The Etsy Blog

Handmade Weddings: A Designer’s Guide by fubabee handmade and vintage goods

When fubabee — an Etsy seller and wedding designer — offered to give the Handmade Wedding Series some tips, how could we resist?

When it comes to designing weddings, the biggest challenge I’ve come across as a wedding designer is balancing budget concerns with desires for unique expression. Not all of us have the resources to throw lavish events. But, with a little creativity and some handmade finesse (which you all possess), designing the look and feel of your reception is as easy as figuring out what’s beautiful and tasteful to you.

For today’s couples, there are an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to decorating their reception. One search online will yield a seemingly countless number of options that the couple can choose from. However, just because there is so much variety out there, doesn’t mean you need to do any of it, especially if these choices don’t represent you or your partner in any way.

Thinking Outside the (Favor) Box
The most memorable receptions I’ve attended were the ones that had the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) feel behind it. These receptions were steeped with homemade touches that bespoke of the couple’s personal style.

Because handmade weddings infuse the personalities of the couple in imaginative ways, the atmosphere is more intimate, which creates a more inviting environment for family and friends celebrating your marriage.

So how do you create a look that is reflects your style and at the same time doesn’t break the bank? While there is no hard and fast rule, there are a few simple guidelines that will make your wedding a true celebration of you.

Keep it Simple
Whether it is a certain color or a theme, having one or two elements that are repeated throughout will create a wonderful stage in the reception area.

[photo by]

Light the Way
Lanterns provide excellent mood lighting and create an entirely different feel depending on the type used.

[photo courtesy of Huiwen Lu (, photo by]

Perform Double- (or Even Triple-) Duty
Add in elements that can be used for more than one thing. Fan programs will keep the guests cool and informed. Potted plants double as aisle liners and table décor, and can be given to guests as favors.

[photo courtesy of Marcie aka, photo by Evin Krehbiel (]

[photo by]

Go Au Naturel
Fruits, pebbles and other natural elements make wonderful settings and add to the personalized, handmade feel of your reception.

[Table top zen gardens from Nicole aka ]

Be Your Own Florist
Arrange your own flowers to suit your tastes. Doing what works for you puts a custom-made stamp on your festivity.

[Angela aka papermanagerie aka recruited her cousin do the flowers]

Reduce, Reuse, Rejoice!
Celebrate in an eco-friendly way by collecting tins and jars for floral arrangements and guest favors. Choose invitations that are made of recycled paper. Consider purchasing a vintage wedding dress (or prom dress)!

[Dana aka found a vintage prom dress for the occasion (Check out her post in this series!)]

By keeping these simple guidelines in mind, you can make certain that your wedding shines with uniqueness without breaking the bank. Best of all, by consciously incorporating these aspects into your celebration, you will ensure that handmade weddings become a long-standing tradition, one that you and your guests will truly enjoy.

Wedding Gift Guide | Wedding Category | Wedding Showcase | Handmade Wedding Series

  • PoPkO

    PoPkO says:

    i love your article, thanks for sharing these great ideas!

    7 years ago

  • smashing

    smashing says:

    cool article! is that first pic of the cake topper by nicole clark? she makes the coolest personalized little people and dogs for cakes :)

    7 years ago

  • kimmchi

    kimmchi says:

    coool fubabee great article!

    7 years ago

  • CourtneyWatson

    CourtneyWatson says:

    Thank you so much for this! I am planning my own "handmade wedding" and love the project ideas. I am thinking of doing bouquets of flowers made from ribbon/fabric scraps and knitted flower boutennieres (sp?). The possibilities are endless!

    7 years ago

  • UpfromtheAshes

    UpfromtheAshes says:

    Great article! If I ever get around to getting married, I am definitely going handmade!

    7 years ago

  • ragqueen

    ragqueen says:

    GREAT Article!!!!! Way to go!

    7 years ago

  • papermenagerie

    papermenagerie says:

    Thanks for using the pic of the flowers my cousin designed! I'm just sad that the only photo I have is of two bouquets in an ice bucket. They were so lovely! I guess the lesson is that you *do* want to make a list of "must-take" photos.

    7 years ago

  • jenspeaks

    jenspeaks says:

    Great tips - I wish I had the Etsy resource when we were planning my wedding three years ago! Thanks for including my crystal bridal bouquets in your treasury at the bottom.

    7 years ago

  • KisforCalligraphy

    KisforCalligraphy says:

    Amen Sister! These are rules to live by!

    7 years ago

  • waisze

    waisze says:

    Great tips. I couldn't have written it better. Thnx for including my tin =)

    7 years ago

  • nicherndesigns

    nicherndesigns says:

    i totally had no idea our zen garden was on here!!! if anyone has questions on how it was done, feel free to convo me! :)

    6 years ago