Every Tuesday evening from July 31–September 4, we’ll be hosting a quick recap of the latest episode of NBC’s competitive crafting show, Making It, and sharing original DIYs and shopping ideas tied to each week’s theme. So mark your calendars and don’t forget to tune in at 10/9c—or stream it whenever you need a dose of inspo—then meet us here to get inspired and get crafty.
It’s hard to believe we’re already here, but it’s true: The final episode of Making It, Season 1, is out in the world and a Master Maker has been named (but I’m not going to spill the beans and spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet). And what better craft challenge could there be to close out this epic first season than a one-of-a-kind handmade wedding? After all, designing a day this big and this special is the ultimate creative endeavor. (That impressively complex Shed Hack project from last week? It was a walk in the park by comparison.)
For tonight’s episode, the three remaining Makers were tasked with crafting a unique cake topper, a dreamy backdrop, and an heirloom-quality wedding gift for real-life couple Talisa and David, who bravely signed up to tie the knot on the air. We sourced tons of special items from Etsy sellers to round out the contestants’ contributions, and the end result was nothing short of breathtaking. And while Talisa’s showstopper lace dress from Dreamers & Lovers turned every head in the room, the small personalized details made just as big of an impact. As Talisa said, “One keepsake from that day that I will always treasure is our cake topper. I just love it so much—it’s so simple, but it has to be my favorite little memento. I’m sure I will find a permanent place for it in our home.”
Thanks to Etsy’s community of millions of creative makers, there are endless ways to add an extra layer of individuality and meaning to the private wedding moments between you and your nearest and dearest—and also to the whimsical, fun parts you’ll share with every single one of your guests. From gifts and accessories for getting ready with your wedding party to the custom favors you’ll send everyone home with at the end of the night, each element provides another chance to express your unique style and tell the story of your love.
Read on for some of my favorite ideas for customizing your big day to your heart’s content.
For getting ready with your wedding party
Your wedding party does so much to make your day unforgettable (and to help keep you sane leading up to it), and treating them to unique gifts is a solid way to show how much you appreciate every time they’ve stepped up. Plus, personalized touches like engraved cufflinks, hand-embroidered dress patches, and sentimental necklace charms make for great getting-ready photos. You don’t even have to get matchy if that’s not your thing—personalization can mean selecting individual gifts that represent each one of your girls or guys and that specific quality and energy that they’re bringing to you on your wedding day. (But I have seen some pretty cute bride squad sets; you heard it here first—custom denim bridesmaid jackets are the new monogrammed kimonos.)
For a truly unique ceremony
Everybody goes into their ceremony with a particular idea of what feels right for them—what’s the best representation of their love and life together, how they can honor the family or spiritual traditions that mean the most to them. That said, even super traditional ceremonies still leave room for having a distinct point of view and putting your own stamp on things. Sometimes that’s a literal stamp, in the case of toss packets (filled with flower petals, confetti, bird seed, dried herbs, whatever you like) with your new initials printed on the front. Or it could be a custom-painted “here comes the bride” sign for your flower girl or ring bearer to carry. For the Making It finale, contestants made wedding ceremony arches, which is another perfect element to customize—add a laser-cut wood name sign with your last name or initials, and then take that piece home with you afterward to hang in your entryway or den.
For a one-of-a-kind reception
For a lot of couples, the reception is one of the best parts of their wedding day—you’ve said your vows, wiped some tears, and now it’s time to let a little bit loose and have fun. It’s also a great opportunity to keep sharing parts of your personality and your story with those family members and friends who remember you best as a 6-year-old in pigtails. You can do a custom cake topper that includes your beloved family pets and shows everyone how much your fur babies mean to you. You can do an unconventional guest book that incorporates memorable snapshots of you and your other half on your many adventures over the years. And special favors that represent meaningful places or experiences in your life as a couple, like an iconic treat from each of your hometowns or a favorite destination, keep making an impression even after everyone has gone home.