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Asked to contribute to a wedding - please help me think of something original!

(52 Posts)
HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Tue 14-Jan-14 10:49:41

I hope that this is the right place to post (relationships = weddings?) as I can't see a dedicated category. Some very dear friends are getting married in the summer and are having a sort of hippy festival type affair. In keeping with their lifestyle, they've been very clear that they do not want gifts but that they'd welcome homemade help with the wedding (food, cleaning the site, decorating etc). I'll be eight months pregnant on the day and so whilst usually I'd want to build and man a coconut shy or similar, I suspect I will be waddling and puffing by that point and therefore not really able to be that physical. But I want to do something special.

So here's my question. What can I make for them that would be nice? We offered to provide Pimms and lemonade for all guests on the day but they've told us they didn't intend that we should give that much. I'd usually spend £100-200 on friends like these for a gift so can you help me with ideas?

So far I thought that perhaps one of the following might be nice:
- I could make a huge batch of personalised biscuits (monogrammed or similar)
- I could rent a candy floss machine and set it up (wedding is about an six hour drive from London though so might be difficult to source / bring / clean)?


Joysmum Tue 14-Jan-14 13:18:01

Why not offer to have her bouquet pressed and dried?

LowLevelWhinging Tue 14-Jan-14 13:19:13

If you like the idea of bunting, you could do no-sew version: cut the fabric triangles with pinking shears and glue on to binding tape. They wouldn't last as long as proper sewed ones, but you only need them for one day!

or decorative paper pom poms like these?

Easy to make sitting down.

mistlethrush Tue 14-Jan-14 13:19:31

What about doing something like this for them? I drew the tree for a friend at work and they found some suitable inks for the leaves and got everyone there to 'sign' it on the day - then with a frame etc, nice visible reminder of the day and everyone that was there.

BaronessBomburst Tue 14-Jan-14 13:25:22

Some friends of ours strung up a washing line with 52 addressed postcards pegged to it. Each postcard had a week number written on it. As guests we were asked to pick a postcard and then post it back to them on the appropriate week with a message. They got the last postcard back on the week of their first wedding anniversary - and they got most of the 52 back. Some had messages, some had poems, some pictures. I thought it was a lovely idea! It made the whole year special.

brass Tue 14-Jan-14 13:29:05

haven't read whole thread but if they are hippy types I'm sure they'd love home made bunting to decorate wedding site.

just needs time now whilst you've got energy to whip up at home, source cheap fabric, (I'm thinking curtains and duvet covers from charity shops but you could probably get decent stuff by the metre online too).

on the day round up helpers to put it up -you can direct them rather than strain yourself!

brass Tue 14-Jan-14 13:29:53


should always read the thread first

StairsInTheNight Tue 14-Jan-14 13:30:50

Make some lighting for the venue? Pinterest is full of ideas for lovely mason jar lighting e.g.

You can put sand/shells & candles in, or those fake tealights (if kids might get them), or do some hanging ones for trees, or do the glitter/broken glowstick ones here? If you made loads the site would look lovely and I dont think they would be too labour intensive?

BeforeAndAfter Tue 14-Jan-14 13:45:08

How about buying disposable cameras for each table? Guests click away, you have them developed and then give them an alternative wedding album? Even though with iPhones and Facebook photos are everywhere - an album makes a lovely souvenir.

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Tue 14-Jan-14 15:13:18

Thank you all, keep them coming! I'm providing a list for them in an email I'll send this evening (I shall give credit to MN!). Again, they do really want us to make or do something, if anything, rather than to buy them something.

I should mention that obviously they only said this after being pushed about a present, they're not being demanding. And Poloholo, to be honest, I take the view that I'm pregnant, not ill, I can make something now, I don't have to clean the tables on the day or anything. They're not pressuring us, they just said that they'd like us to get involved if we want to. I think it's a lovely way to celebrate a marriage and that it's nice that they're ignoring materialism and wedding lists. <blushes to think of own rather materialistic wedding list>!

You are all very creative bunnies, thank you again!

slug Do tell, what did you decorate the car with?
Janey that sounds adorable!

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Tue 14-Jan-14 15:16:34

Goodness, more ideas!

Joysmum: Lovely idea, but they're really looking for something for on the day
LowLevel Lovely idea! <Squirrels away pompom link for bbq season!>
Baroness That's lovely, what a good idea! I will look into it.

Caught11 Tue 14-Jan-14 15:45:33

I did all the flowers and bouquets for my daughters wedding. She asked me to do them ( have never did this before). Got all the videos from youtube , had a practice and did them all the afternoon before, and stood them in water. She was delighted with them.

Joysmum Tue 14-Jan-14 16:10:10

I'm going to be following this thread with interest. There's have been some fabulous ideas on here and your friends sound like lovely interesting people without a care for commercialism. I bet the wedding is going to be fantastic.

