Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wedding Tip Wednesday: Pew Bows - My Expensive Obsession

Ok, so I might have mentioned my obsession with pretty pew bows before (at least to Mr. 3, Briana, and my mother), but give me a little blog space to wax poetic on my love for the fun and festive decoration.  Pew bows are a great way to dress up a wedding ceremony with relatively little cost when compared to flowers.  
Park Land Flower Shop
Etsy Vendor: ShannonKristina
4 for $39

You can choose to keep it classic with some plain white bows or dress them up with a punch of color.  Either way, your black and white pictures are going to look beautiful without being too showy.  Make sure to check with your church first to see if they will allow you to attach the bows to the pews.

However, the problem with pew bows is that the cost can still add up.  Etsy vendors charge between $10-$15 each.  Let's say you get married in a really small church with 10 pews on each side (20 total), that's at least $200!  AND, that's before factoring in the purchase of pew clips to attach the bow to the pew itself).  Did I mention that there are 44 pews in the church I'm getting married in?

Now, I am not willing to give up on pew bows.  I love them and I have my heart set on them as much as I plan to wear a ivory dress (I'm toooooo pale for white) and have a fantastic cake!  However, I'm not willing to budget $440+ of my precious wedding dollars for bows. So, I did a little research for other options.  I found that most times it actually looks better to have pew bows only on every other row.  This is especially true if your church is elaborately decorated.  So, in my case (I'm lucky and I have a beautiful church that will not need much extra decoration), I can get away with 22 bows. 

The bows can be made out of heavy duty wired ribbon or tulle....both of which are available at Michael's craft store.  I like the wired ribbon look better than the tulle.  Tulle seems fluffier while wired ribbon seems more elegant to me.   Plus, there are a bunch of really pretty ribbons (sparkly, patterned, etc.) out there for all different types of looks.  If you go over to Michael's silk flower department, I found that the crafty ladies in this department are more than happy to discuss bows with you.  Michael's WILL tie your bow for you, but you have to pay for the ribbon/tulle, plus the cost of labor.  The going rate for this service is $1/yd of material.  So, let's say you want a large bow, which takes about 10 yards of wired ribbon.  You would have to pay $10 for the labor plus the cost of ribbon you select.  Michael's will let you use one of its oh-so-fabulous-and-thrifty coupons, but only for the materials, not for the ribbon.

So obviously, Michael's services would wind up being equally expensive.  Your best bet is to find either a family member to tie the bows or figure out how to do them yourself.  Lucky for me, I have a very talented, crafty auntie who is willing to help out!

If you are going to make your own wired ribbon can cost a bundle, but now is the time to buy!  The craft stores are running lots of specials and sales for the Christmas season.  Plus, as I've mentioned before, there is so much more of a selection this time of year!  You will need some wide ribbon to get a nice, full bow, so look for the 2 inch width and higher ribbon.

I found two kinds of BEAUTIFUL ribbon at Michael's and I did my first shelf clearing since I got engaged....then I drove to a second location and did another shelf clearing (sorry NoVA shoppers, I'm the reason there is no frosty pink and frosty white ribbon in your aisles).  I'm going to use both kinds and mix them together for every bow.  The original price for one 10 yard roll of ribbon was $9.99.  Michael's was running a special for 50% off.  I also had a magical coupon for 25% off my total purchase including sale items!  Including tax, I paid $3.93 per roll.  So, for my 22 bows, I will only spend around $87 for the ribbon and for a few extra supplies (i.e. wire and scissors), I'm estimating that my total will be about $100.  Not too shabby,  considering the potential price tag! 

Do you have any tips on how to have pew bows without spending too many precious wedding dollars?  Feel free to share!