ashley’s big day: it’s all in the details



With a little more than a month ’til the big day, the wedding basics are pretty much accounted for: Groom, check. Dress, check. Kick ass honeymoon planned to Sweden, check. So for now, it’s the small things that need tending to and in the end I hope the details will make all the difference.

Detail #1: Vintage Typewriter Guestbook

Ripped shamelessly from the DIY diva herself, the typewriter guestbook (suggested by Erica P.) combines the guestbook tradition with a fun aesthetic. Leave a typewriter — I’m looking out for a vintage Underwood – instead of a guestbook at the reception’s entrance.

Detail #2: Chill Out

Our ceremony will be outside. In Chicago. In August. To keep people from passing out, we thought making fans out of our programs, like these. But now we’re wondering if there’s a way to make them ourselves.

Any other suggestions for small details that could really make the whole night stand out? — Ashley P.

From our partners

you could print out your programs on heavy cardstock, cut them into circles, and glue them to dowels or paint stirrers or whatever you find. you could back them with pretty wrapping paper and spraymount and wrap ribbon around the sticks if you’re really invested.

Those programs are awesome!

T in Minneapolis

A simple idea for making the fan type programs is to print them out yourself on pretty paper, cut out into strips (like in your picture), whole punch the bottom and insert metal fasteners or “brads” to keep them in place. This allows them to be fanned. Fasteners come in basic metal or more fancy varieties like the ones found here:


Print on pretty paper, accordion fold them.

Laura M.

Love the fan program! At my brother & sister-in-law’s wedding, they had a “wish bowl” that we took in a slightly different direciton. They had sweet sayings, on pretty paper rolled up into curly cues. I helped with the expressions which were whimsical and heartfelt. “Always give a street musician $1.” “I think I can I think I can I think I can.” Those types of things. (Wishes were too sappy for them.) I did the project for them and it was fun. I like that guests left them a wish (the other part of the project ) but that guests got something in return.

ellobie in Chicago

My mom has done this for my sister and my brother’s weddings. She ended up turning it into a pretty elaborate project, but it could also be an easy weekend task.

We bought plain muslin fabric and cut it up into 5″ squares using pinking shears (to avoid fraying). It also helps to use some iron-on stabilizer/starch to keep the fabric stiff like paper. We then used a pencil to trace a 4″ square (just cut out a piece of cardboard 4″ square and trace around its edges) on each block. This was enough to leave a good amount for seam allowances.

At the reception, we had a little table set up with the fabric squares and a bunch of gel pens (though you could use any permanent ink pen). The guests came over as they liked and wrote a nice thought or quote, drew a picture or just doodled on the fabric squares.

After the wedding, mom took them home and stitched them together into a quilt. She also printed out a few photos from each wedding onto paper that you can then iron onto fabric.

My sister and brother now each have a quilt of wedding memories. There are some really lovely sentiments, drawings and even some funny blocks. And it’s useful!

ellobie in Chicago

P.S. Tracing the squares onto the fabric blocks not only gave the guests “lines” to stay inside, it made stitching the quilt super easy. Just stitch along the lines!

Scott Cohen

Pearl River. Or better yet, wholesalers in the 20s and 30s on 6th Ave. Buy ’em in bulk and they’re about $1 each.
Did the same thing for my outdoor wedding.

Friends of mine got married in Florida in March, and their programs were fans. Brilliant idea, and I have mine here to reuse if our London summer ever kicks off…

They would be simple to replicate yourself with two pieces of cardstock and a (fancy) paddlepop stick. Visual aid – pic of basket of programs at

The Chicago wedding I went to in May 2003 was warm enough, your August guests will definitely thank you for the fans!

I di dfan programs for my outdoor July wedding. I bought a bag of craft sticks in the kids craft aisle of the craft store and bought cardstock in my colors. Two pieces of the same color, square cardstock glued together with a craftstick glued between as a handle. I printed my program info on a slightly smaller piece of contrasting card, glued that on the front and was done.

They were much appreciated. Good luck!