Brokenpurpleheart Tue 14-Jan-14 16:27:40

How about a caricaturist? Someone to draw pics of the guests, starting with bride and groom. A keepsake for all concerned - people could scan their own or copy them so the couple could have a collection.

Brokenpurpleheart Tue 14-Jan-14 16:28:03

Or a photo booth ( same reasons as above)

RobotLover68 Tue 14-Jan-14 16:35:35


We had this lady who used to do it every year for our summer fete - by the end of the fete (only 2 hours) she was COVERED in candy floss - it was in her hair and everything!

Utterly Tue 14-Jan-14 16:38:33

What about asking their friends to send you pictures and video of them and compiling them with music into something you can project onto a wall during the reception?

SadieWord Tue 14-Jan-14 18:12:27

Love the idea of a homemade photobooth - they are v dear to hire but I'm sure a homemade one could be knocked up in advance and just transported to the wedding.

Lots of cool ideas on Offbeat Bride -

themidwife Tue 14-Jan-14 18:18:13

I agree that some sort of children's entertainer or a bouncy castle hire would be great. We hired a bouncy castle last summer & was only £55 all day inc set up & delivery. The kids would be entertained during the "boring" bits!

TwoNoisyBoys Tue 14-Jan-14 18:26:03

Just adding to the bunting idea....for my 40th birthday last year I made my own bunting and bought a few metres of the wipe down plastic-coated tablecloth fabric from The Range (obviously they sell it elsewhere too, but that was the most reasonable place) I bought three co-ordinating patterns, measured and cut out HUNDREDS of triangles and stapled them all onto lengths of coloured ribbons, and it looked was weatherproof....always an issue for our British summer smile

MinkBernardLundy Tue 14-Jan-14 18:30:47

I think lighting is a nice idea if the wedding goes on.i to.the evening. tea lights in jars and maybe strings of solar fairy lights and this citronella stinks to keep beasties away. and if you are feeling super creative a personalised fire sculpture- you get chicken wire, wire and paraffin. get some paraffin wick from somewhere that sells juggling/fire swinging supplies and an old sheet. Wrap strips of sheet around the wick. in paraffin for hours and hours. (do that bit there)

Then Wire the wrapped wick onto the chicken wire frame in the shape of their initials.
Set it on fire after dark. hey presto fire sculpture.

You do need either a frame fir the chicken wire or something to hang it between e.g. a wire between two trees.

Or if it out door...bring a gazebo and decorate it.

MinkBernardLundy Tue 14-Jan-14 18:32:19

Citronella sticks even.

if you need better instructions for fire sculpture making pm me.

oldgrandmama Tue 14-Jan-14 18:37:49

I like the face painting idea. You can buy face painting kits - have a bit of a practise first, of course. And you can do it sitting down.

YellowTulips Tue 14-Jan-14 18:48:43

What about making pretty party favours. You just need some netting, ribbon and some retro type sweets in pretty colours. Tie the sweets in little squares of netting with the ribbon (colour coordinate with the bride's theme) then scatter them on tables. Looks pretty and you can do this easily one evening sitting down.

If you want to go a step further do the same thing with small cellophane food bags (you can buy these online in pretty colours) filled with homemade chocolate truffles/fudge/toffee again tied with a pretty ribbon.

absentmindeddooooodles Tue 14-Jan-14 19:07:15

My wedding ( unfortunayley postpones due to cash :-( ) was going to be all homemade. Some of the things we were doing:

Collecting masses of jars. Putting a bit of hessian or lace round top and putting candles on. Looks so sweet.

Growing littlw chilli plants as dexorations/favours. Multicoloured ones. Look fab.

Collecting pebbles and painting initials and tiny quotes on them.

Making bunting. With glue. Haha.

Found a big wooden crate in a charity shop....filled it with flip flops from ebay. 50p a pair. Made a big sign to go with it saying dancing shoes.

Bought a big bit of driftwood for guests to sign rather than a guest book.

Made a wishing tree. With strong craft wirem covered in duct tape. Then hessian amd lace. Providing luggage tahs ( ebay cheap as hell) for people to write wishes and advice on and hang on tree.

Making a load of homemade lemonade. Putting in jars/bottles and anything glass. Bought paper stripey straws off ebay again.

Dont know if any of that will help. The wishing tree idea could be done way in advance and atored. Looked v natural and nice smile

venusandmars Tue 14-Jan-14 19:14:31

Are they having readings during the wedding? If they will tell you what they are you could get them copied and hung in frames around the venue. I know that many people love the readings at weddings but it flashes by too quickly and they'd like to read them again later. The couple could also have a special copy to keep at home - a present for the wedding, and for later.

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