3 January 2012

DIY Wedding & Mehndi Decor Ideas On The Cheap!

I was back at work yesterday and a bunch of my students were like "I haven't seen you since last year!" :) SO cute! Hope that everyone had a wonderful and blessed New Years! May the year ahead be a beautiful one for us all :)

This New Years the honey and I celebrated our 6 month wedding anniversary :) Is it too early to break out the top tier of our wedding cake?

It’s been an amazing start to our life together, but I also can’t believe how quickly time passes…this time last year our wedding was still just a dream…but I was getting the planning started by stocking up at the post-Christmas sales for a whole lot of DIY wedding decor :)

If you’re planning a wedding in the coming months, definitely take advantage of this time! There is a LOT of Christmas stuff still available, most of which is seriously marked down. I really wanted our wedding to be magical and beautiful, but also on a budget. It’s one of the most special days of your life, but it`s also just one day (or in our case, a couple of days :). They key was looking for bargains without necessarily skimping on everything, and knowing when and where to splurge. Ask yourself which details you’ll really remember in the long run.

Of course for us crafty types half the fun is in the DIY projects! Here are just a couple of ways I used some cheap post-Christmas finds in my wedding decor.

Mehndi Decor: Festive Sparkle & Vibrant Colours

Ornament Garlands

When planning our Mehndi party (one of the traditional South Asian pre-wedding parties), all the colourful and festive Christmas ornaments were the perfect inspiration! So come boxing week I combed the stores for any and all sales on the ball ornament thingies – I got some amazing deals! I bought hundreds of them in different sizes, all in my chosen theme colours – purple, green and orange.

Our Mehndi was held in a large backyard tent, so my idea was to string the balls along the perimeter of the tent. To make the garlands I also picked up several rolls of a golden Christmas cord-type rope on sale at Fabricland – festive, but also sturdy enough to hold the balls.

We strung the balls in alternating colours and sizes along the rope, tying them in place with a little bit of gold ribbon (super cheap from Dollarama). 

It turned out fabulously! The garlands were so bright and fun, and they really dressed up the tent with a festive look. Best of all they didn’t cost a fortune. I wish I had a proper picture of the entire tent to show you!

Typical Mehndi and Gaye Holud themes are yellow, but these days people are using any and all bright colours. With Christmas decor available in such a huge range of colours, you can easily find something to fit your theme :) In addition to the ornaments, I bought loads of tinsel and other sparkly goodies to decorate all over the yard.

Twinkle Lights

Jodie Miller Photography via ruffledblog.com
The one thing I always wanted at my wedding was lots and lots of twinkle lights! It just creates such a beautiful and magical glow :)

Hiring someone to light your wedding can cost hundreds of dollars, but with a ladder and a bit of time we were able to easily do it ourselves! (We did have our handyman double check the electric side of things though to make sure we didn't blow any fuses :) We strung lights all around the tent and throughout the garden, as well as lining the entry. Again, wish I had proper pics to show you, but it was really lovely :)

Christmas lights will be on sale in a lot of stores right now, so take the opportunity to stock up. I must have bought at least 15-20 strings of lights, in addition to what we already owned. I got some with green cords to use in the trees and some with white cords to use in the tent. You could even borrow them from friends – just label each cord with a little piece of masking tape to make sorting and returning them much easier. I went with white lights, but try colours too for a really fun look.   

Reception Decor: Classy Shimmer & A Dreamy Glow

Elegant Table Overlays

For the reception, I wanted to create a rich and lustrous table setting, but without breaking the bank! Our banquet hall fee included a choice of beautiful simple linens, but anything a bit fancier cost an arm and a leg extra per table. So I decided to make our own overlays! I found some really gorgeous gold and cream holiday fabrics on sale at Fabricland, so I stalked several locations to buy as many yards as I could find :) All we had to do was cut the fabric into squares (which weren't exactly equally-sized, but no one was going around measuring), and my Mom patiently hemmed them all over a few weeks. To cut costs we didn’t make full size overlays, just small squares for the table centres, but it was enough to add a hint of interest and shimmer to the setting.

