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DIY Wedding Favors Take 2

Brides should not be allowed to perform math. Yes I have an engineering degree and yes I have taken many advanced mathematics courses - Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations. But I am a bride. That means however rationally I usually approach an event or a tradeshow giveaway, anything wedding-related will be viewed through emotion-colored glasses.

I ran numbers for my dream wedding favor - a personalized cook booklet (see yesterday's post) - last night on the train and inadvertently used a price per bundle instead of the per book price (for example, $11.97 versus $3.99). You can guess what happened - immediate sticker shock ($1800 for 150 cook booklets) and heartbreak. (For 150 books, the bulk price ends up being $527 - 25 bundles or 100 books at the $13.57 bundle price ($339) plus an additional 10 bundles or 40 books at the $14.26 bundle price ($143) plus an additional 3 bundles or 15 books at the $15.16 bundle price ($46).)

I realized my error only after a night of trying not be heartbroken (and slightly - ok more than slightly - freaking out my fiance when I baked a chocolate cake at 10 pm at night). My fiance when hearing the wrong costs tried opening my mind to other alternatives - possibly using FedEx Kinko's to copy/bind the booklet. If you hadn't guessed it by now I'm pretty stubborn. Once I get an idea into my head it'll take a force of nature to dissuade me.

So in an attempt to convince myself that booklets weren't feasible (after all if they couldn't be done the way I wanted, then they shouldn't be done at all!), I decided to look into what it would cost to create a booklet at FedEx Kinko's. After a quick (well not so quick) look at card stocks, specialty papers, and ribbons, I came up with another DIY project. It's also a cook booklet. But... unlike the Mini Photobook this DIY project matches the look and feel of our Save the Date Postcards and soon-to-be designed Wedding Invitations. This DIY project incorporates our wedding colors - purple/navy/ivory/silver. It requires less design expertise than the Photo Minibook approach (for the Photo Minibook, each individual recipe or page is laid out in Photoshop and saved as a JPG).


  • 2-hole paper punch
  • Paper cutter
  • Scissors

Raw materials needed

  • Half of a sheet of 8.5"x11" Metallic Speckled Plum Vellum (
  • Half of a sheet of 8.5"x11" Natural Cream Linen Card Stock Cover (
  • Either a 2"x2" or 3.25"x4.75" Photo Sticker with Our Names and Wedding Date (
  • 5-8.5"x11" Sheets of #70 Sand Paper cut in half for 10-4.25"x 5.5" 2-page spreads or 40 individual pages (
  • 5" of Navy Wraffia Ribbon (

Raw materials for 150 cook booklets (not including tax or shipping) is approximately $211. Double-sided copying costs at FedEx Kinko's for this project are approximately $120 ($0.14 for 750 pages).

This DIY project is much more labor intensive than the Mini Photobook. Realistically your fiance and you (and any crafty volunteers) are cutting 1,050 pieces of vellum, card stock, and paper in half; punching 3,600 holes; adhering 150 stickers to the card stock covers; assembling vellum, card stock and 10 pieces of paper into a booklet 150 times; and tying 150 knots.

Now... on the plus side, you have 150-4.25"x5.5" cook booklets in your wedding colors with 40 individual pages of recipes/photos for roughly half the cost of a 3.75"x2.5" Mini Photobook with a glossy white cover and 18 individual pages of recipes/photos. As usual my fiance has taken an idea and improved upon it - mending my heart in the process.

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These sound like these are going to be awesome! I'm so glad you were able to find a DIY solution for your favors that fits within your budget. I remember having sticker shock with my favors too. I don't know what we're doing for them yet but I remember noting that spending only $3 per person came out to $450 for a 150 person wedding! Craziness!

I'm very excited - I didn't want to do something that would just be thrown away (bad for the environment) or screamed Modern Bride (those almond thingees in netting).

Another awesome way to share recipes as wedding favors

Another bride - "a happy-go-lucky do-gooder and owner of Va de Vie Events [who is] planning [her own] $10,000 wedding set for 10/10/10" - also enjoys food as a passion shared her idea for cooking/food-related wedding favors

If only I was sure our guests had clipping books or recipe holders!

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