Anyone who has had a wedding or who has been closely involved in the planning of a wedding has seen how much money, time and effort go into decor, not only for the main event itself, but for the supporting events that accompany a wedding, such as the bridal shower, engagement party, Bachelorette party, and gift opening brunch. Any where you can save on time, money, and storage space (who has room to store all that decor before the wedding!) is a goal worth seeking.
I recently was a bridesmaid in the wedding party for one of my nearest and dearest. Through a combination of her innovativeness, my crafty aptitude for DIY projects (as well as the wonderful paper-cutting help from my boyfriend, and from our lovely friend and fellow bridesmaid, Shelby) we created a DIY piece of bridal decor that fulfilled all three of those lofty goals: money, time and space-saving!
Enter the double-duty bridal banner. I can whole-heartedly say that the double purpose of the banner was her great idea, and it turned out so well! The banner was initially used at her bridal shower and then the letters were rearranged and other letters were added to spell out “Mr & Mrs” for a banner to be used at the bride and groom’s cocktail hour, between the wedding and the reception.
I love the look of personalized celebration banners, and I knew I’d never be able to buy one that fully did justice to the bride-to-be’s style. So, just like I described in a previous post from a few years back, I set about making a banner for her shower that incorporated her wedding colours (pink, white and silver) and also was spiced with a little bit of her gorgeous glam style (read: I added a whole lot of wow-factor sparkle).
For making the banners themselves, my general process is to figure out what I want it to say, figure out how many letters that will take, and then make enough banners to put one letter on each (plus potentially making few extra banners to put images on, like a heart or another symbol, to use as spacers between words.) For our bridal shower sign, we wanted it to say “Melissa’s Bridal Shower”, which worked out to 20 letters, plus we decided to make 3 extra banners with sparkly hearts on them to place around the words as space keepers. I drew out a shape I liked for the banner sign into stiff paper, then used it as a template to make 23 banner signs out of pink scrapbooking paper.
*Huge shout out here to my friend (and fellow bridesmaid) Shelby and to my boyfriend for being absolute troopers and butt-savers and helping me trace, cut out, and glue all the signs! *
Because I like a bit of a layered look, I made a template for a slightly smaller version of the banner sign (exact same shape but about a centimeter smaller in diameter), and we cut out a set of 23 white banner shapes to glue on top of the pink banner signs (think of it as creating a pink border around a white image). Finally, I picked a very bold font I liked on the computer, wrote out the banner message we wanted in large sizing and altered the font options to show only the outline of the letters (with middle empty), and printed the message on silvery printer-safe cardstock. After one last round of very detailed scissor-work, we glued one letter on each of the pink and white banners, and punched 2 holes on either side of the top of each banner. We threaded matching pink ribbon through the signs to create the banner you see below, and hung it above the doorway at the bridal shower.
After the shower, the lovely bride Melissa and her mom came to me with a question: could I make one more “M” and a “&”, so that they could reuse the existing letters to make up a banner that read ” MR & MRS”, to be used at the cocktail hour between the wedding and the reception. I loved the idea of reusing the bridal shower banner and made up the letters in time for the wedding. See the picture below to see how it turned out!
Looking back, I can imagine that a very organized bride (or crafty bridesmaid) could plan ahead of time to make all the letters needed for banners used in different events for the same wedding. If you think ahead, you could plan to create just the right number of letters to be used in banners for a wedding shower, bachelorette, wedding etc, all with the same colour scheme but at minimal cost, time investment, and storage space.
This “double duty” celebration banner idea could also be used for chair banners. For the wedding shower, we also made a chair banner to hang across the back of the bride’s chair, reading “Bride To Be”. We swagged it across a layer of tulle, and it made the perfect DIY throne for the girl of the hour at her bridal shower. It was just used at the shower, but for thrifty gals and guys, it could easily be reused at a wedding by keeping the “BRIDE” part of the banner and also making an identical “GROOM” banner – drape them across the chairs of the newlyweds and you’ve got a cute pair o’ chairs for the lovebirds.
For those of you who like the idea but hate the thought of all the cutting, gluing, and hole punching involved in making a banner from scratch, you’ll be very happy to know that you can buy pre-cut banner shapes and letter stickers at places like Michael’s Craft Store and Walmart. Time is money, so if your time is precious, it definitely may be worth it to leave the fiddly cutting to the experts and just take on fun part of putting your personalized sign together.
Until next time,
xo Urbanista At Home