Your Ring Bearer’s Sister and Flower Girl’s Brother

Luckily for my then-fiance and I, it was super easy to choose the minis for our wedding – our flower girl and ring bearer. There was only one little girl the right age and one little boy, each from different sides of the family. Josh had barely gotten the engagement ring on my finger when I was planning how I was going to ask them to be in the wedding!

Just like with our bridesmaids and groomsmen, we wanted to do something fun for the little ones! For the curious, this is what we did for the “bigs”.

On top of honoring the ring bearer and flower girl, we also wanted to take into consideration their siblings. Our ring bearer has a little sister and our flower girl, a big brother. We wanted to keep to tradition with just one flower girl and ring bearer, but we also didn’t want their siblings to feel left out or like they were less special. 

Even better – I get to make FOUR gifts for the minis!

I decided pretty early on that I wanted to do puzzles. The flower girl (4) was just starting to read a little bit but the ring bearer (3) couldn’t read at all yet which was perfect! I could give them the puzzles to put together and they would be able to put together the whole thing before their parent could read them what it says, and why they did the puzzle to begin with. 

I ended up making the puzzles in Adobe Illustrator.

What to do when making a puzzle:

  • Look for natural parts in the design you’re turning into a puzzle, then create the male/female attachment between those pieces. 
Seven pieces here, made for the youngest nugget, but I think also the most successful

What NOT to do when making a puzzle:

  • Grab an image of a puzzle pattern, overlay it on your design, then use that. It makes the edges very weird. 
Like the puny piece on his right shin – what was I thinking?

Unfortunately I didn’t make this discovery until the six-year-old tried to put it together, but he did it! Weird edges and all.

Yucky pictures, but the smallest writing on the two middle puzzles simply say, “Love, Uncle Josh and Auntie Erica”

To go with the puzzles, I wanted to give a stuffed animal that somehow represented the event. This was when Toys R Us were going out of business (I know, I’m sorry if I pulled at a wound) but the nice thing was that I had my pick of the stuffies! I could afford them all! That said, ever hear of something called “overchoice” otherwise known as “analysis paralysis”? Basically, there were too many options! I sent this picture to the fiance for some help.

They’re all so cute!!

We finally ended up on the four little puppies because they had collars to which I could attach little licenses that said “Damon 03/17/10” to commemorate the event. I debated Sculpey Clay or laser cut wood licenses, but finally went with the wood because for me it was easier. 

Finally, I wanted to do a little something extra for the ring bearer and flower girl since they were the ones putting in the work. I found a little bowtie to tie around the ring bearer’s pup’s neck and a little flower crown with some jewelry for the flower girl’s puppy. 

Please excuse my grandmother in the background – we lived with her at the time and she was pretty excited about the puppies, too!

In the end, these guys were a hit! The flower girl and ring bearer seemed excited to be doing a job they knew nothing about, and the siblings were happy not to be left out.

If I were to do this over, I would simply fix the puzzles to work a little better. I also might put the childrens’ names on the licenses, too.

Then again, if I were to do this again I’d probably do something entirely different just for the fun of it!

All four cuties having a blast on the dance floor!
They’re such hams I love it

I’ll share how I made the flower girl’s dress (and the surprise in contains!) in a future post – stay tuned!



Coffee, Weddings, Friends, and Foes

You’ll learn more about these cheeky characters. Far left? Meet Zane!

It came as no surprise to anyone that the part of my wedding I was most excited for was the performance of it all! Think about it, weddings are giant performances: you have a script, costumes, hair, makeup, you even have a rehearsal at the beginning and a cast party at the end! This isn’t to make light of the seriousness and the importance of the ceremony, it’s just about the excitement of the celebration that comes with weddings! There’s a lot to celebrate when two families are joined together.

When it came to our wedding, my (now) husband and I had a wedding on a budget, but I 100% got my fairytale wedding. Honestly, wouldn’t have changed a thing (I feel weird saying that when there is one thing, my grandparents couldn’t make it). The fact that they couldn’t make it doesn’t stick in my mind, though, because a few weeks later my husband, grandparents, and I all got wedding ready took some pictures. So overall, them missing the wedding meant that I got to wear my dress twice, so who am I to complain? 

The only weird part of that whole thing was that we took the pictures outside at my grandparent’s house and the neighbors (suburban neighborhood) were having a party. There was a slight awkward moment of, “yeah, we’re already married, this is just for show…” I think everyone got a good laugh!

Back to the actual wedding, I had such a blast prepping for the wedding with my friends and family! When you’re on a budget, there are so many opportunities to DIY with the decorations and the gifts and the numerous get-togethers leading up to the big day. 

As a recently married woman, may I make a suggestion to all the girls out there who are planning their big day? Try to diy at least one thing. It can be a small thing, like getting invites with many inserts that you have to put together or folding napkins a certain way ahead of time, but investing time with your friends and family to work on the wedding is both exciting and calming at the same time. It’s exciting because you’re prepping for your big day! Then it’s calming because you’re with people who are helping and supporting you through what would otherwise be a stressful planning process. I made things for our wedding with my parents, his parents, and I wrote letters of thanks to the people in the wedding who mean a lot to me. There’s time for reflection when you make something and that’s hugely valuable. 

