Free Printable: Kids Coloring Page for Your Wedding Reception


Other than our nieces and nephews, we invited adults only to our wedding ceremony and reception, but even with only a handful of little ones in attendance, I wish I would have thought to offer a little to-do like this sweet custom coloring page at the reception.

{I should point out that we loaded up our ring bearers – our three- and four-year-old nephews – with customized Pottery Barn Kids backpacks filled with goodies to keep them occupied, which was helpful!}

Had we anticipated more children to be joining the festivities, I just love the idea of tying a ribbon around a handful of crayons – or including a mason jar full of colored pencils at each table – and placing these customized coloring pages at the seat of each child. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to add a little touch of fun.

This wedding cake themed coloring page is now up on the Etsy Shop for $4.99 and is on sale through September 4th for 30 percent off, as is the whole darn store! But we’re offering the non-customizable version in PDF format for blog readers for FREE 🙂

{If you’re interested in the customizable version, head over to Etsy to download a Microsoft Word document, where you can customize it with the bride and groom’s names and wedding date for your big day. Easy-peasy!}

What other creative solutions have you found for keeping kids busy at wedding receptions? WEDDING CAKE COLORING PAGE


To Do or Not to Do? Wedding Welcome Gifts


Merigold & Gray’s “Glitter & Gold” Pre-Made Gift Box ($109)

If spare time was infinite and budgets didn’t exist, I’m pretty sure that every bride would design sweet welcome gifts for their overnight guests. They’d spend hours flipping through the gorgeousness of the Merigold & Grey Instagram account and then they’d shed just a tear or two imagining the “ooohs” and “ahhhs” of guests gleefully receiving their packages as they enter their hotel rooms. {Wait. Is that just me?}

As destination and semi-destination (northern Michigan, for instance) weddings become more common, it’s not unusual that friends and family are shelling out for not just one, but two, nights at your primary hotel or resort dependent on the weekend’s itinerary.

I loved the idea of a little “welcome gift” that would be given to each guest as they arrived at the hotel, as a thank you from us. So, inside small, black fabric baskets, I organized a couple bottles of water, some snacks (popcorn, pretzels and chocolate-covered fruit) as well as mini vase of flowers. {Tip: In hindsight, lose the flowers … they require way too much work – like buying and arranging them – on the weekend of your wedding.}

Additionally, it’s worth nothing that our crew of out-of-town guests was really only about 15 couples, so the workload was considerably less than if we’d been hosting 50 or more travelers. Had it been more, I definitely would have adjusted the cost and approach to our gifts.


  1. Call your primary hotel (where you’ve booked a block of rooms for your wedding) to find out the total number of rooms booked for your guests. Note the number of gifts that you’ll need to create; one per room.
  2. Ask the hotel if they are able to hand out gifts to guests as they check-in to their rooms, or if room delivery is required. If so, ask what fees apply. 
  3. Determine what your welcome gifts will consist of and get to buying things in advance; you’ll want to pull these babies together at least a week in advance so that they’re not on your to-do list in the last days before your wedding.
    • Vessel: What type of vessel will you use to deliver the gifts in? A soft basket like I used worked nicely {Dollar Store FTW!}, but wooden crates, fabric bags or even inexpensive paper gift bags get the job done.
    • Hydration: Unless your hotel offers free bottles of water for guests, these are a MUST. After a night of festivities – and likely, an open bar – everyone wants to stay hydrated and cross their fingers for a hangover-free morning.
    • Snacks: I like the idea of either late-night or breakfast snacks. If you’re sticking with the late-night theme, consider salty and sweet options like chips or chocolate. If you’re looking for breakfast options, consider pastries {doughnuts!} or granola bars.
    • Other: Aspirin … no explanation needed, tissues for the emotional criers among us, gum for close conversations, simple bud vases, fans {for outdoor summer weddings}, maps of the venue, weekend agendas and itineraries.

Looking for more inspiration? Martha Stewart Weddings has a great roundup of real-wedding welcome bags here. also highlights five companies that will craft lovely gifts for you.

And if you’re a Detroit bride, we couldn’t end this post without linking to some of our favorite local and state-made shelf-stable products that we think are just perfect for gifting …



The simple DIY welcome packages for our wedding guests

Staying Connected Despite Chaos


Sometimes, trudging through ten months of wedding planning can make a person crazy. Crazy in an “it’s-all-about-me because I have one zillion updates on vendor pricing and dress alterations “sort of crazy. As in, I’ve monopolized the conversation for 45 minutes but, oh gosh, how are you doing? sort of way.

