Consider trying a 'Ring Warming.' The idea is simple, near the beginning of your ceremony, your officiant lets guests know your rings will be making their way through the guests, he/she invites each guest to hold the rings and say a silent prayer/blessing for your marriage and infuse them with their physical, emotional, and spiritual warmth, and then pass it to the next guest. After the announcement the officiant passes out the rings, and continues on with the ceremony until it's time for you and your partner to present the rings to each other. This is only suitable for smaller weddings or you won't get the rings back in time for you to say you vows! So plan with care. But it sounds like such a nice way to have everyone wish you well. You may want to attach the rings to a pillow so that no one drops them and has to scramble around on the floor picking them up!
Lighting the outdoors can be simple or complex, but this beautiful idea adds a lacey look to white fairie lights for a shabby chic look. Easy for anyone, even those who aren't usually great at DIY projects!
Want something more interesting than the usual US Postal Service stamps for your invitations? Go to http://www.zazzle.com/ or http://www.artisticpostage.com/ and you can either design your own stamps or purchase some pre-designed stamps. All are beautiful and make a nice addition to your invitation envelopes.
Your wedding invitation will say a lot to your guests about the type of wedding you are planning. Invitations today run the gamut from casual handmade invites to very formal engraved ones. Some invitations are even on a scroll! To take a look at a variety of invitations go to Advantagebridal.com. They offer custom invitations as well as do it yourself kits.
The following link is for a site called The Offbeat Bride. It has a lot of information for couples who want a less than traditional wedding. But even more important they have great guest bloggers. This link is for a guest blogger who provides insight into photography and copyrights. It's well worth reading, as is the rest of the blog. I highly recommend going over and taking a look both at this link: http://offbeatbride.com/tags/offbeat-blog/guest-blog and at the archives.
If you don't want your bridesmaids to carry flowers there are other options. One of my favorites is to have them carry a candle. Be sure whatever the candle is in is heat proof and won't break halfway down the aisle! Be sure you clear the candles with your venue or use battery powered votives in a holder.
Other options are to have them carry a single flower ties with ribbon, have your bridesmaids carry a parasol or fan, or make some pomanders bouquets or give them a basket of flowers to carry. Some of these don't require you to use a florist which should help you with your budget.
Looking for the sound of strings but no Bach or Beethovan? Try the Vitamin String Quartet. They do tributes to current groups including some rock legends--Cold Play, U2, The Beatles, Elton John, and lots more. You can listen to the full sounds on YouTube or partial songs on Amazon.com. For a sample this Blount tribute has "You're Beautiful" http://www.youtube.com/user/vitaminstringquartet?blend=1&ob=4#p/u/17/aBjMpl0uWVc. There's also a Valentine's Day CD/Download that has lots of romantic songs.
Need to enclose a map with your wedding invitations? This link http://www.weddingmapper.com/ makes it easy! If you aren't a pro at hand drawing(god forbid!) a map this link helps you make a map that will keep your guests from getting lost! This folded map has the map on one side, and directions on the other, other maps layouts are available as well!
When is Water is Too Beautiful to Drink? When you make your own wedding labels for a bottle of Aquafina! Easy to do it yourself if you go to http://www.onlinelabels.com. They have the software to use for designing and some clip art for weddings as well. Assorted other clip art available too. An Aquafina bottle uses 8 x 2.5 inch polyester waterproof labels. You can do 200 for under 60 dollars! Not bad! Use them in out of town gift bags or as favors. Of course you don't just have to stick to labels for water bottles, how about getting some white lotion in bottles, attaching a glassine bag filled with Oreos, and labeling it 'Cookies and Cream?' Needless to say the options are endless. This project is courtesy of Gatorbride.com, a very talented diy'r.