This first diy I did with my husband to be – bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts. 

We decided pretty early on that we wanted a coffee-themed wedding. There were a few reasons for this:

  • We wanted to steer the focus off alcohol and onto a different drink. I’m not saying we don’t enjoy a good drink or that we don’t like getting drunk together, but our wedding wasn’t a time we wanted to remember through a drunken stupor. 
  • Wedding on a budget – alcohol/open bars are very expensive and comparatively, coffee can be done cheaper.
  • Neither of our families are big drinkers. Only the current generation of mine drinks (not our parents) and his only really like craft beer and gin socially, not heavily. 
  • My husband wakes at 5am and passes out by 8pm and only retains consciousness between those hours with pots and pots of coffee. We couldn’t have the groom passing out!
  • We wanted something unique and no one in our families had a coffee-themed wedding! 

Since that was the case, drink-themed bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts seemed in order. I say “drink” because we knew that some of them weren’t coffee drinkers (I know, weird) but we wanted them to enjoy their gifts so we planned accordingly. 

Since we got engaged right before Summer, we decided to get the girls iced beverage tumblers. They’re wicked popular right now, but I decided not to plan anything for the wedding based on trends purposefully. If it’s trendy, fine. If it’s not, I don’t care. 

I did lots of research and found an Etsy seller who does beautiful work! The tumblers each say the girl’s name and the wedding date, so it’s wedding-y but not blatantly so. I’ve been in weddings before where I got beautiful gifts but I feel like I can’t use them after the wedding because they say “bridesmaid” on them. It feels weird. So I wanted everything I got my girls to be personal but not super wedding-y. 

I then filled the container with tea bags (since they all like tea but only one likes coffee) and wrapped them up in cellophane. 

Please excuse the weird photo placement – at the time, we were living with my grandparents so my photo backgrounds were limited.

I still see the girls using them! That makes me so, so happy. 

Josh wanted to get his guys glass mugs. He likes the aesthetic of glass mugs (good thing, too, once ya’ll see what our actual wedding looked like) so we went with those. Again, a ton of research later, and I found an etching artist that we liked. Since the mugs themselves were so expensive, we opted not to fill them with anything so all we needed was packaging. We found these boxes for a buck a piece at the Dollar Store along with the blue filler (since we only needed one bag, just another buck!) Every once in a while one of the guys will send a picture of himself using the mug and Josh seems pretty pleased about that.

My one regret is that lately on Pinterest I’ve been seeing these little notes that go with groomsmen gifts that say something like, “my future wife is making me give you something cutesy to ask you to dress up and stand for an hour while I get married. So uh, would you? There’ll be beer.” and I SO wish I’d thought of that.

A Changing of the Guards

Now, since this is a DIY blog, I feel I should point out when the DIY part of this got a little more important. Of course we bought the mugs and packaging, but we did put it all together ourselves. All was going great until, well, see that guy’s name on the mug in front in the photo of the groomsmen’s mugs? He wasn’t in the wedding after all. There was a bit of a falling out and Josh took a hard blow, but remember what I said about the importance of friends and family and support during this whole process? Well he has a lot of love and support but Chris wasn’t just not showing support, but actively showing a lack of it. 

It’s funny, I think we all feel like we’re supposed to have a bff in our wedding party, but if you’re going through a time of change which includes a change of friends, maybe the friend who’s fading out shouldn’t be there anyway. Live and learn.

In the end, Josh and I are lucky that the falling out occurred before the wedding because we were both harboring a lot of guilt deciding that we wanted to have the same number of bridesmaids as groomsmen over wanting to ask his brother-in-law (who would make the groomsmen outnumber the bridesmaids) to stand by his side. Chris was gone, brother-in-law (Zane) is in, and when we’re crippled and old we will always look back at our pictures and be glad of that fact. 

When we decided to ask Zane to be in the wedding, we wanted to do it asap which meant I had less than a week to get another mug! I contacted the seller who, understandably, had a full to-do list and couldn’t accommodate such a last minute order. So I decided I should just do it myself. 

I’m very fortunate to have access to a vinyl cutter so I stole the design (I’m sorry, I just wanted it to match), copied it in Adobe Illustrator, changed the name, and cut it out. The next part I’d done before – simply peel off of the vinyl of the pieces you do want, leave what you don’t, then transfer it to a mug that you bought at, where else, the Dollar Store. Finally, coat it with some etching solution, wait, wash it, and peel off the vinyl. If anyone wants a full vinyl cutting DIY let me know. It came out better than I’d hoped with all the little details! 

Needless to say, he said he’d do it!

The moral of the story seems to be that not only is wedding planning time a good time to reflect, but making things yourself helps with that too.