You know what I mean, right?

That’s why I feel that it’s important to take a look at your calendar and schedule dates with each of your favorite people leading up to the wedding. “Dates” that are about them {not you, and definitely not the wedding!}. Dates to simply catch up, laugh a bit, and be the friend that you typically are when you’re not planning the biggest event of your life. Maintaining relationships is part of the planning process that reaps significant reward in your post-wedding life.

And good news; you don’t have to break your wedding budget to brainstorm a great lady date. I was meeting with a friend recently and had suggested happy hour at home, but when my home turned out to be an inconvenient option {commuter nightmare, ugh!}, we settled on happy hour at her house – my treat.

A prettily packaged rose bubbly complemented a to-go tray filled with simple snacks … some fresh-cut fruit, olive-oil drizzled and toasted french baguette with a tomato-and-garlic topping as well as kale pesto {thank you, Whole Foods} and a handful of tiny ginger cookies.

Sweet, simple and inexpensive, but oh-so valuable downtime with your fave folks.

What life hacks have you discovered that make wedding planning easier on you and the rest of the people in your life?

FREE: Sunset Mr and Mrs Printable


It’s that time again! Oooh, and this one is a good one 😉

For all of you in need of a little shot of color on that gallery wall, or who are getting ready to gift a bride in your life, we’ve got this sweet sunset printable that features “mr and mrs” in a fanciful, white script.

{Perfect for destination wedding decor, might I add!}

Simply download and print this Sunset Mr and Mrs PDF – sized for trimming to 8″ x 10″ after printing on a standard letter-size sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper.

Want to customize your print with your wedding date or “Established” year? Easy! Just hop on over to our Etsy page, where we sell the customizable version for $1.99.

Ideas on how to use this print …

  • Framed on your hallway gallery wall in a simple thin, white frame
  • On your home office desk in this chic, acrylic frame
  • Printed and framed in honor of your bestie’s destination wedding
  • Framed and displayed at a tropical themed bridal shower
  • As a take-home gift for your {married} bachelorette attendees
  • Within your wedding album

Have your own creative idea? Leave us a note in the comments and let us know how you’re using this free printable!

Instant Download Wedding Planner


When you’re looking a sweet but helpful gift to calm the nerves of the newly engaged in your life … we’ve got something for you.

Head on over to Etsy and check out our Ultimate Wedding Planner … 31 pages of useful tools and tips to guide today’s modern bride through the excitement leading up to and surrounding her Big Day.

For $12.99, your purchase includes an instant download PDF, which you can edit on your computer or print out for use in a binder or folder for extra chic gifting. {The PDF is sized for printing on U.S. letter-sized paper – 8.5″ x 11″.} We suggest using a three-ring binder where you can store photos, magazine clippings, inspiration + more!

Inside, you’ll find all the organizational goodies a bride’s craving:

– Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
– Wedding Date Considerations + Calendar
– Six+ months out to-dos
– Five months out to-dos
– Four months out to-dos
– Three months out to-dos
– Two months out to-dos
– One month out to-dos
– Month of wedding (!) to-dos
– Vendor Research + Notes
– Wedding Registry Checklist
– Wedding Registry Tips
– Bridal Shower Gift List // Thank-You Tracker
– Wedding Reception Seating Chart
– Wedding Day Checklist
– Wedding Gift List // Thank-You Tracker
– Honeymoon Packing Guide
– Master Contact List
– Bonus Faux Gold Foil Place Card Printable (a $5 value!)
– Bonus Faux Gold Foil Menu Template Printable (a $5 value!)

Check out the full Etsy shop for a slew of other printables, too, including our new – and favorite! – pink geometric diamond place cards, perfect for Bachelorette Parties and Bridal Showers.

Best Wedding Reception Templates

Here in the Midwest, we’re getting our first real snowfall of the season, which means that I’ve been holed up in what is essentially a human snowglobe, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in our condo … staring out into the blizzards of downtown Detroit. It’s beautiful, really.

I thought that now – as I’m curled under a blanket and slowly sipping on a second glass of wine – would be the perfect time to highlight some of my favorite wedding reception templates over on Etsy.

If you’re prepping for a wedding and haven’t considered the digital template approach yet, let me take a moment to share a few pros and cons in the process. (Spoiler Alert: Templates are awesome.)

