DIY Wedding Reception Ideas from Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen - WDRB 41 Louisville News

DIY Wedding Reception Ideas from Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen

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June is the most popular month in which to get married. But did you know it's closely followed by August, September, and October? It may be too late to make some DIY favors for June. But Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle says you have time to save a little cash by doing it yourself, if you are getting married in a few months.

When deciding whether or not to undertake some of the projects that make up a wedding event, you should ask yourself 3 questions:

1. How much time do I have before the wedding date?

2. What is my budget for wedding cakes, favors, reception decor?

3. Who are my people and how helpful would they be?

There is no use stressing out over saving some cash, if the date is a month away. Gathering materials, baking, sewing, and assembling take time, and that is where most folks get lost. It is hard to budget time when you are caught up in the minutia of last minute wedding details. For this reason alone, a bride should decide in the beginning whether or not she wants to tackle some of the work herself.

At that point, she needs to decide what she can do and do well. For example, if she wants to DIY the reception, then those related decisions need to be firmed up in the beginning stages of wedding planning. These decisions should include such things as reception colors by considering color trends, cake ideas, and guest favors that complement the theme. Does she want a vintage feel? Will she have time to scour consignment shops and antique malls for the accessories to accent the tablescapes? If she is willing to sew, does she have time to take a beginners class or work with someone to carry out her ideas? If she works with another seamstress then scheduling time to meet comes into play. Popular seamstresses many times are booked months in advance.

Another anxious moment is when a craft project states that it takes "one hour to complete," and two hours later the project is still half finished. When reading through instructions whether online or on a package, always double it. If it takes an hour according to directions, and you are not familiar with the concept, it will take much longer. Add other people to the project, and you will need to triple the time requirements. Following that simple guideline will save you a lot of anxiety.

While doing wedding projects yourself can save money, you really need to budget a certain amount. It is easy to get caught up in the "I can do this and this and this" of the moment when in a large crafts store. Having a budget and a tight list of items needed will help you stay within your budget. A good example of how DIY can save money are the popular candy bars where guests can create their own reception favors. The idea is to make it look overflowing with sugary goodness.

 Good candy bars are stocked with at least five different types of candies, bags for guests to fill up, display jars, signage to direct guests to the area. Pre-made containers and candies are available, but it can become costly so it seems logical that one could go to the grocery store and buy candies. The choices are overwhelming and it is easy to buy too much. I went to a Sam's Club and priced candies. This type of store had tubs of popular candies versus the small bags of candy available at the grocery stores. Also, looking at online choices can yield some unusual candies and hard to find items many of which go on sale from time to time.

The trendy candy jars are pricey many starting at $12.99 and up. I found some premade jarred favors that were a quantity of 10 for $19.99. When the average wedding reception attendance can be 75-100 guests, this becomes expensive fast. A good moneysaving idea is to go to consignment shops and look for vintage candy dishes. I went to a local consignment shop and purchased four candy dishes for less than $20. And, as a side note, label the underside of each candy dish for a favorite relative to take home as a wedding keepsake.

Lastly, who are your wedding helpers and how crafty are they? This is not the time to teach the unteachable. Some people just aren't crafty and don't like the DIY concept. However, if you have willing and able helpers, set up a schedule maybe several times a month with a set time and to do list for each session. Offer to buy dinner, or make it potluck. At least, serve good snacks and beverages. No alcohol is recommended. Do you really want tipsy bridesmaids creating your favors?

Keep to the schedule. If you say it is a couple hours of crafting, then keep everyone on schedule and get them out by the allotted time. There is a reason for this. If helpers see that two hours is truly two hours they are more likely to come back for other DIY sessions. You will always have a helper with opinions that differ from yours. This is the time to be strong and stick to your guns on your ideas that you are implementing. The bottom line is you are paying for it and they are not.

Doing wedding projects yourself or with the help of a handy friend is a great way to save money and add a custom touch to your special day. In fact, unique even quirky wedding ideas are a top trend this year. Many couples are throwing out the tried and true in favor of the different and individual ideas that express who they are as a couple. Bottom line, enjoy the DIY process so you can look back on it with smiles and a good story or two in the future.


Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen will also send you Wedding Trends Recipes by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at  

To find Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen on Facebook: CLICK HERE.

CloverFields Farm & Kitchen

3720 Mt. Olive Rd.

Hardin Springs Area

Big Clifty, KY 42712

About Janine Washle:


Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.

CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.

On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.

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