DIY Centrepieces

By far my favourite project and biggest bargain -we were able to save loads simply by making our own centrepieces (with a LOT of help from our dear family and friends)! From time to time Dollarama stocks really gorgeous vases, so when I spotted these square beauts I snatched them up! They are quite thick and heavy as well, so I wasn’t worried about them breaking easily. To dress them up I picked up a bunch of Christmas ribbon in shades of white and gold and tied bows around each vase. I also found some shimmery rocks on sale that we added to the arrangements for a hint of colour and sparkle :)

Last but not least we found loads and loads of tea light candles on sale at Michaels, which were discounted even further with a coupon! Gotta love those Michaels coupons :) A few candles per table was the perfect finishing touch :)

DIY Favours

I didn’t actually shop for these during Boxing week, but you totally could. Look for sales on Christmas tulle and ribbons you could use to wrap up your favours. We ordered little jars of honey and customized them with homemade labels, using a verse from the Quran on the beauty & benefits of honey :) Family and friends were a huge help in putting together hundreds of these little sweethearts!

Just going over these is making me wedding-sick...anyone need help planning a wedding? :)


  1. This is beautiful!
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog--I'm glad you like my Maple Leaf dresser. Unfortunately, NC is about a 18-20 hour drive from Toronto...though I was in Niagara Falls this summer. (I wrote a Niagara-On-the-Lake post

  2. Wonderful and beautiful ideas! Those are great ways to save and make a wedding look gorgeous!

  3. I couldn't have really asked for a much better blog. You are always at hand to provide excellent information, going straight away to the point for easy understanding of your subscribers. You're really a terrific pro in this arena. Many thanks for remaining there humans like me.

  4. Happy Six-Monthiversary! Your wedding was spectacular! I always see cool wedding stuff and wish I could go back in time 15 years and do mine different! Instead I just help other people with theirs. I, too, used Christmas bulbs for one. We hung them from the ceiling with fishing line so they looked like they were hanging in mid-air... and a little like a science fair project! HA! But, as it turns out, the groom was way into Star Wars and thought we'd done it on purpose just for him. :)
    Anyway, yours was lovely. :)

  5. How incredibly fun to see these wedding shots!!! BEAUTIFUL!!! I love your master bedroom as well!!! You are such a talented crafter/designer FOR SURE!!! Glad to be bloggy friends with you!!!

    XO, Aimee

  6. Looks beautiful! You have some great ideas!

  7. So so pretty! Love the ideas of using the balls, those colors were gorgeous together!

  8. MashAllah! A beautiful blog with inspiring ideas. I love the verses from the Quran..will deffinately recommend this to my mom for my sister's wedding :)

  9. Hi there! your blog is amazing! i have the same wedding favours but am having trouble putting the entire verse on the label, i think my jars are too small but it is too late to change them, any ideas?

    1. Hi Nida, thank you so much for your sweet comment! We had pretty small jars too. I think the labels I used were an inch or 3/4 inch, and I had to use a pretty small font. Try playing around with different fonts and sizes. Another option might be using the type of label you tie on with a ribbon rather than stick on - do you know what I mean? Let me know how it works out!

  10. Yeh these ideas are fab i love it so creative u wana help.me for my sis wedin coming up june this year.i live farafrom fam and hav two very young children so very hard to do this alone

  11. Any ideas would help thinkin.of doin it at home but makin it special n giving it that cosy but sparkly special touch to make her day special any ideas would be much appreciated jazakallah

    1. Hi Kay,
      I'm in the process of helping my new sister-in-law plan her wedding too so I don't mind going over ideas together :) Feel free to get in touch at samaakhan[at]gmail[dot]com

  12. So During Christmas time, i couldnt help but see all the christmas green and red and yellow...colors of mehndhi..and ofcourse all the other bright colors. I too wanted to utilize the ornaments in some manner....I am glad someone also had the ideas and shared its result when its done.. I am super excited now.

  13. Love the ideas masha'Allah :) i'm loving the use of ornaments. always found them pretty but didn't know what to buy them for but now for my brother's wedding festivities coming up soon I hope to find them somewhere atleast so I can use them too :)

    1. Thanks so much! Good luck searching for them - if not in stores you might find some online somewhere. And congrats on your brother's wedding, have fun :)

  14. I love your diy wedding decorations / do-it-yourself wedding decorations ideas. You can really save on a lot of the decorations. Thanks for sharing!