  • SAVE MONEY: Having custom place cards and menus created for your wedding, whether by a calligrapher or a local print shop, can cost quite a bit of money. I found that with some savvy template purchases, I was able to sink far less money into my paper products so that I could focus on the purchases that were far more important to me (gorgeous florals and wedding party gifts).
  • THE LUXE LOOK: Just because you’re saving money, doesn’t mean that it should be obvious. These templates are designed to look high-end and chic (with designs that mimic gold foil and marble, for example), and once they’re customized by you at home, no one will be able to tell that they weren’t designed and printed at a fancy shop.
  • REUSABLE: Yep. You can reuse digital templates well after your wedding for dinner parties, baby showers (you read that right 😉 and more. Additionally, I’ve found that some of the inexpensive tools I purchased to make using templates easier have come in handy several times since my wedding. I use my “paper slicer” from Michael’s more than I’d care to admit…
  • NO CRAFTING SKILLS NEEDED: Skilled crafters need not apply! No, really. This doesn’t take creativity, folks. It simply takes a printer, some card stock from your local Michael’s or Staples, and a pair of scissors or a paper slicer. Is your bridesmaid or mother-in-law-to-be asking how they can help? Here’s your chance.

Now that we’ve covered what makes templates easy, let’s look at some of our favorites:


LINKS (Top to Bottom): Gold Foil Style Place Cards | Marble Menu Template | Simple Black Border Place Card Template | Gold Foil Style Menu Template | Merlot Watercolor Place Card Template | Set of Gold Wedding Reception Printables

Have you used templates and printables as you prepare for your Big Day or surrounding events? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

{Finally} Creating Our Wedding Album


It’s taken me six months, but I’m happy to report that our wedding album is complete, and enjoying its new home on the living room coffee table.

Shortly after I had received the digital image files from our awesome photographer, Alyssa over at Studio Phrene, I began researching websites that would let me create a high-quality album online, and on my own.

There are a handful of options – MyPublisher (which I used for our guest book and loved), Milk Books, Pik Perfect – but I kept coming back to a site called Zno for what I felt was the best looking product, offering the greatest value.

By crafting an album myself (versus paying our photographer to create one), the control-freak in me had free reign. Of course, I also spent WAY too much time debating and replacing images … but it was a project that I enjoyed, and the Zno site was actually quite simple to use in comparison to other publishing software I’ve dealt with.

For roughly $300, which is still a ton of money to pay for a – ahem – book, we received our final product less than two weeks after ordering it. And it turned out beautifully. I snapped some photos of the final result to give you an idea of the size, page thickness and paper quality that I selected, but there are plenty of options available for the other picky wives among us.

Most important to me was finding a company that offered large sizes (ours is a hefty 11″ x 14″), and lay-flat, extra thick pages. However, I’ve seen some gorgeous leather and suede covers, and even metal covers, that look equally impressive. All this is really the beauty of tackling an album yourself – ultimate freedom in terms of design.

Would you create a wedding album yourself? Or have you already? I’d love your feedback in the comments!

Note: This post is not sponsored and is completely based on my own opinion and shopping experience. 





Wedding Budget Hacks

Money Savings Image

I’m always looking for ways to save a few bucks when I’m shopping online (hello, promo code box!), and so it made considerable sense – and cents! – to keep a strategic eye open for discounts when it came to shopping wedding websites.

I’ve included some of my favorite tips below, which become more useful the further in advance you’re planning:

Before You Buy Anything Online…
Head on over to Ebates and create an account for yourself. I’ve saved more than $1,000 in the past 10 years by simply clicking through to the sites I shop on via Ebates. Just type the store you’re planning to shop at in the top search bar and then click the link within Ebates to earn a percentage back on your purchase. (Trust me; it’s too easy not to use!!)

Invitations and Paper Products
Fairly regularly, flash sites like Gilt City and Ruelala will host 50% off sales for online invitation sites like Wedding Paper Divas and Tiny Prints. Meaning, you can purchase a $100 e-gift card for $50, oftentimes paying $750 for $1,500 worth of product! Even considering the frequent sales these invitation sites offer, an even 50% is quite the steal.

Bridal Party Gifts and Goodies
I’m venturing into serious deal-seeker territory with this suggestion, because it creates a bit more complexity for the shopping experience. But, for shoppers who are looking to make big-dollar purchases, buying unused gift cards at Cardpool, which you can purchase at a discount. (Think 14% off Anthropologie gift cards for bridal party earrings or clutches; 7% off Nordstrom gift cards for your bridal makeup; and up to 20% off of restaurant gift cards for your rehearsal dinner costs!) Don’t forget to click through Ebates first for even more savings when using your gift cards.

