always, I believe that you can use some great wedding ideas for special events and vice versa!

I have an issue with guest books at weddings. From the guests’ perspectives, some people love them and write something truly special, but most guests don’t really know what to say and just awkwardly sign “Congrats!” or “Best Wishes!” It’s the adult equivalent of signing “HAGS” (Have a Great Summer) in a yearbook.

From the bride and groom’s perspective, sure it’s nice to read through the book and ooh and ahh over the five guests that wrote something touching, but most likely it’s going on a shelf to be forgotten until some monumental anniversary.

Personally, I’m a fan of blowing up the whole concept of a guest book and rather creating a wedding keepsake that guests sign or otherwise make contributions. I especially like something that can be worked into decor.

For my wedding, we had a wine motif so it seemed natural to have guests sign bottles of wine rather than a guest book. We made a small sign explaining that we would save the wine for special occasions or anniversaries. We now have the signed bottles on display in our dining room and every once and awhile I catch a glimpse and smile at some of the signatures and messages. I’m pretty sure I’d never look at a traditional guest book.

Here are some other interesting ideas:

Have your guests sign an old globe. If you have a particularly international guest list, they could sign wherever they are from. Or you could prompt guests to sign where they want to go. Or you could just have them sign anywhere. This makes a great decor piece to add to a living room or a home office.

You could order a print designed to serve as a guest book, such as the tree print with guests signing each leaf (similar to the thumbprint idea, without the messy ink). After the wedding you have instant wall art for your new home. Etsy is a great resource for these types of personal (and often handmade) items.

You can purchase this print or similar items from  Peachwik on Etsy

You can purchase this print or similar items from Peachwik on Etsy

If you are having a rustic wedding, having guests sign a slice of wood is an elegant yet homespun idea. Again, this makes a great conversation piece in your home. This particular example is also from Etsy. In fact, you can find plenty of inspiration for unique guest book ideas by searching Etsy.

You can purchase this and other items from  JKartShop on Etsy

You can purchase this and other items from JKartShop on Etsy

For the hipster or vintage wedding, how about an old typewriter set up so your guests can type you a note. After the wedding you could put the pages in a book, or you could frame them or create some other piece of art.

For the couple that loves games, I love this idea of having guests sign Jenga pieces. If my husband and I had done this, we would play every year on our anniversary and reminisce about our friends and family, and how much fun our wedding way. (We still do this, it’s just over our signed bottles of wine).

These are just a few ideas that are a bit more fun than a traditional guest book that sits on a shelf. Do you have any suggestions to share?