Flowers and Favors
Did you know that you can buy floral packages for weddings and events through … drumroll … Costco?! Choose from a six-pack of centerpieces made with mini black Calla lilies and white roses, or a 16-pack of boutonnieres and corsages, all very reasonably priced and shipped directly to you. Of course, warehouse stores like Costco are also a great destination for fun favors in bulk. (Not a Costco member? Sam’s Club Wedding Flowers is also an option!)

Table Linens and Fabric
The coordinator who assisted us at our wedding venue suggested purchasing the black-and-white stripe table runners that I wanted to use given that renting them would likely cost the same, if not more. Crazy, right? Instead of dishing out several hundred dollars, I searched for wholesale options and picked up 25 runners (in the perfect, extra-long length) for a mere $75 using a promo code at CV Linens. Even better? I turned around and sold the 15 unstained runners after our wedding for a cool $50 on Craigslist – making my total table runner investment $25.

Share your favorite money-saving tips in the comments!

DIY Faux Marble Menu + Place Cards

Product Shot_1_MENU MARBLE

Today, I’m posting a little announcement from over at our Etsy shop, because you guys, I just love the way that these marbelized menu and place card templates have turned out!

We’ve got an A7 sized menu template that will print out two per letter-sized sheet of paper, detailed with this lovely, gray veined faux marble print. On it, we’ve included our signature font “menu” title, along with optional subtitles if your menu follows a similar style.

To top it off, we’ve also added matching place cards, because: WHY NOT? These foldable cards print four per letter-sized sheet.


And here’s the best part, we’re offering $1 discount (that’s 20 percent 😉 ) if you enter the code BGDETROIT at checkout for either – or both! – items,including the menu or the place card templates. 

We love the idea of using these minimalist chic designs in settings such as:

  • At your wedding reception, on a black linen table cloth, alongside florals in varying shades of white, blues or with jewel-tone pops
  • At corporate dinner party in a modern setting, paired with black or brushed rose gold flatware (don’t forget to include your logo at the bottom!)
  • At each seat at your table, for a special dinner party, alongside a charcuterie or cheese board – served on a marble cutting board, of course – with tapered candles lit and matching linens.

The possibilities are endless, we humbly surmise… SO, create your own use, take advantage of our limited-time reader discount code and get to printing! (Interested in a custom order? Just send us a note through Etsy and we’ll provide a quick quote.)



FREE DOWNLOAD: Gold Menu Template



My, how time flies when you’re wedding planning! It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month since I last checked in to the site … but here I am, knee-deep in wedding projects and work travel, with a mile-long list of nuptial to-dos.

Keep calm. That’s the motto of the day. The week. The month. There’s a honeymoon on the horizon, I keep reminding myself 😉

The good news is that we’ve already checked off quite a few of the items on that list. One of the most recent ones is creating and printing menus. While a printed menu is hardly necessary – especially when there’s nothing to choose from, since guests selected their entree with the RSVP – it’s a pretty little touch to the table that I appreciate. PLUS, we’ll have the napkins folded around these bad boys, making them a critical part of the table design! (I’m laughing as I refer to the menus and napkins as “critical,” I promise.)

I mocked up this simple template at home and took it up to FedEx for printing out. It’s designed to print out on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of cardstock (as you know, I prefer 110 lb.), and sliced right down the center to create two menus per sheet of paper.

The only un-editable portion is the faux gold foil “menu” at the top of the page. You can change and update the body of the  menu with whatever design or font your feast-focused mind can conjure up.

And for you, I’ve slapped it into a Word doc. Because us brides have better things to do than format in Photoshop; am I right? Download the document by entering in your email beneath the below images. We’ll send you the download link shortly!



***We’re sorry; our free download period has come to an end!***

BUT, we’ve got good news! Pop over to our Etsy “Shop Clickity” Store and purchase our template for only $1.99 using code “PINTEREST” – that’s a $3 discount for our Pinterest visitors 🙂

Or, check out Bride Guide Detroit’s other Free Printables here! 


Want to grab the matching place cards, too? (They’ve got a lovely faux gold foil border!) Simply pop over to my Etsy page and download the template for only $4 using discount code BGDETROIT. You’re welcome! 😉